Wednesday, 1 June 2005
Grangegorman Development Agency Bill 2004: Report Stage (Resumed).
Tony Gregory (Dublin Central, Independent)
The Minister needs to define which groups have a right to nominate because it makes common sense to do so. Giving the chairperson of an agency a vague, descriptive outline of various groups is not helpful. I seek clarity and I hope the Minister does so as well.
The Minister hit the nail on the head when she referred to youth clubs because there is a need for two representatives on the agency, given the range of groups in the area. Perhaps it would be useful if a representative of a youth club, which uses the campus, was elected to the agency but, equally, it is most important, as the Minister stated yesterday, that a resident from a residents'association, who has been active on this issue for years, should be on the agency.
Under the Minister's proposal, it is unlikely that a resident will be elected to the agency as he or she would be swamped and, therefore, to ensure the Minister's wish that a resident of a residents' association be on the agency, at least two representatives of non-commercial groups must be elected to the agency. That is the view of the residents' groups. They are anxious that they should have two representatives on the basis of gender balance and the range of groups active in the neighbourhood. To achieve the Minister's aim, it will be essential to provide for two representatives to emerge from the elaborate election process, which, according to the Minister, is a simple procedure involving first past the post. If the Minister accepted the amendments, perhaps the second past the post could be appointed to the agency or a representative of the residents' associations together with a representative of other community interests.
It is intriguing that the Minister would not countenance consulting community development groups in the area yesterday but she is quite happy for them to elect somebody to the agency. That does not make sense. I do not wish to exclude anyone and the purpose of my amendment is to include all the various groups by electing two representatives to the agency from the neighbourhood.