Menu

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall

Contact: Mr Jim Hanna, Senior Democratic Services Officer  028 9027 0549

Items
No. Item

1a

Apologies

Minutes:

            Apologies for inability to attend were reported from Councillors Kennedy, McAllister, Reynolds and Walsh.

 

1b

Minutes

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of 23rd September were taken as read and signed as correct.  It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 3rd October.

1c

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

            No declarations of interest were reported.

 

2.

Restricted Items

Minutes:

            The Information contained in the following four reports is restricted in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 6 of the Local Government Acts (Northern

 Ireland) 2014

 

2a

Maysfield Developments

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report in relation to proposals regarding the development of the former Maysfield site by Allstate and Concentrix. 


 

 

            After discussion, the Committee:

 

                         (i)      Agreed not to accede to the request from Allstate to contribute towards the cost of removing and the disposing of the contaminated silt at the Maysfield Water Inlet; and

 

                        (ii)      Agreed to endorse the proposal from Concentrix to provide a riverside staff/public café at Maysfield as part of its refurbishment scheme of the former leisure centre, subject to detailed terms to be agreed by the Estates Manager and Town Solicitor.

 

2b

Transfer of Assets / Liabilities to Belfast City Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on 23rd September, it had considered a report in relation to capital projects under the remit of the Department for Communities and a request from that department seeking a commitment from the Council to take ownership and the associated maintenance and liability of those assets upon completion of the capital projects.

 

            The Director of Property and Projects reminded the Members that the Committee had been asked to agree, in principle, to the transfer of the upgraded assets, subject to a number of caveats and to agreed revenue budgets being in place at the time of transfer.  The Committee, while noting its support for the capital investment proposed, had agreed to defer consideration of the matter to enable him to hold discussions with the Department for Communities and the Executive Office on the ongoing revenue implications and the conditions under which the Council would accept the transfer of assets.

 

            The Director reported that further discussions had since taken place with officers from the Department from Communities and the Strategic Investment Board (Urban Villages) regarding the terms of any such transfers and he submitted a report outlining the proposed conditions.

 

            After discussion, the Committee agreed in principle to the transfer of land and property assets from the Department for Communities, or other central government bodies as appropriate, upon completion of identified capital projects, subject to the conditions of transfer as set out in the report and specifically on agreement on revenue budgets at the time of transfer, with up to three years agreed maintenance costs being provided as a minimum, depending on the nature of the asset.

 

2c

Civic Headquarters Unit – Structural Changes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee considered a report in relation to the proposed structural changes to the Civic Headquarters Unit which would be required following the opening of the new Exhibition Area in the City Hall and the transfer of the responsibility for the development and application of revised criteria for access to the City Halls function areas.

 

            After discussion, the Committee:

 

·        Delegated authority to the Director of Property and Projects and the Director of Organisational Development to change the staffing structure of the Civic HQ Unit of the Facilities Management Section as proposed and in accordance with agreed HR policies and procedures, with the context of the overall organisational development programme; and

·        Agreed that the Director of Property and Projects report back to the Committee should there be any material changes to the proposals following staff and TU consultations and the application of agreed HR and OD processes.

 

2d

Update on Operational Issues with Waste Collection

Minutes:

            (Mr. N. Grimshaw, Director of City and Neighbourhood Services, attended in connection with this item.)

 

            The Committee noted the contents of a report which provided an update on the issues and actions relating to waste collection problems linked to the new waste collection routes which had went live on 17th October, 2016.

 

            The Committee noted also the use of delegated authority for emergency procurement, of letter delivery services, by the Director of Finance and Resources in conjunction with the Chairperson of the Committee.

 

3.

Governance

3a

Declarations of Interest at Meetings and Register of Members' Interests pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the undernoted report:

 

“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues

 

1.1        To remind Members of the Council’s policies on conflicts of      interests at       meetings and the Register of Members’     Interests.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is asked to:

 

·        Note the contents of the report.

 

3.0       Main report

 

            Key Issues

 

            Background

 

3.1       A report on this matter was last presented to the Committee in May this year.

 

3.2       The Local Government (Northern Ireland) Act 2014, at Part 9, included powers for the Department of the Environment to issue a code of conduct for councillors and all councillors upon their election were required to sign an acceptance of office which stated that they would abide by the Northern Ireland Local Government Code of Conduct for Councillors.

