New Parades Commission appointed

Published Friday, 13 December 2013
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Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has appointed the new members of the Parades Commission who are due to take up their positions in the new year.

New Parades Commission appointed
Theresa Villiers has appointed the new members of the Parades Commission. (© Getty)

Anne Henderson has been appointed as the chair of the body and will replace outgoing current incumbent Peter Osborne.

Ms Henderson is a non-executive director of the SS Nomadic Trading Company and was previously vice chair of the Housing Executive from 2004 to 2012.

She is joined by current chairman of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association Glyn Roberts.

He is an Alliance Party member and a former chairman of the party.

Also appointed are solicitor Sarah Havlin, Colin Kennedy, who is chief executive of the Mary Peters Trust and part-time judge Frances McCartney.

The appointees will take up office on 1 January, however, if the Haass talks, as is expected, recommend that a new organisation should handle parading issues in the region, their tenure could be short-lived.

Ms Villiers said: "I am confident that Anne Henderson and her team of new members will bring experience and perspective to the job and make a valuable contribution to the ongoing work of the Parades Commission.

"I very much hope that the Haass talks will lead to a locally agreed means of adjudicating contentious parades in the future.

The Parades Commission remains the legally constituted body responsible for determining these matters and the new chair and members appointed today will have important work to carry out in the months ahead.

Theresa Villiers

"The new commission will continue to engage with local communities and parading organisations to encourage local dialogue and locally agreed solutions on contentious parades," she added.

"I strongly encourage everyone in Northern Ireland with an interest in parading to work with the commission to ensure their voice is heard.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing chairman and commissioners for all their hard work and wish them well for the future."

The appointments are for a period of three years and on a part-time basis. The position of chair has a salary of £50,000 and members receive £22,000.

The Parades Commission has been heavily criticised by nationalist and unionist politicians for a number of decisions over the years.

In July, it prevented an Orange Order march on the annual Twelfth parades from returning past the Ardoyne interface in north Belfast.

Loyalists have set up a camp on Twaddell Avenue in protest and have vowed to remain there until the three lodges affected are allowed to return "home".

© UTV News
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14 Comments
Larry in Belfast wrote (126 days ago):
The only parades commission should be the ones who parade themselves. They are going to have to realise that there are certain 'old paths' which they cannot walk and have the courage not to 'want' to walk down them and put their own lives and the lives of the PSNI in danger. It is the same in all aspect of life, the old buildings are gone and new ones have been built - move on!
Joseph in Belfast wrote (126 days ago):
Therese I hope this new parades commission does now bow to any orange pressure. That would make the present situation much worse.
Deeko in Belfast UK wrote (126 days ago):
At Shamrock. They dont go through Ardoyne you Idiot
Johno in Belfast wrote (126 days ago):
Lets hope this new parades commission does'nt have an orange tint to it.
Horrified in Belfast wrote (127 days ago):
£50k for a part time job??? that is absolutely rediculous! wouldn't even be respectable if they worked full time and did an independant job! shared space?? not in this country when the so called parades commission determine which roads are for catholics and not protestant!
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