Date: 19 November 2013
ISBN: Only available online
Committee: Culture, Arts and Leisure
Remit and Powers
The Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure is a Statutory Departmental Committee established in accordance with paragraph 8 and 9 of the Belfast Agreement, Section 29 of the NI Act 1998 and under Assembly Standing Order 48. The Committee has a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role in respect of the Minister of Culture, Arts & Leisure and has a role to play in the initiation, consideration and development of legislation.
The Committee has the power to:
- Consider and advise on Departmental budgets and annual plans in the context of the overall budget allocation;
- Approve relevant secondary legislation and take the Committee stage of primary legislation;
- Call for persons and papers;
- Initiate inquiries and make reports; and
- Consider and advise on matters brought to the Committee by the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
The Committee has 11 members, including a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, with a quorum of 5 members.
The membership of the Committee is as follows:
Miss Michelle McIlveen (Chairperson)
Mr William Irwin (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Dominic Bradley
Mr David Hilditch
Mr William Humphrey (3)
Mr Basil McCrea (4)
Mrs Rosaleen McCorley (2)
Mr Michael McGimpsey
Mrs Karen McKevitt
Mr Oliver McMullan (1)
Mr Cathal Ó hOisín
1 With effect from 12 September 2011 Mr Oliver McMullan replaced Mr Gerry Kelly
2 With effect from 10 September 2012 Ms Rosie McCorley replaced Mr Pat Sheehan
3 With effect from 01 October 2012 Mr William Humphrey replaced Ms Brenda Hale
4 With effect from 04 March 2013 Mr Basil McCrea replaced Mr Robin Swann
This report covers the work of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure from 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2013.
Key activities, outputs and achievements
During the 2012-13 session, the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure (the Committee) fulfilled its scrutiny role through its consideration of the following key issues:
- Executive investment in the UK City of Culture, 2013 World Police and Fire Games and Stadia Development;
- Maximising the Potential of the Creative Industries;
- Child Protection and Safeguarding across the Culture, Arts and Leisure remit; and
- Scrutiny of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s (DCAL) expenditure.
The Committee also considered other issues, including: EU issues impacting on culture, arts and leisure in Northern Ireland; DCAL’s review of its Arm’s Length Bodies; and challenges facing sports other than football, GAA and rugby.
During this session, the Committee met 40 times. 58% of these meetings were held in public session. While the Committee has indicated a preference for meeting in public, there are occasions when it must meet in closed session. During this period, the Committee considered two Committee reports: the first on maximising the potential of the creative industries; and the second on its investigation into gaps in child protection and safeguarding across the culture, arts and leisure remit. As consideration of Committee reports are considered in closed session, this had an impact on the number of sessions that the Committee held in public.
The Committee met outside Parliament Buildings on six occasions. These meetings were held at: Ebrington Square in Londonderry; Lisburn City Library; The MAC, Belfast; Armagh Planetarium; Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, Bryansford; and Belfast Central Library.
Pictured: CAL Committee Members at Belfast Central Library
The Committee has responsibility to consider primary legislation that originates from the Department. The Department did not introduce any primary legislation during this period.
The Committee considered and supported the approval of the following Statutory Instrument:
- The Public Bodies (Abolition of the Registrar of Public Lending Right Order) 2013.
The Committee considered and supported the approval of the following Statutory Rules:
- Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012; and
- Prohibition of the Sale of Rod Caught Salmon Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013.
INQUIRIES AND INVESTIGATIONS
Maximizing the Potential of Creative Industries in Northern Ireland
The Committee completed its report on its inquiry into maximising the potential of the creative industries in Northern Ireland, following extensive stakeholder engagement. The purpose of the inquiry was to investigate the policies, strategies and frameworks which underpin the development and growth of the creative industries in Northern Ireland. It did this by examining whether these are fit for purpose and have effective support delivery mechanisms which maximise and harness the economic benefits of the creative industries within Northern Ireland.
