Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 21 May 2009

Venue: Room 152, Parliament Buildings

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

1. Apologies

The apologies are detailed above.

2. Draft minutes of 14 May 2009

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 14 May 2009 were agreed.

3. Matters arising

The Committee noted the response from the Minister detailing the issues on which he intends to take a decision in the coming months.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to advise of its continued interest in the proposals for the development of sports stadia.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister advising that the swine flu pandemic has not led to any restrictions on public attendance at cultural and leisure venues.

10.37 a.m. Lord Browne joined the meeting.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister on the funding required for safety at sports grounds.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to request an indication of how the Sport NI capital budget for 2009/2010 would be allocated.

The Committee noted the response from the Chief Executive of the Libraries Authority on the Voluntary Redundancy Scheme.

The Committee noted the memo from the Department advising that it is making arrangements to receive a briefing from the BT Chief Sustainability Officer on improvement to telecommunications.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister detailing what the Department is doing to tackle obesity.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the Minister’s response to the British Medical Association.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek further information on the 24 targets identified within the draft Strategy for Sport and Physical Recreation.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister on the Northern Ireland Events Company.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to express concern at the length of time being taken to verify outstanding claims and to request details of the total sum paid to the 146 creditors to date.

10.50 a.m. Mr McCausland left the meeting.

4. Presentation from Research and Library Services on Assets Recovery Agency: Proceeds of Crime

The Committee received a presentation by Ms Meadhbh McCann, Research and Library Services, on Assets Recovery Agency: Proceeds of Crime. This was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: Ms McCann agreed to forward further information to the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request the attendance of Northern Ireland Office officials at a Committee meeting to discuss Northern Ireland’s share of the proceeds of crime.

Agreed: The Clerk agreed to report back to the Committee on the logistics of officials from Scotland’s Department of Justice briefing the Committee on the ‘Cashback for Communities Programme’.

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

11.07 a.m. Mr Shannon joined the meeting.
11.10 a.m. Mr McCausland rejoined the meeting.

The Committee noted the additional information provided by Research and Library Services on “Social Impacts of the Arts”.

The Committee noted the response from the Arts Council on the proposed feasibility study for a new art gallery.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council to request clarification on what was meant by “expenses” in relation to the proposed consultants’ costs.

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 McCausland declared an interest as a member of Belfast City Council, Belfast Education and Library Board, and the Ulster-Scots Community Network.

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.

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

The following representatives from Cairncastle LOL 692 Community and Cultural Group joined the meeting:

Mr Bobby Acheson (Chairman)

Mr Adrian Rolston (PR representative)

The Committee took evidence from the Cairncastle LOL 692 Community and Cultural Group. This was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Cairncastle LOL 692 Community and Cultural Group agreed to forward their business plan to the Committee.

Mr McNarry proposed that Mr Ramsey do take the chair of the Committee. Mr Shannon seconded the proposal. No other nominations were received by the Clerk, and Mr Ramsey was duly elected as chairperson.

11.50 a.m. Mr McNarry vacated the chair. 
11.50 a.m. Mr Ramsey assumed the chair.

The following representatives from Mid Armagh Community Network joined the meeting:

Mr Conrad Clarke (Director)

Ms Hilary Singleton (Committee Members and Dance Coordinator)

The Committee took evidence from Mid Armagh Community Network. This was followed by a question and answer session.

12.06 p.m. Mr McNarry rejoined the meeting and assumed the chair.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward details of Arts & Business to the Mid Armagh Community Network.

12.25 p.m. Mr Brolly left the meeting. 
12.37 p.m. Mr Robinson left the meeting.

The following representatives from the Ulster-Scots Community Network joined the meeting:

Mr William Humphrey (Director)

Mr Iain Carlisle (Operations Manager)

The Committee took evidence from the Ulster-Scots Community Network. This was followed by a question and answer session.

12.47 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting. 
12.50 p.m. Mr Bradley left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider a visit to the Ulster-Scots Community Network premises at a future date.

6. Chairperson’s business

The Deputy Chairperson advised that the option exists to publish the Committee’s ‘Review of the Department’s management of the NI Events Company and other arms length bodies’ as an NI Assembly Report and to have it debated in Plenary.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the contents of the draft report before discussing the issue of its publication.

7. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee agreed to defer consideration of correspondence until the meeting on 28 May 2009.

8. Visit to Waterways Ireland Headquarters, Enniskillen

The Committee noted the draft itinerary for the visit to Waterways Ireland, Enniskillen.

9. Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request Hansard coverage for the evidence session on the arts inquiry on 28 May 2009.

10. Any other business

The Committee extended its thanks to Miss Higgins for her work and wished her success in her future career.

11. Date and time of the next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be on Thursday 28 May 2009 at 10.30 a.m. in Waterways Ireland, Enniskillen.

The Deputy Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.12 p.m.

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

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