MINUTES OF THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL ON 14TH JUNE 2006 AT CRC OFFICES, 6 MURRAY STREET, BELFAST
Dr David Stevens (Chair), Paul Smyth, Maggie Bryson, Pauline Morgan(Observer – CRU).
Colin Craig, Colin Neilands, Dr Cathy Gormley-Heenan.
03 IN ATTENDANCE:
Jim Dennison, Jacqueline Irwin, Eileen Deacon, Vanessa McCrory, Claudine McGuigan, Duncan Morrow (left at 10.45m, returned at 11.30am)
04 GENERAL BUSINESS
Members were welcomed and apologies noted.
05 MATTERS ARISING
Members were informed that Maria Bannon has resigned from the Council and the EU Committee. Members and staff took the opportunity to thank Maria and record their appreciation for her commitment and hard work during her time on the Committee.
06 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
It was agreed that the minutes of the last EU Committee meeting would remain in draft format until departmental colleagues (CRU) have had an opportunity to review them for accuracy.
07 APPLICATION RECONSIDERATION: LYRIC THEATRE (Sent back by the Review Panel)
The Review Panel, having met recently to consider all (revenue) review requests, recommended that the application submitted by The Lyric Theatre (which failed at Stage 1 of the Assessment process – decision taken on 7/11/05) be returned to the EU Committee for further consideration. Committee reviewed all materials submitted with the original application and a discussion on the application followed. Committee agreed that the scores awarded and the decision taken on 7 November 2005 should be upheld.
08 OPENING OF MEASURE 2.1 - RESEARCH AWARDS
Committee were briefed on the opening of the Research element of Measure 2:1 and advised that the available budget to support research projects is £500k. Members were advised that the anticipated opening date for this part of the Measure is the week commencing 26 June 2006. A draft paper which outlined four key priority areas for research which may have strategic importance for future community relations work was presented to Committee for consideration. Having reviewed and discussed the material presented, Committee were asked to comment on the four suggested key priority areas as eligible themes under which applications to the research element of Measure 2:1 would be accepted.
Committee agreed that opening under themes which are currently under-researched would be appropriate, and suggested that the following should be tested with considering future proposals:
Ø the utility of the funded work;
Ø how challenging future research would be and
Ø what would be the practical outcomes of such research.
Committee also agreed that there is a need to explore the methodology of Community Relations – outlining what interventions work and why as well as what interventions don’t work and why. Members discussed the need for a public launch of research supported by Measure 2:1 and the possibility of publishing research findings/outcomes.
In arriving at its decision on the prioritisation of themes, Committee agreed to remove the proposed theme ‘Addressing Segregation and Territorial Control and its implications for Public Policy’, and replace it with a theme called ‘Practically Implementing a Shared Future’ with a remit which should consider the proposed new Council structures, how local authorities can/should practically deal with diversity and community relations Issues; how, given all the changes to education, schools can practically deal with diversity and community elations issues and how will the practical consequences of implementing A Shared Future effect issues of policy (e.g. mixed housing).
09 OPENING OF MEASURE 2.1 – OUTWARD AND FORWARD LOOKING REGION
Committee were presented with a draft paper outlining the possible structure for the ‘Outward and Forward Looking Region’ element of Measure 2:1 (£400k). The paper provided Members with a short description of the background to the fund, suggested key thematic areas and proposed prerequisites for both projects and applicants. A discussion on the draft paper followed and Committee made a number of recommendations/suggestions:
reference was made to the importance of evaluations;
the possible narrowing of suggested themes to include Young People, Race Relations, and Conflict Transformation in a Divided Society/Community Relations in other countries;
proposals must demonstrate that applicants have previous practical experience in the subject area as well as providing evidence that partnerships have been established/partnership arrangements exist.
10 PROJECT UPDATES: Crossfire Trust and Westway Productions/Channel 4
Members were provided with an update on the status of 2 projects which were awarded funding under the 1st Tranche of Measure 2:1 (of the Extension Programme).
05/0666/029970 Crossfire Trust
Members were advised that Crossfire Trust have been awarded £160k. The group has advised that they are unable to carryout the project as originally proposed. Attempts to explore different mechanisms (alternative host organisation) in order to deliver the project have been unsuccessful. Members were informed that the £160k will be decommitted from the project. Committee agreed that a decision regarding the reallocation of this grant aid be taken at the next EU Committee meeting to be held on 7th July.
05/0587/031098 Westway Film Productions/Channel 4
Members were advised that Westway Productions/Channel 4 was made an award offer (in principle) of £200k at the EU Committee meeting in December 2005 on the condition that they could source match funding for the project of £250k (within 6 months) by end June 2006. Committee were presented with a letter from Westway Film Productions which outlined their discussions with CCEA regarding the issue of match funding. The letter advised that CCEA would be prepared to consider match funding in the future but currently do not have the financial wherewithal to make a firm funding offer. Committee instructed staff to write to Westway to seek an update on this position in advance of the next EU Committee meeting (7th July). It was agreed that a final decision on the funding of this project would be taken on 7th July.
11 PEACE III CONSULTATIONS
Committee were informed that SEUPB is currently in a period of public consultation regarding key priorities of the future PEACE III Programme. After discussion, Committee asked that its views be submitted to the SEUPB for further consideration. EU Programme staff will draft the paper based on the Committee discussion and submit this within the appropriate timeframe.
12 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Committee were advised that CRC has sought advice on issues and concerns relating to the administration of the Capital Build element Measure 2.1.
Date for the next meeting was agreed for 27th June 2006 at 2pm to 4pm (to make decisions on Stage 1 Assessments) in CRC’s Belfast Office.
Another meeting will be held on 7th July 9.30am – 1.30 pm (to make final decisions on Stage 2 Assessments, allocate grant aid and commit unutilised funding)
Staff and members were thanked for their contributions.