The Committee made 18 recommendations in its report, focusing on the following key themes:
- branding, identity and approach, and consideration of DCAL’s role as policy lead for the creative industries and how this could be better publicised;
- better collaboration, engagement and a joined up approach particularly with the EU, local government, DETI, Invest NI and NESTA; and
- closing the skills gap, with greater emphasis on creative and arts subjects in all education sectors, and a shift away from STEM subjects (Science, Technology, English and Mathematics) towards STEAM (Science, Technology, English, Arts and Mathematics).
The Committee secured the Assembly’s approval of its report and recommendations on 11 March 2013. The Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure (the Minister) expressed her support for the Committee’s conclusions and indicated her intention to use the Committee’s report and recommendations to shape her Department’s approach to the creative industries, in terms of stimulating and supporting a collaborative and joined up approach.
Pictured: Chairperson Michelle McIlveen with Shauna Tohill at Oh Yeah Music Centre
Investigation into Gaps in Child Protection and Safeguarding across the Culture, Arts and Leisure Remit
The Committee agreed to conduct an investigation into gaps in child protection and safeguarding across the culture, arts and leisure remit. The Committee agreed to proceed with an investigation rather than a full inquiry so that the evidence gathering process could be undertaken over a more condensed period and that it would have a specific focus.
The objective of the investigation was to seek gaps in child protection and safeguarding across the culture, arts and leisure remit, to identify examples of best practice in this area and, by comparing these, make recommendations to the Minister with respect to highlighting any gaps and suggesting how they might be mitigated.
From January to May 2013, the Committee received written submissions and heard oral evidence from a wide variety of organisations, groups and bodies, including the Department, its Arms’ Length Bodies, PSNI, Child Protection and Online Protection Unit and a range of stakeholders from across the culture, arts and leisure remit.
During the evidence gathering process, Members decided that the issues around the internet and social media were sufficiently important to seek to engage directly with young people, their parents and their teachers. A stakeholder event was held at Grosvenor Grammar School on 2 nd May 2013 to allow Members to explore these issues. Parents and teachers from Grosvenor Grammar School, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s School, Ashfield Girls’ High School and Lagan College were involved in the discussions.
The Committee is expected to agree its report and recommendations early in the new session.
Pictured: CAL Committee Members at the internet and social media stakeholder event at Grosvenor Grammar School
The Committee received updates from DCAL on the management of its annual budget, including a range of adjustments that affected spending profiles in advance of each monitoring round.
Members questioned officials on departmental bids, reduced requirements and surrendered resources and on underlying policy and budget priorities where necessary.
The Committee particularly focused on the spending profile of projects which received Executive investment, administered via DCAL. These included the UK City of Culture programmme, World Police and Fire Games and the redevelopment of Windsor Park, Casement and Ravenhill. The Committee sought assurances that these investments were value for money and will deliver a legacy for everyone in Northern Ireland.
The Committee also agreed to await with interest the outcome of the Public Accounts Committee’s deliberations of the Northern Ireland Audit Office report into DCAL’s management of capital projects. This is expected in the new session.
The Committee has exercised its scrutiny role in a wide range of policy areas including:
The Committee has considered a number of issues in relation to amateur boxing, including poor facilities, low participation among some groups and the inclusivity of the sport. Boxing will remain on the Committee’s agenda for the 2013-14 session, as it considers the value of DCAL’s £3.27m Boxing Investment Programme; and awaits the findings of the Independent Group under the Chairmanship of Mr Duncan Morrow as it considers governance issues around amateur boxing.
The Committee has undertaken timely scrutiny of issues that fall under the EU subsidiarity principle as a result of the establishment of mechanisms developed under the Assembly’s European Project.
