Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 10 January 2008

Venue: Room 152, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened at 10.33am in public session.

1. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2007

Agreed – the draft minutes were agreed.

Mr McNarry joined the meeting at 10.37am
Mr Brolly joined the meeting at 10.38am

2. Matters arising

The Chair advised members that details of the interviews that PriceWaterhouseCoopers undertook with the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Community Relations Council are outside of the scope of Section 44 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. Also, as PriceWaterHouseCoopers is a private company, the Freedom of Information Act is not applicable.

Agreed – the Committee agreed that it wished to have sight of Section 44 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

Agreed - the Committee agreed to seek legal advice concerning the ownership of papers.

The Chair referred members to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s response to the Committee’s request for details of the information that he is awaiting from ADSEA.

The Chair advised members that the Committee’s addition to its response on the Draft Budget to the Committee for Finance and Personnel noting its concern with the level of funding available for libraries within the Belfast Education and Library Board for 2008 – 2009 did not arrive in sufficient time to be included in the Report on the Executive’s draft Budget. A copy of the Committee’s letter has been copied to the Department of Finance and Personnel.

3. Chairperson’s business

The Chair advised members that the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has advised that the business plan for the multi-sports stadium is still under consideration by the Department and has not therefore been submitted to the Department of Finance and Personnel.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure for details of when the multi-sport stadium business case will be forwarded to the Department for Finance and Personnel and when the subsequent outcome will be notified to the Executive Committee and the Committee.

The chair advised members that a scheduled briefing by the Ulster Scots Academy Implementation Group and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure on the Ulster Scots Academy Consultation has been postponed because the responses are still in the process of being analysed. The report will not be available until mid March.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to defer the briefing to a later date.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Speaker regarding Hansard services

Agreed – the Committee agreed to receive a briefing on the work of Hansard at the meeting on 17 January 2008.

The Chair referred members to a copy of Young at Art’s submission to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure on the Draft Programme and Budget 2008 – 2011.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to receive a presentation from Young at Art.

4. Libraries Bill (NIA 5/07)

The Chair referred members to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s response to the Committee’s proposals relating to membership of the Board (Schedule 1(2)). The Minister has also confirmed that he is satisfied with the legal advice he received on Schedule 2 (Transfer Schemes).

The following witnesses attended:

Ms Julie Mapstone (Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure)
Ms Irene Armstrong (Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure)
Mr Noel Kelly (Departmental Solicitor’s Office)

Agreed – the Committee agreed that it would not continue the clause by clause reading of Schedule 1, paragraph 2 until such time as the amendments were forwarded by the Department.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to the format of a letter to NIPSA asking if the Union wish to make any further comments on Paragraph 4 of Schedule 2.

Mr McNarry left the meeting at 11.17am.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to postpone further clause by clause reading of Paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 until 17 January 2008.

Agreed - the Committee agreed to continue with the clause by clause reading of Schedule 2 paragraph 1.

Schedule 2 – Transfer Schemes

Paragraph 1 (Creation and apportionment of property, rights and liabilities etc.)

Agreed – that paragraph 1 should stand part of the Bill.

The Chair referred members to the outline plan prepared by the Committee Office.

The Chair referred members to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s response in relation to the December monitoring and details of potential redundancies and related costs.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Education and Library Boards asking for assurance that they will be able to continue to deliver efficient services given budget restraints.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure requesting details of proposed redundancies in each Education and Library Board and the cost in percentage terms of each Board’s budget.

Agreed - the Committee agreed that the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure would provide details of the formula that the libraries use to calculate their funding -Assessment of Relevant Needs Exercise.

5. Presentation from Northern Ireland Music Industry Commission (NIMIC) and Northern Ireland Recording Studio Association (NIRSA).

The following representatives from NIMIC and NIRSA joined the meeting.

