Mr W Erwin, Ms M Hetherington, Mr E McCartan (Chair), Mr N McCausland, Ms M Muldoon, Mr C O'Halloran, Mr D O'Loan, Dr D Stevens, Mr M Wardlow, Ms C Wilson, Mr R Wilson.
Mr J Cousins, Mr E Deane, Ms K Johnston, Mr C Neilands.
Staff: Ms M Mackin[PD/Funding & Dev]
1422/04 IN ATTENDANCE:
Dr D Morrow (CEO), Ms D McGlade [PD/Policy Dev], Ms P O'Neill [Co-ordinator North Belfast], Mr R Mullan [PD/Communication], Ms J Adamson [Administrator], Ms E Tomasso [Manager, Resource Centre], Ms L Smit [PO/Research EU Prog], Ms J Irwin [Director of Ops], Ms P Armstrong [PO/EU Prog], Mrs D Russell [AA Policy Dev], Ms H Scott [Secretary].
Mr D Ritchie (CRU)
The Minutes from the previous meeting (26th November 2003) having been circulated were taken as read. Minor amendments were noted. Acceptance of the minutes (subject to the above amendments) was proposed by the Chairman and approved.
1425/04 COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT PARTNERSHIPS-NORTH BELFAST:
Ms McGlade and Ms O'Neill gave (verbal) presentations.
Ms McGlade highlighted areas of concern in the interfaces: Boundary marking/interfaces, sectarianism, housing, duplication of services, demographic changes, economic deprivation, funding, policing, youth apathy and disengagement, political representation and paramilitarism. An overview of the bids seemed to indicate these are the (main) areas of concern for many CEPs.
Ms O'Neill outlined her work. Her view was that the difficulties could not be completely solved by isolated independent action but required co-ordinated and co-operative approaches. A main concern was the lack of creative programmes for youth (many of whom were disengaged) and the lack of funding for youth groups to do focussed community relations work.
1426/04 CHAIRMAN'S BUSINESS: Action:
1 Mr Nelson McCausland: The Chairman extended congratulations on behalf of the Council to Mr McCausland for his recent election success.
2 Mr Robin Wilson: The Chairman offered commiserations to Mr Wilson who is recovering from an appendix operation.
3 Dr David Stevens: Congratulations were extended to Dr Stevens for him in his new role as leader of Corrymeela.
4 Forthcoming events: The Chairman said the following were for members diaries:
Ø Council Residential 24/25th March (venue tba)
Ø Northern Ireland Affairs Committee - 3rd March @ Westminster
1427/04 MATTERS ARISING:
1 Shared Futureconference [Mins 1406/03 and 1408/03 refer]:
Dr Morrow said that it was a large, well attended conference. He said that there appeared to be no support for a status quo position and pro-active approaches were high on the agenda. Dr Morrow indicated that there was support for an independent body, whatever form that might take.
Mr Ritchie reminded members of the OFMDFM's website where Shared Future responses are posted.
2 Policing [Mins 1412/03, item 2 refers]: Ms Muldoon asked for clarification regarding training.
Dr Morrow stated that nothing specific had been agreed but that CRC could facilitate if asked.
(Ms J Adamson, Ms E Tomasso and P O'Neill left approx. 1.45 p.m.)
1428/04 STRATEGIC PLANNING [2004 – 2007]:
[Revised papers CRC/101/01/04/01 & 01.1 refer]
Ms Irwin provided an overview and an explanation of amendments, as per member's suggestions, to the initial draft (November 2003 Council meeting refers).
A general discussion followed during which further suggestions were noted.
The Chairman said that if there were any other practical comments these should be passed to Ms Irwin as soon as possible.
Dr Morrow said the next steps were:
1) A meeting with CRU
2) A timetable for a Business Plan
3) Crystal marking
1428/04 Strategic Plan (next steps) continued: Action:
4) External consultation with targeted stakeholders
5) Return for formal/final ratification at next meeting
(Ms L Smit, Mr C O'Halloran left approx. 2.30 p.m.)
1429/04 CURRENT ISSUES:
1) Election results: Dr Morrow suggested that immediate implications for community relations continued to be difficult to assess. He said that election results confirmed political polarisation and a toughening of positions/attitudes on both sides (Also see CEO's report).
2) Attacks on members of ethnic minorities: Dr Morrow said that the recent spate of racially motivated attacks had, for the first time, been covered in the UK press. He pointed out that these attacks had highlighted the lack of places for people from minority groups to go. Dr Morrow advised that he would be attending a meeting of community representatives in the Donegall Road area post the Council meeting (also see CEO's report to Council).
Mr Ritchie (CRU) confirmed that there had been Parliamentary Questions about this issue.
3) Training and learning support: Dr Morrow told members that an initial (verbal) report indicated there was a continuing need for a CR training and learning support structure, and that the Council was best placed to provide leadership (also see CEO's report to Council).