THE statement released by the Executive following yesterday’s meeting is copied below, with the sections related to the funding of the UDA’s Conflict Transformation Initiative in bold.STATEMENT FOLLOWING EXECUTIVE MEETING ON THURSDAY 18 OCTOBER 2007
The Executive has been committed to no privatisation of water and tackling the injustice of double taxation. In that context they considered a report from the Independent Review Panel on Water and Sewerage Charges and agreed on a way forward which will provide a better deal than proposed by the direct rule administration.
Ministers fully recognise that the report contains a significant range of issues which need to be explored further within the Executive. The DRD Minister will be making a statement to the Assembly on Monday.
The Executive also discussed the decision-making process which led to the recent statement made by the DSD Minister on the Conflict Transformation Initiative (CTI). Ministers representing all the parties present made it clear that they share the aims, as expressed by the DSD Minister, of ending all forms of paramilitarism and moving forward as a peaceful and stable society. The Ministerial discussion focused solely on the process by which she arrived at her decision. There was no vote on the CTI issue or the DSD Minister’s statement in the Assembly.
The DSD Minister disagreed with the draft minutes of the previous meeting in relation to the decision-making process. In an effort to resolve the issue about the minutes the FM/dFM proposed an adjournment to consult on the best way to move the issue forward taking account of comments made by Ministers. Some Ministers said they may have private notes of the meeting in question and they were offered the opportunity by FM/dFM to consult those notes during a proposed further adjournment. This opportunity was declined as some Ministers said they felt there was no need to pass the minutes today. The meeting moved to a vote and the minutes were adopted as an accurate account by a majority. The DSD, DEL and DHSSPS Ministers voted against the minutes being adopted.
The DFP Minister advised Executive colleagues that he had sought legal advice in relation to the legality of the actions arising from the decision of the DSD Minister and that he would share this advice with all Ministers.
The issue of the Minister for Culture Arts and Leisure’s statement in the Assembly on the Irish language was raised. It was agreed that while the Minister’s statement had signalled his own intentions in relation to the making of legislation, he had also recognised that the Executive had a role and would be consulted. Minister Poots agreed to bring forward a paper which would be the subject of a full discussion around the Executive table.