Minutes of Proceedings – Monday 28th September 2015

Session: 2015/2016

Date: Monday 28th September 2015

Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 5:02pm.


Robin Newton MLA, Chair

Leslie Cree MBE MLA

Norah-Ann Barron, Pi Communications

Nicola Bothwell, NB Chartered Marketing

Noel Brady, Consult NB1 Ltd

Stephen Kelly, Manufacturing NI, Vice Chair

Barry Turley, Barry Turley PR and Public Affairs

John Stewart, Director of Information and Outreach

Richard Stewart, Treasurer

In Attendance:

Ivor Gibson, Co-ordinator

David Gray, RSM McClure Watters


Judith Cochrane MLA

Phil Flanagan MLA

Alban Maginness MLA

Claire Sugden MLA

Michael Bell, NI Food & Drink Association

Chris Brown, MCE PR

John O’Farrell, ICTU

Susie Brown, Secretary

Roisin Fleetham, Deputy Secretary

  1. Apologies:

Apologies are noted above.

  1. Declaration of interests:
  • The Chair noted that Stephen Kelly had previously declared an interest in agenda item 14 (Vice Chair subsidy).
  1. Adoption of previous minutes:

Agreed:     The Board agreed to the contents of the minutes of the previous meeting.

Stephen Kelly joins meeting at 5:04pm

  1. Matters arising:
  • The Chair advised that the matters arising from the last meeting formed the agenda items for tonight’s meeting.
  1. 2014/15 Accounts:
  • The Chair invited David Gray from RSM McClure Watters to present the 2014/15 accounts to the Board.

Agreed: The Board approved the accounts following Mr Gray’s presentation.

David Gray left the meeting at 5:12pm.

  1. Financial update:
  • The Chair referred the Board to a copy of a financial update for the year to date. This update included information regarding outstanding membership payments.

Agreed: The Board were content with the financial update.

  1. Membership:
  • The Board considered several membership applications. They also considered a list of members who have not paid membership fees for 2015/16 and who are now ready to be excluded from membership.

Agreed: The Board agreed to approve three of the membership applications and requested that the secretariat obtain more information in relation to the remaining application before making a decision.

The Board also agreed that the secretariat should liaise directly with the Board in relation to the businesses with outstanding membership payments. The Board will assist with the credit control functions in relation to this matter.

  1. Wales Educational Programme:
  • The Chair advised the Board of the Wales Educational Programme and list of attendees.

Agreed: The Board were content with the content of the programme.

  1. President’s Dinner:
  • The Chair referred the Board to a list of suggested guest speakers for the President’s Dinner to be held on 17th February 2016.

Agreed: The Board agreed that the secretariat should draft a letter of invitation to Ms Wang Shuying inviting her to be the guest speaker.

  1. Recent Events and Forward Work Programme:
  • The Board discussed recent events and the Forward Work Plan.

Agreed: The Board agreed to approach Dr Gerry Ronan from Swansea University with a view to him delivering a briefing to the NIABT in Spring 2016.

11. Patrons:

  • The Board discussed the position of Patrons and the proposal that Dr Joanne Stuart OBE be considered for a patronage.

Agreed: The Board agreed to revisit this issue immediately following the 2016 Assembly election.

12. Trustee training:

  • The Board discussed the arrangements for a training provider to train the Board Members in line with their responsibilities as Trustees and in light of the NI Charities legislation.

Agreed: The Board agreed that the training should take place on 16th November. The secretariat will make the necessary arrangements.

13. Memorandum of Understanding review:

  • The Board reviewed the Memorandum of Understanding between the NI Assembly Commission and the NIABT and suggested a few minor changes.

Agreed: The secretariat will make the necessary changes to the Memorandum of Understanding.

The secretariat will bring forward a financial update pertaining to the NI Assembly Commission budget to future Board meetings.

14. Vice Chair subsidy:

Stephen Kelly left the room at 6:00pm.

  • The Board discussed the NIABT policy relating to the Vice Chair receiving a 100% subsidy when attending Inter Parliamentary Educational Programmes.

Agreed: The Board were content to retain this policy in its current format on the condition that the NI Charities Commission was made aware and that this policy did not contravene NI Charities legislation. The secretariat will communicate the NI Charities Commission position with the Board.

15. Any Other Business

  • The Board discussed ideas to encourage new membership and also ways of involving younger members to participate in Trust activities.

Agreed: The secretariat will arrange a showcase recruitment event immediately following the 2016 NI Assembly elections.

The secretariat will also draft a paper suggesting an approach which will encourage participation by younger business members of the Trust.

  • The Chair confirmed that the next Board meeting would be held on Monday 16th November at 4:00pm.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:16pm.

Robin Newton MLA, NIABT Chair