Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 01 October 2009

Venue: Room 152, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 10.32 a.m.

1. Apologies

None.

2. Draft Minutes of 24 September 2009

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 24 September 2009 were agreed.

10.33 a.m. Mr. PJ Bradley joined the meeting.

3. Matters Arising

The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister regarding the Forecast Outturn for September 2009 to March 2010.

The Committee noted a response from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding commencement dates for Sport NI projects.

The Committee noted a response from the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister regarding the Digital Britain Report.

4. Correspondence

The Committee noted an invitation from UTV to visit Havelock House.

Agreed: T he Committee agreed to consider this invitation when planning its Forward Work Programme for the new year.

The Committee notedaletter from the Society of Genealogists regarding the temporary closure of the PRONI office to the public.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to express its concerns over the length of the closure and to ask if it could be shortened.

The Committee noted correspondence from Pobal an Chaistil regarding issues that were raised on the language project visit in August 2009.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that this organisation should be included in the round robin meeting planned for December.

The Committee noted correspondence from Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety regarding proposed Autism Legislation.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to pass the correspondence on to the Minister as requested.

5. Discussion with National Museums NI regarding changes to museums’ opening hours

The following witnesses from NMNI joined the meeting:

Tim Cooke (Chief Executive)

Marshall McKee (Director of Operations)

Gillian McLean (Director of Marketing, Communications and Trading)

The witnesses briefed the Committee. This was followed by a question and answer session.

10.40 a.m. Mr. McCartney joined the meeting.
10.53 a.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting. 
11.37 a.m. Mr McCartney left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask NMNI to provide copies of the full letters referred to in its written submission.

4. Discussion with NIPSA regarding changes to museums’ opening hours

The following witnesses from NIPSA joined the meeting:

Kim Christophi (Headquarters official)

Tom Croft ( Ulster Folk & Transport Museum)

Stephen Mulholland ( Ulster Museum)

The witnesses briefed the Committee. This was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request further information from NIPSA.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to commission a paper from Research Services to analyse the research and decisions made by National Museums NI.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minster to ask what role the Department played in the decision making process and for its opinion on the Monday closures. The Committee also agreed to remind the Minister that it should be informed and consulted on at an early stage of any proposed policy changes within the Department and its Arms Length Bodies.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to DCAL’s Arms Length Bodies to remind them that it should be informed and consulted on of any proposed policy changes at an early stage.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to release a press statement that afternoon to express its concerns regarding Monday closures.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that today’s witnesses should receive a copy of the press statement.

12.29 p.m. Mr McNarry left the meeting. 
12.29 p.m. The Chairperson declared the meeting closed to the public.

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

The Committee noted a letter from the Arts Council.

The Committee considered the draft recommendations for Terms of Reference 4 -7.

12.37 p.m. Mr. McNarry re-joined the meeting. 
12.40 p.m. Mr. McCarthy left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to re-consider the draft recommendations at next week’s meeting.

12.51 p.m. The Chairperson declared the meeting open to the public.

7. Chairperson’s business

The Chairperson advised members that a recently published book by Dr. Ian Malcolm on the Irish language called ‘Towards Inclusion’ is now available in the Assembly Library.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that he will be attending the following events as Chair of the Committee:

  • The official opening of the new Corporate Stand facilities at Ravenhill rugby ground on Friday 9 October.
  • An evening reception to meet the Board members, Directors and Officers of the Arts Council in the Millennium Arts Centre, Portadown on Wednesday 14 October.
  • An evening of celebration of the work of Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley in the Waterfront Hall on Saturday 17 October.
  • The Big Telly Theatre Company’s ‘Spring Chickens’ performance on Saturday 3 October in the Strule Arts Centre Omagh .

The Committee noted an invitation to a rehearsed reading of Autonomous Forces, a new play by Gary Mitchell. 

The Chairperson advised the Committee that he will be attending and that any other member wishing to attend should contact the Committee Office by Friday 2 October.

9. Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to invite representatives from Sport NI and the Football Association of Ireland to attend the evidence session on 22 October 2009 on the NIO briefing on sports law and spectator safety consultation.

The Chairperson reminded membersthat next week’s meeting will be held in the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre in Newry.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that Hansard coverage would not be required for next week’s meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to add a visit to the Carnegie Library in Bangor to its Forward Work Programme for the new year.

12.52 p.m. Mr. Brolly left the meeting.

9. Any other business

The Committee noted a press cutting entitled ‘First townland sign welcomed’.

The Deputy Chair advised the Committee of an invitation he has received from a Mr McCutcheon to view archives and industrial heritage artifacts and advised members that he would be attending in his capacity as MLA.

10. Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will be on Thursday 08 October 2009 at 10.30 a.m. in The Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.59 p.m.

Mr. Barry McElduff MLA 
Chairperson, Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure 
08 October 2009

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