Agenda and minutes

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

            Apologies were reported on behalf of the High Sheriff (Councillor Long) and Councillor Carson.

 

2.

Minutes

Minutes:

            The minutes of the meeting of 22nd January were taken as read and signed as correct.  It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 1st February, subject to the omission of those matters in respect of which the Council had delegated its powers to the Committee.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

            Alderman Haire declared an interest in respect of item 8b, Requests for the Use of the City Hall and the Provision of Hospitality, insofar as it related to an application from the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast, on the basis that he was a Trustee of that organisation, and left the meeting whilst the matter was being considered.

 

4.

Restricted Items

Minutes:

            The information contained in the reports associated with the following eleven items is restricted in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.

 

      Resolved – That the Committee agrees to exclude the members of the Press and public from the meeting during discussion of these items as, due to the nature of the items, there would be a disclosure of exempt information as described in Section 42(4) and Section 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.

 

 

5.

Draft Consultation Response – DfI Living With Water in Belfast

Minutes:

            The Chief Executive submitted for the Committee’s approval the Council’s draft response to the Living With Water in Belfast consultation document, which would inform the overall Strategic Drainage Infrastructure Plan for Belfast. Representatives of the Living With Water Programme had attended the Committee meeting in October to review the consultation document and had presented it to each of the four Area Working Groups in early January. The Council’s draft response had been informed by the discussion at those meetings.

 

            She pointed out that the following deputation from the Department for Infrastructure and NI Water was in attendance in order to provide a presentation on the issues raised within the Council’s response and wider capacity issues within Belfast:

 

·        Ms. L. MacHugh, Acting Deputy Secretary, Department for Infrastructure;

 

·        Ms. S. Venning, Chief Executive, NI Water;

 

·        Mr. S. Richardson, Living With Water Programme Director, Department for Infrastructure; and

 

·        Mr. P. Brow, Head of Living With Water, NI Water.

 

            The Committee was informed that the current Minister for Infrastructure was fully committed to the Living With Water Programme, as a means of delivering a new, strategic, long-term approach to drainage and wastewater management to protect from flooding, provide a cleaner and greener environment and ensure that Belfast was open for business and investment.

 

            It was reported that the Living With Water in Belfast consultation period had closed on 29th January and that twenty-seven responses had been received to date, the majority of which had been supportive of the proposals set out within the document. A number of organisations, including the Council, had been granted additional time in which to submit their response. The next steps in the process were outlined and it was anticipated that Executive approval of the final plan would be secured in May/June.

 

            In terms of funding, it was estimated currently that £1.4 billion would be needed to deliver all elements of the integrated drainage proposals over the next twelve years and the point was made that capital funding for NI Water had not, for some time, kept pace with Northern Ireland’s needs.

 

            The Committee was provided also with details on the findings of the annual review of the capacity of waste water treatment works for Belfast for 2020 and on a risk mitigation plan which had been implemented in October, 2020. The presentation concluded by referring to a waste water system capacity constraints map for Belfast and outlining the measures which NI Water had put in place to mitigate those constraints.

 

            The deputation was thanked by the Chairperson, following which the Committee noted the information which had been provided and approved the following response to the Living With Water in Belfast consultation:

 

Strategic Drainage Infrastructure Plan –

Consultation Response

 

General Comments

 

Belfast City Council welcomes the opportunity to respond to this strategic consultation.  Long term investment in drainage and waste water infrastructure is required to meet the ambition for growth of the City and to alleviate the impacts of climate change.

 

We support the adoption of an approach  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Revenue Estimates and District Rate 2021-22

Minutes:

The Committee:

 

                            i.confirmed the following cash limits, as agreed by the Committee at its meeting on 22nd January:

 

a.      a cash limit of £45,309,102 for the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee for 2021/22, including £3,270,000 for Belfast Investment Fund and £2,500,000 for City Deal;

 

b.      a cash limit of £83,949,408 for the People and Communities Committee for 2021/22;

 

c.      a cash limit of £18,237,846 for the City Growth and Regeneration Committee for 2021/22;

 

d.      a cash limit of £1,362,893 for the Planning Committee for 2021/22; and

 

e.      a Capital Financing Budget of £21,774,022 for 2021/22;

 

                          ii.          agreed that the increase in the District Rate for 2021/22 should be 1.92%, based on an estimated penny product of £6,459,786, meaning a non-domestic rate of 26.4147 and a domestic rate of 0.3459 and that the amount raised through the district rate in 2021/22 will be £165,173,988;

 

                         iii.          noted the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance and Resource’s statement on the adequacy of the Council’s reserves position and the robustness of the revenue estimates, as required by the Local Government Finance Act (Northern Ireland) 2011;

 

                         iv.          noted the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement, as required by the Local Government (Capital Finance and Accounting) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011; and

 

                          v.          agreed that the aforementioned decisions should not be subject to call in, as it would cause an unreasonable delay in striking the rate by the legislative deadline of 1st March 2021, which would be prejudicial to the Council’s and the public’s interest.

 

7.

Finance Update

Minutes:

            The Director of Finance and Resources submitted for the Committee’s consideration a report which provided an update under each of the five steps which had, in June, 2020, been adopted as a financial management approach to manage the impact of Covid-19 upon the Council’s finances.  The report provided also details of the revenue outturn for Quarter 3 2020/21 and on the progress of a potential VAT refund claim and had recommended that, in light of the mitigation measures which had been put in place for 2021/22, the Council revert to the normal quarterly financial reporting process, as set out in section G.12 of the Financial Regulations.  

