Minutes of thePolicy Development Committee Meeting
15th May 2007
Present: Robin Wilson (Chair), Edwin Graham, Ward Erwin, Ann Anderson-Porter, Tony McCusker
Apologies: Neil Jarman
In Attendance: Duncan Morrow, Dympna McGlade, Ali McAllister, Gemma Attwood, Peter Thompson
Minutes of the last meeting
Agreed as accurate
Springfarm - Launch event for CR Week. Great project and looks like it will be highly successful
Review of Public Administration - Will have to go back to the drawing board since Assembly is back up and running. Minister is considering a paper to go to the Executive on Thursday. If they can not agree on current proposals it will be 2011 before new arrangements could implemented at the earliest
Race Relations - CRC will have to take an inter-cultural approach to the area of race relations. Only in this sense should the work continue. There currently is no formal authority structure within the BME sector. Overall remit for this work lies with organisations like NICEM/MCRC. CRC should invite someone from the Commission for Racial Equality (possibly Trevor Phillips) to speak with us. Possible seminar in the autumn. Co-operation Ireland have just competed research into Race Relations. Ann Anderson Porter will forward onto CRC.
‘ASF’ Update - Duncan
Duncangave the Committee an update of the work being carried out on ‘ASF’. The main points he raised were as follows:
AllianceParty motion on ‘ASF’ -Naomi Long has placed a motion to the Assembly to ratify ‘ASF’. All members stated they were committed to ‘ASF’ when giving the pledge of Office. It is due for discussion on Monday 4th June
GR Panel – last meeting was well attended with government departments identifying their areas of work. The next meeting will be discussing the forthcoming report “Cost of the Divide”. Final version of report is not ready but is due in May
GR Challenge Programme - Under the new budget there is a possibility of transferring a post to work with local councils on Good Relations
IFI– Getting positive signals for funding of CRC Training division
Peace III - Two new measures – 1.1 & 1.2 CRC drawing up tenders
Victims’ Commissioner – Appointment due on 22nd May
Atlantic Philanthropies – Applied for funding to establish CRC research unit which will provide an independent forum for monitoring and evaluation and assist in producing CRC ASF ‘Health Check’
‘ASF’ Work – Ali
Ali gave an overview of her current work to the committee and the main points raised were:
Omagh Good Relations Training - Peter Osborne has completed the training and a template is ready
Rural Community Network - ‘ASF’ sub-group & training for summer School next week and will be soon appointing a Good Relations Officer. They want to keep good relations high on agenda
Springfarm - The adult & youth consultation is almost complete and meeting for a final consultant tomorrow.
NI Ambulance Service - Some difficulties between management and Trade Unions – they acknowledge & welcome this work in theory, they have raised some concerns over the feasibility of the GR Action Plan
Community Planning – Burnley - PD Programme has community cohesion as a strategic objective in Community Planning. We have an upcoming meeting with Belfast City Council in respect to their progress in this area and we want to ensure Good Relations is a priority
Glandore/Skegoneill - Application for technical assistance to Community Bridges Programme. Capacity of each area is different – Skegoneill considering an application to Small Grants – issues with acceptance & support in own area. They are holding a residential in Carnlough next Monday & Tuesday to develop Terms of Reference and their future actions.
Director’s Update - Dympna
Dympna gave the Committee an update on her current areas of work. The main points raised were as follows:
Operational Planning – Will be set against current strategic plan & currently working on last objectives before it goes to Council
BCC/BLSP Projects – Has been extended for 14 months through Peace III. The projects are addressing division, conflict transformation and working towards a shared city
Policy Conference 1st May 2007 – Over 150 delegates attended the conference and we have received good feedback from delegates. It was agreed that in future the conference would take place during CR Week
Baseline Indicators – The PD Programme has met and discussed the Indicators but is unsure of what it is being measured against, i.e. where does TAP fit in? After discussion the committee agreed that a round table should be arranged for the end of June to discuss in more detail
GR Forum – CRC has taken over the Secretariat for the GR forum from the Equality Commission for the next year. The first meeting will be discussing Peace III. We will keep the Committee informed on the forum’s progress
Hazelwood Integrated Primary – A ‘peace-line’ has been agreed by the Minister Paul Goggins for Hazelwood Integrated Primary. This followed a security assessment by the PSNI. The Policy Programme believes that any security assessment should take into account the potential good relations impact & CRC should be included in this process. While this is a ‘reserved’ matter, it was felt that the devolved administration needed to develop a view on it. The Committee recommended that CRC request a strategic review of peace-lines at the next meeting of the GR Panel & a small group be established to discuss this issue.
Policy Responses – Gemma
Gemma gave the committee an update on current policy responses, in particular CRC’s response to the consultation on the proposed Irish Language Act. After discussion the main points raised were:
Should CRC have a position on the legislation at this point?
CRC should have the highest possible position on this matter - Normal society has laws to protect language
Consultation closes on 5th June
Members from the Committee agree to meet early next week to discuss the matter further - Monday 28th May at 2pm