A SINN Fein press officer and a support worker for the party are among the independent members of the newly formed Fermanagh and Omagh Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).

Public relations officer, Jemma Dolan and part-time councillor and support worker for Sinn Fein, Catherine Kelly, from Omagh are just two of the nine independent members whose appointments to the local PCSP were announced last Thursday.

They will join other independent members, Simon Wiggins, an office manager with CHS Financial Planning, Neville Armstrong, training and development officer from Kesh, Eithne McAnespy, a retired bank official from Omagh, Vida Lake from Omagh, Monica Coyle, a retired community midwife from Omagh, Pauline Treacy a social work assistant from Garrison and Jean McVitty, a farmer and former UUP councillor from Lisnaskea.

Political members on the new PCSP are: Thomas O’Reilly, Sinn Fein, Sorcha McAnespy, Sinn Fein, Debbie Coyle, Sinn Fein, Stephen McCann, Sinn Fein, Thomas Maguire, Sinn Fein, John Coyle, SDLP, Josephine Deehan, SDLP, Howard Thornton, UUP, Allan Rainey, UUP and Errol Thompson, DUP.

PCSPs are comprised of 10 political members nominated by the district council and nine independent members appointed by the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

It will also include at least four representatives of designated organisations which the PCSP will have selected because of the contribution they can make.

And representatives from the following designated public bodies: PSNI, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Probation Board for Northern Ireland, Youth Justice Agency of Northern Ireland, Health and Social Care Trust, the Education Authority and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

The Policing Board has appointed 72 independent members to fill positions on eight PCSPs across Northern Ireland.

Thirty-eight (53 per cent) were made to candidates with a Catholic community background with 28 (39 per cent) being made to candidates with a Protestant community background.

Six (8 per cent) were made to candidates from other/no community background.

Of the 72, 24 (33 per cent) were male candidates and 48 (67 per cent) were female.

In terms of political activity, 32 appointments (44 per cent) were made to candidates who declared their participation in some form of political party activity on their application forms.

Welcoming the new members onto the PCSPs, Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly said: “PCSPs continue to play an important role in local policing as they work with local communities and the PSNI to help make communities safer.

“The new PCSP members bring a wide range of skills and experience to this important element of policing accountability. All those appointed have demonstrated the ability to engage effectively and have shown a commitment to ensuring that the voice of their community is heard.

“The new look Councils and new structure for PCSPs will bring fresh challenges and opportunities for the partnerships. Members will work together with elected colleagues, the community and representatives of the statutory and voluntary sector to provide oversight of police locally. I look forward to working with all our new members to maintain public confidence in policing and deliver community safety.” Justice Minister David Ford, added: “With a make-up of political, independent and designated membership, PCSPs are representative of the local areas they serve. The Northern Ireland Policing Board has worked to deliver an open and transparent process resulting in the appointment of people with various skills and experience, community background, gender and age.

“Each PCSP will have its own challenges but with the roll out of community planning in co-ordinating and delivering local services we have an opportunity to enhance overall performance and ensure that PCSPs make a real difference to local policing and community safety issues.” The process to appoint Members was conducted according to the Code of Practice issued by the Department of Justice in March 2015. Appointments made have been subject to independent scrutiny by an Impartial Assessor whose role involved assessing the process for openness, transparency, probity and effectiveness and ensuring compliance with the code.

Members are appointed for a four-year period.

A meeting expense payment of £60 per meeting is available to all Members of a PCSP. Members are also able to claim travel expenses.