Did you mean Edwin roots?
Edwin Poots: Will the Member give way?
Edwin Poots: I have not started yet. Perhaps if I say something that Mr Kennedy finds interesting —
Edwin Poots: The purpose of the PFG Committee was to scope the issues on which there was disagreement. If Dr Farren believes that there is only one area of disagreement, I am not sure where he is living.
Edwin Poots: To Dromara, rather.
Edwin Poots: I have a point of order, Madam Speaker. I have allowed Mr Attwood some time to declare an interest, but I note that he has not yet done so. As he is a member of the Policing Board, it is appropriate for him to do that now.
Edwin Poots: Madam Speaker, in drawing my remarks to a conclusion, I can say that I received a threatening letter from the Secretary of State regarding the position that we are in.
Edwin Poots: The proposed legislation deals with pitch invasion, the throwing of missiles, offensive chanting — which has already been mentioned — the control of alcohol, ticket touting and the need for banning orders similar to those that exist in Great Britain.
Edwin Poots: None.
Edwin Poots: It is useful to recognise the contribution that sport makes to our community’s well-being. As the Minister with responsibility for sport, I want to support those people who are engaged in sport. I shall exclude nothing and will deal with each invitation as it comes into my office.
Edwin Poots: I cannot confirm Mr McCarthy’s figure of £1 million for a single-page website. I will look into the matter, but I very much doubt that it is an accurate figure.
Edwin Poots: The Arts Council of Northern Ireland provided the Ulster Orchestra with revenue funding of £1·925 million in 2007-08. That funding is towards core costs and includes the salary of an education officer, whose work includes organising workshops, concerts and master classes in schools and colleges and major education events.
Edwin Poots: This is first and foremost the responsibility of the organisers of the Ulster Grand Prix. However, I can confirm that DCAL, Lisburn City Council, 2&4 Wheel MSG and the organisers of the Ulster Grand Prix are discussing securing the long-term future of the event.
Edwin Poots: Work commenced on the site of Waterways Ireland in April 2007. The building is designed to accommodate 81 members of staff.
Edwin Poots: My officials are currently analysing the responses to that consultation. I understand that there is a strong diversity in the responses, and it may be difficult to establish cross-community support.
Edwin Poots: The consultation on draft clauses for Irish language legislation closed on 5 June 2007, and my officials are analysing the responses received. There were a high number of responses — somewhere in the region of 11,000 individual written responses. The Member will appreciate that in the circumstances it will take some time to process those.
Edwin Poots: I totally agree with the Member that the Irish language is not compulsory and should not become so. [Laughter.]
Edwin Poots: Simplistic?
Edwin Poots: I will provide the Member with a written breakdown of the funding over the past three years. The arts and creative industries employ 4·5% of the working population in Northern Ireland and 6·8% in the rest of the UK. We intend to meet that gap.
Edwin Poots: That is certainly my desire, and if there is any indication or evidence that that is not the case, those matters should be brought to my attention.
Edwin Poots: My Department is happy to work with those who bring forward proposals that meet the relevant criteria. I believe that that festival did so.