The Committee was able to provide to response a Lord Boswell, Chair of the Lords’ EU Scrutiny Committee, with respect to the Amendment to Council Regulation No. 1100/2007: Establishing Measures for the Recovery of the Stock of European Eel and the European Memorandum 12989/12: European Eel. The Committee wrote to Lord Boswell and the Minister setting out its views and concerns regarding: the proposal to amend the Council Regulation; and the recommendations by the Fisheries Committee’s Rapporteur regarding EU eel fisheries.
Review of Arm’s Length Bodies
The Committee has continued to request and receive timely briefings at relevant milestones during DCAL’s review of its Arm’s Length Bodies. This is an ongoing review.
The Committee considered and approved subordinate legislation, which was introduced to regulate for the conservation of salmon in the medium term. DCAL’s proposals in the draft legislation was as a result of calls from the Committee in the previous session, to ensure an equitable, balanced, fair and transparent approach to salmon conservation was adopted.
The Committee will continue to consider other subordinate legislation regarding this issue in the new session.
The Committee has continued its close scrutiny of the redevelopment of Ravenhill, Casement Park and Windsor Park, following the Executive’s investment of £110m. The Committee has expressed some concerns about the delivery of the project as a result of legal challenges and residents objections. The Committee has received a number of briefings from DCAL officials and will continue its scrutiny of these issues into the new session.
UK City of Culture 2013
The Committee received briefings from DCAL officials, Derry City Council and Culture Company officials on the preparations and progress of the delivery of the UK City of Culture programme, following Executive investment of £12.6m.
The Committee sought assurances from the Minister that there was a robust management and monitoring framework in place; and that her Department had a proactive role in overseeing the successful delivery of the 2013 UK City of Culture, ensuring that the public investment would demonstrate value for money.
The Committee will continue its scrutiny of this project in the months and year ahead, not least to ensure that there will be a successful legacy and that proper processes were followed.
World Police and Fire Games 2013
The Committee received regular briefings from DCAL officials and representatives from the World Police and Fire Games Co., Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau to ensure that the games were a success and that the Executive investment of £3.93m was value for money. During these briefings, the Committee sought assurances that the expected number of competitors and visitors were realised; that there was sufficient accommodation to cover the anticipated number of visitors; that robust contingency plans were in place; and that private sponsorship was sought.
The Committee will continue its scrutiny to ensure a legacy from the World Police and Fire Games for Northern Ireland.
In addition to the Committee’s Motion to agree its report on its inquiry into Maximising the Potential of the Creative Industries, the Committee brought forward the following Motion:
Grassroot and Elite Sports Facilities
Given the accomplishments of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes during the 2012 London Games, and in advance of the Commonwealth Games in 2014, the Committee was keen to explore whether out sports people competing in sports outside of football, GAA and rugby have access to the best conditions to ensure that they can compete successfully on a national and world stage.
To that end, the Committee undertook a successful stakeholder event with the sports’ governing bodies in November 2012, which led to a report and Assembly endorsement of a Committee Motion which called on the Minister to consider prioritizing funding towards grass root sports and elite facilities from within her existing budget, to ensure that our sports people competing in future Olympic and Commonwealth Games are not disadvantaged as a result of lack of investment.
Informal Meetings and Visits
In addition to the six external committee meetings, the Committee visited the newly opened Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex, three community boxing clubs, BBC Broadcasting House and the Lough Neagh Fisherman’s Co-operative Society. The Committee met with representatives from these organisations and received a tour of the facilities. The Committee also visited Drumclay Crannog, the site of an excavation dig in Fermanagh, with Members of the Environment Committee.
Pictured (l): Cathal O hOisín at Lough Neagh Eel Fishery
Following publication of its inquiry into maximising the potential of the creative industries, the Committee agreed to undertake a further piece of work highlighted by the report in relation to the lack of provision for those who wish to study performing arts at a tertiary level. As part of its evidence gathering on this subject, the Committee visited the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), given its international reputation for the vocational nature of its courses. The Committee also explored the economic and cultural legacy following Liverpool’s award as the European City of Culture in 2008; and visited the new £50m Liverpool City Library. The Committee also met with the Mayor of Liverpool and a range of other culture, arts and leisure stakeholders.
