Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 19 February 2013
Venue: Room 106, Parliament Buildings
Chris Lyttle MLA
Maeve McLaughlin MLA Deputy Chair (acting Chair)
Sandra Overend MLA (proxy for Robin Swann MLA)
Michael Hughes Rural Community Network
Seamus McAleavey NICVA
Susie Brown Secretary
Louise Close Deputy Secretary
Maria Bannon Assembly Equality Manager
Stephen Todd Clerical Officer
Sammy Douglas MLA Chair
Mark Durkan MLA
Avila Kilmurray Community Foundation NI
Robin Swann MLA
Apologies are noted above.
Declaration of interests
No members declared an interest in relation to the agenda items.
2. Minutes of the meeting held on 16 October 2012
Agreed: The minutes of the above meeting were agreed.
3. Matters arising
A number of matters arising are covered substantively in today's agenda.
4. Mission and Logo
The Chair asked whether everybody was content with the mission statement. Mr Hughes stated that the mission statement was a vision not a mission. Ms Overend stated that the mission should mention 'connections' and 'education'.
Action: The secretariat will develop a mission statement for the ACC.
The Chair raised concerns over lack of clarity in the phrase 'development opportunities' in the ACC mission statement and suggest that a statement such as 'to create a better understanding' would be more appropriate.
The Chair asked whether everybody was content with the aims otherwise and the Advisory Group agreed.
Action: The secretariat will revise the aims.
The Chair stated that the potential logos for the ACC were circulated amongst the Advisory Group members in January and that a small majority was in favour of the bottom right logo. The consensus was that this was visually similar to the NIABT logo and that this was appealing.
Action: The ACC will use the bottom right logo.
5. Introduction of webpage for ACC
The Chair handed over to the Secretary, who gave a live demonstration of the draft webpage.
Mr Hughes stated that information on policy consultations upcoming over the next three or four months was particularly useful to his organisation.
Mr Lyttle MLA suggested linking to the consultation tracker from 'related links'.
The Secretary suggested that it could be useful to include a glossary of terms on the website. Ms Bannon suggested that a link to the screening consultation would be relevant.
The Secretary also stated the importance of including a feedback form as feedback would be instrumental in informing the design of the website.
Action: Work to continue on the website, to be presented at the next meeting of the Advisory Group.
6. ACC Launch Plans
The Chair noted that the original launch date for ACC had been postponed and asked for any comments on the content, new time.
Mr Hughes asked whether the website would be on the launch agenda as this could affect the format of the event.
Mr Lyttle proposed that the event take place on a Monday evening at 6pm, so long as this was suitable for representatives from the voluntary and community sector. Maeve noted that there is also more likely to be a media presence if the launch is held on a Monday.
Mr McAleavey emphasized the importance of being clear on who should be invited to the launch event – that the net could be cast very wide.
Mr Lyttle MLA queried whether the launch event should take place in Parliament Buildings. Agreement was reached that subsequent programmes could be held outside Parliament Buildings, but that it would be most appropriate to hold the launch event in Parliament Buildings.
Ms Close noted that the maximum numbers that could be accommodated at the launch event was 300 and that the format of the event would be largely determined by attendance numbers.
Mr McAleavey recommended booking out the Great Hall and Long Gallery to ensure all attendees could be accommodated and Ms Brown noted that there was resource capacity sufficient to manage potential high attendance figures.
Mr Lyttle suggested that the format be a presentation followed by a networking event – particularly to give something to those attending from far away.
Ms McLaughlin advised that it was essential the event was inclusive and that the nature of event could be determined by the attendance numbers.
Ms Bannon noted the importance of emphasizing that this event is the start of a process rather than a standalone event and inquired about the possibility of tying the launch event in with Community Relations Week in May.
Action: It was agreed that the event would need at least a 4 week lead in time and that a Monday near 20th May, tying in with Community Relations Week would be an agreeable time to hold the event.
7. ACC Training Events – Get Involved
The Chair noted that at the Advisory Group meeting in December, members were asked to provide guidance on the locations for the next four 'Get Involved' Conferences and mentioned that, as the ACC launch did not go ahead in January, the East Belfast Get Involved Conference did not go ahead.
Action: The secretariat to approach local East Belfast representatives to seek guidance on timing of East Belfast Get Involved Conference.
8. Opportunities for support between Committees and ACC
The Chair noted that at the previous meeting it was agreed that ACC's work would be greatly enhanced by working closely with Committees. The Chair asked whether the Advisory Group were content for the submission to the Director of Clerking and Reporting seeking input from the Directorate to be issued.
Action: It was agreed the paper should be issued.
9. Revised paper on managing requests for participation in team sports
The Chair advised that the paper on participation in team sports had been amended to reflect the comments that requests for annual events should be taken on a case-by-case basis.
10. Requests from External Organisations
The Chair noted that this would be a standing item at Advisory Board Meetings.
The Chair noted that a football match with the RNIB playing MLAs had been approved by the advisory board via email and that this would go ahead on 5th March. The Chair commented that normally forthcoming sports requests would be brought to the Board for consideration.
The Chair also brought to the Advisory Group's attention a request from Corrymeela for support for a series of workshops. Ms Brown gave further information on this request, noting that this is currently a broad request and that not a lot of detail has been specified. Assistance with six workshops has been requested, two of which should be hosted at the Assembly. Ms Brown asked whether the Advisory Board were content for ACC to partner with Corrymeela for this programme of workshops.
The Group expressed concern that this could set a precedent, that further information should be sought before making a decision and that a protocol should be set up to deal with requests such as this, as other groups may want to partner with the Assembly in the future.
Action: Protocol to be developed for handling of partnership programmes.
11. Outreach attendance at external events
The Chair stated that this would be a standing agenda item and asked if any of the Advisory
Group has any suggestions to attend.
No suggestions were received on this occasion, but the Chair asked members of the Advisory
Group to keep this in mind for future meetings.
12. Introduction and development of a fellowship programme
The Chair noted that the NIABT already had a fellowship programme in place and that the ACC
fellowship programme would follow a similar model. The Chair asked if members of Advisory
Group agreed that such a programme should go ahead.
Mr Lyttle commented that this worked well with the NIABT and he considered it a good idea.
The Chair commented that she had recently come from working in the community and voluntary
sector and recognised that there was a big gap between this sector and the Assembly – that
therefore a two-way education would be most valuable.
The Advisory Group agreed that ACC should proceed with a fellowship programme as discussed.
The Chair enquired whether the Advisory Group were content with 'fellowship programme' as a
title for this programme. The Advisory Group agreed that they were happy to keep the name
The Chair noted that it had been suggested that the Speaker be approached to undertake the first
fellowship programme for publicity. The Advisory Group agreed that this was a good idea.
Action: Secretariat to draft submission /letter to Speaker requesting his participation in this programme.
13. Planned activities for February and March
The Chair outlined the planned activities as outlined in the Advisory Board briefing packs.
The Chair noted the social economy sector issue, of which Employers for Childcare were the lead
organisation. The consortium is tasked with delivering a two year action plan.
The Chair asked whether the Advisory Board were comfortable to invite a representative from the
Meeting finished at 6.00pm
15. Date and Time of next meeting
Tuesday 9th April at 5.00pm.