 

3.3       The Code, at sections 5 and 6, includes rules for the registration and disclosure and declaration of interests and any alleged breaches of the Code were required to be reported to and investigated by the Northern Ireland Ombudsman, in his/her capacity as the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints.

 

3.4       In December, 2011 the former Belfast City Council adopted a policy on conflicts of interests for councillors.

 

3.5       This policy covered three main areas – general principles for dealing with conflicts of interest; formal registration of interests by councillors; and procedures for declaring and managing conflicts of interest.  Although this policy has to some degree been superseded by the Local Government (Northern Ireland) Act 2014, the principles established within it still apply and it offers very sound advice to members in relation to declarations of interest.

 

            Current Position

 

3.6       Section 28 of the Local Government Act (NI) 1972, in relation to the conduct of meetings, requires a Councillor who has a pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in any contract, proposed contract or other matter which is under consideration, to disclose that interest to the meeting, the nature of the interest and not to preside over or take any part in the consideration of that matter.  Any Councillor who contravenes this obligation commits an offence which may attract a penalty of imprisonment and/or a fine.  A person’s pecuniary interests are their business interests (for example their employment, trade, profession, contracts, or any company with which they are associated) and wider financial interests they might have (for example trust funds, investments and assets including land and property).

 

3.7       Accordingly, a failure to make a declaration of interest at a meeting may constitute an offence.  Moreover, the participation of any Member in any matters for which they ought to have disclosed an interest, if that participation has resulted or is likely to have resulted in a different outcome, could result in that Member being liable to surcharge if the decision in question were to be the subject of legal proceedings by a third party.

 

3.8       In terms of interest, there is a distinction to be made between those which are personal and those which arise in respect of a Member’s role in constituency work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3a

3b

Schedule of Meetings 2017 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee approved the following schedule of meetings for the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee during 2017, commencing at 9.30am:

 

Friday, 6th January

Friday, 20th January

Friday, 17th February

Friday, 24th March

Friday, 21st April

Friday, 19th May

Friday, 23rd June

No meeting in July – summer recess

Friday, 18th August

Friday, 22nd September

Friday, 20th October

Friday, 17th November

Friday, 15th December

 

4.

Belfast Agenda

4a

Belfast Agenda Update pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee noted the contents of a report which provided an update on the progress towards the production of the Belfast Agenda (Belfast’s Community Plan) and that the document would be discussed further at a special Strategic Policy and Resources Committee workshop, to which all Members of the Council would be invited, to be held at 9.30am on 28th October. The Committee agreed also to the proposed consultation plan which would include a twelve week public consultation on the Belfast Agenda in order to provide the opportunity for stakeholders and communities to provide feedback, with initial consultation/information events commencing before the end of November, 2016.

 

 

4b

Extension of Sunday Trading Hours pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the undernoted report:

 

1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues

 

1.1      The purpose of this report is to brief the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee on the powers contained within the Shops (Sunday Trading & c) (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 and to seek Committee approval to consult on a proposal to designate the entire Belfast City Council area (or specific parts of the area) as a ‘holiday resort’. 

 

1.2       The effect of this designation would be to extend the Sunday trading hours for large shops on up to 18 Sundays (other than Easter Sunday) between 1 March and 30 September in any calendar year.

   

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is asked to:

 

·        note the contents of the report and the key issues outlined within

·        provide approval for the Council to consult (by way of a public notice) on designating the entire area of Belfast City Council or specific part(s) of the area as a holiday resort under Article 6 of the Shops (Sunday Trading & c) (Northern Ireland) Order 1997


 

 

3.0       Main report

 

            Background

 

3.1      During a recent meeting with the Minister for Communities, Members and Chief Officers indicated that there is a strong lobby within the city (e.g. Belfast Chamber of Commerce) for a review of the current Sunday trading laws which have been in place since 1997.  Such a review would be in the context of boosting the local economy, benefiting the tourism industry and supporting the regeneration of towns and city centres. 

 

3.2       The Minister had to leave the meeting before this item was raised but Departmental officials indicated that there may not be any appetite amongst politicians to amend existing legislation on Sunday trading. 

