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Commenting on the appointment of the independent panel to consider the future of water and sewerage services, the Chairperson of the Committee for Regional Development Committee, Fred Cobain MLA, said:

“The panel appointments announced by the Minister today are good news for Northern Ireland. I was particularly pleased to hear that Professor Paddy Hillyard would chair the independent review panel. He has a wealth of experience to bring to the review, particularly in the field of poverty and social exclusion in Northern Ireland.”

The Deputy Chairperson, Jim Wells MLA, said:

“This is a good, balanced team. I am delighted with the appointment of Joan Whiteside OBE. The review will benefit from her vast experience at the Consumer Council.”

Fred Cobain MLA, went on to say:

“The Committee is looking forward to meeting with the review panel in the coming weeks, and the Deputy Chairperson and I are confident the Committee can develop a close and positive working relationship with the panel on this vital review.”

Note for Editor:
The Northern Ireland Assembly has established a Statutory Departmental Committee for Regional Development.

Membership of the Regional Development Committee is as follows :


Mr Fred Cobain

Deputy Chairperson:

Mr Jim Wells

Committee Members:

Mr William Irwin


Mr Stephen Moutray


Mr George Robinson


Mr Brian Wilson


Mr Cathal Boylan


Mr Willie Clarke


Mr Raymond McCartney


Mr John Dallat


Mr John McCallister

The Committee will meet in Parliament Buildings on Wednesday mornings at 10.00am. Visitors are welcome to attend open sessions. Members of the public are advised to check the website prior to arriving at Parliament Buildings as it is likely the Committee will take meetings outside Parliament Buildings.

For further information on the work of the Regional Development Committee, please contact:

Northern Ireland Assembly Information Office,
Room B2, Parliament Buildings,
Belfast BT4 3XX.
Telephone 028 90521137/521396.
Fax 028 90521961.
Website Address: