News story

Secretary of State appoints new member of the Parades Commission

Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP today announced the appointment of Paul Hutchinson to the Parades Commission.

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


Mr Hutchinson’s appointment comes after Glyn Robert’s decision not to accept the appointment. The appointment will take effect on 1 January 2014.

Ms Villiers said:

Mr Hutchinson and the other new members will bring experience and perspective to this very important job and will make a valuable contribution to the ongoing work of the Parades Commission.

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.

Biography of Appointee

Paul Hutchinson is the outgoing Centre Director of the Corrymeela Peace and Reconciliation Centre. He has a background in mental health, advocacy, mediation, and the Arts. He worked for 12 years with NI Association for Mental Health, as a manager, advocate, practitioner/therapist, researcher. He was Associate Lecturer at the University of Ulster from 1999 - 2002, creating and teaching in the Department of Social work (advocacy and empowerment skills). He was a Neighbourhood Renewal Advisor in North West England for 5 years, and worked for 7 years in community cohesion projects in Oldham, Burnley and Blackburn. He also has a background in various artistic fields: as film-maker, writer, photographer and musician. He was the founder/director of Imagined Spaces, a company exploring creative community relations.

Terms of Appointment

The position of member is part-time appointment.

The position attracts a fixed remuneration of £22,000 per annum.

The appointment will be from 1 January 2014 for a period of three 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.

Mr Hutchinson declared no political activity in the past ten years.

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

This appointment is 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 23 December 2013