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23/03/2004

Ofcom appoints first members of Advisory Committee for NI

Ofcom has announced the appointment of the first group of members to its Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland, following an initial round of interviews.
The appointees are Brian Collins, Professor Wallace Ewart, Professor Gerard Parr and Glyn Roberts.
Brian Collins, 53, is a Barrister and Lecturer in Law at the University of Ulster's Magee Campus. He is a panel member of the Fair Employment Tribunal and a former member of the Northern Ireland Advisory Committee on Telecoms, the Consumers Forum on Communications, and Deputy Chair of the General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. He lives in Derry and is married with three children.
Dr David Elliott, 42, is the Regional Manager for Amey Business Services, managing the provision of broadband Internet services for libraries throughout Northern Ireland. He holds a Doctorate in Atomic Physics from Queen's University and is a Chartered Physicist and a Member of the Institute of Physics.
Professor Wallace Ewart, 65, is a former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ulster, Dean of Business and Management, and Director of Informatics. He is an expert in the areas of Communication and Information Technology, with particular experience in the education, training and library sectors.
Professor Gerard Parr, 42, holds the full Chair in Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Ulster, Coleraine, and is Co-ordinator of the Internet Technologies Research Group in the Faculty of Engineering. He is a co-founder and Executive Director of Causeway Data Communications Ltd.
Glyn Roberts, 31, is the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Officer for the Federation of Small Businesses, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Government Affairs Group and a Producer with local radio station, CityBeat. He is also a member of both the Institute of Public Relations and the Public Relations Institute of Ireland.
The Committee, which will meet quarterly in various parts of Northern Ireland, will report directly to the Ofcom Board and will publish its own annual report. The Ofcom Content Board and Consumer Panel Members for Northern Ireland (Rosemary Kelly and Kevin McLaughlin respectively) will also attend meetings of the Committee.
Similar committees are being established for Scotland, Wales and England.
Ofcom will be making further appointments to the Committee and will again seek to encourage women applicants. It will also again be seeking applicants from ethnic minority groups in Northern Ireland in order to ensure that the interests of society as a whole are reflected in the membership of the Committee.
For the first year, the Committee will be chaired by Denis Wolinski, Ofcom Director, Northern Ireland.
Wolinski said: "The creation of the Advisory Committee means that Northern Ireland will have its say on a range of broadcasting, telecoms and wireless communications matters as well as the opportunity to shape regulatory policies.
"The first group of Members reflects many aspects of Northern Irish life and has experience and expertise across the range of responsibilities which fall within Ofcom's remit. However, we must widen the range, and we want to attract more applications including, as a matter of priority, from women."
(GB)
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