 

3.3       Members will wish to note however that a provision exists under Article 6 of the current legislation which allows District Councils to designate any area within the district as a ‘holiday resort’ and that large shops in designated holiday resort areas may open at any time on Sunday on up to 18 Sundays (other than Easter Sunday) between 1 March and 30 September.

 

3.4       The following towns - Portrush, Portstewart, Ballycastle, Newry and Kilkeel - and the entire former Derry City Council area have all been designated as ‘holiday resorts’ for this purpose over the past number of years. 

 

            Key Issues

 

            Legislation

 

3.5       The Shops (Sunday Trading &c.) (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 replaced the Shops Act (NI) 1946 and brought the Northern Ireland shops law broadly into line with the corresponding law in England and Wales (the Sunday Trading Act 1994). 

 

            The 1997 Order (copy attached at Appendix 1):

 

-       removes the 1946 Acts restrictions on the goods which may be sold in shops on Sunday

-       allows small shops (floor area not more than 280 sq m) to open at any time on a Sunday

-       allows most large shops (floor area greater than 280 sq m) to open between the hours of 1pm and 6pm on a Sunday (except for Easter Sunday  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4b

4c

Smart Cities - Project to Pilot New Technology pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on June 2016,it had received an update on the Council’s Smart City programme which aimed to: foster a collaborative environment between public and commercial partners for the better collection and exploitation of city data; enhance the existing digital infrastructure; present the city as a test bed for innovation; and build capabilities in using data and smart technologies in the Council.  It was reported that the local SME “See.Sense” had developed an award winning innovative smart sensor which it proposed to fit to the “Belfast Bikes” as part of the project.  The sensors, which used leading edge technology, would allow the Council and its city partners to collect real-time information about such things as road quality, for example, location of pot-holes, commuter behaviour, traffic congestion, sudden stops, near misses and accident hotspots.  Over time, the data would paint a sophisticated picture of the city’s road infrastructure and, in particular, the experience of the city’s thousands of cyclists.

 

            If successful, it would be an international demonstrator that could be exported to other cities across the world.  It would help showcase Belfast’s potential as a test-bed for smart city investment whilst at the same time support local entrepreneurship and provide valuable insights into important issues regarding urban transport.

 

            See.Sense had already been exploring the practicalities of the pilot project with partners including Next Bike.  Cisco and BT had agreed to put in place the infrastructure required to capture the sensor data using a citywide radio system which would test out the foundations required for future smart projects.  BT would provide the data platform in the cloud to hold the data and Queen’s University’s data scientists had agreed to provide the complex data analytics to interpret the real-time data for the Council and its partners, including the Department for Infrastructure which had also agreed to contribute.

 

            The Committee approved a contribution of £10,000 research and development funding for the development of innovative sensor technology across the city to support ongoing analysis of the city’s transport system and to help test technology required to set in place the foundations of a smart Belfast.

 

5.

Physical Programme and Asset Management

5a

Capital Programme Update pdf icon PDF 158 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the undernoted report:

 

“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues

 

1.1        The Council’s Capital Programme is a rolling programme of investment which either improves existing Council facilities or provides new Council facilities. This report outlines highlights of current status of projects under the Programme and projects recommended to be moved on the Capital Programme


 

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       Members are asked to –

 

            General

 

·        Note the update in relation to the Capital Programme as outlined in 3.1 and that the Property & Projects Department is happy to arrange site visits for Members/ Party Groups to any capital programme project. 

 

            Proposed movements on the Capital Programme

 

-       agree that the Secure Web Architecture Firewall Technology Refresh IT project is moved to ‘Stage 3 – Committed Projects – Schemes at Tender Preparation Stage’ on the Capital Programme and agree that the necessary procurement processes (including the invitation of tenders and/or the use of appropriate ‘framework’ arrangements) be initiated with contracts to be awarded on the basis of most economically advantageous tenders received and full commitment to deliver. The Director of Finance & Resources has confirmed that this is within the affordability limits of the Council. Members are asked to note that the project is required to ensure business continuity and service provision. (Section 3.3)

