Equity Diversity Interdependence
Promoting a Peaceful and Fair
Society based on Reconciliation
and Mutual Trust.
18 September 2003
MINUTES OF THE NINETY-NINTH MEETING OF THE
COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL
HELD ON THURSDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER 2003 AT 3.30 P.M.
IN DUNGANNON OFFICES
Mr J Cousins, Ms E Deane, Mr E McCartan (Chair), Ms M Hetherington, Ms M Miskelly, Ms M Muldoon, Mr D O'Loan Mr C O'Halloran, Dr D Stevens, Mr M Wardlow, Ms C Wilson.
Mr W Erwin, Mr R Wilson, Ms K Johnston.
1388/03 IN ATTENDANCE:
Dr D Morrow (CEO), Mr J Dennison[PD/EU], Mr P Thompson[AA/Pol Dev], Mr J Fitzsimons[PD/Finance], Ms M Mackin [PD/Funding & Dev], Ms D McGlade [PD/Policy Dev], Mr R Mullan [PD/Communication], Ms E Tomasso [Manager, Resource Centre], Ms A Montgomery [F&D, Core Funding], Ms L Smit [PO/Research EU Prog], Ms J Irwin [Director of Ops], Ms P Armstrong [PO/EU Prog], Ms H Scott [Secretary].
Mr B Gamble, Mr D Richie (CRU)
The Minutes from the previous meeting (26 June 2003) having been circulated were taken as read. Minutes 1382/03, Item 2 refers: The final sentence (pg. 3) was amended. Acceptance of the minutes (subject to the above amendment) was proposed by Ms Wilson and seconded by Mr O'Loan.
1391/03 WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION:
The Chairman introduced Mr Billy Gamble and welcomed him to the Council meeting.
Mr Gamble indicated that this time represented a defining moment for community relations as September was the end of the formal Shared Future consultation process. He said that the process would help shape and construct CR priorities for the future and his view was that the debate was stronger than ever it had been.
1393/03 CHAIRMAN'S BUSINESS:
Condolences: The Chairman extended condolences to Mr Michael Wardlow on behalf of Council on the death of his mother-in-law.
Myran Pollock: The Chairman read excerpts from a letter he had received from Ms Pollock in which she had expressed, in positive terms, her experiences as a Council Member.
Paul Nolan vs CRC: The Chairman informed members that Mr Nolan had withdrawn from the tribunal process.
Shared Future consultation: The Chairman confirmed that CRC's response had been completed and printed versions had been sent to all members as well as around 400 key stakeholders.
Staff Residential: The Chairman informed members that a staff residential had been arranged for 1st & 2nd December to encourage teambuilding amongst old and new staff as well as provide an opportunity for strategic planning.
New staff (July- September 2003): The Chairman informed members that the following new staff had been recruited during this period:
Ms Jacqui Irwin – Director of Operations
Ms Libby Smit – Project Officer, Research
Ms Alison McAllister – Project Officer, Creating Common Ground (NOF)
Ms Linda Norney – Assistant Manager, Resource Centre
Ms Eileen Deacon – Administrative Assistant
Mr Ian Thompson – Administrative Officer
Mr Peter Thompson – Administrative Assistant
Ms Helen Gillespie – Administrative Assistant, Community Bridges Programme
Forthcoming events for Council members: The Chairman said the following events were for members' diaries:
Website launch : 29th September (in house)
Annual Report launch : to be advised (October)
Live Issues conference : 22 October details to follow
Roundtable with John Paul Lederach : 23rd October @ CRC
Shared Future consultation finale : 28th October (to be advised)
1394/03 MATTERS ARISING:
Shared Future Response:[Mins 1379/03, Item 2] Dr Morrow hoped that members were satisfied with the final product. He said that efforts had been made to incorporate all inputs and expressed the view that it had been an important process.
1394/03 Matters Arising continued:
Memorandum of Understanding: [Mins 1379/03, Item 2 refers] Dr Morrow confirmed that he had been in touch with both agencies (Equality Commission and Human Rights Commission) and was waiting for a response from both. He said that in recent correspondence the Equality Commission had named CRC as a key development organisation for Section 75. Dr Morrow thought this was a significant development and augured well for future co-operation.
Operational Plan: [Mins 1380/03 refer] Dr Morrow said that he had completed the draft plan for this meeting but due to non-receipt of an e-mail final drafts had not been copied for distribution. He apologised for this and said they would be forwarded to members tomorrow (Friday 19th)
1395/03 CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S REPORT:
[Paper CRC/99/09/03/01 with Appendix 1,2,3 refers)
The above paper outlines main areas of work.
1 Policy Issues:
Key meetings: It was agreed that Dr Morrow would provide a list of key issues emerging during the course of the Shared Future consultations.
