Assembly Committees Visit City of Culture

Six Northern Ireland Assembly Committees were on the move earlier this week — destination, the City of Culture. The coordinated visits were part of the Assembly’s support for Derry~Londonderry in its City of Culture year, as well as contributing to the Assembly’s wider goal of bringing its work into the community.

The six Committees — Finance and Personnel; Employment and Learning; Education; Health, Social Services and Public Safety; Public Accounts; and OFMDFM — had a full schedule of briefings and evidence-taking. The Committees covered a wide range of topics including: the Tobacco Retailers Bill; EU funding; area learning communities; the development of Ebrington Barracks; Derry City Council’s employment programme; and the Inquiry into the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service. The Committee for Employment and Learning took the opportunity to stop by the Nerve Centre before its meeting, while the Health Committee visited the Foyle Hospice.

The meetings were held in key venues across the city: North West Regional College, the Ballroom at Ebrington Barracks and Magee Campus, University of Ulster.

While in the North-West, Members took time to meet with local stakeholders at a lunchtime event sponsored by the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure. It was an excellent opportunity for Members to hear directly from stakeholders in the area about the issues that matter to them. There were speeches from the Culture Committee Chairperson, Michelle McIlveen MLA, and Shona McCarthy, the chief executive of the Culture Company, and there was also a special acoustic performance by talented guitarist Gary Lutton, a student at Magee.

The Assembly hopes to repeat the success of the visit in October 2013, when the Committees that were not able to join this week’s joint visit will undertake their own co-ordinated visit to the City of Culture. Details of that joint visit will be available on the Assembly website in due course.

In the meantime, keep up with what’s happening at the Assembly; follow us on Twitter @niassembly or find us on Facebook.

Assembly Committees visit Derry/Londonderry, City of Culture 2013

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