-       Fleet Programme – note that in 2014 it was agreed to lease 10 temporary additional assets (2 RCVs and 8 medium mechanical sweepers) to ensure service continuity for Cleansing Services.  The assets were leased from Riverside Ltd on a three year basis with the costs being funded from the standard capital replacement budget.  Cleansing Services have confirmed that they will continue to require these assets and there is an opportunity to purchase these at a reduced cost at the end of the lease period. Members are asked to agree that discussions are undertaken with Riverside Ltd to agree a reduced purchase price on the basis of the 3 years of depreciation which have occurred and that subject to a satisfactory price being agreed that the assets are purchased. Members are asked to note that the costs will be funded from the 2017/2018 Fleet Replacement Budget which has already been ringfenced (£2.1m) and the Director of Finance & Resources has agreed that this is within the affordability limits of the Council. Members are asked to note that this proposal will not increase the current size of the BCC fleet

 

            Leisure Programme

 

-       Templemore - note that the Council has been successful in its Round 1 application for the restoration and extension of Templemore Baths under the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Enterprise scheme and will now receive a development grant of £380,000 to work up detailed proposal for the project

-       Church Lane - agree to the grant of a sublease between the Council and GLL, who will operate the new gym at Church Lane

-       Note that a detailed report on the leisure programme, including the outcomes from the current consultation exercise, will be brought to Committee next  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5a

5b

'Investing in your Areas Event Proposal pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the following report:

 

“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues

 

1.1        Members are aware that the Council has invested significantly over the past 4 years in the city in physical projects with plans for further investment.  While there is often good publicity around individual projects once they are completed it has been highlighted by Members on a number of occasions that the full extent of the Council’s investment, both citywide and in individual areas, is not being recognised.  It is also important that the Council’s physical programme is not seen as simply the building of buildings but that it is fundamentally about the benefits and outcomes of this investment.

 

1.2        It has therefore been suggested at several of the AWGs that an event(s) is held to showcase the Council’s physical investment including the latest round of BIF commitments.  It is envisaged that this will be similar to the previous LIF event that was held in 2013 at the start of the LIF programme and will be opportunity for both Members/community groups to showcase their projects and the investment in local areas.  Importantly such an event would also be an opportunity to highlight the programming of physical projects and how the Council’s capital investment in projects is actively transforming lives and changing and regenerating local areas.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is asked to –

 

·        agree that a series of events are held to showcase physical investments and how they have already benefited/will benefit local areas to include

 

·        a citywide event in the City Hall in mid/late November (date currently being agreed – Members will be verbally updated on this at Committee) to coincided with the half year corporate plan updates and the half year finance review . It is proposed that all Groups who have received in principle commitments for funding under BIF together with a range of LIF2 projects and all Members are invited to this event.

·        As part of this Members are asked to agree to the commissioning of a video for LIF and BIF projects using the community groups who have benefited from the investment and allowing them the opportunity to highlight the real difference this has made to their work.  The video will then be a resource which can be used on the Council’s website, through social media etc.

·        a series of focused area events in the North/South/East and West to be held in the New Year – these events will provide an opportunity to go into detail on local projects and other investments in local areas including both revenue initiatives and other capital investments by partner agencies including BRT/DfC/Urban Villages/SIF etc.  These sessions will be a mechanism for Members to start to connect physical investments to the work which is being taken forward on area planning and ensuring that the investment in capital projects helps to deliver on the outcomes under the Belfast Agenda.  Members will be kept up to date on the arrangements for these sessions

 

·        agree  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5b

5c

Area Working Update pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Property and Projects submitted for the Committee’s consideration the following report:


 

 

“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues

 

1.1        To update Members on a number of area related issues for Members consideration.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is asked to –

 

            AWG minutes

 

·        approve the most recent round AWG Minutes (South – 19th September; West – 29th September, North – 5th October and East – 6th October).

 

            Local Investment Fund

 

·        agree the recommendations from the North AWG in relation to LIF funding (Section 3.2)

·        note the additional projects which have been scored (Section 3.3) which have met the minimum threshold and agree that these are progressed to due-diligence

·        note that the LIF programme has been shortlisted for the Independent Property Excellence Awards 2016 under the category of ‘Community Benefit Project of the Year’

 

            Belfast Investment Fund

 

·        agree the recommendations from the West, North and East AWGs in relation to BIF as below

 

 

PROJECT

CURRENT STAGE

RECOMMENDATIONS 

WEST

Glencairn Community

project

Stage 2 – Uncommitted 

Agree to ringfence £700k for this project out of the £1.2m agreed allocation for projects in the Court DEA

