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22nd October 2007
Minutes of the Culture, Arts & Leisure Committee Meeting held on Monday 22 October 2007 at 7.55 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Council Offices, 47 Derry Road, Strabane.
Present: In the Chair: Councillor T Kerrigan
Other Members: Councillors I Barr, J Emery, G Foley, D Hussey, C McHugh, E McMenamin, J O’Kane
In attendance: Chief Building Control Officer
Apologies: Councillors A Bresland, D Breslin, J Donnell T McBride, C McGill, K McGuire, B McMahon, J McNulty, Clerk & Chief Executive, Head of Culture, Arts & Leisure
Report by Head of Culture, Arts & Leisure
The Chief Building Control Officer (CBCO) on behalf of the Head of Culture, Arts & Leisure (HCAL) presented the report. Arising out of the report the following was discussed.
Donemana and Glebe Sports Pitches
The CBCO advised that the contract for the redevelopment of the pitches commenced on 8 October 2007. He added that the work in Donemana would take approximately 3 weeks and the contractors would then move onto site at the Glebe.
Councillor McHugh noted that he had previously requested, as the pitches were for soccer, that they be referred to such. He felt that identifying them as football pitches showed the work undertaken by Council in that field of sport.
The CBCO said that this request would be relayed to the department.
Courtyard Environmental Improvement Scheme
The CBCO referred to meetings with the Architects, Quantity Surveyor and contractors regarding the proposed development for the Courtyard. He added that a programme for the start and completion dates for the contract would be prepared. He said that consultation with the artist would also take place. He noted that approval from the owner of adjoining premises would also be sought.
Alley Arts and Conference Centre
The CBCO referred to the draft copy of the spring programme currently being finalised, which had been circulated for Members’ information.
Newtownstewart Development Association
The CBCO referred to correspondence from the Association in relation to financial assistance for tourist information provision within Grange Court, Newtownstewart. It was noted that a contribution of £5,000 per annum was being sought and financial projections had been provided for Members’ attention.
On the proposal of Councillor O’Kane, seconded by Councillor McMenamin, it was agreed to invite the Association to make a presentation to Council on the application for financial assistance and the current services provided.
Western Regional Tourism Partnership (RTP)
The CBCO noted that the September minutes of the Western RTP had been distributed for Members’ information.
North West Trail
The CBCO noted that the September minutes of the Steering Committee had been distributed for Members’ information.
The CBCO noted that the September minutes of the Board had been distributed for Members’ information.
Irish Language and Music Roadshow
The CBCO noted that, despite being disappointed with the attendance numbers, the event had gone well. It was noted that translation had been available for the event.
Councillor Hussey said that, following his previous query regarding translation services, he had been contacted regarding the availability of relevant translation, which he had appreciated. He said that he had intended to attend the event but had to subsequently tender his apologies due to other commitments.
European Language Day
The CBCO reported that multi lingual storytelling had been held for 4 local primary schools in addition to a multi lingual language leaflet being launched. Approval was sought for costs of £450.
Councillor Hussey noted that he had not been notified of the event either through Council or as a member of the WELB. He said that the event was certainly a worthwhile programme but he had concerns regarding notification.
Councillor Barr noted that the event had already taken place and queried if prior approval had been sought. He noted that the leaflet had been supported by the Strabane Lifford Development Commission and that he had not been aware of the event.
Councillor Foley noted that he had attended the event as Chairman of Council.
On the proposal of Councillor O’Kane, seconded by Councillor Hussey, the costs for the event were approved.
Community Carol Service
The CBCO reported that it was proposed to hold another community carol service for the churches in the district, which would involve a cross community choir, lessons being read by local parishioners, and soloist and orchestra performances. He noted that the event would be advertised in local papers and churches and approval was sought for advertising, printing and refreshments at a cost of £750.
Councillor Hussey declared an interest as a member of his Church choir.
Councillor Hussey queried when and where the carol service would be held and which churches had been approached to participate. He felt that a newly formed choir would also need time to practice.
Councillor O’Kane noted that invitations for the event would not have been distributed yet.
The Chairman of Council said that he had attended the event last year when it had been held at St. Mary’s Chapel at Melmount. He said that it had been very successful with attendance and participation from all denominations. He understood that the event this year would be held in a church of another denomination.
The CBCO understood that the event would circulate through different district churches each year.
On the proposal of Councillor Foley, seconded by Councillor O’Kane the event and associated costs were agreed.
Good Relations Audit and Strategy
The CBCO referred to a draft copy of the strategic plan and audit results, which had been previously circulated in hard copy for Members’ attention. He noted that the deadline for feedback to the Community Relations Officer was 26 October 2007, following which the Action Plan for 2008 – 2010 would be compiled.
Active Citizen Programme
The CBCO referred to the proposed programme as outlined in the report, to be undertaken in conjunction with the Community Development Learning Initiative. He added that the sessions would involve 30 community activists across the district at a cost of £3,390.
Councillor O’Kane noted the substantial financial contribution required to run the sessions and felt that further information was needed regarding the programme. He queried if the Citizen’s Advice Bureau had been approached about the programme. Councillor Hussey concurred with Councillor O’Kane’s comments.
Councillor Barr felt that it would be beneficial to establish if similar projects had taken place in the past and what the outcomes of those were. He also felt that it would be worthwhile ascertaining what the likely outcomes of this programme would be.
On the proposal of Councillor Barr, seconded by Councillor O’Kane, the programme was agreed in principle subject to satisfactory information and clarification being made available to Members.