 

            The Committee noted the information which had been provided and adopted the recommendation.

 

8.

Update on Licence Fees

Minutes:

            The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on 22nd January, it had approved criteria to assess applications for rent relief in respect of its own estate and that a cap on this had been established. That relief could be of benefit to those leaseholders across the Council estate who could demonstrate that they were suffering financially as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Committee had agreed also that officers should examine the potential for including other businesses, such as street traders.

 

            The Chief Executive explained that street traders and licence applicants for, for example, amusement arcades, cinemas, entertainment venues, pavement cafés and petrol stations did not have a lease with the Council. Instead, they were required by law to apply to the Council for a licence, which was approved by the Licensing Committee and managed through the Building Control Service. Relief did not, therefore, apply in those cases. 

 

            In terms of the measures which the Council had put in place over the course of the pandemic to assist licence holders, the Chief Executive confirmed that application fees for temporary pavement café licences had been waived and that those wishing to renew their Street Trading Licence or Entertainments Licence had been provided with the option of either paying their fee or having it deferred until a later date. It was envisaged that those arrangements would remain in place until at least 31st March. In addition, the Department for Communities had, on 10th February, confirmed that it was amending the fee requirements for all Entertainments Licences for 2021/22, to the effect that renewal applications would, from 6th April, incur a nominal fee of £1, as opposed to a maximum potential fee of £2,000.

 

            After discussion, the Committee noted the information which had been provided and agreed that a report be submitted to its next meeting indicating whether there were any additional ways in which licensed street traders could be supported. 

 

9.

Update on Managing Organisational Capacity and Covid-19

Minutes:

The Committee noted the contents of a report which highlighted the activities associated with the ongoing management of and response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the recovery approach being adopted for 2021/22 and provided a number of service specific updates.   

10.

Recruitment of Director (Operational) of Planning and Building Control

Minutes:

            The Committee was informed that Mr. Aidan Thatcher, the current Director (Operational) of Planning and Building Control, would be leaving the Council shortly to take up a post with Wigan Council.

 

            The Committee noted the timeline for the recruitment of the post and agreed that the selection panel should comprise:

 

                            i.          the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of the Planning Committee (or their nominees);

 

                          ii.          a Member of the Planning Committee from a Political Party not represented by the Chairperson or the Deputy Chairperson; and

 

                         iii.          the Chief Executive (or her nominee) and a Director.

 

11.

Destination Hub – Update on Outline Business Case

Minutes:

            (Mr. A. Reid, Strategic Director of Place and Economy, and Ms. W. Langham, Programme Director, attended in connection with this item.)

 

            The Strategic Director of Place and Economy reminded the Committee that the Belfast Destination Hub was Belfast’s key project under the tourism and regeneration pillar of the Belfast Region City Deal. The project mirrored the ambition of the Belfast Agenda and the Belfast City Centre Regeneration and Investment Strategy to deliver a second world-class visitor attraction and would generate additional tourist spend and footfall in the City centre.

 

            He reviewed the main components of the Destination Hub and the associated capital spend and confirmed that the Outline Business Case, which had been completed in December, 2020, had been found to be compliant with HM Treasury’s Business Case Guidance framework for preparing business cases and with the Northern Ireland Guide to Expenditure Appraisal and Evaluation. The Hub concept, together with the architectural design, had been completed to RIBA Stage 1 – Strategic Brief, in line with the Outline Business Case process.

 

            The Programme Director stated that the City Deal Executive Board had agreed recently that the Destination Hub Outline Business Case would be one of the seven projects within the Belfast Region City Deal’s Tourism and Regeneration pillar to be recommended for inclusion in the Deal Document. However, the detail and timelines for the City Deal funding approval process were still being worked through with the Department of Finance. In anticipation of securing City Deal funding, an appropriate site needed to be secured, in order to enable building designs and associated costs to progress to RIBA Stage 2. Options for site acquisition were currently under consideration and would be presented in due course to the Committee. She concluded by outlining the draft programme which would lead ultimately to the completion in 2026 of the Destination Hub.

 

            The Committee noted the information which had been provided. 

 

12.

Covid-19 Community Support Funding

Minutes:

            (Mr. R. Black, Director of Neighbourhood Services, attended in connection with this item.)

 

            The Director of Neighbourhood Services reminded the Committee that both the Council and Central Government had provided community and voluntary partners with a significant amount of additional funding to support vulnerable individuals, families and communities who had been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. That support had extended primarily to food provision and access to food, financial assistance for fuel/utilities and connectivity.

 

            He explained that those partners had worked tirelessly to ensure that the committed funding had had the desired effect. However, the problems posed by the current extended restrictions and the fact that significant amounts of Department for Communities’ funding had only been awarded in December/January had created a situation whereby the expectation of full delivery by 31st March, 2021 would not be possible in all circumstances. That applied also to many micro grant recipients and to some Strategic Area and Community and Thematic Partners.

 

            In line with the Committee’s decision of 10th December, the Chief Executive had written to the Permanent Secretary within the Department for Communities to highlight the aforementioned difficulties and had requested a delivery extension until 30th September for all community/voluntary grant recipients.

