Press Release

Increased funding for the Planning and Water Appeals Commissions

Session: 2007/2008

Date: Thursday, 10 January 2008

Reference: COFMDFM 17/07

The Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister welcomes confirmation from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister that it is to increase the funding for the Commissions.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Danny Kennedy MLA said: 
“During its consideration of the draft Budget and Investment Strategy, the Committee noted with concern the backlog in planning appeals and called for additional resources for the Planning and Water Appeals Commissions.

“ The Committee therefore welcomes the commitment from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to provide additional funding for the next 3 years.

“The Committee now expects to see early progress in the appointment of additional Commissioners and will monitor the use of additional funding to ensure that it is used effectively to help clear the backlog of outstanding appeals.”


Notes to Editors:

1. At the Committee meeting on 9 January 2008, the Committee received confirmation from OFMDFM that they have made provision within the Draft Budget 2008-2011 for additional funding of £0.51m, £0.52m and £0.538m respectively as a net increase to its baseline budget.

2. The Committee for the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister is one of the statutory committees established by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 9 May 2007.

The role of the Committee as set out in Standing Orders for the Northern Ireland Assembly is “to advise and assist the First Minister and the deputy First Minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within their responsibilities as Ministers jointly in charge of the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister.”

Committee Membership: - 
Danny Kennedy, Chairperson 
Naomi Long, Deputy Chairperson 
Martina Anderson 
Tom Elliott 
Dolores Kelly 
Barry McElduff 
Francie Molloy 
Stephen Moutray 
Jim Shannon 
Jimmy Spratt 
Jim Wells

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