Current issues: Dr Morrow suggested that a 'current issues' item be a permanent feature on the Council meeting agendas.
There followed a discussion about housing, community safety, policing and integrated schools.
Housing (some specific issues identified):
Supply led or demand led (e.g. integrated schools) and the quality-of-life issues.
Mixed areas – parallel lists to ensure some mixed areas are retained
Safety – freedom from fear (panel to identify what we need to move from fear).
Need to make an argument that “CR is a social deprivation issue”
It was agreed that the Policy Committee would explore further and come back with its findings as soon as was possible and that the CEO would report to Council.
Carnmoney cemetery: Concerns were expressed regarding the on-going
vandalism and the effect this was having on the community.
Systematic intimidation: Concerns were also raised regarding the apparent systematic intimidation of Catholic families in the areas of Carrickfergus, Larne and Antrim.
Members were informed that some research is being carried out (Diversity Challenges/CRC/RCN) to try to raise the issue of how minority communities are not protected and how this could be addressed.
Dr Morrow highlighted the main areas, review of staff changes, arrivals and departures since October 2002.
Proposed Council residential 24-25 March2004 (venue tba): Dr Morrow said that members had 6 months notice of this event and asked that they note their diaries accordingly.
The Chairman asked members to respond with regard to availability.
Mr O'Loan suggested that some funded groups could be asked to make an input at the March residential to give members an idea of what was happening within some of the work areas/projects.
New members: Dr Morrow pointed out that since Ms Pollock's departure the Council would need, once again, to address gender balance.
It was agreed to advertise in the usual way, with a welcoming statement inviting women applicants as well as representation from ethnic minority communities.
1396/03 STRATEGIC PLAN
[Paper CRC/99/09/03/02 refers]
Ms Irwin presented the above paper to Council. She suggested that in the present climate of uncertainty around the outcome of the Shared Future consultations, possible devolved Government (or not), Council's strategic planning needed to proceed as quickly as possible.
The following recommendations were agreed:
Outline plan (02) as circulated
Time table (as circulated)
To engage with members/staff/key stakeholders in the delivery of the plan
To underpin work to facilitate the process
It was also agreed to spend a little extra time at the next meeting (26th November 2003) on this matter.
1397/03 SECTOR REPORTS:
Papers 03 to 06 refer - circulated for the member's information.
Funding and Development Programme: [Paper CRC/99/09/03/03
(i) Evaluation: In answer to a question from Mr O'Loan it was confirmed that the select list was created by open public advertisement.
It was agreed to send Mr O'Loan a summary of all future evaluations.
There followed a discussion around the possibility of in-house evaluations and the potential difficulty around the independence of such evaluations with CRC as a funder.
It was agreed to come back to the next meeting with possible options.
(ii) Dungannon office: Mr O'Loan said that he had not enquired as to the extent of the use of the venue but was interested in hearing about its benefit/gain to regional CR outreach.
Dr Morrow told members that the lease had been taken for a 2-year period and at the end of the first year a full report, both financial and strategic would be available.
European Programme: [Paper CRC/99/09/03/04 refers] Mr Ritchie (CRU) said the Department would like to ensure that payments are kept up in order to meeting N +2 targets.
3 Communication and Resources: [Paper CRC/99/09/03/05 refers] Mr Mullan said that current CRC publications included CRC's response to the Shared Future consultation and the forthcoming 13th CRC Annual Report (2002-2003).
Policy Development Programme: [Paper CRC/99/09/03/06 refers] Ms McGlade asked for Council approval of the following:
CRC's Race Equality recommendations/strategy
Support for her team taking a bigger role in the area of Race Equality
This was agreed.
Budget and Grant review:
[Papers CRC/99/09/03/07, 07.1 & 07.2 refer]
Grant review @ 10.09.03 – paper 07 refers
Profile of expenditure (Budget Review) as @ 31.07.03 – paper 07.1 refers
(2) Summary Report 2002/03 – paper 07.2 refers
Mr Fitzsimons reported that spend for both papers was on course.
Cheque signatory proposal: Mr Fitzsimons proposed that Ms J Irwin be included as an additional cheque signatory.
This was approved.
Mr Gamble (CRU) informed staff and members that the NI Grand Committee (House of Commons) would be discussing the Shared Future Consultation on 23rd October 2003.
It was agreed that the time of the next meeting (Wednesday 26th November) would be brought forward to 12.30 p.m. to accommodate further discussion around the Strategic Plan.
1400/03 DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS:
(October meeting cancelled)
Wednesday 26th November 2003 (Murray Street) 12.30 p.m. start.
Thursday 29th January 2004 (Murray Street) 1.30 p.m. start
Wed/Thurs March 2004 24/25th March 2004 - Residential
* Note earlier start time.
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