 

            He confirmed that a response to that letter had yet to be received and, therefore, recommended that the Committee grant approval to write to all grant recipients to inform them that the delivery period had been extended until 30th September. Should the Department for Communities fail to grant the required extension, the Council would still maximise the available Central Government grant funding up to 31st March, as set out within the report, with any remaining amounts to be covered by 2021/22 Departmental budgets.

 

            The Committee adopted the recommendation.   

 

13.

Bonfire Approach 2021

Minutes:

            (Mr. R. Black, Director of Neighbourhood Services, attended in connection with this item.)

 

The Committee was reminded that, in April, 2018, it had approved governance and delegation arrangements in relation to a range of bonfire-related work. That had been followed in August, 2018 by further clarification of governance arrangements relating to August bonfires/bonfire material on land owned by the Council, other agencies and private organisations. In order to ensure that this approach was followed, officers had developed an overall programme of work, with individual work streams and associated governance structures, to ensure that senior officers were aware of decisions which could be taken under delegated authority and those which required Committee approval. Those arrangements still stood, including the delegation by the Council of authority to the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee.

 

The Director of Neighbourhood Services reported that, with the likelihood that the Covid-19 restrictions would be extended, the delivery of all elements of the programme of work for 2021 might not be possible. In line with the aforementioned guidelines, officers would commence work on the following:

·        Strategic Interagency Approach/Community Engagement;

 

·        Operational Delivery;

 

·        Funded Programmes; and

 

·        Communications.

 

He recommended that the Committee approve this approach for 2021 and confirmed that a report would be presented to the meeting in March providing details of the specifics of the bonfire approach and the key decisions required for 2021, including alternative funding arrangements, should the Covid-19 restrictions continue.

After discussion, it was

Moved by Councillor Lyons,

Seconded by Councillor Heading,

 

      That the Committee agrees to include the work which was being undertaken through the City Growth and Regeneration Committee around the stimulation and animation of the City in any revised bonfire funding arrangements.  

 

            On a recorded vote, six Members voted for the proposal and twelve against and it was declared lost.

 

For 6

 

Against 12

Councillors Groogan, Heading, Lyons, McAllister and McDonough-Brown.

 

 

 

 

Councillor Black (Chairperson);

Aldermen Dorrian, Haire, Kingston and Sandford; and Councillors Beattie, Bunting, Garrett, McLaughlin, Murphy, Pankhurst and Walsh.

 

            The Committee approved the proposed bonfire approach, as outlined, and noted the information which had been provided by the Director of Neighbourhood Services around the measures which the multi-agency task force would implement to address issues such as illegal music events over the course of the bonfire season. 

 

14.

Brexit and Port Health - Transition Update

Minutes:

            The Committee noted the contents of a report which:

 

                            i.          outlined the key areas being pursued with the United Kingdom/Northern Ireland Governments, including the need for oversight and leadership around issues for Local Government in delivering statutory Port Health/competent authority role in implementing official Control Regulations;

 

                          ii.          confirmed that the City Solicitor had, on behalf of Local Government, sought a legal opinion on the specific responsibilities and accountabilities conferred on councils, under the European Union Brexit Agreement and Northern Ireland Protocol;

 

                         iii.          provided details of correspondence which the Council had been issued to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and to the Food Standards Agency, setting out key areas of collective concern which required urgent resolution and outlining the estimated budget for the period 2021/22; and

 

                         iv.          provided information on a report which had, on 11th February, been presented to the Brexit Committee examining the challenges faced by and the support given to the business community in the context of Brexit.

 

            The Committee noted also that the Chief Executive would request from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs a copy of any documents relating to security concerns/considerations which had been taken into account before it had removed its staff from port health inspection duties. 

 

15.

Independent Investigation relating to the Events at Roselawn Cemetery on 30th June, 2020

(A copy of the investigation report has already been forwarded to Members)

Minutes:

            The Chief Executive drew the Committee’s attention to a report which had been published by Mr. Peter Coll QC on the outcome of an investigation which had been commissioned by the Council into events at Roselawn Cemetery on 30th June, 2020. The report had been published on the previous day and a copy had been forwarded to all Members of the Council.

 

            She referred to that part of the report relating to the lessons to be learned from those events and the recommendations to be implemented to prevent a recurrence and requested the Committee to consider the recommendations, as a basis for implementation. The Committee would receive progress reports on a regular basis moving forward.

 

            After a lengthy discussion, the Committee agreed that, rather than endorsing the recommendations at this stage, a report be submitted to its next meeting outlining how they would be implemented and monitored and reflecting a number of issues which had been raised by Members.

 

            The Committee agreed that Council officers would arrange for any Political Party, who so wished, to be briefed by Mr. Coll QC and a number indicated that they wished to avail of of that. It was noted that a copy of the report could be obtained, upon request, from the City Solicitor’s office. 

 

16.

Matters referred back from Council/Motions

Minutes:

            Apologies were reported on behalf of Councillors Beattie, Keenan and Kennedy.

 

17.

Motion: Pay for Student Nurses - Response from Department of Health pdf icon PDF 401 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee was reminded that the Council, at its meeting on 1st December, had passed the following motion on Pay for Student Nurses, which had been proposed by Councillor Groogan and seconded by Councillor O’Hara:

 

“This Council recognises the efforts of student nurses throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, stepping up to help our NHS cope with the extra pressures put on it by the pandemic and providing invaluable support to qualified nurses in our hospitals.

 

The Council notes also that student nurses were paid during the first wave of the pandemic, as they should have been, in recognition of their commitment and work caring for people.

