MINUTES OF THE ONE HUNDRED & EIGHTEENTH MEETING OF THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL
HELD ON THURSDAY 28th SEPTEMBER 2006 & 1.30 p.m.
IN THE CRC BOARDROOM, MURRAY STREET, BELFAST
1692/06 PRESENT: Action:
Mr W Erwin, Mr E McCartan (Chairman), Mr T McCusker, Mr C O’Halloran, Mr D O’Loan, Ms M Muldoon, Ms E Gallagher Dr D Stevens, Mr R Wilson.
Mr D Adams, Ms M Hetherington, Mr C Neilands, Mr M Wardlow,
Ms C Wilson.
Staff: Dr M Crozier [P/D Cultural Div], Mr J Fitzsimons [DFAP]
1694/06 IN ATTENDANCE:
Dr D Morrow [CEO], Ms J Irwin [Deputy CEO], Ms D McGlade [P/D Policy Dev], Mr P Jordan [Acting P/D Funding & Dev], Mr R Mullan [PD/Communications], Ms H Scott [P/Secretary].
MR Drew Haire (CRU)
The Minutes from the previous meeting (28 June 2006) having been circulated, were taken as read. There were no amendments. Acceptance proposed by Mr O’Loan, seconded by Mr Wilson.
1697/06 CHAIRS BUSINESS:
(1) Staffing matters:
Emma Shields (EU Prog) is leaving and moving on to the CSA
Sean Pettis (EU Prog) is leaving mid October to take up a permanent post with Public Achievements.
(2) Condolences were extended (on behalf of Council) to:
Dr Maurna Crozier and her family on the sudden death of her husband, Julian.
Dr James Hawthorne’s family on the death of Jimmy after a short illness.
1698/06 MATTERS ARISING: None
1699/06 BDO’s “FIT FOR PURPOSE REVIEW UPDATE: Action
The CEO reported that this review was mid way and that BDO hadconsulted a wide range of people including CRC staff. He said that an initial draft had been received and there were issues arising from this. The
CEO said that a further meeting was to take place on Friday (29th) and thereafter he would be guided by the status of the issues raised. He indicated that when the final report was available members and staff would be informed.
1700/06 RECRUITMENT PAPER (Revamping Council):
[Paper CRC/118/09/06/01* refers]
The CEO advised that the solicitor had been consulted with regard to revising the Articles of Association and was to come back with suggestions re amendments. He said he would bring these to the next Council meeting or to a special Council if appropriate.
The CEO said that the main issues were:
(i) appointment of new members/chair
(ii) revision of Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association
(iii) Chartable status
The CEO asked member to note the implications that had been drawn out in items 4 and 5. He conveyed his appreciation to assistance he had received from CRU. The CEO said that he would be contacting members (via e-mail) with regard to the matrix of skills and competencies and confirmed that welcoming statements re women and ethic minorities would be included in any advertisement. CEO
Mr Hair suggested that the wording for the advertisement should be similar to the wording in A Shared Future document.
The CEO told member that Mr Fitzsimons was unable to attend the meeting as he was involved in research relating to previous CRC documentation.
IFI/Community Bridges: The CEO informed members that he had information (today) that the IFI tender should appear in the local papers next week. He said that the situation was complicated but there were indications that CRC should apply. The CEO indicated that legal advice had been sought, the Labour Relations Agency had been consulted, and there was a group (which included a Council member) which would carry this matter forward in a formal process.
CR/CD Small Grants Scheme: The CEO told members that due to an increased demand plus a carry-over from the previous financial year, this scheme had been closed. He said that demand exceeded supply and that CRU had been advised and that staff had met with them to look at implications. The CEO said that control mechanisms were being reviewed as were the rate of applications and the value of approvals.
The CEO said that the Small Grant Scheme acted as a cushion for intermediary funding and could enable things to happen. He said that is was safe as a scheme but that the redesign needed to be right and that government should be encouraged to ensure that this type of funding was properly resourced.
Mr O’Halloran supported this view, he said that the Small Grants Scheme had allowed grass roots work to happen (as evidenced within the Belfast Interface Project).
1703/06 CULTURAL DIVERSITY PROPOSAL:
[Papers CRC/118/09/06/04 & 04(a) refer]
The CEO said that he would be dealing with this on behalf of Dr Crozier (Mins 1697/06 Item 2 refer)
The above paper outlines the proposal, rationale and background.
Dr Morrow suggested that media grants only made sense if used in a strategic fashion. He said that the gist of the proposal was to make a series of 10 short films, focussing on the daily life of primary age children from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds currently living in NI.
1703/06 Cultural Diversity Proposal: Action
It would deal with similarities and differences. The series would be on C2K and be available as a DVD, possibly on the CRC website and on CNI and broadcast.
Amount recommended : £40,000
Amount approved : £40,000
(Mr Jordan left the Boardroom @ 2.30 p.m.)
1704/06 A SHARED FUTURE:
[Paper CRC/118/09/06/05 & 05(a) refer]
The CEO told members that CRU had provided a list of issues identified for review and that these had been converted into the grid through sub-committee meetings (above papers refer).
1705/06 CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S REPORT:
[Paper CRC/118/09/06/06 refers]
The CEO highlighted the following:
1 Staffing: Emma Shields (Finance Officer) has taken a post with the Child Support Agency.
Marianne Laird (Administrative Assistant) had left to start a degree course at Queen’s University.
Sean Pettis (Development Officer) has moved to a permanent post with Public Achievement.
[Mr Haire (CRU) left @ 2.30 p.m.]
2 Flags, Emblems:
There appeared to be a shift away from the display of paramilitary flags in many areas.
One of the issues raised (at recent meeting) was that there is no consistent approach to this issue among the District Councils and there were permanent “markers” that caused concern.
3 CRC priorities: Items a, b, c and d refer.
A general debate followed.
Mr McCusker suggested that, rather than highlight a particular District Council model of good practice, CRC should develop and agree a policy and “stand over” it. He expressed the view that the Council should state publicity what its protocol is taking a clear position so that if asked it could say “this is our policy”.
1705/06 CEO’S Report continued: Action:
The CEO said that he would work up some initial (and wider) proposals and put it through the Policy Committee before bringing it to Council for discussion. CEO
1706/06 SECTOR REPORTS for information:
Ø European Programme
(Paper CRC/118/09/06/07 refers)
Ø Funding & Development Programme
(Paper CRC/118/09/06/08 refers)
Ø Communication & Learning Resources
(Paper CRC/118/09/06/09 refers)
Ø Policy Development Programme:
(Papers CRC/118/09/06/10 & 10.1 EQUIA response tabled a meeting refers)
1707/06 AOB: None
1708/06 CLOSED BUSINESS:
(All staff, with the exception of the CEO and Deputy CEO, left the boardroom.)
The CEO updated members with regard to a number of staffing matters.
1709/06 DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS:
Wednesday 29th November 2006 (Linen Green Centre, Dungannon)