Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 08 January 2009

Venue: Room 152, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in closed session at 10.34 a.m.

1. Apologies

The apologies are detailed above.

2. Inquiry into the Development of a Museums Policy for Northern Ireland

10.36 a.m. Mr Robinson joined the meeting. 
10.37 a.m. Mr McCausland joined the meeting.

The Committee discussed the launch of its report into ‘The Development of a Museums Policy for Northern Ireland’.

Agreed : The Committee agreed its press release.

3. Assembly Legal Services briefing on NI Events Company

10.42 a.m. Mr Shannon joined the meeting. 
10.45 a.m. Mr McNarry joined the meeting.

The Assembly’s Assistant Legal Advisor, Ms Kiera Duddy, provided legal advice and guidance to the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the way forward at its next meeting.

The meeting moved into public session at 11.27 a.m.

4. Consideration of draft terms of reference for Committee inquiry into the funding of the arts in Northern Ireland

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk would revise the draft terms of reference, for further consideration at its next meeting.

5. Report on informal meeting of the Committee with interest groups on

9 December 2008

The Chairperson drew Members attention to the Clerk’s report of the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding the funding applications made by Trans Urban Arts and Special Olympics Ulster. It was also agreed to write to the Arts Council in relation to the issues raised by Youth Music Theatre UK, and to the Northern Ireland Library Authority on the possibility of it using the Northern Ireland Regional Area Networking.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding its funding for shooting sports.

6. Draft Minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2008

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2008 were agreed.

7. Matters Arising
Ulster Rugby

The Committee noted the further information provided by Research Services on image rights, taxation and work permits.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister regarding the barriers to the recruitment and retention of suitable players within Ulster Rugby.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to invite Ulster Rugby to make a presentation to it to explore the issues further.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the letter from Ulster Rugby on funding for Youth Development Posts to Mossley Primary School.

Budget issues

The Committee noted the Minister’s letter regarding December monitoring, advising of further reduced requirements identified from the 2008/2009 budget.

Agreed : The Committee agreed t o seek details on the impact of these reduced requirements, including the surrender in the arts infrastructure line in percentage terms, and whether the Department was predicting an underspend at year end.

The Committee noted the Department’s monthly forecast outturn for November 2008 – March 2009.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask when an announcement on the multi-sports stadium was expected and the reason for the delay to date.

The Committee noted the further information provided by the Department, following its briefing on the December monitoring round.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek further information on the PRONI site selection process.

Ofcom PSB Review consultation

The Committee notedthe Department’s response to the Ofcom PSB Review consultation.

The Committee noted BECTU’s response to the Ofcom PSB Review consultation.

The Committee noted Ofcom’s response to the Speaker following the debate in the House on 24 November 2008.

The Committee noted the letter from Ofcom, acknowledging the Committee’s response to the consultation.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing from the BBC with regard to local programming at a future date.

Other issues

The Committee noted the Minister’s response to the Committee’s enquiry into the Department’s sick absence and sick absence targets.

The Committee noted the Minister’s response regarding a pay dispute at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium.

The Committee noted the correspondence from the Arts Council providing clarification on lottery funding.

The Committee noted the memo from the Department confirming that it has not considered a business case for a local theatre initiative.

The Committee noted the further information from Research Services on safety at sports grounds legislation .

8. Chairperson’s Business

The Chairperson advised that that Dr David Elliot had been appointed as Chair for the new Library Authority, which is expected to become fully operational on 1 April 2009 .

The Chairperson advised that a review commissioned by the Irish Sports Council, to which Sport NI has contributed, on the performance of local athletes at the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, is expected to be completed by the end of January 2009.

9. Correspondence

The Committee notedthe copy correspondence to the Clerk to the Committee for Finance and Personnel on a European Spatial Data Infrastructure .

The Committee notedthe memo from the Clerk to the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding a request to local banks to brief that Committee.

The Committee noted the memo from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding post project evaluations.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister to the Chair of the OFMDFM Committee on the downturn in the construction industry.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Minister seeking further information on the Department’s plans for capital investment.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to forward to the Department the terms of reference of the Committee for Finance and Personnel’s inquiry into public procurement practice, and to request a copy of any response made.

The Committee noted the letter from the Minister in relation to the Department’s forward work programme.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department seeking clarification on the proposed transfer of the Northern Ireland Events Company to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

10. Forward Work Plan

Agreed : The Committee agreed its forward work programme for the period of January 2009 to the Easter recess.

11. Any other business

The Chairperson drew the Committee’s attention to the invitation from the Minister to all MLAs to attend a briefing on the Big Lottery’s consultation on Monday 12 January at 4 p.m. in the Long Gallery.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to add the Big Lottery consultation to its forward work programme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write and congratulate Ards Football Cup on their success in winning the Steel and Sons Cup on Christmas day.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask the Committee Office to seek information on the ownership of the former Harland and Wolff drawing office.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council for clarification on their proposals for a major arts gallery in Belfast.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that Mr Shannon would provide Members with further information on the Children in Need fundraising group based in the Stormont Estate.

12. Date and time of the next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be on Thursday 15 January 2009 at 10.30 a.m. in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.10 p.m.

Mr Barry McElduff MLA 
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure 
15 January 2009

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