Royal British Legion 

N/A

Add as Stage 1- Emerging to allow feasibility to be worked up and to ringfence £500k for this project out of the £1.2m agreed allocation for projects in the Court DEA

NORTH

Former LIDL site

N/A

Add as Stage 1- Emerging to allow feasibility to be worked up

Sunningdale Community Centre

N/A

Add as Stage 1- Emerging to allow feasibility to be worked up

Old Grove - Shared Community Hub Basement Youth Club /Midland Boxing Club

 

Add as Stage 1- Emerging to allow feasibility to be worked up

EAST

Strand Cinema

Stage 2 – Uncommitted 

Move to Stage 3 – Committed with a maximum allocation of £1,800,000 to be ring-fenced for a period of two years, with an option to extend by a further year on the basis that it received additional funding from other sources which would enable the project to proceed.

Remaining allocation - £330k

The East AWG also recommended that of its remaining £330k allocation that £130k of this is ringfenced for pre-contract work on projects and the remaining £200k is ringfenced for contingency

 

 

·        East - Members are asked to note that there is no remaining capacity to fund additional projects in the East (with the exception of the £2m ringfenced for the Outer East) and it recommended that no further projects are considered for funding by the East AWG under its BIF.

 

·        note that an outcomes framework for all the BIF projects is currently under development and will be launched at the proposed event to mark physical investments and their benefits (see separate paper on the agenda for discussion today)

 

3.0       Main report

 

            KEY ISSUES

 

3.1       AREA WORKING GROUP UPDATES

 

            Members agreed in June that the Area Working Group minutes would be taken into the SP&R Committee for approval going forward in line with the Council’s commitment to openness and transparency and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5c

5d

Assets Report pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            Lands at Church Road, Castlereagh

 

            The Committee granted approval to the disposal of 0.68 acres of land at Church Road, Castlereagh to the Department for Infrastructure to facilitate a new footpath at that location in the sum of £8,000, plus reasonable legal costs, which would exclude compensation for any disturbance that might be caused by and during the works which would be assessed on completion.

 

            Illumination of “Origin”, a New Art Work in Cavehill Country Park

 

            The Committee granted a licence and easement to Cultúrlann McAdam ÓFiaich to install a mains powered illumination at the recently unveiled “Origin” sculpture in the Cavehill Country Park in Belfast, with An Cultúrlann accepting responsibility for the installation, maintenance and operational costs associated with the Illumination project and to the maintenance of the “Origin” sculpture being retained by the Council.

 

            Proposed Disposal of Primrose Street Former

            Civic Amenity Site

 

            The Committee approved the disposal of the former Civic Amenity Site at 27 Primrose Street at a cost of £30,000.

 

            Proposed Surrender of Lease from The Royal British Legion at

            Bapaume Avenue Cenotaph and Title Rectification

 

            The Committee approved the surrender of the lease from The Royal British Legion at Bapaume Avenue Cenotaph and the transfer of a small portion of land from adjoining land owners for the purpose of regularising the title in order to reflect the physical boundaries of the lands on the ground.

 

            Proposed Acquisition of Land at Colin Valley

            Football Club, Poleglass

 

            The Committee approved the acquisition of an 0.14 acre plot of land from the Collin Valley Football Club to facilitate a new children’s playground, with the land being transferred for a nominal consideration and the Council accepting a 50% maintenance liability on the access road and shared car parking facilities.

 

5e

City Hall Update - Creation of New Exhibition/Memorabilia Update pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the undernoted report:

 

“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues

 

1.1      Members will be aware that work on the creation of the new Exhibition/Memorabilia Area in the East side of the City Hall building has commenced and is on schedule, with the facility due to open to the public in May 2017.

 

1.2       Members will also be aware from previous reports that the placement of the facility presents problems of access and control for those seeking to manage it, because of the number of points of entry and egress (front door, courtyard/back door, East entrance, Bobbin corridor and East staircase).

 

1.3       This report therefore seeks the Committee’s approval to close the East entrance (while still permitting exit) on the basis that, on balance, it improves the operating environment for the exhibition facility and minimises the associated control difficulties.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is asked to:

 

·        Agree to close the East entrance of the City Hall once the Exhibition Area is fully operational, and to review the out-workings of this approach at a later date (not later than 31st October 2017) before any final decision is taken on the matter.