 

The Council believes that student nurses should be paid a fair and proper wage for their work and agrees to write to the Minister of Health stating our support for reinstating the pay to student nurses as a matter of urgency.”

 

            The City Solicitor drew the Committee’s attention to a response which had been received from Mr. P. Barbour, Assistant Director of Workforce Policy, on behalf of the Minister of Health.

 

            Mr. Barbour had referred the Council to the Minister’s announcement on 27th January of a special recognition payment of £2,000 to be made to all qualifying healthcare students who had been on special pre-registration programmes during the period from 1st October, 2020 to 31st March, 2021. The qualifying courses were, it had been pointed out, the nursing and midwifery, Allied Health Professions, Social Work and Physician Associate pre-registration programmes commissioned by the Department of Health from Queen’s University and the Ulster University.

 

            The Committee noted the response.

 

18.

Motion: Proposed Future Development – Writers’ Square – Response from Department for Communities pdf icon PDF 399 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            (Prior to this report being presented, the City Solicitor advised those Members who were also on the Planning Committee that they should remove themselves from the meeting, should it become a matter of discussion. However, as no issues were raised, they were not required to do so.) 

 

The Committee was reminded that the Council, at its meeting on 1st February, had passed the following motion on the Proposed Future Development of Writers’ Square, which had been proposed by Councillor Groogan and seconded by Councillor McKeown:

 

“This Council recognises the significance of Writers’ Square to the city of Belfast as a public and civic space and its historical significance.  The Council calls upon the Department for Communities to ensure that any development brief relating to Writers’ Square respects the civic use of the Square as a place facilitating lawful protest and celebration.  Furthermore, the Council calls upon the Department to ensure that the setting of St Anne’s Cathedral is protected.

   

The Council will write to the Minister for Communities to that effect.” 

 

            The City Solicitor informed the Committee that a response had been received from Mr. C. Donnelly, Director of Belfast Regeneration Directorate, on behalf of the Minister. Mr. Donnelly had pointed out that the Minister and her Department had noted the content of the motion and that it would be given further consideration, should the Minister decide to proceed with a development brief for the Square.

 

            The Committee noted the response.

 

19.

Motion - Black Lives Matter Demonstrations – Response from Police Service of Northern Ireland pdf icon PDF 407 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee was reminded that the Council, at its meeting on 7th January, had passed the following motion on Black Lives Matter Demonstrations, which had been proposed by Councillor Matt Collins and seconded by Councillor Ferguson:

 

“This Council notes the recent Ombudsman report into the policing of Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Belfast and Derry on 6th June, 2020. The Council notes, in particular, the Ombudsman’s conclusions that the PSNI’s actions on the day were disproportionate, discriminatory and showed disregard to people’s human rights in relation to freedom of expression and freedom of protest and further notes the inappropriate use of the Serious Crimes Act (2007) to caution organisers of the events.

 

Accordingly, the Council calls for all penalty notices to be rescinded and prosecutions against Black Lives Matter activists relating to 6th June protests to be abandoned, as the first step toward redress. Furthermore, the Council calls on the PSNI to exercise its discretion to withdraw or rescind the applications made to the courts for registration of the Fixed Penalty Notices. The Council reiterates its support for the Black Lives Matter movement and its call for a real and robust racial equality strategy to help tackle the systemic problem of institutional racism.”

 

            The City Solicitor submitted for the Committee’s consideration a response which had been received from Chief Superintendent Singleton, on behalf of the Chief Constable.

 

            Chief Superintendent Singleton had highlighted the ongoing challenges being faced by communities and by the Police Service and pointed out that the Service had struggled to find the correct balance between upholding the continually changing restrictions and the rights of all individuals in the community. Whilst those restrictions were often a fundamental interference with individual human rights they had been made morally and legally necessary by the scale of the public health threat posed by Covid-19. The Police Service had, therefore, unsurprisingly, prioritised the Article 2 ‘Right to Life’ under the European Convention on Human Rights over all the rights, except for Article 3. This, it believed, had been in line with both the intention and the spirit of the Coronavirus regulations, as agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive.

 

            He had gone on to state that the Police Service had welcomed the support, analysis and challenge contained within the reports of the Northern Ireland Policing Board and of the Police Ombudsman and that, rather than be defensive about any aspects of its approach or the findings in the reports, it was keen to acknowledge shortcomings, admit mistakes and learn lessons. Having carefully considered both reports, the Police Service was, he pointed out, in a position to accept the vast majority of recommendations. However, it was unable to accept the recommendations relating to the withdrawal of Fixed Penalty Notices and prosecutions, pursuant to its enforcement of Health Protection Regulations.

 

            Chief Superintendent Singleton then stated that the Police Service had been advised that the existing Regulations made no provision for Fixed Penalty Notices to be rescinded either by it or by the Public Prosecution Service.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Motion: Uplift on Universal Credit – Response from HM Treasury pdf icon PDF 409 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee was reminded that the Council, at its meeting on 7th January, had passed the following motion relating to Universal Credit, which had been proposed by Councillor Heading and seconded by Councillor Lyons:

 

“This Council recognises the positive impact of the £20 uplift on Universal Credit implemented in April 2020.

