Supporting the creative economy - Culture, Media and Sport Committee Contents

8  Creative Industries Council

131. The Creative Industries Council (CIC) held its first meeting just over two years ago, on 13 July 2011. Its remit is given in its published terms of reference:

    The purpose of the Creative Industries Council will provide a forum for the Creative Industries and Government to engage in a joined up way. Members will instigate industry led approaches to boosting the growth and competitiveness of the creative industries with Government facilitating and removing barriers where appropriate.

    As the policy areas under consideration are largely devolved, the Council confines its remit to England only, working closely with the Devolved Administrations where appropriate.[240]

132. Membership is widely drawn from Government, trade associations and others from the creative sectors as well as technology companies. One of its members, John McVay, Chief Executive, Pact, thought that the Council's effectiveness could be improved were it to focus exclusively on access to finance, copyright and international growth. He also acknowledged the useful working group on skills.[241] Reports have already been published covering finance and skills; there is now a need to act on the recommendations that have emerged.[242]

133. Several witnesses expressed concerns over the make-up of the Council both in terms of the creative credentials of some members and the exclusion of others.[243] The voices of individual artists and technicians are notably absent.[244] Publishing the CIC's agenda in advance might help non-members make representations. We were told of a need to have a more focused agenda for individual meetings.[245]

134. Edward Vaizey assured us that the next meeting of the Council would be attended by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Intellectual Property; he subsequently confirmed that Viscount Younger had indeed attended the CIC to discuss IP. We very much welcome the inclusion of IP on the agenda and the attendance of the Minister responsible. Some witnesses suggested HM Treasury should be represented on the CIC.[246] Edward Vaizey said: "I certainly think regular attendance from Treasury and Skills Ministers would be useful."[247]

135. Adam Kinsley of BSkyB suggested that the right people might not be on the Council to discuss some "quite technical and esoteric policy developments".[248] BSkyB's written evidence[249] included two policy proposals in connection with the Creative Industries Council:

    the support and protection of intellectual property should be a standing item on the CIC's agenda.

    a CIC "sherpa" group formed of senior policy representatives from the creative industries should be established given that not all members of the CIC may wish to be involved in detailed policy discussions.

We think both proposals are sensible.

136. We recommend that meetings of the Creative Industries Council should always be attended by a Minister with direct policy responsibility for intellectual property, given the central importance of this to the creative industries. In practice this will mean either the Minister for Intellectual Property or the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

137. We recommend that a Treasury Minister and a Minister from the Department for Education attend at least one meeting of the Creative Industries Council annually. Ministers and officials from other Departments should attend as determined by agenda items.

138. The Creative Industries Council should publish an annual report which includes an update on the implementation of recommendations made by itself and its sub-groups. Such an annual report should be laid before Parliament.

139. The establishment of the Creative Industries Council has been a welcome step towards ensuring that a great national success story can be celebrated and enabled to endure. Complacency and a failure to embrace the opportunities afforded by global communications platforms like the internet are only two of the dangers to continued cultural and economic growth. Still, the creative industries in the United Kingdom remain innovative, successful and strong. That is all the more reason why they must command our strongest encouragement and support.

240  Back

241   Qq 174-175, 179 Back

242   Qq 83-84, 313 Back

243   Qq 83, 547, 549 Back

244   Q 729 Back

245   Qq 609, 690, 695  Back

246   Qq 85,176 Back

247   Q 895 Back

248   Q 690 Back

249   Ev 352 Back

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© Parliamentary copyright 2013
Prepared 26 September 2013