·        Agree to make an offer to LOAF Ltd to provide the franchised catering service in the refurbished Bobbin area for a period not to exceed 6 months on the rates prevailing at the termination of the previous contract, and not to require the invitation of quotations for this work on the basis of the very temporary nature of the service, the goodwill created by LOAF and their previous experience in operating the facility.

 

3.0       Main report

 

3.1      It is clear that, as a dedicated Tours & Exhibitions Reception area will be provided at the front of the building and as the full route commences from that point, it is preferable to have most/all visitors arrive at that point if possible. Here they can be greeted by dedicated exhibition staff, pay for headset hire, merchandising and printed souvenir building guides etc and commence the full exhibition from the intended start point. This approach is strongly advocated by Redhead, the council’s consultants on the project.

 

3.2       If the East entrance were to remain open, it raises the possibility that either individuals or groups of visitors – or indeed the larger organized groups – may enter via the East despite whatever signage and marketing messages are used. Where this happens it would create obvious difficulties as these individuals would then start to move the ‘wrong’ way around the tour route to find Reception and hire headsets etc, thus causing un-necessary bottlenecks and over-crowding. It would also make it more difficult to accurately assess the numbers of visitors in the facility if we have flows of visitors going in both directions. Some of the other principal advantages and disadvantages are set out below for the Committee’s consideration:-

 

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

Offers best customer experience if most/all customers arrive through the front doors rather than in East area - also aids  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5e

5f

Solar Powered Charging Points in the City Hall Grounds pdf icon PDF 311 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee was advised that, following the implementation of Belfast Wi-Fi in the City Hall and with the impending extension of the Belfast Wi-Fi service into the grounds of the City Hall and throughout the city centre, the number of mobile devices being used in and around the City Hall was growing rapidly.  In its first year the City Hall had been the most popular of the Belfast Wi-Fi sites, with approximately 240,000 unique users connecting to the free Wi-Fi service, with those figures continuing to grow.

 

            The Director of Finance and Resources reported that there was a growing trend, particularly in the United States, to locate mobile device charging stations in areas where the use of public Wi-Fi was very popular.  The Council had been approached by a company called, Environmental Street Furniture (ESF), in partnership with the media advertising company Bravo, with a proposal to locate solar powered charging stations as a pilot in the grounds of the City Hall.  The pilot would allow the Council to review the popularity of charging stations and the added value that they would bring for visitors to the City Hall.

 

            The Committee agreed to:

 

·        Install 2 solar powered charging stations in the Grounds of the City Hall as a pilot for 6 months, at a cost of £2,000 which would be covered by the existing Smart City revenue budget, to determine their suitability and popularity; and

·        Authorise investigation of longer-term funding for the roll-out of charging stations across the city through sponsorship opportunities should the pilot prove to be successful

 

6.

Finance, Procurement and Performance

6a

Finance and Efficiency Programme Update pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Minutes:

            The Director of Finance and Resources submitted for the Committee’s consideration the following report:

 

“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues

 

1.1        The purpose of this report is to:

 

·        Provide an update on the key financial factors to be considered when setting the district rate for 2017/18

·        Outline the next steps in the rate setting process.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is asked to note:

 

·        Progress on the 2017/18 estimates and the key issues being considered

·        The impact of uncontrollable costs and the contracting rate base

·        Further updates will be provided to Committee as part of the 2017/18 rate setting process.

 

3.0       Main report

 

3.1       The development of the revenue estimates for 2017/18 commenced in August 2016 when Committee considered key drivers to the rate setting process and agreed the £2m efficiency programme. Five key areas require consideration for 2017/18:

 

1.     Uncontrollable Costs

2.     Other Costs / Income

3.     The Efficiency Programme

4.     The Rate Base, and

5.     The Level of Reserves

 

3.2       Pay Bill Costs

 

            The Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance and Resources advised Committee in August that uncontrollable pay bill costs of £2,194,908 could be anticipated in 2017/18. This figure has reduced to £1,356,192 as a consequence of NILGOSC’s decision to hold the employers pension contribution at 2016/17 levels of 20%.