Mr John Edmund (Chairman, NIMIC)
Mr Ross Graham (Chief Executive, NIMIC)
Mr Dale Aiken (Chairperson, NIRSA)
Mr Lesley Hume (EMS Studio)
Mr William Walker (KOMODO)

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure on the ‘Oh Yeah’ project.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the NIMIC setting out its concern in relation to the ‘Oh Yeah’ project.

The chair referred members to a handout provided by the NIMIC on their presentation.

Mr Edmund gave a presentation to the Committee on behalf of NIMIC and Mr Aiken on behalf of NIRSA.

Mr McNarry rejoined the meeting at 11.40am.

The presentations were followed by a question and answer session.

Mr Bradley left the meeting at 12.23pm
Mr Robinson left the meeting at 12.26pm
Mr Bradley rejoined the meeting at 12.34pm
Mr Robinson rejoined the meeting at 12.36pm
Mr Shannon left the meeting at 12.44pm

6. Consideration of a Possible Inquiry

The Chair referred members to the Minister’s correspondence regarding the VALCAL study and sought views as to whether they wish to consider an inquiry in light of the Department’s decision not to proceed with Phase 2 of the study.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Chair of the Project Steering Group to ask why it is not possible to continue with Phase 2 of the study.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to request a research paper on similar reports/research into the social and economic value of public libraries, museums, arts and sports elsewhere.

Agreed - the Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council and Sport NI to ask them to outline how they contribute to employment, the economy, health, education regeneration and cultural tourism.

7. Consideration of Committee Visits

The chair referred members to the forward work programme.

The Chair advised members that the facilities at the Armagh Planetarium and the Armagh Observatory are not suitable for holding a meeting of the Committee.

Agreed – the Committee agreed that Mr Bradley will liaise with the Committee office to advise on suitable alternative venues in Armagh.

The chair advised members that the Playhouse and the Flowerfield Arts Centre have invited the Committee to hold meetings in their respective premises.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to note the invitations for future reference.

8. Correspondence

The Chair referred members to the correspondence from Inland Waterways and Inland Fisheries.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from Mr Conor Murphy MP.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to provide a copy of his reply to Mr Murphy.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure for details of independent libraries in Northern Ireland and any funding that they receive from the Department.

The Chair referred members to the interim evaluation report for the Irish Language Broadcast Fund.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure requesting the Committee’s views on how the Irish Language and Ulster Scots Language, heritage and culture strategy may be taken forward.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to pursue the matter with the Minister when he attends the Committee meeting on 31 January 2008.

Mr Ramsey left the meeting at 12.56pm.

The Chair referred members to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s response concerning the resource and capital underspend.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure for details of the membership of its Capital Programme Management Board and a timetable of when the Board meets.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to write to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask when the Forensic Auditor’s Report on the Northern Ireland Events Company will be made available to the Committee.

The Chair referred members to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s response detailing the Department’s resource and capital underspend.

The Committee noted the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s response setting out details of the Department’s historical spending and funding for 2006/07 and 2005/06.

The Committee noted the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s response in relation to the Department’s proposed Draft Budget resource and capital allocations broken down by units of service.

The Committee noted the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s response to Angling First Limited’s letter regarding the Department’s carp breeding programme at Movanagher fish Farm.

The Chair advised members that Voluntary Arts Ireland has forwarded a copy of its latest newsletter to the Committee.

The Chair advised members that the CBI has sent all Committees a copy of its response to DFP on the Draft Budget.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to forward the letter from the Agriculture Committee to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to ask the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to copy any submission that he might make to the Committee.

The Chair referred members to correspondence from the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister concerning the transfer of Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to the Department of finance and Personnel.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to defer consideration until 18 January 2008.

9. Any Other Business

The Chair advised members that he would be meeting Mr J J Murphy informally to discuss the Theatre Initiative on Thursday 18 January and invited members to attend. Mr Shannon offered his apologies.

10. Date and time of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed to hold its next meeting on Thursday 17 January 2008 at 10.30am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.21pm.

Mr Barry McElduff MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure
17 January 2008

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