Pictured: Members of the CAL Committee, with Mr Mark Featherstone-Witty, Chief Executive of Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts
Following Assembly approval of the Committee’s Motion on Grassroot and Elite Sport Facilities, the Minister outlined her intention to consider the Scottish Model for Community Sports Hubs, which had been applied to schools, further and higher education and community sports facilities. In order to be in a better position to advise and scrutinize the Minister’s proposals, the Committee visited Inch Park in Edinburgh which brings together a number of sports and community activities within a Community Sports Hub.
The Committee also met with the Margaret Burgess MSP, Minister for Housing and Welfare and the Health and Sport Committee of the Scottish Parliament.
Given the Committee’s interest and scrutiny of the World Police and Fire Games 2013, the Committee met the Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014 and Director of Glasgow Life to discuss the sporting and cultural legacy from Glasgow hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Pictured: CAL Committee Members at Inch Park Community Sports Hub
Co-ordinated Committee Visit to Londonderry
To mark Londonderry’s award as the inaugural UK City of Culture for 2013, the Committee sought and received approval from all Statutory Committees and the Public Accounts Committee to hold their weekly meetings in Londonderry to demonstrate Assembly support for the city during its year of culture.
The Committee co-ordinated meetings for all Wednesday Committee’s to meet in Londonderry on Wednesday 12 th June 2012; and hosted those Committee’s and their stakeholders at a lunchtime event at the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster.
Local media extensively covered the Committees’ visit and provided the Assembly with a unique opportunity to show support to the city.
Pictured (l): Michelle McIlveen with Shona McCarthy and Deirdre Heenan at the co-ordinated committee event in Londonderry
On 4th June 2013, the Committee facilitated a stakeholder event with the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Committee for Education to showcase Replay Theatre’s BLISS project, a performance created for young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties using multi-sensory techniques.
A range of other stakeholders were also present including Replay Theatre Co., relevant department officials, parents and teachers. The objective of the event was learn more about the health and educational benefits of the project.
Pictured (r): Michelle McIlveen with representatives from Replay Theatre Group: BLISS project
Chinese Art Exhibition
In conjunction with the Confucius Institute at the University of Ulster, the Committee sponsored an event in the Long Gallery on 30 th January 2013 to celebrate the Chinese New Year, a special time in the Chinese calendar.
The event showcased wonderful examples of Chinese traditional paintings. The Speaker to the Assembly, Acting Consul General Madame Ma and artists of some of the paintings were also present.
The event was a further opportunity for the Assembly to continue to develop its relationships and links with China.
PRIORITIES FOR THE NEXT SESSION
The Committee aims to direct its attention on a wide and varied range of issues throughout the 2013-14 Session. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Scrutiny of monitoring rounds and departmental spending;
- DCAL’s review of its Arm’s Length Bodies;
- Funding for minor sports and elite athletes;
- Stadia Redevelopment;
- Legacy of both World Police and Fire Games and UK City of Culture;
- Large sporting events hosted in Northern Ireland;
- Publication of the Committee’s Investigation Report into Gaps in Child Protection and Safeguarding across the Culture, Arts and Leisure remit;
- EU issues relating to culture, arts and leisure;
- Salmon Conservation legislation; and
- Maximising the economic potential of the Creative Industries.
Expenditure for the period 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2013
Committee Travel - committee members and staff travel and subsistence in relation to visits and meetings outside Parliament Buildings
Includes the cost of 8 committee visits to:
and 6 meetings held outside Parliament Buildings:
Printing of committee reports
Includes the cost of committee report on:
Cost of refreshments for committee meetings, working lunches, seminars, room hire, witness expenses, gifts provided by the committee during visits and conference fees for members.