 

The Council also recognises that, since March 2020, the unemployment claimant count has doubled to at least 60,000 in Northern Ireland and with a recession expected in the spring only to worsen the situation for many households.  The Chancellor of the Exchequer has failed to provide certainty that the £20 uplift on UC will remain beyond March 2021 meaning many families are potentially facing a loss of £1,040 a year to their incomes overnight. Charity Action for Children has warned that more than one in 10 families in the north are already having to choose between paying bills and eating meals. The Council calls on the UK government to put a protective shield around struggling families by ensuring March's Budget makes clear that Universal Credit will not be cut by £20 a week in the spring. Finally, the Council agrees to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer requesting they maintain the £20 uplift on Universal Credit in April 2021 and extending the £20 uplift to all legacy benefits.”

 

            The City Solicitor reported that a response had been received from HM Treasury, on behalf of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

 

            The response had explained that the £20 per week in the Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element formed just one part of a wide-ranging package of support which the Government had provided to protect people’s jobs and referred also to income support schemes, mortgage holidays, support for renters, a £500 million local authority hardship fund, £500 payments to help those on low income to self-isolate under NHS Test and Trace, a £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme and help with utility bills.

 

            The response had gone on to state that, in order to support families who relied on the safety net of the welfare system, the Minimum Income Floor for self-employed Universal Credit claimants had been suspended temporarily and the Local Housing Allowance Rates for Housing Benefit and Universal Credit had been increased to cover the bottom third of local rents. The Government was also spending £7.4 billion on its package of increased welfare support this year.

 

            It was pointed out that the increase in Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was aimed specifically at providing significant temporary support to low income families who may have seen their income fall as a result of the immediate impact of the Covid-19 crisis and was due to end in April, 2021.

 

            It indicated also that the Government would, as it had done throughout the current crisis, continue to consider the most appropriate forms of support as the public health and economic situation developed. However, as an illustration, extending the £20 per week increase by a further twelve  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Motion - Funding for Palliative and End-of-Life Care - Response from Minister of Health pdf icon PDF 414 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee was reminded that the Council, at its meeting on 7th December, had passed the following motion on Funding for Palliative and End-of-Life Care, which had been

proposed by Councillor Whyte and seconded by Councillor Lyons:

 

“This Council recognises that hospice care is a vitally important part of our care system; considers it necessary that people approaching the end of life, their families and carers get the right care and support where and when they need it; notes that hospice staff deserve recognition for the world-class medical care and emotional support they provide, not just to patients but also to their families; and looks forward to the hospice movement going from strength to strength in years to come.

 

Accordingly, the Council agrees to write to the Minister of Health, Robin Swann MLA, calling upon him to ensure fair and transparent funding in line with demand, and continued high quality palliative and end-of-life care.”

 

            The City Solicitor drew the Committee’s attention to a response which had been received from the Minister of Health.

 

            The Minister had highlighted the valued service which hospices in Northern Ireland provided in caring for and supporting people living with palliative and end-of-life care and those who were important to them. Department of Health officials and their colleagues in the Health and Social Care Board worked closely with hospices and were aware of the both the contribution which they made and the challenges they faced.

 

            The Minister, in recognising the financial pressures which hospices were facing, had pointed out that Covid-19 had had an impact across the community and voluntary sector and referred to similar issues across other areas and organisations, where there were also increasing demands for services and associated financial pressures.

 

            He explained that the Health and Social Care Board had Service Level Agreements in place with each of the hospice providers in Northern Ireland for both inpatient and community based services. Separate arrangements were also in place with Health and Social Care Trusts for hospice night services, as required. The Marie Curie charity also provided a regional out-of-hours service.

 

            In terms of funding, the Minister stated that guidance which had been put in place by the Department of Health in 2004 had introduced 50/50 funding for agreed adult inpatient hospice services, with effect from 2004/05, and 50% funding for agreed adult community services, with effect from 2005/06. Those arrangements provided for the funding of agreed commissioned services, not a hospice’s total running costs.

 

            He pointed out that children’s hospice services were funded differently to adult services, with separate commissioning and funding arrangements in place for children’s palliative care and hospice services. In addition to core funding for children’s services, the Department of Health had agreed, following the closure of the Horizon West children’s hospice, to fund on a 50/50 basis an additional bed in the NI Children’s Hospice at Horizon House for three years from 2018/19.

 

            Since 2018, a Paediatric and Life Limited Service had also been commissioned from the NI Children’s Hospice.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Belfast Agenda/Strategic Issues

23.

Update on City Region Growth Deal pdf icon PDF 428 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the following report:

 

“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues

 

1.1       This report is to provide an update to Committee on the progress of the Belfast Region City Deal, including an update on the development of Outline Business Cases and progress on agreeing a phased deal with the NI and UK Governments.

 

1.2       The Committee will also be separately considering a report on the Belfast Destination Hub, Belfast’s key project under the tourism and regeneration pillar which outlines the progress made in relation to the Destination Hub Outline Business Case.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is asked to note:

 

·        the programme overview and the progress that has been made in Outline Business Case development for all projects and on the development of an agreed approach with the NI and UK Governments to the delivery of a phased deal; and

 

·        the update on the BRCD Council Panel and the minutes of the BRCD Council Panel held on 25th November, 2020.

 

3.0       Main Report

 

            Programme Overview

 

3.1       In December, the Committee received a detailed update on progress across the programme and were advised that Outline Business Cases (OBCs) were due to be completed for all projects by the end of December. Partners have now passed a major milestone with draft OBCs prepared across all the pillars of Investment.  However, as previously reported, it is recognised that further revision of OBCs may still be required for projects that are at an earlier stage of development.  Formal submission of OBCs to NI and UK Governments will commence in the coming weeks. 

