Maureen Hetherington (Chair), Frances McCandless, Michael Wardlow, Robin Wilson.
Duncan Morrow, Ray Mullan.
Minutes of the previous meeting were agreed without amendment.
The successful launch event of the One Small Step Campaign at Parliament Buildings last month was noted. It was hosted by MLAs Danny Kennedy and Naomi Long and OFMDFM junior minister Ian Paisley Jr. gave a welcome address.
The existing committee membership was due to continue until the end of March when most of the existing Council members would stand down. Thereafter Council was proposing to form a new committee to cover Policy, Research and Communications with a new membership to be selected. It was envisaged that this larger pool of members would enable sub-committees and working groups to be formed which could co-opt other members in specialist areas as required. It was suggested that the new committee should take the opportunity to strengthen the Council’s communications strategy.
Draft Programme for Government:
Council was preparing a formal response to the public consultation on the draft Programme for Government. In the meantime a number of press articles were written and published in the Belfast Telegraph, Irish News and Sunday Life pointing out the need for government departments to develop a strategy and action plan to deal with sectarianism and segregation. A further article by Duncan Morrow on Equality and Community Relations was planned for the New Year. CRC NEWS, also to be published in early January, would carry an editorial on the need for the Programme for Government to have a plan for peace-building and an article by Duncan on the link between economic development and tackling sectarian division. A press release would be issued on CRC’s response to the draft PfG.
The committee welcomed these attempts to encourage public debate on this issue and suggested drawing up a further list of contributors. The committee also recommended that attempts be made, with groups of key partners, to address Assembly Committee Chairs and policy advisers.
Consultation Response to Legacy of the Past
Committee members were given the opportunity to comment on the draft CRC response to the Eames-Bradley consultation. All three Council members on the committee were already involved in discussions on this in their other committee roles, but Frances McCandless a co-opted committee member was also able to express her views. These were recorded and passed on to the CRC Policy Officer for consideration in forming the final CRC submission.
Committee members were briefed on recent and planned CRC publications, the Publications Grant Scheme, the planned poster advertising campaign and preparations for Community Relations Week.
Date of Next Meeting:
It was agreed to hold the next meeting at 12 noon on 10 March.
This was to be the final meeting of the committee in its present form.