Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 30 April 2009

Venue: Room 152, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 10.08 a.m.

1. Apologies

The apologies are detailed above.

2. Draft Minutes of 23 April 2009

Agreed : The draft minutes of the meeting held on 23 April 2009 were agreed as amended.

3. Matters arising

The Committee noted the response from the Minister on the stadia development process and the Department’s spending priorities for the monies originally allocated for a multi-sports stadium.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to ask for clarification on the spend for the sports budget and for further information on the proposals for developing the stadia of the three sporting bodies.

10.16 a.m. Mr McCartney joined the meeting .
10.21 a.m. Mr Shannon joined the meeting.

The Committee noted the response from the Arts Council on funding from the Department of Education for traditional arts.

Agreed : The Clerk agreed to seek clarification on whether the Department of Education had recently allocated further funding to traditional arts.

The Committee noted the response from the Arts Council on its proposals for a new art gallery.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council to ask if any feasibility studies have been carried out in the past in relation to a new art gallery and what the expected cost for consultants will be.

The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department of the Environment on townland names.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to forward the responses from local councils on the promotion of townland names to the Department of the Environment.

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

The Committee noted the information supplied by the Arts Council detailing groups which received over £10,000 in funding for 2008/2009.

The Committee noted the information supplied by the Arts Council detailing groups which received over £100,000 in funding for 2008/2009.

The Committee noted the response from the Arts Council on the methodology used to calculate per capita spend on the arts.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to forward the Arts Council’s letter to the Department for comment.

The Committee noted the response from the Arts Council on its organisational structure and overheads.

The Committee noted the response from the Arts Council on its distribution of funding for super output areas.

The Committee noted the response from the Arts Council on how it evaluates the work of the Ulster Orchestra.

The Committee noted the response from the Ulster Orchestra detailing its outreach and community work.

The Committee noted the response from the Minister on how the Department evaluates the work of the Ulster Orchestra.

The Committee noted the additional information supplied by the Forum for Local Government and the Arts on “Local Authority Arts Expenditure Survey”.

The Committee noted the additional information supplied by Arts & Business NI on their membership.

The Committee noted the information forwarded by Voluntary Arts Ireland on the hardship fund being set up by the Arts Council of England.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Arts Council to ask if it has any access to unused lottery funding and whether it has received any indication that its’ funding will be reduced as a result of the Budget.

The Clerk updated the Committee on the proposed itinerary for the committee visit to Liverpool.

The Committee received a presentation by Ms Meadhbh McCann, Research and Library Services, on “The impact of the arts on social needs”. This was followed by a question and answer session.

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

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 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 New Lodge Arts joined the meeting:

Ms Katrina Newell (Youth Arts Coordinator)
Ms Danielle Fields (Youth Advisory Group)
Mr John Paul McBride (Youth Advisory Group)

The Committee took evidence from the New Lodge Arts representatives. This was followed by a question and answer session.

The following representatives from Greater Shantallow Community Arts joined the meeting:

Mr Oliver Green (Director of Arts)
Mr Joe Campbell (Youth Intervention Coordinator in Arts Development)

The Committee took evidence from the Greater Shantallow Community Arts representatives. This was followed by a question and answer session.

5. Correspondence

The Committee noted the correspondence from the British Medical Association (BMA) on obesity.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to forward the BMA letter to the Minister to ask how Sport NI policies are linked with tackling obesity and whether there have been any interdepartmental discussions around this subject.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to revisit the issues raised in the Committee’s consideration of the draft Strategy for Sport 2007-2017 in relation to tackling obesity through sport.

6. Chairperson’s business

The Chairperson advised the Committee that the Deputy Chairperson and he had met with Members of the Scottish Parliament on the Health and Sport Committee on 27 April 2009 to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to request Research Services to conduct research on criminal assets recovery in Scotland.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that he had opened the Arts Society of Ulster’s exhibition on 29 April 2009 in the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that he would introduce the “Review of Free-to Air Events Consultation” being organized by Northern Ireland Screen on 6 May 2009.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that Ardú Bhéal Feirste had issued invitations to all Members to the launch of the GAA’s Belfast Strategy on 1 May 2009.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to all those who had participated in the NI Theatre Initiative roundtable meeting to seek an update on progress.

7. 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 7 May 2009.

8. Any other business

Agreed : The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to ask what plans he has in place should the outbreak of swine flu curtail sporting and cultural activities.

9. Date and time of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be on Tuesday 5 May 2009 at 12.30 p.m. in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.10 p.m.

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

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