Press Release

Assembly Committee to Work with Minister for the Benefit of Local Communities

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 16 June 2011

Reference: SD 01/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Social Development today expressed its commitment to work closely with the new Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland. The Committee Chairperson, Alex Maskey MLA welcomed the Minister to his first formal engagement with the Committee, when the Minister outlined the key issues and challenges facing the Department of Social Development.

Committee Chairperson Alex Maskey MLA said: “Social Development has a wide ranging remit in tackling disadvantage and building sustainable communities - this includes issues associated with welfare reform, social housing and housing support services, town centre regeneration and areas of social disadvantage. There are complex and important issues to be addressed and it is our hope that a close working relationship between the Committee and the Minister and his Department will help us to achieve positive results for the community over the next four years.”

“The Committee has a statutory responsibility to advise, scrutinise and assist the Minister in his formulation and implementation of policy.”

“We want to ensure that measures put forward by the Department are the best that they can be and will tackle and resolve many serious economic and social issues affecting our local communities.”

Assembly Committee to Work with Minister for the Benefit of Local Communities

Notes to Editors:

A wide range of issues were discussed with the Minister and a full Hansard record of this session of the Committee’s meeting will be available in due course on the Committee’s web page.

The Committee for Social Development is one of twelve Statutory Committees of the Northern Ireland Assembly. It is established in accordance with paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Belfast Agreement, section 29 of the Northern Ireland Act 1988 and under Standing Order 46.

The Committee has power to:

• Consider and advise on departmental budgets and annual plans in the context of the overall budget allocation;

• Consider relevant secondary legislation and take the Committee Stage of relevant primary legislation;

• Call for persons and papers;

• Initiate inquiries and make reports; and

• Consider and advise on matters brought to the committee by its minister.

The Committee for Social Development membership is:

Alex Maskey MLA (Chairperson)
Mickey Brady MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Gregory Campbell MLA, MP
Judith Cochrane MLA
Michael Copeland MLA
Sammy Douglas MLA
Mark H Durkan MLA
Alex Easton MLA
Pam Lewis MLA
Fra McCann MLA
David McClarty MLA

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