Legacy Report 2011-2016

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 24 March 2016

cal-legacy-report-2011-2016.pdf (1.61 mb)

Key Committee Activities, Outputs And Achievements

During the 2011-2016 Mandate the Committee fulfilled its scrutiny role through consideration of the following key issues:

1. The Committee throughout the mandate continued to focus and question the Officials on departmental bids, budget priorities and the spending profile of projects receiving Executive investment; 

2. During 2012/13 session, the Committee undertook an Inquiry into Maximizing the Potential Creative Industries in Northern Ireland. The report was published on 14 February 2013;

3. During 2012/13 session, the Committee undertook an Inquiry into Gaps in Child Protection and Safeguarding across the Culture, Arts and Leisure remit. The report was published on 15 October 2013;

4. During the 2012/13 and 2013/14 sessions, the Committee undertook an examination of the options to improve track cycling facilities in Northern Ireland. The Committee has visited a range of cycling facilities and produced a report with three recommendations which was forwarded to the Department.

5. An Inquiry into the Inclusion to the Arts of Working Class Communities began in 2013/2014 and continued during the 2015 / 2016 session. On 14 January 2016 the report was agreed by Committee and laid with the Business Office. A motion was tabled and the report debated in the Chamber on 15 February 2016.

6. An Inquiry into Casement Park on Issues around Emergency Exiting Plans began in the 2014/15 session. The inquiry included their impact on stadium capacity, for the redeveloped Casement Park Stadium. Additional written and oral evidence was gathered during the 2015/2016 session; however the inquiry has not been concluded. The Committee continues to reserve its position on the outcome of the inquiry as it has not been possible to complete the evidence gathering process within this mandate.

7. Renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter – the Committee considered in detail the renewal of the BBC Royal Charter. The Committee’s views were forwarded to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The Committee has welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding signed between BBC and the department, and supports the Minister’s efforts to ensure that Northern Ireland has a strong voice and presence in any new BBC governance and regulatory structures going forward.

8. 2016 Transfer of Functions – the CAL Department will be dissolved at the end of this mandate, and its function integrated into three of the new Departments: that is, Department for Communities; Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs; and Department for Infrastructure. Committee received briefings and statements from the CAL ALBs on the integration of their functions into these new departments; as well as hearing how they have been impacted by the 2016/17 budget settlement.

9. Fisheries Bill – during 2015 / 2016 the passing of new Legislation was considered together with the ARD Committee. It was concluded that there was insufficient time to properly scrutinize the relevant clauses of the Bill; therefore, only two clauses remained of the original Bill going forward to Further Consideration and Final Stages. The Committee believes that the issues in the Bill do need to be considered again in the new mandate when more time will be available to make better legislation.

10. Budget Scrutiny of the 2015 November Monitoring round, the 5.7 % budget cut – including impact to the Arms-Length Bodies; and the allocation of the 2016/17 Executive Budget under Transfer of Functions to the new departments.

11. EU Priorities linked to the European Commission Work Programme – Throughout the mandate the Committee has considered a range of EU issues. Members have sought to ensure that the Department, its ALBs and relevant stakeholders are fully utilizing the opportunities offered by EU funds and programmes, particularly Creative Europe, Horizon 2020 and Erasmus +.

12. Defibrillators – In the 2014/15 and 2015/16 sessions, the Committee considered the benefits of having defibrillators available at all sports clubs and grounds, as well as public buildings and spaces. The Committee undertook considerable correspondence on the issue, raising its profile considerably. Members are hopeful that the dramatic increase in the roll out of publicly available defibrillators will continue.

The Committee commissioned a wide range of research papers from the Assembly and Information Services (RaISe) to assist in its work and inquiries; these can be found on the Committee’s website – www.niassembly.gov.uk/cal.

Throughout all of its work the Committee attempted to ensure that it considered the needs of rural communities, and that these should be balanced with those of urban communities.

The Committee continued to successfully use Twitter (@niacalcommittee) to notify interested parties of its meetings, topics, upcoming events and consultations. The Committee has also increased interest in the live streaming of their meetings throughout the Mandate mainly due to the inquiries being undertaken by the Committee.

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