Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 25 June 2009

Venue: Room 152, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in closed session at 10.33 a.m.

1. Apologies

The apologies are detailed above.

10.37 a.m. Mr Robinson joined the meeting. 
10.40 a.m. Mr McCausland joined the meting.

2. Draft Minutes of 18 June 2009

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 18 June 2009 were agreed.

3. Discussion of the Report on the Committee’s Review of the Department’s Management of the NIEC and other Arms Length Bodies

Agreed: The Committee agreed the main body of the report. The Committee

suggested a number of amendments to the draft recommendations and findings, to be agreed at the next meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to send the finalised report to the Department as correspondence and to seek a response to the recommendations.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to publish the report along with the Department’s response as a formal report to the Assembly in Autumn 2009.

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

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

11.03 a.m. The meeting moved into open session.

4. Update on Assets Recovery and Spend of Proceeds of Crime in Northern Ireland

The Committee considered correspondence from the Northern Ireland Office.

The Clerk briefed the Committee on the launch of the Organised Crime Task Force annual report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to ask how it would envisage spending the funds that the Committee understands will be allocated to the Department by the Northern Ireland Office’s Community Fund.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a presentation by officials from the Northern Ireland Office and from Scotland’s Department of Justice in Autumn 2009.

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

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 Belfast City Council joined the meeting:

Deirdre Robb – Acting Manager of Culture and Arts Unit 
Heather Bulfin – Cultural Communications Officer

11.10 a.m. Mr McNarry rejoined the meeting and assumed the chair.

The Committee took evidence from Belfast City Council. This was followed by a question and answer session. The representatives agreed to forward further information to the Committee.

11.27a.m. Mr Brolly left the meeting. 
11.37a.m. Mr Bradley joined the meeting. 
11.39a.m. Mr Ramsey left the meeting.

6. DCAL Briefing on Proposed Safety at Sports Grounds Statutory Rules

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting:

Colin Watson – Head of Sports Branch, DCAL 
Greg Magee – DCAL official

The officials briefed the Committee on the following proposed Safety at Sports Grounds Statutory Rules:

The Safety at Sports Grounds (Commencement No.1) Order (NI) 2009 
The Safety of Sports Grounds (Designation Order) (NI) 2009 
The Safety at Sports Grounds Regulations (NI) 2009

11.55a.m. Mr McCausland left the meeting.

This was followed by a question and answer session. The officials agreed to forward a copy of any response received from the Human Rights Commission on the proposed Statutory Rules to the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content with the Department’s proposals to make the three Statutory Rules.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to seek assurances that the Department would review fees in two years time.

7. Matters arising

12.03 p.m. Mr McCausland rejoined the meeting.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister regarding the progress that has been made on the development of the Gaeltacht Quarter.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to ask that the Committee be kept up to date on any further developments.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward a copy of the Minister’s response to Forbairt Feirste for information.

The Committee noted the response and update from the Minister regarding Stadia Development.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing with the Minister in September 2009 to receive an update on progress on this issue.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister regarding NIEC creditors.

The Committee noted the response from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding unsuccessful grant applications made to Sport NI.

The Committee noted the response from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding its links with Scotland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the response to the arms length bodies referred to, requesting their comments on the information provided by the Department and seeking views on how East-West links could be enhanced.

The Committee noted a response from the Minister for the Environment regarding the use of townland names.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for the Environment to suggest that his Department should use townland names in all official correspondence.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister of Education on Ulster-Scots provision.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Education for clarification on how requirements under human rights charters are being met with regards to the provision of Ulster Scots. The Committee also agreed to ask when the Minister expects to receive final recommendations from the joint Queen’s University/University of Ulster subject centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Ulster-Scots Agency to ask for a progress update on the schools materials.

12.16p.m. Mr McCausland left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the joint Queen’s University/University of Ulster subject centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies to request a copy of the recommendations it will be making to the Department of Education.

The Committee noted a response from the Arts Council on funding from the Department of Education.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask the Arts Council for details of the total commitment from the Department of Education for the current financial year.

The Committee noted a response from the Arts Council on a hardship fund for the arts in England.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to discuss the wording of letters at the next meeting.

12.22p.m. Mr McCausland rejoined the meeting.

8. Chairperson’s business

The Committee noted the media coverage of the townland names seminar.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk should pass on its thanks to the Communications Office for their work on the seminar.

The Deputy Chairperson advised that the Chairperson, Francie Brolly and Kieran McCarthy visited the Cathedral Quarter on 24 June 2009.

12.25p.m. Mr McCausland left the meeting.

The Deputy Chairperson advised that he and the Chairperson attended a meeting with three independent television producers on 23 June 2009 to discuss their concerns about a recommendation coming out of the Digital Britain report. Members were referred to the Clerk’s report of the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask the Minister at the meeting on 2 July 2009 to detail what actions he has and will take to lobby the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to include Northern Ireland in the pilot.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Ben Bradshaw MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, to request that Northern Ireland is included in the pilot.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Lord Carter to request that Northern Ireland is included in the pilot.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the DCAL Minister to request that he lobbies the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to include Northern Ireland in the pilot.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the OFMDFM Committee to ask it to lobby OFMDFM to raise this issue with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The Deputy Chairperson advised that he and the Chairperson will be meeting representatives from the Big Telly Theatre Company regarding their Spring Chickens Project on Thursday 2 July 2009.

9. Correspondence

The Committee noted the correspondence received from the Education and Training Inspectorate.

10. Any other business

The Deputy Chairperson advised the Committee that this would be Mr. Ramsey’s last meeting. The Committee conveyed their thanks to Mr. Ramsey for his contribution to the work of the Committee and wished him well in the future.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Mr. McCausland to thank him for his work on the Committee and to wish him well in his new Ministerial post.

The Deputy Chairperson advised members that this would be the Assistant Clerk Mrs Farrell’s last meeting. The Committee thanked Mrs. Farrell for the work that she has done for the Committee and wished her well in her new post in the Assembly.

11. Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be will be on Thursday 2 July 2009 at 10.30 a.m. in Room 152.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.30 p.m.

Mr David McNarry, MLA 
Deputy Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure 
2 July 2009

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