 

            Other Increased Costs / Loss of Income

 

3.3       As part of the estimating process work will continue between Departments and Central Finance to assess the impact of other financial pressures on the District Rate. These include:

 

1.     Central Government Grants

2.     Waste Disposal Costs

3.     Belfast Agenda

4.     Capital Investment / Financing  / Whole Life Costs

5.     Accommodation

6.     Departmental Growth

7.     Non Recurring Expenditure

 

            Efficiency Programme

 

            The Strategic Policy and Resources Committee on 19th August 2016 agreed the following work strands and targeted savings for 2017/18 which amount to £2.0m:

 

1.     Voluntary Redundancy - £1m

2.     Procurement and Spend Management -£500k

3.     Rates Maximisation -£100k

4.     Planning Advertising -£150k

5.     Marketing / Spend Management -£50k

6.     Budgetary Challenge -£200k

 

            It is anticipated that the efficiency target of £2.0m will be achieved for 2017/18. Details of the savings will be brought to Committee in November.

 

3.5       The Rate Base

 

            Members will recall that the Quarter 1 budget monitoring report presented to Strategic Policy and Resources Committee in August advised of a £1m forecast shortfall in district rate income. At the beginning of October the Director of Finance and senior finance officers met with the Chief Executive of LPS and his senior staff to discuss an updated forecast for this financial year and to consider the impact of the tax base on the district rate for 2017/18.

 

            LPS have now confirmed that the non-domestic rate base is contracting whilst the domestic rate base is showing slight growth of less than one per cent. It is therefore anticipated that there could be a potential claw back of up to £2m for 2016/17 and that a district rate of 1 penny will yield less in 2017/18  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6a

6b

Contracts for Award pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee:

 

·        Approved the public advertisement and acceptance of tenders as listed in Appendix 1, Table 1 through the Council’s electronic procurement system;

·        Granted delegated authority to the appropriate Director, using pre-agreed criteria, to accept the most economically advantageous tender and allow extensions for contracts under review as per Table 2; and

·        Approved the award of the contract outlined in Appendix 1 that had been carried out by arc21 on behalf of the Council.


 

 

 

Appendix 1 - Schedule of tenders for consideration

 

Table 1 - New tenders

 

Title of tender

Senior Responsible Officer

Proposed contract duration

Provision of mobile phones

Ronan Cregan

3 years

Advertising of planning applications

Phil Williams

2 years plus 2

MTC for mechanical services

Gerry Millar

1 year plus option to renew for a further 2 years

MTC for installation of new metal fencing

Gerry Millar

1 year plus option to renew for a further 2 years

Supply and delivery of trees

Nigel Grimshaw

1 year plus option to renew for a further 2 years

Masterplanning Expertise

Nuala Gallagher

1 year

 

Table 2 - Contracts for extension of contract period

 

Title of tender

Director Responsible

Proposed extension

Provision of animal healthcare service for the Zoo

Nigel Grimshaw

1 year

 

Table 3 – Tenders awarded by Arc21 on behalf of the Council

 

Title of tender

Director Responsible

Proposed extension

Supply and delivery of wheeled refuse collection containers, bottle banks and other supplies contracts

Nigel Grimshaw

12 months with the option to renew for up to a further 12 months

 

7.

Equality and Good Relations

7a

Shared City Partnership pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee approved and adopted the minutes and the recommendations of the Shared City Partnership meeting held on 10th October, 2016, including :

 

·        That the proposed retention of funding as outlined in the minutes be endorsed and allocated to the listed organisations which had took park in the 2016 Bonfire Programme;

·        The allocation of £29,286.50 to 46 organisations through the St Patrick’s Day Celebration grant programme;

·        Funding of £4,920 being allocated to the 22nd Old Boys Football Club for funding to transform a mural on the Woodvale Road; and

·        A one off payment to the West Belfast Athletic and Cultural Society of £2,900.00 towards the repair costs of the Northumberland Street art piece.

 

7b

American Troops - Request to Mark 75th Anniversary of Arrival in Belfast pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee was advised that, following receipt of correspondence from Councillor Craig requesting the Council to consider marking the aforementioned event on January, 2017, officers had been asked to bring forward options on how the event could be commemorated.

 

            Information had been presented at the Diversity Working Group meeting in August and Members had then agreed to consider the 75th anniversary as part of the wider discussions around future commemorations.  However, in the interim, given the timeframe involved, the Members had requested that the item be placed on the agenda of the next meeting of the working group for consideration.  As the working group did not meet in October, the request was being submitted to the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee for consideration.

