Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 14 May 2009

Venue: Room 152, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 10.35 a.m.

1. Apologies

The apologies are detailed above.

2. Draft minutes of 7 May 2009

Agreed : The draft minutes of the meeting held on 7 May 2009 were agreed.

3. Matters arising

The Committee noted the copy correspondence which issued to the Minister seeking clarification on monies originally allocated to the multi-sports stadium.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to await the response from the Minister before considering the issue further.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister regarding elite facilities.

The Committee noted the response from National Museums Northern Ireland regarding the retention of artefacts.

The Committee noted the response from National Museums Northern Ireland regarding the plans for the industrial heritage display.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister of Education regarding the Review of Community Relations.

10.39 a.m. Mr Robinson joined the meeting.
10.40 a.m. Mr Shannon joined the meeting .

4. Consideration of Sport NI evidence session on 5 May 2009.

The Committee noted the Clerk’s paper on the case study with Sport NI.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification on who attends the monthly finance and budget review meetings held with Sport NI and whether qualified accountants from the Department attend.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to seek clarification from the Department on whether minutes are taken at the monthly finance and budget review meetings.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request details of the annual accountability meetings which were held between the Minister and the Chair of the NI Events Company.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to Sport NI to ask for a list of the Audit and Risk Management Committee members.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to Sport NI to ask it to confirm that a review will be carried out of the quorum of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to Sport NI to ask if the minutes of board meetings and register of board members’ interests are published on the website.

5. Chairperson’s Business

The Chairperson reminded Members that the Committee is hosting a seminar on townland names on 17 June 2009 and that suggestions for invites should be forwarded to the Clerk.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to invite the Armagh Rhymers to perform at the seminar and to pay the costs involved.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to provide a buffet lunch for the seminar participants.

The Chairperson advised that he was taking part in a panel discussion at Holy Trinity College, Cookstown later that day.

The Chairperson advised that on 13 May 2009 he attended the launch of the 2009/10 season of the Ulster Orchestra and a reception hosted by the Arts Council in the Linenhall Library.

The Deputy Chairperson advised that he had attended on behalf of the Committee the reception hosted in Hillsborough Castle on 7 May 2009 for the Irish Rugby team.

The Committee noted the correspondence from the NI Freshwater Taskforce regarding the draft River Basin Management Plans.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Minister about the issues raised in the NI Freshwater Taskforce’s letter.

The Committee noted various newspaper articles on the subject of the arts.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that a copy of the quarterly news-sheet from Advice NI is available from the committee office.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that the USA ladies football team (U23s) were visiting Parliament Buildings that afternoon.

10.55 a.m. Mr Shannon left the meeting .

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

The Committee noted the response from the Department on behalf of the Arts Council on audit and monitoring procedures on grants awarded.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council to ask for its views on the possibility of costing its audit and monitoring procedures.

The Committee noted the response from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland advising that they are unable to access the funding stream that allows the Arts Council of England to operate a £40 million hardship fund.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to ask if they have considered a hardship fund.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the National Lottery Distribution Body to inquire if the Arts Council of Northern Ireland could access unused lottery funds.

The Committee noted the response from the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister relating to the Ulster Orchestra.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to forward the letter to the Ulster Orchestra for information.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister advising what actions have been taken by the Department as a result of the review of Community Arts in Northern Ireland.

Mr McElduff declared an interest as a member of Omagh District Council.

Lord Browne declared an interest as a member of Belfast City Council.

Mr McCarthy declared an interest as a member of Ards Borough Council.

Mr Ramsey declared an interest as a member of Derry City Council and Director of the Millennium Forum.

Mr Robinson declared an interest as a member of Newtownabbey Borough Council.

11.01 a.m. Mr McNarry left the meeting.
11.08 a.m. Mr McNarry rejoined the meeting.

The following representatives from Community Arts Forum joined the meeting:

Ms Heather Floyd (Director)
Ms Caragh O’Donnell (Information Officer)
Mr Connor Shields (Treasurer)

11.41 a.m. Mr Shannon rejoined the meeting.

The Committee took evidence from the Community Arts Forum representatives. This was followed by a question and answer session. The representatives agreed to forward further information to the Committee.

7. Correspondence

The Committee noted the copy correspondence from the Department of Education to the Environment Committee, in which funding for traditional arts through the community relations budget is referred to.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council to ask how much funding it received from the Department of Education.

The Committee noted the correspondence from Mr Murphy relating to progress on discussions on a theatre initiative.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Mr Murphy to advise him that the Committee will await all responses from stakeholders before considering the issue further.

The Committee noted the correspondence from Forbairt Feirste regarding the Gaeltacht Quarter.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask what progress has been made in the development of the Gaeltacht Quarter since the departmental briefing in December 2008.

The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding the Varney 2 recommendations.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to examine the issue of Varney’s recommendations as a future agenda item.

The Committee noted the email from the Chairperson of the Old Museum Arts Centre, seeking to brief the Committee on the current position of the MAC Project.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek an update on the project.

The Committee noted the acknowledgement from the Neeson family following the Committee’s letter of sympathy on the death of Natasha Richardson.

The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for the Environment regarding its inquiry into climate change.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Minister for response.

8. Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to request Hansard coverage for the evidence sessions on the arts inquiry on 21 May 2009.

9. Any other business

Agreed : The Committee agreed to send a letter of congratulations to Crusaders Football Club following their recent success.

10. Date and time of the next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be on Thursday 21 May 2009 at 10.30 a.m. in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.06 p.m.

Mr Barry McElduff MLA 
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure 
21 May 2009

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