Present: Eamonn McCartan (Chair), Frances McCandless, Mark McCann, Malachi O'Doherty, Michael Wardlow, Robin Wilson.
In attendance: Ray Mullan, Maurna Crozier, Linda Norney.
Apologies: Duncan Morrow, Paul Jordan, Damien McIlroy
Minutes of meeting of 2 June were agreed.
(2) Matters Arising
With reference to the term local cultural diversity (p.3) the committee agreed to keep the term but to refrain from capitalising 'local'.
Publications and Media Grant Scheme
It was agreed to place an advertisement in magazines inviting applications to the Publications Grant Scheme. Some changes in the grant scheme criteria would first need to be made, and these would be circulated to committee members for approval.
It was agreed that a part of the Publications Scheme budget could be set aside for the publication of periodicals or the results of journalistic investigation where costs other than design and printing might be involved.
Given the limited scale of grants available (under the Publications Grant Scheme) and the total size of the annual budget (£120,000) it was agreed that the Committee would focus on issues of communications strategy and policy and not as a rule become involved in the detail of each grant award. Future applications would be dealt with by the Programme Director (Ray Mullan) in consultation with the Chief Executive, with the committee or the Council being consulted if there were issues of contention or awards over £10,000 were involved (as with Media grants). The Committee could review the awards made on an annual basis.
The Committee looked at existing grant applications:
03/0115 School of English (QUB)- The Belfast Scots Bible
This was rejected by the Committee on several grounds: as a non-English text it would have limited appeal; the Council could not support a publication whose sole or main purpose was to espouse a particular religious faith; the committee could not see the community relations value.
03/0117 Whiterow Press- Portavo: a townland and its peoples
This had already received a critical reader's report but the author had subsequently made improvements in the text. It was decided to refer the text to a second reader.
03/0118 Institute for Conflict Research- The impact of political conflict on children
Award up to £2,985 agreed subject to editing.
03/0099 Institute for Conflict Research- Human Rights and Community Relations
Award up to £1,115 agreed subject to receipt of remaining essay.
03/0119 Tinderbox Theatre Co.- A Manifesto for the Arts
Award of up to £4,000 agreed subject to editing and receipt of complete final draft.
03/0154 Belfast Exposed- All Over Again
Award of up to £2,250 agreed.
03/0237 NW Centre for Learning and Development- Newspaper Index
This was rejected by the Committee both on the grounds of limited community relations relevance (considering the limited historical period involved) and on the grounds that the original newspaper material was already publicly available.
(3) Communications Strategy
The Chair thanked Robin Wilson for his work in the production of a paper on drafting a Communications Strategy. Robin introduced the paper and made clear that it was a paper about drafting a Communications Strategy rather than the draft strategy itself. The work on drafting a communications strategy would need to take into account the outcome of the Shared Future consultation and the new emerging CRC Corporate Strategy.
The committee discussed the marketing needs of CRC and ideas were put forward which should be included in the development of the Communications Strategy. In response to a question about CRC's advertising budget, it was pointed out that at present this was minimal.
It was agreed that further discussion on a draft communications Strategy would take place at the next committee meeting in December.
Robin Wilson concluded that the role of the Communications Committee was to help communicate the work of CRC and community relations in general.
The Chair thanked members for their attendance and support.