I believe the Minister should not have a closed mind on this. I acknowledge that the situation in relation to each individual child, and the dealings of each individual child, should not require consultation and I accept my amendment is not the ideal solution to the problem, but I was prepared to withdraw it on the basis that there would be a division of functions on what would be purely executive matters. That would be purely the day to day stuff, in the same way that any local authority operates: there are executive functions and reserve functions. My fear is that, under section 3 (1) all the general powers are conferred on the health board, but we later find "the board" does not mean the board but the CEO, as Deputy Sherlock has now outlined, it means the individual programme manager or the individual health board official. In my view, some cases should be considered by the committee, and some of these are clearly policy matters.
In relation to charges that is obviously a policy matter for the board. In relation to grants for voluntary bodies, whether the ISPCC in the area gets a grant or not, that is obviously a policy matter. For the health board to decide to provide pre-school services is obviously a policy matter. I do not believe any health board member, if he were sitting here today, would subscribe to the view that we should set in place forever a law that states they should not have a role in this area. I do not believe that would be the wishes of public representations or those people dealing first hand with it. Most importantly, the principle of accountability must apply.
I am prepared to withdraw amendment No. 188 on the understanding that the Minister would seek to separate the policy issues from the day to day executive cases. On that basis we can progress. If the Minister continues to take the attitude that CEOs should be left entirely to deal with all these matters, I am afraid we will have to have another vote.