Equity Diversity Interdependence
Promoting a Peaceful and Fair
Society based on Reconciliation
and Mutual Trust.
13 December 2007
Community Initiatives Committee Thursday 13th December 2007 CRC Belfast Confirmed Minutes
Present: Mr Michael Wardlow (Chair), Dr David Stevens, Ms Eileen Gallagher, Ms Libby Keys, Mr Barney Devine, Ms Maura Muldoon
Observers: Ms Jane Corderoy
In Attendance: Dr Duncan Morrow, Ms Jacqueline Irwin, Mr Paul Jordan, Ms
Roisin Montague, Ms Micháela Mackin, Ms Marie Darragh (Minute Taker)
|2. Minutes of Previous Meeting, 20th September 2007|
Mr Wardlow left the meeting for this part. Ms Montague tabled a letter from Mediation NI that had been received that day, stating that the group was asking for more money to help meet a deficit. The deficit is 42,000 and they are asking CRC for 11,000 to cover the Development officer’s salary plus other costs.
Mr Stevens stated that papers dealing with substantive matters shouldn’t be tabled, that members needed more time to make decisions. He proposed making it a rule that groups take responsibility to ensure papers are received on time, to enable officers to make recommendations. He suggested they agree a procedure for the future to ensure this wouldn’t happen again.
Ms Montague agreed to look at the paper, make a recommendation and let the committee know.
|4.1 Funding and Development|
Mr Jordan informed members that the closing date for small grant applications was 14th December and that there was £50,000 left and 46 applications submitted since the last meeting. He added that during the final quarter the focus would be on verifications, evaluations and ensuring that full spend is achieved.
Mr Jordan stated that the Live Issues Conference went very well and that reviews were extremely positive; 95% said it was excellent or very good. He went on to say that there was information about the conference on the website and there would be in the next issue of CRC News.
Mr Wardlow added that he had had very positive feedback as well.
|4.2 Core Funding|
Ms Montague stated that all core funded groups had been met with in October and that there were 20 renewals of the 26 groups whose contract was ending, 5 on an exit strategy and 1 new reapplication (Forthspring), 1 joint application (The Junction & Holywell) and 14 new applications.
Ms Montague mentioned that a new Evaluation Officer had started, Damien McNally and that Alison Keenan had just gone on maternity leave. She informed the committee that 11 evaluation reports had been completed and that the rest would be finished off my Ms Mackin and Mr Jordan.
4.3 Funding and Development / Victims and Survivors
Ms Mackin informed the committee that work was ongoing with Policy Development Programme on CRC’s responses to the Eames/Bradley consultation. There had been a meeting with the consultation group on 26th November 2007. Mr Morrow, Ms Mackin and Gemma Attwood had attended. The meeting went well but it highlighted that more work was needed on truth recovery options and signposting.
Ms Mackin told members about the rural meeting looking at the legacy of the past, ‘Healing Through Remembering‘ that took place in Dungannon on 11th December. She stated that a lot of ex-service people had attended and that there was still a lot of frustration and anger amongst them. They feel that their voices are not being heard.
With regards to the Victims Commissioner, Ms Mackin stated that all interviews had taken place and that the final interview with Funding and Development was happening at that time. She went on to say that there were expectations of an announcement before Christmas.
Committee members were informed that 2 dates had been set aside to discuss the issues around the Eames/Bradley consultation: the 17th and the 19th of December.
Mr Wardlow added that members did not have to attend both as there would be repetition and that they were thinking about having a living memorial, like a cancer hospital, rather than a stone memorial.
Ms Mackin agreed with Ms Keys that it was OK for them to feed their findings through to her.
|5. Funding Priorities – mapping exercise|
The mapping of the Core Funding portfolio was tabled, covering 3 areas: geography; themes/function/purpose; and policy. It was agreed that this was a very useful document but noted that as the new groups were not decided yet, this was not final; it was how it would look if all the groups got through.
Mr Morrow pointed out that the Derry groups were not really Derry, but they had a regional remit.
Mr Wardlow commented that it was surprising that there had been so few applications, especially as Peace II had not been extended.
Ms Mackin commented that there seemed to be a misconception that things would be picked up in Peace III. It was also suggested that it could be in response to the view that it was going to be oversubscribed; people were afraid to apply because they thought the competition would be too stiff.
|6. Position Paper – CPF assumptions for 2007/2008|
Mr Wardlow stated that there had been a meeting on Tuesday with the OFMDFM and that he, Mr Morrow and Ms Corderoy had attended. He stated that they had looked at funding priorities – strategy versus non-strategy and that they needed to look at ways of providing a ‘soft landing’ for groups post-Peace II. He added that contracts would be awarded in February and that with regards to renewals, in the future local groups should be funded by District Councils.
