Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Business Growth and Job Creation in Town and Village Centres: Discussion
Everyone is welcome. We will discuss the policy options to support business growth and job creation and retention in town and village centres. I welcome Mr. Stephen Lynam, director of Retail Ireland, Mr. Stephen Sealey, managing director of Brown Thomas, and Mr. Bob Parker, director of operations at Clerys. Ms Leesa Kavanagh, director of retail at Arnotts, is not present.
By virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, witnesses are protected by absolute privilege in respect of their evidence to this committee. If they are directed by the committee to cease giving evidence on a particular matter and they continue to do so, they are entitled thereafter only to a qualified privilege in respect of their evidence. Witnesses are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given and are asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that, where possible, they should not criticise or make charges against any person or persons or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable.
If we have not scared Mr. Lynam off, I will ask him to begin. He is familiar with the rules, having attended a meeting previously. We will spend a couple of months considering this matter, in consultation with witnesses, before recommending policy changes to the Minister that will benefit the retail sector. We hope that this process will feed into the Action Plan for Jobs in the autumn as regards the retail forums. This is the first meeting and the witnesses are the first presenters. We will probably discuss certain aspects with them again.