 

            Deal Document and Timeline

 

3.2       Members were also updated on the ongoing discussions between partners and the NI and UK Governments in relation to agreeing a phased deal.  The phased approach recognises the varying states of readiness of projects across the programme, allowing the Deal Documentation to be completed & agreed and phased delivery to commence.  This approach has now been agreed in principle by the NI City/Growth Deals Delivery Board.  Once the details of the phased deal are agreed with government partners a further update report will be brought back to Members. 

 

3.3       Detailed work is now being progressed with the Department of Finance on the development of the deal document, which is required in order that funding can begin to flow.   The document will outline the impact of the City Deal (outcomes, benefits, economic impact) along with a summary of the programme and projects.  It will also include an implementation plan, financial plan, governance framework and communications protocol.  Proposals for the content of the document are now being developed and will be brought to the Executive Board for further discussion over the coming months.

 

            Investment Priorities

 

            Tourism and Regeneration

 

3.6       Partners have worked intensively to develop a Tourism & Regeneration programme that not only supports the delivery of inclusive economic growth but will play a key role in the recovery of the tourism industry and our town and city centres, following the impact of Covid-19.  Following  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Update on Customer Focus Programme pdf icon PDF 320 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the following report:

 

“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues

 

1.1       Members are reminded that, in September 2020, the Committee was provided with an update on the Customer Focus Programme ,which included an update on further activity in support of Covid 19 Recovery and a revised programme plan.

 

1.2       A further report was presented to the Committee in October 2020 to provide details of the establishment of the Customer Hub and approval was given to proceed with the proposed staffing structure including application of the relevant staff transfer processes and recruitment of required posts.

 

1.3       This report provides an update on the main components of the first phase of the Customer Focus programme to be implemented from 29 March 2021.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is requested to note:

 

1.      the update on Phase 1 of the implementation of the Customer Focus programme and specifically the planned start of operation of the new Customer Hub function from 29 March 2021;

 

2.      the update on services to be provided for Elected Members as part of Phase 1. This work has been progressing in partnership with the Customer Focus Task and Finish Group for Elected Members;

 

3.      the initial works undertaken to refurbish the reception area of the ground floor of Cecil Ward Building which will form part of the physical Customer Hub;

 

4.      progress with development of missed bins; and

 

5.      progress with provision of enabling infrastructure.


 

 

3.0       Main Report

           

            What we will deliver in Phase 1 of the Customer Hub

 

3.1       Appendix 1, which has been circulated, sets outs the future blueprint for the Customer hub which was presented at the May and September 2020 Committee meetings. As reported in September 2020, the complexity of the customer programme does not support the implementation of all of its elements at one time. Appendix 2, which has also been circulated, is a reminder of the high level plan previously presented to achieve implementation of the Customer Hub by April 2021.

 

3.2       The ‘go live’ date of the Customer Hub has been revised to 29th March, 2021. For this phase of the programme, we will have the following in place:

 

            Customer Hub

 

3.3       This new function will deal with customer contact for all departments and services, across all channels (online, mobile, telephone, face-to-face, email, and social media).

 

            Initially, the hub will manage all customer contact for cleansing/waste and calls currently through the main switchboard and corporate complaints numbers. Work is continuing on the co-design of processes including the handoff from customer hub to services in other departments. The implementation initially will be on a ‘wide and thin’ basis i.e. a basic level of information and signposting for customers will be provided at the first point of contact for all services across all channels.

 

3.4       This will provide a platform for on-boarding of services in the future phases beyond April 2021, deepening the information and value at first point of contact as services are designed end to end -  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Working Group on the Climate Crisis - Work Plan 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 613 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the following report:

 

“1.0      Purpose of Report

 

1.1             This report outlines the work plan for the Working Group on the Climate Crisis for this forthcoming financial year 2021/22, for discussion and agreement.  As a non-decision making group of Elected Members, this work plan is presented to the SP and R Committee for approval.

 

2.0       Recommendation

 

            The Committee is asked to agree the priorities recommended by the Working Group within this work plan. 

 

3.0       Main Report

 

3.1       Resilience and Sustainability is a core priority in Belfast City Council’s Corporate Plan and therefore the primary focus of the Working Group’s work plan for 2021/22 is to ensure progress in the achievement of the objectives set out. 

 

3.2       In the forthcoming financial year, the Working Group will prioritise the following:

 

1.      Overseeing the development of a draft Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Plan for Belfast City Council, for SP&R approval by end of December;

 

2.      Working with the Resilience and Sustainability Board to ensure Belfast City Council Priorities in the Belfast Climate Plan are progressed- this will include taking advice from the Belfast Climate Commission as appropriate;

 

3.      Ensuring that Belfast City Council contributes to progress on climate adaptation and mitigation at a regional level, e.g. through the DAERA Green Growth Task Force; and

 

4.      Ensuring that Belfast City Council plays its part in contributing to the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow in 2021. 

 

            Further detail on each of these is provided below. 

 

            Belfast City Council Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Plan

 

3.3       The working group previously agreed that the BCC Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Plan would be developed by June 2021 for approval by SP&R.  To date, work is mostly on track, and we have tried to ensure that Covid-19 lockdown has not reduced momentum, as much as possible.  The plan will be supported by three separate studies:

 

-       A Climate Adaptation Plan, being developed by Climate NI for BCC.  Work is ongoing, and on track, and a detailed report will be brought to the All Party Working Group in February to ensure progress continues.