Mr Morrow stated that there were a number of issues relating to District Councils: capacity; quality, etc. He added that the role of CRC needed to be reassessed.
Mr Wardlow clarified for the group that if groups are lost, the budget will still remain the same. He stated that details had to be defined, like how the budget would be divided between the 26 groups: equally or according to size?
Mr Devine suggested that CRC decide the strategic role, devise the strategy and then come back to the committee with a clearly defined role for them.
Ms Keys stated that there was a need to spend time going through questions and added that from talking to and observing CROs, she and Ms Gallagher had noted that blocks in District Councils were at middle management level.
Ms Gallagher observed that CROs were unsure and needed to be engaged but on a positive note, it was a huge opportunity to influence.
Ms Muldoon stated that the paper needed to address and evidence issues around diversity and community based CR and that there should be a clause in the contract, stating that issues must be discussed with CRC.
|7. Renewal applications for Core Funding|
Mr Devine asked for clarification on the process for these renewal groups.
Mr Wardlow informed members that the idea was to decide on a short-list to consider in February along with the new applications and to tell any groups that were being declined at this stage, to give them some notice.
Mr Stevens mentioned that there may be legal implications and that they may be legally obliged to give 3 months notice.
Mr Wardlow clarified that members were only to state whether they agreed with the officer’s scoring of their assigned groups at this stage and raise any reservations, and that all other discussion would be done in February.
Mr Wardlow stated that it was borderline at 21 so it had got through but it would be looked at further
07/0713 Ashton Centre/North Belfast Interface Network
Mr Stevens agreed with the score of 25.
Mr Stevens agreed with the score of 24 but stated that there were issues surrounding continuing the legacy of Billy Mitchell. Mr Morrow stated that he had met with them, they were in good shape and he could bring supporting information to the meeting.
Mr Devine agreed with the score of 33.
Ms Muldoon agreed with the score of 30, stating that it had been benchmarked but that there were issues. It was noted that with the absence of WEA funding, something had to be done.
07/0717 Downtown Women’s Group / Women Into Politics
Mr Devine agreed with the score of 22 but stated that he had a lot of questions about this that would need to be looked at.
07/0718 Ulster People’s College
Mr Wardlow agreed with the score of 30.
Mr Devine agreed with the score of 22.5
07/0720 Belfast Interface Network
Ms Keys agreed with the score of 31
07/0721 Peace and Reconciliation Group
Ms Gallagher agreed with the score of 33 but asked for clarification with regards to the merger with The Junction/Holywell and was told it wouldn’t happen until year 3.
07/0723 Community Relations Forum
Mr Stevens agreed with the borderline score of 21 and stated that there were issues surrounding work with ethnic groups.
07/0724 Fermanagh Trust
Ms Muldoon agreed with the score of 22.5.
Ms Montague informed the committee that Forthspring were one of the groups on an exit strategy that had been told they could reapply if they had something different to show. However Forthspring had come back with nothing changed. She explained that they could not stop any groups from applying.
Mr Morrow argued that Forthspring were doing very good work and that they could be considered a model of practice.
Mr Jordan stated that he had met with the group and told them they had to produce something different which they had not done. He suggested perhaps funding individual projects through the small grants scheme.
Mr Morrow suggested Pathfinder as an option that would buy the group time.
Mr Stevens stated that he was reluctant to reverse their policy as other groups would see this.
It was agreed to mark the score down from 21 to 20.
07/0726 Nerve Centre
Ms Gallagher agreed with the score of 21.5 but stated that the lack of strategic plan was an issue.
07/0727 Ulster Society
It was agreed by all members that the score of 18.5 was too generous and that they should be marked down to 16.5 and that the rationale should be kept factual and strategic.
07/0728 Suffolk & Lenadoon Interface Group
Mr Devine agreed with the score of 24.
07/0729 Ballynafeigh Community Development Association
Ms Muldoon agreed with the score of 28 but stated that there were around the fact that BCDA is almost more like a community development group than a CR one.
07/0730 174 Trust
Mr Wardlow agreed with the score of 24
Mr Stevens agreed with the score of 33.
07/0745 The Junction / Holywell Trust
Ms Keys agreed with the score of 34
It was pointed out that as there was now a new evaluation officer, Mr Damien McNally, this should be added to the agenda of the next committee meeting and he could attend to talk about the process.
|9. Date of next meeting|
CIC extraordinary meeting 23rd January, 10am-1pm Dungannon. This is tentative and so if there is nothing to report, it can be cancelled.
The next regular meeting is 14th February.
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