Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 12 March 2009

Venue: FLOWERFIELD ARTS CENTRE, PORTSTEWART

1 . Election of Chairperson

In the absence of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, the Clerk took the chair for the election of a committee chairperson. Mr Francie Brolly proposed that Mr Raymond McCartney do take the chair of the Committee. Mr Jim Shannon seconded the proposal. No other nominations were received by the Clerk, and Mr McCartney was duly elected as chairperson.

10.31 a.m. Mr McCartney assumed the chair .

The meeting opened in public session at 10.31 a.m.

2. Apologies

The apologies are detailed above.

3. Draft Minutes of 5 March 2009

The draft minutes of the meeting held on 5 March 2009 were agreed.

4. Matters arising

The Committee noted the response from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to the Health Committee’s inquiry into obesity.

The Committee noted the Minister’s response regarding the Department’s Champion for Children and Young People.

The Committee noted the Minister’s response regarding the effects of the proposed Education Bill on libraries.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department requesting a report on the outcome of the discussions with the Department of Education on this matter.

The Committee noted the Minister’s response to the Committee’s letter relating to professional fees for capital projects.

The Committee noted the response from National Museums regarding the reinstatement of the industrial heritage display at the Ulster Museum.

The Committee noted the response from the Ulster-Scots Agency on the Committee’s enquiry regarding the Curriculum Development Unit.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to defer consideration of this issue until the meeting of 19 March 2009.

The Committee noted the response from the Irish Football Association in relation to stadia safety funding for Windsor Park.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to ask the Clerk to clarify with Sport NI the criteria for applications for the Stadia Safety Programme funding.

The Committee noted the response from Glentoran Football Club regarding the recent ban on Boxing Day football matches.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to await the outcome of the appeal on the ban before considering further action.

The Committee noted the response from Sport NI regarding youth participation in shooting sports.

The Committee noted the revised correspondence from the Permanent Secretary on the NI Events Company.

The Committee noted the response from UTV advising of current and future redundancy plans.

The Committee noted the response from the Department on issues raised by the Committee during the briefing on the February monitoring round on 5 February 2009.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department for clarity on its proposed spend on Elite Facilities.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask for details of its proposals for the reallocation of the monies set aside for the multi-sports stadium.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask where the £4 million originally set aside for elite facilities for gymnastics in Lisburn would now be re-directed to.

Mr McCartney advised the Committee that the FOI request to the Department for material relating to safety at sports grounds was made by the BBC.

5. Inquiry into the funding of the arts in Northern Ireland

The Committee discussed the selection of witnesses to give oral evidence to the inquiry into the funding of the arts in Northern Ireland.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to receive oral evidence from the Ulster Orchestra, Belfast Community Circus School, Young at Art, Arts and Business NI, Voluntary Arts Ireland, the Lyric Theatre, the Arts Council and the Department.

Agreed : The Committee agreed that a selection of community based arts organizations should also be invited to give oral evidence. The Clerk agreed to produce a list of potential organizations for the Committee to consider at the next meeting.

The Committee received a presentation from Miss Meadhbh McCann, Research and Library Services, on ‘Per Capita spend on the Arts in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland’. This was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed : Miss McCann agreed to come back to the Committee on a number of issues.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council to ask how it produces figures for the per capita spend on the arts.

The Committee noted an email forwarded by Belfast City Council’s Arts Officer on a conference entitled “Participate – Harnessing cultural value in tough economic times”. Mr Brolly indicated that he may be able to attend the event.

The Committee noted the response to the inquiry from the Minister for the Environment.

The Committee noted the response to the inquiry from the Minister for Regional Development.

The Committee noted the response to the inquiry from the Minister for Finance and Personnel.

The Committee noted the response to the inquiry from the Minister for Health.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for Health to request that the Committee receives a copy of the review into spending on artwork in the design and construction of healthcare facilities when it is completed.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for Health to request a breakdown of the spend on the arts in hospital and healthcare settings for the last three years.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council to ask what its role is in the selection of artwork for hospitals and healthcare settings.

The Committee noted an article by Roisin McDonagh in Agenda NI relating to the inquiry.

6. Townland Names

Mr McCarthy declared an interest as a member of Ards Borough Council. 
Mr Ramsey declared an interest as a member of Derry City Council. 
Mr Robinson declared an interest as a member of Newtownabbey Borough Council. 
Mr Shannon declared an interest as a member of Ards Borough Council. 
The Committee noted the response from the Minister on the promotion of townland names.

11.30 a.m. Mr Ramsey left the meeting .

The Committee noted the response from the Minister for Finance and Personnel on the role of OSNI in relation to townland names.

The Committee noted the memo from the Committee Office on promotion of townland names by local councils.

The Committee received a presentation from Miss Meadhbh McCann, Research

and Library Services, on townland names. This was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for the Environment to seek his support through NILGA to encourage further usage of townland names across council areas.

7. Further discussion on safety at sports grounds and the Minister’s decision on the multi-sports stadium

The Committee noted the response from the Minister to issues raised by the Committee in relation to safety at sports grounds.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister requesting details of his proposed spending plans across all areas for 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister and Mr Paul Goggins in April 2009 to inquire when the consultation on public order legislation will be launched.

8. Correspondence

The Committee noted the memo from the Clerk to the OFMDFM Committee on the recently published Equality Commission Report. The report advises that the North South Language Body has failed to comply with the Disability Discrimination Order 2006 by not producing a Disability Action Plan.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to seek his comments on this issue.

The Committee noted the correspondence from the Race Secretary of the Kells Motor Cycle Racing Club in relation to funding.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to Sport NI and ask to be copied into their response to the Race Secretary.

The Committee noted the invitation from Arts and Business NI to an arts reception on 12 March 2009.

9. Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to request Hansard coverage for the session on the arts inquiry on 19 March 2009.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to begin the meeting of 19 March 2009 at 10.15am in order to finish in time for the musical event it is hosting in the Long Gallery at 12 noon.

10. Any other business

There was no other business.

11. Date and time of the next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be on Thursday 19 March 2009 at 10.15 a.m. in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.

Mr McCartney adjourned the meeting at 11.41 a.m.

Mr Barry McElduff MLA 
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure 
19 March 2009

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