 

            The Members were reminded that officers had been in discussion with a senior official from the US Consulate in Belfast regarding the anniversary who had indicated that the consulate did not have any plans to initiate specific events marking the anniversary.  It was pointed out also that the presence of American troops was already commemorated by a memorial in the grounds of the City Hall which was originally erected on 26th January 1943 and placed at the gateway of the City Hall.  It had been rededicated at its present location by President Clinton in 1995.  In addition, a memorial garden at Lisnabreeny had also been acquired through the Local Government Reform process.

 

            The Committee agreed to:

 

·        A small-scale event at the Dockside which would need to take place in consultation with the Harbour Commission;

·        A letter being sent from the Lord Mayor to the family of Milburn Henke, the first US soldier to set foot off the boat in Belfast;

·        A small dance programme in the Ulster Hall (if available); and

·        A small lunch to be held by the Lord Mayor.

 

8.

Operational Issues

8a

Minutes of the Budget and Transformation Panel pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee approved and adopted the minutes of the meeting of the Budget and Transformation Panel of 13th October, 2016.

 

8b

Minutes of the Meeting of the Active Belfast Limited Board pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee noted the minutes of the meeting of the Active Belfast Limited Board of 13th October, 2016.

 

8c

Requests for the use of the City Hall and the Provision of Hospitality pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee adopted the recommendations for the requests for the use of the City Hall and the provision of hospitality as set out below:

 

Appendix 1

 

Organisation/ Body

Event/Date - Number of Delegates/Guests

Request

Comments

Recommendation

Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports and Exercise Medicine

Conference Reception Event

5th October, 2017

Approximately 100 attending

The use of the City Hall and the provision of hospitality in the form of a pre-dinner drinks reception

Delegates will be staying in accommodation in Belfast and the Congress will take place within the city.

This event would contribute to the Council’s Key Themes of ‘City Leadership – Strong, Fair, Together’.

The use of the City Hall and the provision of hospitality in the form of a pre-dinner drinks reception

Approximate cost £500

British Dermatological Nursing Group

Annual Conference Dinner Dance and Awards

14th June, 2017 (Provisional)

Approximately 300 attending

The use of the City Hall and the provision of hospitality in the form of a pre-dinner drinks reception

Delegates will be staying in accommodation in Belfast and the Congress will take place within the city.

This event would contribute to the Council’s Key Themes of ‘City Leadership – Strong, Fair, Together’.

The use of the City Hall and the provision of hospitality in the form of a pre-dinner drinks reception

Approximate cost £500

Girlguiding Belfast

Belfast County Girlguiding Awards Ceremony

26th April, 2017

Approximately 250 attending

The use of the City Hall and the provision of hospitality in the form of tea/coffee and biscuits

This event seeks to recognise the achievements of Guides and their Leaders.  Awards being presented include Queen’s Guide, Duke of Edinburgh, Baden Powell Award for Guides and Long Service Awards for Leaders.

This event would contribute to the Council’s Key Themes of ‘City Leadership, Strong, Fair and Together’ and ‘Better opportunities for success’ and in addition would contribute to the Council’s thematic area of Children and Young People.

The use of the City Hall and the provision of hospitality in the form of tea/coffee and biscuits

Approximate cost £625

Young Enterprise Northern Ireland

Young Enterprise Northern Ireland Innovation Awards

4th May, 2017

Approximately 400 attending

The use of the City Hall and the provision of hospitality in the form of a drinks reception

This event will celebrate the achievements of a cross-section of young people from the community, many of whom have learning and physical disabilities.  The programme provides the opportunity to showcase the unique talents of the participants while clearly communicating that a lack of academic success does not equate to failure.

This event would contribute to the Council’s key themes ‘City Leadership - strong, fair, together’ and of ‘Better support for people and communities’ and in addition would contribute to the Council’s thematic area of Children and Young People.

The use of the City Hall and the provision of hospitality in the form of a drinks reception

Approximate cost of £500

Rosario YFC

50th Anniversary Gala Dinner Dance

27th May, 2017

Approximately 400 attending

The use  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8c

 

Contact us
Democratic Services
028 9027 0497
Democratic Services
Belfast City Hall
Belfast
BT1 5GS