MINUTES OF THE TWENTY EIGHTH MEETING OF THE ASSEMBLY COMMISSION HELD ON TUESDAY 3 JUNE 2008 AT 6:30 PM IN ROOM 106
Present: The Speaker
Mr Stephen Moutray
Rev Robert Coulter
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Sean Neeson
Apology: Mr Paul Butler
In Attendance: Mrs C Devon, Mr T Logue, Mr R Good, Ms C McGowan and Ms C Foster. Ms S McClelland was present for items 1 - 4. Ms Hazel Francey and Ms Naomi Long were present for item 4.
1. MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
The minutes of the last meeting held on 22 May 2008 were agreed with the following amendments:
6.1 delete reference to member’s name; and
6.4 delete the words ‘of multiple tours’ in the first sentence.
2. MATTERS ARISING
2.1 Forthcoming Concert
Ms McClelland spoke to a paper which outlined arrangements for the forthcoming ‘Police’ concert scheduled to take place at Stormont Estate on 20 June 2008. Members noted arrangements and agreed proposals to open the building and provide food and transportation for those invited to the event.
2.2 VIP Visit
Members noted a draft itinerary for a forthcoming VIP visit.
2.3 Chamber Upgrade
Members were asked to note a paper, tabled by Ms McClelland which detailed progress and associated costs in relation to the Chamber upgrade project.
Ms Francey and Ms Long joined the meeting at 7:05 pm.
3. BCC GOOD RELATIONS STRATEGY PRESENTATION
The Speaker welcomed Ms Francey and Ms Long to the meeting. He explained that the Commission was committed to developing a Good Relations Policy/Strategy and wished to note and learn more about Belfast City Council’s (BCC) experience.
Ms Francey thanked the Speaker for his invitation and presented each Member with a copy of BCC’s strategy document. She gave an overview as to why the BCC Policy had been commissioned and emphasised the importance of linking the work to the organisation’s Corporate Plan. Ms Francey then summarised the steps BBC had taken to carry out the work and gave a synopsis of the outcome and ongoing work with regard to Good Relations.
Ms Long provided Members with a brief background in relation to the operation of the BCC steering group on good relations and her role as Chairperson. She highlighted a range of measures which have been successfully implemented by the Council.
Ms McClelland, Ms Long and Ms Francey left the meeting at 7.30pm
The Commission agreed that a substantive paper should be prepared for consideration prior to the summer recess.
4. PAYMENTS TO POLICING BOARD REPS
Ms Devon spoke to a paper relating to payments to Policing Board Representatives. She informed the Commission that the Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Mr Trevor Reaney, had written to her seeking the Assembly’s assistance in processing payments for Members’ claims and allowances.
Following consideration, the Assembly Commission agreed to the request to process payments to Members subject to the development of a satisfactory Service Level Agreement with the Policing Board.
5. ASSEMBLY COMMISSION PROCEDURES
Mr Logue spoke to a paper which outlined a set of draft procedures for the operation of the Assembly Commission. The Speaker proposed that Members consider the paper for discussion at their ‘away day’.
6. ASSEMBLY TRAVEL SCHEME
Ms Devon updated Members on proposed revisions to the Northern Ireland Assembly Travel Scheme.
Following discussion, the Commission requested further information in relation to the level of previous expenditure incurred on taxis for journeys to and from work.
The Commission agreed to the terms of the revised Travel Scheme and agree the recommended approach in dealing with HM Revenue & Customs.
7. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
7.1 Commission Away Day
Mr Logue provided Members with an update on the arrangements and guests attending the Commission’s away day. It was agreed that a substantive programme would issue prior to the event.
7.2 Pension Trustees
Mr Maginness sought clarification in relation to the pension fund. Members agreed that the Pension Trustees should be invited to an early meeting.
8. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
To be arranged.
The meeting ended at 8pm.