Equity Diversity Interdependence
Promoting a Peaceful and Fair
Society based on Reconciliation
and Mutual Trust.
24 March 2010
MINUTES OF THE ONE HUNDRED & FORTIETH MEETING OF THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL HELD ON WEDNESDAY 24th MARCH 2010 @ 1.30 p.m. IN THE BOARDROOM IN CRC’S OFFICES @ THE LINEN GREEN CENTRE, MOYGASHEL
2062/10 PRESENT: Action:
Mr J Deery, Mr S Farry, Mr W Gamble, Ms S Gordon, Mr T Kennedy, Mr T McCusker. (Chair), Ms S McDermott, Dr L Litvack, Mr H Mansour, Mr D Porter, Ms S McShane, Dr D Russell, Mr R Morton, Ms J Witherow
Mr J Byrne, Ms R McCorley, Ms K Hanlon, Mr E Oakes
Ms E Hoy (CRU/OFMDFM).
2064/10 IN ATTENDANCE:
Dr D Morrow [CEO], Ms J Irwin [Deputy CEO], Ms H Scott [P/Secretary].
The minutes from the previous meeting (26 January 2010) having been circulated was taken as read. There were no amendments.
2067/10 MATTERS ARISING:
(i) CSI – covered in earlier discussions.
(ii) Victims Programme: A Review Working Group response and a Deloitte report were tabled at the meeting. With regard to the role of CRC in the new financial year, the CEO told members that mid December 2009 CRC had alerted the Department that contracts would run out in March 2010 and that CRC needed clarification of future funding arrangements. The CEO said that later in December CRC had received assurance regarding funding for groups but this was not in a written format therefore he would continue to seek written clarification re the extension of CRC’s Victims Funding programme. The CEO advised that CRC had provided a proposal for the Department as to how a hand-over might be conducted (to whatever body might deal with funding) but as yet there had been no response.
2067/10 Matters Arising continued: Action:
Victims Programme cont: He said that there was likely to be a move from the core funding model to a service delivery model. The CEO advised that papers would be going (today) to Advisors outlining the potential difficulties with the lack of a clear way forward in the proposed time frame.
Deloitte review (tabled at meeting): The CEO said that Deloitte had undertaken a formal review of Victims funding over the past 5 yrs and what had come back was highly satisfactory. He pointed out that Victims funding work was high risk and that CRC’s management of the programme had been positively endorsed.
Mr Irwin told members that Mr John Hunter (Chair of the review) had indicated that he would be available to talk members through the report and the recommendations for the future if requested. She expressed the view that the review group chaired by Mr Hunter and Deloitte had done a good piece of work in a difficult area in a relatively short time frame.
It was agreed that the report be discussed in details at the next meeting and that Mr Hunter be invited to attend.
Mr Gamble suggested that this report should be forwarded to Assembly members and that CRC should have some positive publicity around the Deloitte report.
The Chair endorsed this view.
This was agreed by members.
Ms Gordon wondered if there would be an opportunity to use this report during CR week.
The CEO advised that he had a meeting with the Victims Forum tomorrow (e.g. 25th March)
(Dr Litvack entered the boardroom at 2.00 p.m.)
2068/10 CHAIR’S BUSINESS:
1 (a) Standard checks:
The Chair reminded Members that they had to declare any conflict of interests in any discussions where decisions were required.
(b) The Chair reminded members of the necessity to register any offers of
gifts or hospitality since the last Council meeting.
2068/10 Chair’s business continued: Action:
2 Victims Group Fermanagh (Firinne): The Chair reported that there were on-going discussions to put a process in operation. He said that the Programme Director Ms Mackin had visited the group and had discussions with them.
3 Justice for the Forgotten: The Chair told members that he and the CEO had met with Dublin representatives of this group. He said the key issue was whether Victims funding could be channelled outside the UK and at the moment the answer was “no”.
4 Shared Space (CRC) conference @ Farset (4 March): The Chair reported on a successful conference which had looked at the issues of Shared Space.
5 Cities in Conflict: The Chair advised that he had attended the roundtable at Queen’s University on 23 March.
6 Live Issues (CRC) conference Armagh: The Chair told members that this had been a very successful conference and that some members of Council had attended. He said that there had been an interesting and different presentation, including a DVD news report with Linda Bryans. The Chair congratulated Mr Jordan in particular but also all staff that had helped make this a successful event.
7 Joseph Rowntree Foundation: The Chair reported that he and the CEO had gone to York to discuss the research proposal with Joseph Rowntree.
2069/10 JOSEPH ROWNTREE proposal:
[Paper CRC/140/03/10/01 refers]
The above papers outlined considerations and recommendations.
The CEO advised members that the legal process and document signing had now been completed. He said the research would be value-based and evidence driven. The CEO said an advisory board would be established made up half CRC members half external nominees. He said that the post had been advertised and would close after Easter.
The Chair said that any member who wished to be part of the advisory panel should let the CEO know.
The proposal was endorsed.
2070/10 ICOCO proposal:
[Paper CRC/140/03/10/02 refers]
The CEO outlined the background to “community cohesion” – which he said was basically a think tank body who wanted CRC to work with them on an affiliate partnership. The CEO sought guidance on whether and how to proceed including the value and possible content of a Memorandum of Understanding.
2070/10 ICOCO proposal continued: Action:
Members suggested deliberation before getting involved both in terms of CRC’s reputation and in terms of further discussions which they felt should be on the basis that it would be a partnership of equals.
It was agreed to proceed on this basis.
2071/10 FINANCE: Action:
[Papers CRC/140/03/10/03(a), 03(b) and 03(c) refer]
Management A/cs and Finanial statements to 31.01.10 – 03(a)
Department Profit & Loss to 31.01.10 – 03(b)
Grant Review: Jan – Mar 2010 (pgs 1-6 refer) – 03(c)
There were no questions with regard to the above papers.
