Equity Diversity Interdependence
Promoting a Peaceful and Fair
Society based on Reconciliation
and Mutual Trust.
30 June 2004
MINUTES OF THE ONE HUNDRED & FOURTH MEETING
OF THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL
HELD ON WEDNESDAY 30TH JUNE 2004 @ 1.30 P.M.
IN CRC BOARDROOM, MURRAY STREET, BELFAST
1470/04 PRESENT: Action:
Mr J Cousins, Mr W Erwin, Mr E McCartan (Chair), Ms M Miskelly, Ms M Muldoon, Mr C O'Halloran, Mr D O'Loan, Dr D Stevens, Mr M Wardlow, Mr R Wilson.
Ms C Wilson.
1472/04 IN ATTENDANCE:
Dr D Morrow (CEO), Ms J Irwin [Director of Ops], Mr J Fitzsimons [PD/HR and Administration], Ms D McGlade [PD/Policy Dev], Mr R Mullan [PD/Communication, Learning Resources], Mr J Dennison [PD/EU Prog], Ms H Scott [Secretary].
Mr D Ritchie (CRU)
The Minutes from the previous meeting (20 May 2004) having been circulated were taken as read. Amendments were noted to Mins 1457/04, 1459/04 (name changes) and to Mins 1466/04 re IMC report (rewording of sentence). The minutes were approved subject to the above amendments.
1475/04 IMC REPORT: RESPONSE FROM SECRETARY OF STATE:
The Chairman reported on letter from the Secretary of State dated 22nd May which had responded CRC's concerns (24th April) about paragraph 8.7 of the IMC report. He said that indications were, from the Secretary of State's letter, that there was no intention to change current funding policies or practice.
1476/04 MATTERS ARISING: Action:
(1) Shared Future [Mins 14602, Item (i) refers]: The Chairman opened the discussion giving an overview of potential challenges and changes ahead.
Dr Morrow informed members he had consulted with representatives from all local political parties prior to the Westminster debate.
Mr Ritchie (CRU) indicated that the Grand Committee debate (Westminster, 17th June) had been constructive. (Copies of the Hansard report were available at the meeting). With regard to the Council's future role there appeared to be three possible options eg:
(i) strengthening existing CRC structure;
(ii) establishing a Good Relations Board (along the lines of the Policing Board);
(iii) all functions move to being managed by CRU/District Councils.
On the face of it, option (i) appeared to be the most likely.
Mr Ritchie indicated that there would discussions (early autumn) with key stakeholders re ways forward. Focus would be on shared space, coexistence/partnership, equity and mutual respect.
There followed a general discussion.
(2) IFI [Mins 1460/04 refers, Item (iv) refers. This item come up for discussion under Agenda No. 8.
1477/04 CHAIRMAN'S BUSINESS:
(i) Congratulations to Ms D McGlade, Mr R Wilson and the Policy Development Programme staff for a very successful conference at the Hilton Hotel on 28th May
(ii) The Chairman informed members that Peace II has been extended for a further 2 yrs and Council was waiting to hear how this may effect it i.e. in terms of time and additional funding.
(iii) The Chairman told members that the Chief Executive had met the Secretary of State on the 28th June and the meeting was deemed as useful (detailed in CEO's report).
[Papers CRC/104/06/04/01 to 01.2 refer]
Profile of Expenditure: 01
Budget & Grant Review: 01.1
Report from Auditors: 01.2 (copies available at meeting)
Mr Ritchie (CRU) confirmed that OFMDFM/CRU's letter of offer (budget allocations 2004/5) had been sent to the Council within the last few days.
Dr Stevens (Chairman of the Audit Committee) confirmed the following:
Accounts were unanimously approved by Council.
Dr Stevens pointed out that a “clean bill of health” had been achieved. He told members that all accounts had been settled within the recommended time (a 100% record) and this had been achieved against a 40% increase in expenditure through CRC's account. Dr Stevens reported that small grant payments had also increased by 40%. He said this was an excellent performance and that all credit was due to the Finance team.
Dr Stevens advised members that CRC's risk management policy was currently under review.