-       A Sustainability Audit, being developed by KPMG for BCC.  Work is ongoing and on track, and a detailed report will be brought to All Party Working Group in March, to ensure progress continues.  Working Group members have asked that the review specifically ensure improvements in integration across Council on the issue of sustainability, e.g. more holistic approach to the circular economy and inclusive growth, and considers governance improvements to ensure our approach to sustainability is as effective as possible, 

-       An Energy Review.  This work is to be commissioned, and may be delayed due to recruitment of new Climate Commissioner.  A further update on progress will be made available as soon as possible.

 

3.4       It is intended that work on delivery of the Climate Adaptation Plan and implementation of the findings of the Sustainability Review will commence in advance of the summer, to ensure we are ahead of schedule, and therefore any delays  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Safe City Charter Status pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the following report:

 

“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues

 

1.1       At the meeting of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee on 23rd August 2019, the following Motion on Domestic Violence was passed:

 

            ‘This Council is saddened at the levels of domestic violence in Belfast and recognises that this manifests in many different forms, including emotional and economic abuse.

 

            Belfast needs to become a city that has zero tolerance towards domestic violence or abuse – a ‘Safe City’ which is proactive in supporting victims of domestic violence and challenging perpetrators. A Safe City recognises that domestic violence impacts upon many residents, regardless of age, religion, ethnic or cultural background. 

 

            The Council pledges to build on the work already achieved by engaging with relevant partners to support victims of domestic abuse and challenge perpetrators and to update the Belfast City Council Domestic Violence Strategy.’

 

1.2       Onus is a social enterprise organisation offering best practice advice and specialist training on domestic violence and abuse and in January 2020 the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee agreed to work towards the Onus Safe City accreditation.   This report outlines action that has been taken by the Council and its partners to support victims of domestic violence and achieve the Onus Safe City status.

 

2.0       Recommendation

 

2.1       The Committee is asked to note that the Council was awarded Onus Safe City Charter status on 2nd February 2021.

 

3.0       Main Report

 

            Key Issues

 

3.1       A Safe Borough / City, is defined by ONUS as a Borough / City that:

 

·        promotes zero tolerance to domestic violence or abuse;

 

·        recognises that domestic violence or abuse impacts upon many people living or working there, regardless of age, religion, disability, ethnic or cultural background and while the majority of victims are female, domestic violence or abuse can be experienced by men and by people in same sex relationships; and

 

·        aims to provide an inclusive means of providing information on the range of organisations available to help anyone affected by domestic violence or abuse.

 

3.2       At its meeting on 23rd January 2020, the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee agreed to the Council progressing an action plan to attain the Safe Borough / City accreditation. The requirements for a Safe City / Borough accreditation are:

 

1.      the Council has attained Platinum Workplace Charter Status;

 

2.     the Council’s  management and elected representatives have signed and will display the White Ribbon Charter: a personal pledge to never commit, condone or stay silent about domestic violence;

 

3.     the Council is demonstrating civic leadership through Safe Place Advocacy;

 

4.     the Council is committed to working in partnership to develop new means of extending Safe Place message;

 

5.     the Council is committed to working in partnership with Onus to develop new means of rolling out the various Pathways for Participation to create safer workplaces, churches and communities and

 

6.      consideration to be given to how awareness of services for anyone experiencing domestic abuse is prevalent in education, housing and health services

 

            Update on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Systems Operator NI Consultation on Draft Transmission Development Plan 2020/29 – Council Response pdf icon PDF 301 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee approved retrospectively the following officer response to SONI’s consultation on the draft Transmission Development Plan 2020-29 and noted that further discussions would take between the Council and SONI to explore opportunities for collaboration:

 

SONI Draft Transmission Development Plan (2020-29) - December 2020

 

Council Response

 

Belfast City Council welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Draft Transmission Plan from SONI. This Council welcomes SONI’s positive and proactive approach in planning ahead to meet the electricity transmission needs in Belfast and the wider region during this decade and beyond given the critical climate change challenge ahead.

 

Investment in this important infrastructure is key to meeting the governments net zero carbon targets by 2050 and realising the stated ambition of the NI Economy Minister to have at least 70% electricity from renewable sources by 2030.  It is also critical for the achievement of the priorities set out in Belfast Agenda, the city’s Community Plan, for our wider economic ambitions in this decade, and our goal to transition to an inclusive, climate resilient, zero emissions economy in a generation.

 

The importance of a smart and efficient grid network is crucial in realising the UK Climate Change Committee pathway goals, as outlined in its 6th Carbon Budget Report. The report highlights the key role that electrification of heating and transport systems will play as key pillars of decarbonisation.

 

The diagram below from the UK Climate Change Committees 6thCarbon Budget report illustrates the dominant role that electrification will have in future.

 

 

This predictable increase in demand for electricity to power clean heating and transport systems from 2020 as illustrated in the graph above, will inevitably place pressure on the existing electricity grid. It is therefore imperative that we have modern, efficient grid which can meet this demand.

