Press release

Secretary of State appoints new member of the Parades Commission

Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP today announced the appointment of George Patterson as a new member of the Parades Commission.

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


Secretary of State Theresa Villiers MP has today announced the appointment of George Patterson as a new member of the Parades Commission.

Mr Patterson’s appointment brings the Commission back to its full complement and takes effect on 10 June 2013.

Ms Villiers said:

The Parades Commission plays an important role in our society and Mr Patterson’s experience and perspective will be a welcome addition to the organisation.

The Parades Commission undertakes vital work and I would encourage all communities in Northern Ireland to engage with the Commission.

Notes to the Editors:

The appointment is made by the Secretary of State in accordance with paragraph 3(2) of Schedule 1 to the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998, to fill a vacancy created by the departure of Dr Catriona King earlier this year.

George Patterson is a semi retired self-employed management consultant who previously worked for Coopers & Lybrand, the Fair Employment Agency and later the Fair Employment Commission. He also spent ten years as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Ulster and has served as a member of the Community Relations Council and a Lay Partner of the Health Professionals Council.

He has extensive knowledge of Northern Ireland equality legislation and the issues relating to equality of opportunity.

Mr Patterson will take up appointment on 10 June 2013. The post entails an average of two days a week with the possibility of evening and weekend meetings.

The term will last until 31 December 2013 and a remuneration of £250 per diem will be paid.

OCPA Code of Practice

The appointment process has been regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointment (OCPA) and an independent assessor was fully involved throughout the process. The process has been agreed by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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.

The appointee declared no political activity in the past ten years.

The Parades Commission for Northern Ireland 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 two fundamental responsibilities:

  • to facilitate mediation between the parties to particular disputes concerning proposed public processions and take such other steps as appear to the Commission to be appropriate for resolving such disputes; and

  • to issue determinations in respect of particular proposed public processions.

Under the terms of the Public Processions (NI) Act 1998 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for making appointments to the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. It currently has a Chairman and six members and is supported by a Secretariat.

Statutory Requirements

This appointment was 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 11 June 2013