News story

New Parades Commission appointed

Following a public appointments process, Theresa Villiers has appointed a new chair and 4 members to the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP today announced 5 new appointments to the Parades Commission.

  • Anne Henderson has been appointed chair of the Commission
  • Sarah Havlin; Colin Kennedy; Frances McCartney and Glyn Roberts have been appointed members

The appointments will take effect on 1 January 2014.

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. But in the meantime, 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.

The new Commission will continue to engage with local communities and parading organisations to encourage local dialogue and locally agreed solutions on contentious parades. 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 Parades Commission was established in 1997 and took on its full powers in 1998 through the Public Processions (NI) Act 1998. The Commission has 2 fundamental responsibilities:

  • To facilitate mediation between parties on disputes concerning proposed parades and take appropriate steps to resolve them
  • To issue determinations in respect of specific proposed parades

Under the terms of the Act, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for making appointments to the Parades Commission. The appointments are made in accordance with paragraph 3 of Schedule 1 of the Act.

Appointee biographies: Anne Henderson

Anne is currently a non executive director of the SS Nomadic Trading Company. She was Vice Chair of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive from 2004 to 2012 during which time she also spent a short period as acting Chair. She is a chartered accountant and has worked for KPMG, Time Warner Inc and BDO Stoy Hayward. She has previously held positions on the Board of the International Fund for Ireland; the Enterprise Equity Northern Ireland Ltd and Enterprise Equity Ireland Ltd. She is a member of the audit committee of Queen’s University.

Sarah Havlin

Sarah is a solicitor by profession and is currently the Certification Officer of Northern Ireland, a quasi-judicial and regulatory role in the field of industrial relations. She has also held a number of other positions in public office, judicial decision-making and formal arbitration proceedings, including Legal Chair of the Exceptional Circumstances Body; Legal Chair of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) Independent Appeals Panel and DARD Animal Valuation Panel; Board Member and Legal Member of the Public Transport Licensing Appeal Panel; Chair of the Agricultural Wages Board; Legal Member of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority and Legal Member of the Health and Social Care Board Independent Complaints and Serious Adverse Incident Panel. Sarah also served as an Assistant Local Government Boundaries Commissioner in 2008 and as assistant to the District Electoral Areas Commissioner during his recent review.

Colin Kennedy

Colin is Chief Executive of the Mary Peters Trust. Prior to taking up his current position he was Chief Executive of Lenken Healthcare (Ireland). He also spent 14 years in the finance industry. He is currently a member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Northern Ireland; a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (Fitness to Practice) and the Northern Ireland representative on the NHS Review Body. He served as Chairman of the General Dental Council Complaints Panel from 2006 to 2009.

Frances McCartney

Frances is a Judge (part-time) of the First Tier Tribunal, Social Security Tribunal for UK. She is a partner in a Glasgow law firm and specialises in human rights claims, environmental planning and public law. She is also a senior tutor at the University of Glasgow and a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde. She has held a wide range of appointments that include: Board member of Friends of the Earth Scotland; Civil Legal Aid Committee, Law Society of Scotland; and Trustee of the Scottish Human Rights Trust. She currently is a member of the Midwifery Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, a member of the Legal Governance Group of the Scottish Environmental LINK and a Board member of the Environmental Law Centre Scotland.

Glyn Roberts

Glyn is the Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA). He was previously Head of Parliamentary Affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses from 2001 to 2008 and Producer of the Week In/Week Out radio programme on Belfast City Beat from 1996 to 2005. He has held a wide range of appointments that include: member of OFCOM Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland; Vice Chairman of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust; Board member of Oxfam Ireland; Governing Board member of South Eastern Regional College; Board member of the National Skills Academy for Retail; Chairman of the Northern Ireland Government Affairs Group; member of Council of the Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke Association; Council member of the Belfast Chamber of Trade and member of the Institute of Directors Economic Strategy Committee. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and a member of the National Union of Journalists.

Terms of Appointment

The positions of chair and member are part-time appointments.

The position of chair attracts a fixed remuneration of £50,000 per annum and members receive a sum of £22,000.

The appointments will be from 1 January 2014 for a period of 3 years. However, if alternative parading arrangements were forthcoming, the terms of office may be brought to an early end.

Political Activity

All appointments are made on merit and with regards to the statutory requirements. Political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity in defined categories to be made public.

Glyn Roberts is a member of the Alliance Party and was Chairman from 2012-2013. He no longer holds any elected position within the party.

OCPA Code of Practice

The appointment process has been regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointment (OCPA) and all stages of the process were overseen by a Public Appointments Assessor.

Statutory Requirements

These appointments are made by the Secretary of State with regard to the equality provisions set out in section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and paragraph 2(3) of Schedule 1 to the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998.

Published 13 December 2013