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Border panel group

A new and unique cross-border group has been established by Newry and Mourne District Council, Louth County Council and the Peace III Southern Partnership’s Future Foundation Priority. Up to fifty individuals from all walks of life from Newry and Mourne and from Dundalk and North County Louth were invited to come together in a joint People’s Panel which is the first of its kind to be organised through the EU programme for Peace and Reconciliation (Peace III) managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Launching the project Councillor John McArdle Mayor of Newry and Mourne said: “Council has previous of operating a successful People’s Panel and the move to establish a panel on a cross-border basis is a natural progression given the growing co-operation between the two districts. I look forward o the results of this innovative exercise in community consultation.” Explaining the concept Regina Mackin Assistant Director of Newry and Mourne District Council said: “A People’s Panel comprises a number of individuals inn this case 25 from each area who are provided with training and to enable them to act as sounding boards in their areas. Panels sometimes respond to queries from statutory bodies and sometimes suggest area which they consider to be debated. Whichever way a topic is ed the  members of the panel debate it and put forward their ideas and comments which are fed to the relevant statutory body. The members of the panel are from all walks of life so as to be truly representative as possible of the area and we are particularly anxious to recruit people who can represent those who most often lack a voice in our society. We have appointed Frank Dolaghan of Mentor Economic Developments as the Panel facilitator and he will assist with recruitment and capacity building of panel members as well as facilitating meetings of the Panel. Anyone interested in applying for membership of the Panel can contact Frank on 0774082 3713 or email frank.dologhan@btconnect.com


Newry Reporter

7th November 2012