The CEO informed members that the Finance Director was again absent due to ill health. He said that the NI Audit Office had been advised. The CEO said that this left CRC in a particularly difficult situation and this could not continue in the long term.
The Chair said the matter had been monitored by the Finance and General Purposes Committee where there was felt to be a pressing organisational issue and legal advice would be sought.
Mr Farry enquired if any legal advice should come to the next meeting.
The Chair expressed the view that the matter be handled by Finance and General Purposes Committee in the first instance but that the Council could be kept up to date with developments.
2072/10 BILL OF RIGHTS:
[Paper CRC/140/03/10/04 refers]
The CEO informed members that this paper had gone through several processes and sub groups.
Mr Gamble extended thanks to Ms Attwood for her work and patience.
Members had no comments and the paper was approved.
2073/10 draft CAREER BREAK POLICY:
[Paper CRC/140/03/10/05 refers]
The above paper outlines the draft policy.
Ms McShane and Dr Russell pointed out that in their organisations people on career breaks could not take up employment in Northern Ireland.
This paper was approved.
Papers CRC/140/03/10/06 , 07, 08 + two additional papers tabled at meeting refer]
(Mr Mansour left the boardroom @ 2.45 p.m.)
1 Belfast Islamic Society - CRC/140/03/10/06 refers
The CEO outlined the background to this proposal and told member it had been referred to CRC by OFMDFM.
Recommended: up to £40,000 for 1 yr
Approved: up to £40,000 for 1 yr
This was approved subject to the following conditions:
(i) A member of Council be appointed as an observer to the board
(ii) Publicity for CRC should be arranged
(iii) Assurances that the Governance issues are resolved.
(Ms Irwin left the boardroom to get Mr Mansour, they returned to the boardroom @ 3.00 p.m. Ms Gordon left the boardroom.)
2 North Belfast - CRC/140/03/10/07 refers
Recommended: £36,700.00 for 1 yr
Approved: £36,700.00 for 1 yr
Approved subject to the following conditions:
(i) Should include demonstrated commitment to a wider community e.g. woman’s groups, churches etc.
(Ms Gordon returned to the boardroom @ approx 3.15 p.m.)
3 Extern- CRC/140/03/10/08 refers
This proposal was not recommended for approval.
4 St Columb’s Park House - paper tabled at meeting refers
This support is conditional upon the assurances that the full programme of community relations work outlined in their initial application could be guaranteed in advance.
2074/10 PATHFINDERS continued: Action:
5 Anne Frank & you – paper tabled at meeting refers
Recommended: £28,715.00 for 1 yr
Approved: £28,715.00 + VAT
Grant conditional upon Council being assured that ‘Value for Money’ criteria have been met.
2075/10 CEO’S REPORT:
[Paper CRC/140/03/10/09 refers]
Live Issues conference @ Armagh City Hotel – 11 March. The CEO said reports had indicated that this had been a successful conference and he extend his personal thanks for the Deputy Director Ms Irwin, Mr Paul Jordan (Director Funding and Development Programme) and also to all the other CRC staff that had assisted with this event.
Policy conference for young people during CR week – Tuesday 27 April (@ W5 Odyssey, Belfast). The CEO told members that it was hoped to use the “button voting” system to make this conference more interesting.
Shared Space seminar @ Farset International:– Tuesday 4 March. The CEO said there had been 3 main speaking using “connectivity” to join up cities. He said he has asked for written material which would be part of the next Shared Space journal.
The Chair suggested that these might also make good newspaper articles.
Good Relations Forum – they had met and signed off the Education paper agreed by CRC and the Equality Commission.
FAIR – The CEO informed members that concerns had been expressed regarding “information” on FAIR’s website about an individual. Legal advice had been sought and it was also understood that there could be an issue re compliance and Charity legislation. He said FAIR has been asked to remove the named individual. The CEO advised that a meeting had this month been set up with FAIR representatives regarding this issue.
2076/10 SECTOR REPORTS:
[Papers CRC/140/03/10/10, 11,11.1 and 12 refer]
These reports outline the main areas of work and are for member’s information.
Communication & Learning Resources – Paper CRC/140/03/01/10refers
2076/10 Sector Reports continued: Action:
The Chair reminded members about CR Week (26 April to 1 May) and said that they hoped they could use some of the Shared Space articles in the lead up to the week. He encouraged members to check the programme for events they might like to attend.
Funding & Development Programme + Victims & Survivors - Papers CRC/140/03/10/11 & 11.1 refer
Members expressed the view that the standard of assessments as well as use of evaluation had been of a high standard and had been well prepared and indicated that it had greatly assisted the decision-making process. This was endorsed by Mr Mansour, Ms Gordon and Ms McShane.
Policy Development Programme - Paper CRC/140/03/10/12 refers
Draft CSI document was tabled at meeting. It was noted that the document did not mention CRC
The Chair expressed the view that CRC’s core funding was under no immediate risk. He did say however there were issues regarding the longer term and with recruitment if the future continued to remain uncertain and he thought this needed to be addressed.
The Chair asked that CRC’s concerns regarding CRC’s position (especially in the coming 12 months) be recorded and suggested that it was unrealistic to expect the organisation to continue without (written) assurances.
Audit – the CEO said that the NI Audit Office would be coming in June and the final Accounts would again be presented for September. He said there was an “early closing” requirement which CRC hoped to meet in May.
2078/10 Dates of next meetings:
26 May 2010 @ CRC’s Boardroom 6, Murray Street, Belfast
30 June 2010 @ CRC’s Boardroom 6, Murray Street, Belfast
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