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Present: Danny Kennedy (Chairperson)
Naomi Long (Deputy Chairperson)
Martina Anderson
Tom Elliott
Francie Molloy
Stephen Moutray
Jim Shannon
Jimmy Spratt
Jim Wells

In Attendance: Damien Martin (Assembly Clerk)
Antonia Hoskins (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Keith McBride (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Lynda Mulholland (Clerical Supervisor)
Marion Johnson (Clerical Assistant)

The meeting opened at 2.04 p.m. in public session in the Senate

  1. Apologies

  2. Barry McElduff, Dolores Kelly.

  3. Chairperson’s Business

  4. Meeting of 06 February 2008

    The Chairperson advised the Committee that the Deputy Chairperson would be chairing the meeting of 06 February 2008 in his absence.

    Intern from Queen’s University

    The Chairperson welcomed to the meeting Miss Claire Sugden, a final year politics student at Queen’s University, who will be working with the Committee Secretariat for the next 12 weeks on European issues.

    Spotlight interview

    The Committee noted that the Chairperson had been asked to participate in a Spotlight programme dealing with poverty in Northern Ireland.

    Advisory Council on Infrastructure and Investment

    Members were advised of correspondence from Mr John Keanie outgoing chairperson of the Advisory Council on Infrastructure and Investment.


    Members were reminded that any changes to the transcript of the Child Poverty Inquiry evidence session are to be with the Secretariat by 24 January 2008.

    Meeting with Members of Parliament from Moldova

    The Chairperson advised the Committee that Mr Wells, Mr Spratt and Mr Molloy would be accompanying him to the lunch arranged by the Speaker on Thursday 31 January 2008 at 12.30 p.m. for visiting Members of Parliament from Moldova.

    Martina Anderson joined the meeting at 2.07 p.m.

  5. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2008

  6. The minutes of proceedings for Wednesday 23 January 2008 were agreed by the Committee.

  7. Matters Arising

  8. Report on the Examiner of Statutory Rules

    The Committee noted the full report from the Examiner of Statutory Rules on the Fair Employment (Specification of Public Authorities) Amendment Order.

  9. Resourcing and delivering on priorities for Children and Young People

  10. Junior Minister Kelly and Junior Minister Paisley and departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.14 p.m.

    Junior Minister Paisley and Junior Minister Kelly accompanied by Departmental Officials, Dr Gerry Mulligan, Dr Colin Jack, Mrs Caroline Evans, and Dr Stephen Donnelly, briefed the Committee on their role in relation to children’s issues and the action being taken by them, to ensure that adequate resources and comprehensive plans are in place to address priorities relating to children and young people.

    The Junior Ministers advised the Committee of their intention to engage young people in the formulation of a new three-year Children and Young People’s Action Plan. Ministers also advised of their intention, subject to Executive’s approval, to make a statement in the Assembly on the re-establishment of a Ministerial Sub-Committee on Children and Young People and outlined to the Committee, its draft terms of reference and role in tackling key cross-cutting priorities for children and young people.

    The Chairperson welcomed the Ministers’ proposal to invite MLA’s to sponsor young people to take part in an Assembly debate, on a topic relevant to them, during the Easter holidays.

    The Committee questioned the Junior Ministers on a wide range of issues including funding for Children and Young People’s priorities and the role of Junior Ministers in insuring that the PSA’s relating to Children and Young People within the Programme for Government, including those relating to child poverty, are delivered.

    Junior Minister Kelly and Junior Minister Paisley and departmental officials left the meeting at 3.30 p.m.

    Following discussion, the Committee agreed to ask for a breakdown of the funding provided in the Budget for the Children and Young People’s priorities. The Committee also agreed to carefully monitor the work of the Ministerial Sub-Committee on Children and Young People and to liaise with the Education and Health Committees to ensure that funding for Children and Young People is used for the purposes for which it has been allocated.

    Members also agreed to issue a press release to support the establishment of the Ministerial Sub-Committee on Children and Young People.

  11. Victims Commissioner

  12. The Chairperson advised the Committee that he and the Deputy Chairperson were briefed by the First Minister and deputy First Minister directly prior to the Statement in the Assembly on Monday 28 January 2008 on the Appointment of the Victims Commissioners.

    Members discussed a number of issues relating to the announcement on the appointments and the implementation of the decision to appoint four Victims Commissioners and agreed to accept an offer from the First Minister and deputy First Minister for a closed meeting on the matter. The Clerk advised the Committee of its role in policy development as set out in Standing Orders.

  13. SLI- Transfer of Functions Order

  14. The Committee considered proposals from OFMDFM for a Statutory Rule relating to the transfer of functions of the Ordnance Survey for Northern Ireland from DCAL to DFP, to enable it to become part of the new Land and Property Services Agency, and had no objections.

  15. Correspondence

  16. Conference on the role of Member State Parliaments in EU ScrutinyMembers noted the correspondence from Angus Robertson MP to the Chairman of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee, regarding the proposed new right for Members States to raise an objection against draft EU legislation and agreed that the Committee should seek clarification from the Westminster EU Scrutiny Committee on how it plans to address the issues raised by Mr Robertson.

  17. Any Other Business

  18. Child Poverty InquiryThe Committee agreed to hold a further four evidence sessions and noted that the meeting on 13 February would be held in the offices of the Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council. With Easter being very early this year, Members noted that deliberations on the Child Poverty Inquiry would commence in April 2008.

    The Committee noted that a meeting had been held with Participation Network to progress options for re-engaging with children and young people.

    The Committee agreed to write to relevant Committees to obtain their agreement to invite officials, from those departments that have responded substantively to the Committee’s inquiry, to provide oral evidence to the Committee.

  19. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 06 February 2008 at 2.00 p.m. in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.12 p.m.Naomi Long

Deputy Chairperson

23 January 08 / Menu