Procedure

I welcome Deputies back and wish them all a happy new year. We will get down to business straightaway and start with section 5 and amendment No. 29.

Before we start business may I ask the Chair if he was able to get the reports of previous committee meetings. I brought this up at the last meeting and the Chair gave an indication that he would circulate the reports.

Deputy Fennell will be used to the reply which is to the effect that due to staff shortages and pressure of work, editing work on the reports of the meetings held to date is only now being undertaken. Proofs will be available at the end of January.

That is regrettable because a lot of interest groups who are involved in child care and do not or cannot attend these meetings have no way of knowing what exactly is happening, what decisions are taken and what is being said. I would ask the Chair to please ensure if he can — I know there are restrictions on everbody — that these reports will be available at the end of January.

We will push them through as quickly as possible for the committee.

In response to Deputy Fennell I should like to say that our meetings are public and we have no difficulty in accommodating any group who wish to attend.

I do not want to get involved in an argument about conditions but the Minister can see that the committee room would not accommodate a lot of people.

No, but three or four from any organisation could be accommodated.

It is not a substitute for having the reports of the meetings as we would have had if we dealt with Committee Stage of the Bill in the Dáil.

On the Deputy's original point I agree that we should have the reports.

The work will be done as quickly as possible. Amendments 29 and 30 are related and I suggest we take them together.