Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

MLAs hear groups’ worries

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Social Development held an event on Thursday, February 10, to give charities and groups the chance to raise their concerns on topics such as welfare reform, disability issues, housing association procurement and volunteering.

Simon Hamilton, chairman, said the committee had responsibility for a wide range of issues including housing, social security and pensions. “With the large volume of Bills being looked at by the Committee, there are fewer opportunities for us to hear directly from groups and individuals affected by these issues.

“Today we heard how important volunteers are to charities and community groups, the procurement challenges facing the Housing Associations and the impact of planning on the social economy.

“What we hear today will inform the work of this Committee and quite possibly the Committee in the next mandate,” added the Strangford MLA.

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