Sion Mills Community Forum
The CBCO referred to the establishment of the above Forum and noted the participating groups/organisations as outlined in the report. He added that the Community Support Officer (CSO) had been working with groups in the Sion Mills area to establish the Community Forum with an aim of working in partnership for the betterment of the Sion Mills area, particularly in relation to health, anti-social behaviour and recreation.
Discussion ensued and Members’ views included:
· Suggestion that group be invited to make a presentation to Council
· Recent anti social behaviour in the Sion Mills area
· Preferable for group to invite Members to their meetings: numbers of guests would be restricted in the Chamber; more of a proactive approach for interested Councillors to attend the forum meetings
· Need for parents to take responsibility for the activities of their children at night
· Attendance at Council would involve a more focused meeting
· Forum would appreciate the participation of Members at their meetings
· Group may well seek to make a presentation to Council at a later date
· Involvement was really for Councillors for that area
· Welcomed the establishment of the forum and complimented the group on the work undertaken to date
· DPP had met with the community in Sion Mills to discuss anti social issues
On the proposal of Councillor Barr, seconded by Councillor McMenamin it was agreed to send a letter of congratulations to the Community Forum and to liaise with the CSO on the best way forward at this initial stage. It was agreed to seek the dates of the Forum meetings for attendance by any interested Members in an observer’s capacity.
Melvin - WELB Usage
The CBCO reported that the WELB Youth Service would be operating a youth service at Melvin on a 4-night basis, rather than the original 5 nights. Costs for the period October to March 2008 had been requested and submitted by the CSO. It was therefore unclear at this stage if the usage would be reviewed after March next year.
Councillor Hussey declared an interest as a member of the WELB.
Councillor Hussey left the meeting at 8.30pm.
Newtownstewart Youth Forum
It was agreed for the CSO to continue working with the Newtownstewart Youth Forum to identify possible sites and funding opportunities for the development of a multi games area for Newtownstewart.
In response to Councillor McHugh, the CBCO understood that more detailed discussion would be sought regarding possible sites in and around housing areas.
Melvin - Quest Review Award
The CBCO reported that a positive response had been received from the assessment in relation to the Quest Quality Award. It was noted that further work was required and it was hoped to achieve the award by June next year.
Sports Forum Minutes
The CBCO referred to the ratified May minutes and the draft September minutes which had been circulated for Members’ information.
Community Sports Programme
Councillor McHugh noted that he had requested a breakdown of awards gained by coaches following a previous presentation by the Community Sports Officer. The CBCO said that the information would be sought and provided to Councillor McHugh.
Western Area Physical Activity Strategy
On the proposal of Councillor McMenamin, seconded by Councillor McHugh Council’s contribution of £1,000 to the Western Health & Social Care Trust was agreed to support the implementation of the above strategy.
Institute of Sport & Recreation Management Annual Conference
On the proposal of Councillor Emery, seconded by Councillor McMenamin it was agreed for the Leisure Services Officer (LSO) to attend the above conference in Nottingham on 14 and 15 November 2007.
Councillor O’Kane declared an interest as a relative of the LSO.
CRY - Cardiac Screening Services in Northern Ireland
The CBCO noted that following Council’s previous discussion on the matter, it had been subsequently established that the only mobile screening unit was based in England and this resource was not available to residents in Northern Ireland. Therefore, the direction of the initiative had shifted and it was proposed that the funding be invested into defibrillator training costs. The details of courses and subsidised rates were outlined in the report and it was noted that there had been a substantial demand for the courses to date.
On the proposal of Councillor O’Kane, seconded by Councillor Emery the recommendations as outlined in the report were agreed.
On the proposal of Councillor McMenamin, seconded by Councillor Emery the report from the Culture, Arts & Leisure Department was adopted.
On the proposal of Councillor Foley, seconded by Councillor McMenamin, it was agreed that the meeting go ‘in committee’.
On the proposal of Councillor Emery, seconded by Councillor Foley it was agreed that the meeting go ‘out of committee’.
Any Other Business
Strabane 2000 - Pride of Place
The CBCO clarified that 6 places, in addition to 1 for the Chief Executive, were available for the Gala Evening on 10 November in Westport. It had previously been agreed for the Strabane 2000 Project Officer and Councillor McMenamin to attend the event with 4 places remaining available.
On the proposal of Councillor McMenamin, seconded by Councillor O’Kane it was agreed that Councillors Emery and Kerrigan attend the event with Officers to take up the remaining places, if it was felt appropriate.
Sperrins Tourism - Sperrin Heritage Centre (SHC)
The CBCO advised that a decision was required as to whether the SHC should continue to be included in the Sperrins Tourism brochure.
Members’ views including the following:
· Would give a false impression if the SHC was to be included
· Number of people continued to use the picnic tables and car park
· Area Councillors should consider the issue
· Public liability issues
· Plumbridge residents were more interested in the provision of a sporting facility
· Photo of SHC building to be removed to be replaced with a reference to ‘Sperrin Amenity Area’ for example
It was agreed that a re-worded section be prepared for Members’ attention.
It was agreed that any Member could attend the further stakeholders meeting in Omagh on 15 November 2007.
The Royal British Legion – Remembrance Sunday
The CBCO referred to a tabled invitation from the Strabane Branch of the British Legion for Members to attend the annual Remembrance Service on Sunday 11 November 2007 at 3.00 p.m. at the Magheramason Presbyterian Church.
Councillor McMenamin tendered his apologies.
The meeting concluded at 9.00 pm.