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Cross-Sector Advisory Forum

Part of Ministerial Statement – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:30 pm on 20th April 2009.

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Photo of Peter Robinson Peter Robinson DUP 12:30 pm, 20th April 2009

Members were chosen by their own organisations, with the exception of four members, two of whom were recommended by the deputy First Minister and two of whom were recommended by me.

I do not have a hard-and-fast view on the size of the membership; it is only the consideration of dealing with large groups that places a constraint on its size. One of the subgroups that we have set up deals with issues of hardship, debt and community issues. There is no reason why OFMDFM cannot agree that any group that has an interest in those issues should be on the subgroup without necessarily being a member of the broader forum.

However, there is a strong third sector in the forum, with representatives from community organisations and credit unions. Throughout the meeting, they spoke so strongly that it became clear that a subgroup had to be set up to deal with those general issues.