Mr Ritchie (CRU) said it was appropriate to record thanks to Mr Fitzsimons, Dr Morrow (as Chief Accounting Officer) and to the Finance staff for the good work.
1479/04 STRATEGIC and OPERATIONAL PLANNING:
[Papers CRC/104/06/04/02 and Appendices 02(i), 02(ii) and 02.1 refer]
1479/04 Strategic and Operational Planning continued:
Review of Performance : 02 refers
Appendices 02 (i) and 02 (ii) refer
Ms Irwin outlined key issues and raised the following points:
There followed a general discussion. Some concerns were raised about targets (and the need for them) and how results might be demonstrated.
Mr Ritchie (CRU) reminded members that the Programme for Government aims includes a requirement for a framework for measurement of improvement in relations.
II Equality Update : 02.1
The paper updating members on progress was noted.
Ms Irwin told members that the equality training programme had been temporarily suspended for the holiday period. She said that at this stage the training programme is comprised of weekly hour and a half “awareness raising” sessions.
1480/04 draft MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING:
[Paper CRC/104/06/04/03 refers]
Dr Morrow outlined the background. He said that initially there had been concerns about possible overlap and duplication of work so clarification of functions was felt to be useful. Dr Morrow indicated that the Equality Commission and the Council were attempting to establish a partnership in areas of common interest, hence this document.
A general discussion ensued. The draft Memorandum was agreed.
1481/04 IFI UP-DATE:
[Papers CRC/104/06/04/04, 04.1 and 04.2 refer}
Dr Morrow informed members that the proposed amendment to Memorandum of Association required 21 days notice before a decision, but that this advice had arrived too late for posting.
1481/04 IFI up-date continued:
Dr Stevens suggested that written confirmation of 21 days notice (of amendment) be sent to members prior to the September 23rd Council meeting..
Dr Morrow asked that this meeting took note of the proposed amendment which would be tabled for formal decision at the next Council meeting (September 2004).
This was agreed.
1482/04 PATHFINDER PROPOSAL:
[Paper CRC/104/06/04/05 refers]
Terry Enright Foundation proposal CRC/104/06/04/05 refers. Dr Morrow informed members that CRU had been consulted and were satisfied that this project met the agreed criteria.
Mr Erwin enquired if there were other contributors to the project. Dr Morrow confirmed that the Mitchell Fund was involved.
This proposal was approved.
1483/04 CEO'S REPORT:
[Papers CRC/104/06/04/06, 06.1 & 06.2 refer]
06.1 – Briefing for Shared future
06.2 - Shaping our Shared future (briefing paper from the CRC)
Staff matters: Dr Morrow confirmed that Ms Mackin would shortly be going on maternity leave, that there had been an internal trawl and Mr Jordan had been appointed Acting Director of the Funding and Development Programme. Dr Morrow said that the Director of Operations Ms Irwin would be available for any assistance during this period.
Budget: Dr Morrow informed members that the 2.5% cut in budget was in line with budgetary allocation across government. He pointed out that this was, in part, compensated for any an increase in money for work in areas of high tension.
1484/04 SECTOR REPORTS:
[Papers CRC/104/06/04/07 to 10 refer]
The under mentioned reports are for members' information.
(Paper CRC/104/06/04/07 refer)
1484/04 Sector Reports continued:
(2) European Programme
(Paper CRC/104/06/04/08 refers)
(3) Communication & Learning Resources
(Papers CRC/104/06/04/09 refer)
(4) Policy Development Programme
(Paper CRC/104/06/04/10 refers)
Mr Ritchie (CRU) extended his appreciation on behalf of the Department for the assistance rendered to Ms Karen Jardine by Dympna McGlade for her visits to the Departments to discuss their contributions to the new Good Relations Strategy.
1486/04 DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS:
23rd Sept (Thurs) Murray Street 1 p.m. for 1.30 p.m. start
25th Nov (Thurs) @ Dungannon 1p.m. for 1.30 p.m. start
27th Jan 2005 (Thurs) Murray Street 2.30 p.m. for 3.00 p.m.
Late starts to be discussed at the November 2004 meeting
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