NIABT Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes of Proceedings Monday 22 June 2015

Session: 2014/2015

Date: Monday 22nd June 2015

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 4:05pm. The Secretary chaired the meeting until the election of Chair and Vice Chair. Stephen Kelly (Vice Chair) then chaired the remainder of the meeting.


Phil Flanagan MLA

Norah-Ann Barron, Pi Communications

Nicola Bothwell, NB Chartered Marketing

Noel Brady, Consult NB1 Ltd

Chris Brown, MCE PR

Stephen Kelly, Manufacturing NI

Barry Turley, Barry Turley PR and Public Affairs

John Stewart, Director of Information and Outreach

Richard Stewart, Treasurer

Susie Brown, Secretary

In Attendance:

Roisin Fleetham, Deputy Secretary

Ivor Gibson, Co-ordinator


Judith Cochrane MLA

Leslie Cree MBE MLA

Alban Maginness MLA

Robin Newton MLA

Claire Sugden MLA

Michael Bell, NI Food & Drink Association

John O’Farrell, ICTU

  1. Apologies:

Apologies are noted above.

  1. Election of Chair and Vice Chair:
  • The Secretary announced the results of the recent election to the posts of Chair and Vice Chair.
  • Robin Newton MLA has been elected as Chair and Stephen Kelly has been elected as Vice Chair.
  • Both will take up their two year posts with immediate effect.

As Robin Newton MLA had sent his apologies, the Secretary invited the Vice Chair, Stephen Kelly to chair the meeting.

  1. New Board member introduction:
  • The Chair discussed the role of Board members and the possibility of training for all.
  • The Chair invited all members to introduce themselves.

Agreed: The Secretary will proceed to arrange formal training for all Board members.

  1. Declaration of interests:
  • Norah-Ann Barron declared an interest in agenda item 8 (financial matters).
  1. School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy:
  • The Chair discussed an item of correspondence received from the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen’s University, Belfast.
  • This letter contains a proposal to hold two separate joint events in September and November 2015 themed on a “Brexit” debate.

Agreed: The Board agreed for the secretariat to proceed with arrangements for these two events, which will have a balanced structure and approach. 

  1. Adoption of previous minutes:

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

  1. Matters arising:
  • The Chair advised that the matters arising from the last meeting formed the agenda items for tonight’s meeting.
  1. Financial update:

Norah-Ann Barron left the meeting at 4:18pm.

  • The Chair referred the Board to a copy of the financial records.
  • The Secretary gave a brief synopsis of how the Trust’s finances are governed and audited.
  • The Chair proposed refunding Norah-Ann Barron in relation to the recent Washington Programme, provided all NIABT outlay is covered from the deposit paid.

Agreed: The Secretariat will calculate the actual refund due to Ms Barron and make arrangements to have this paid.

The Secretariat gave an assurance that an induction pack which will include details on financial matters will be issued to new Board members and followed up with an induction meeting.

Norah-Ann Barron re-joined the meeting at 4:21pm.

  1. Washington Programme:
  • The Chair referred the Board to a copy of a feedback report and also invited Board Members who attended to give their views on the recent Washington Programme.

Agreed: Feedback indicated that the delegation found greater value in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore elements of the Programme.

It was suggested that a future programme may include a visit to Boston.

  1. President’s Dinner:
  • The Board reflected on the recent successful President’s Dinner when US Ambassador Matthew Barzun was the guest speaker.

Agreed: The Board was encouraged to communicate to the secretariat any proposals for a guest speaker for the 2016 President’s Dinner.

  1. Past Events and Forward Work Plan:
  • The Chair advised the Board that work was now underway on a forward work plan and that the Board should be fully engaged in this process.
  • The Board discussed an autumn educational visit to another legislature.

Agreed: The Board agreed to become more engaged with the forward work plan and also agreed to tie future Board meeting dates with events, where possible.

The Board also agreed that the Secretariat should proceed with a Cardiff Programme for autumn 2015. A draft programme will be issued to the Board via correspondence.

  1. Membership:
  • The Chair referred the Board to a list of applications from local organisations to join the Trust and asked the members if they were happy to approve these applications.

Agreed: The Board agreed to approve all applications.

  1. Any Other Business:

Agreed: The Board agreed to note the contents of a letter from Anderson Spratt Group in relation to the President’s Dinner.

The Board also agreed to proceed with making arrangements for Dr Joanne Stuart OBE to become a Patron of the Trust.

Date of Next Meeting

  • The Chair confirmed that the next Board meeting would be held on Monday 28th September at 5:00pm.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:50pm.

Mr Stephen Kelly