 

Belfast Resilience Strategy

 

The opportunity to respond comes at an important time as Belfast City Council puts plans in place to address climate adaptation and mitigation issues in the city. In March 2019 Belfast declared a Climate emergency, and in December 2020, Belfast Council and partners in the Resilience and Sustainability Board launched its first City Resilience strategy. The strategy’s central goal is to transition Belfast to an inclusive, climate resilient, zero emissions economy in a generation.

 

The Resilience Strategy examines shocks and stresses which weaken our economy in the long run. The threat from climate change is seen as the biggest single economic and environmental issue to affect the city for a generation. The City must plan a clear pathway for decarbonisation if it is to reduce this threat and benefit from the inevitable economic prosperity of a low carbon transition. Central to the city decarbonisation plan is the work of SONI in the decarbonisation of the grid in Belfast, by providing the capacity to absorb more renewables onto the grid and to manage the system efficiently to provide increase in electricity demand through the rise in electric vehicle use, heat pumps etc. It is clear that strategic energy planning in cities  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Belfast City Council and Fair Trade pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Minutes:

            The Chief Executive informed the Members that the Council, at its meeting on 1st March, 2000, had agreed to adopt a policy in relation to the procurement of Fair Trade products, in response to a Fair Trade Campaign being promoted at that time by the War on Want charity. That policy had been limited to:

 

·        specifying the use of tea and coffee products with the Fair Trade mark for Council meetings and civic events;

 

·        encouraging the use of Fair Trade tea and coffee by the Council’s catering contractors;

 

·        encouraging the use of Fair Trade tea and coffee by organisations hosting events in the City Hall;

 

·        integrating the issue of fair trade into the Council’s Local Agenda 21 programme through future sustainable development strategies; and

 

·        actively promoting awareness of fair trade amongst its employees and the citizens of Belfast through the adoption and promotion of this policy.

 

            She reported that, following the receipt of correspondence from the Northern Ireland Assembly’s All Party Working Group on Fairtrade, a report had, on 5th February, been presented to SOLACE NI on the potential for developing a more co-ordinated approach to Fairtrade in councils across Northern Ireland. SOLACE NI had agreed:

 

·        to discuss this issue further at a future meeting, to determine a SOLACE NI view for consideration by each of the eleven councils and to support a more consistent level of council participation with the Fairtrade initiative; and

 

·        to share information for their councils, in terms of participation with the Fairtrade initiative, through the SOLACE NI Policy Officer for collation, to provide an overview of current relationships between local councils and Fairtrade initiatives.

 

            The Committee noted the information which had been provided and that it would, at a future meeting, receive a report on recommendations and next steps.

 

29.

Physical Programme and Asset Management

30.

Asset Management pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee:

 

                                     i.          Whitla Street Car Park – Options Agreement

 

-        approved the entering into an options agreement with Translink for the 0.36 acre portion of Whitla Street Car Park, which has been approved for disposal to Translink to facilitate the development of Yorkgate Train Station;

 

                                    ii.          Finvoy Street Community Centre – Contractor Compounds

 

-        approved the entering into a licence and a side letter to vary the terms of an existing lease, to allow two sites to be used for storage and welfare facilities by the contractor appointed to construct the new Finvoy Street Community Centre;

 

                                  iii.          Knocknagoney Linear Park – Electricity Substation

 

-        approved the disposal of a 21sqm site at Knocknagoney Linear Park to Northern Ireland Electricity to facilitate the installation of a new electricity substation;

 

                                  iv.           Beechvale Farm – Conacre Agreements

 

-        approved the renewal of three conacre licences for the growing of crops, grazing and grass cutting on agricultural lands at Beechvale Farm for a licence period from and including 1st April, 2021 to 31st March, 2022;

 

                                    v.          Whiterock Leisure and Community Centre – Licence to Sustrans

 

-        approved the grant of a licence to Sustrans for an initial period of 2 years;

 

                                  vi.          Monagh Wood - Easement to Phoenix Natural Gas Limited

 

-        approved the grant of an easement regarding the siting of gas mains pipework/ equipment at Monagh Wood between the Council and Phoenix Natural Gas Limited; and

 

                                 vii.          Orangefield Park- Lease to the Department for Infrastructure

 

-        approved the entering into a lease agreement with the Department for Infrastructure regarding the siting of a water level alert station and its associated pipework on Council lands at Orangefield Park.

 

31.

Update on Area Working Groups pdf icon PDF 216 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee approved and adopted the minutes of the meeting of the East Belfast Area Working Group of 4th February.

 

32.

Finance, Resources and Procurement

33.

Update on Contracts pdf icon PDF 171 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee:

 

·        approved the public advertisement of tenders, as per Standing Order 37a, as detailed in Table 1 below;

 

·        approved the award of Single Tender Actions, in line with Standing Order 55 exceptions, as detailed in Table 2 below;

 

·        noted the award of retrospective Single Tender Actions, in line with Standing Order 55 exceptions, as detailed in Table 3 below; and

 

·        noted the modification to contracts, in line with the Scheme of Delegation, as detailed in Table 4 below.

 

34.

Equality and Good Relations

35.

Update on Decade of Centenaries Programme 2021 and 80th Anniversary of the Belfast Blitz pdf icon PDF 544 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the following report:

 

“1.0      Purpose of Report

 

1.1       The purpose of this report is to: 

 

-       Provide an update on progress concerning the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2021/22, in light of the recent Council decision regarding live events and the need to revise the format of agreed events from February – June 2021 to meet requirements of Covid-19 restrictions; and

 

-       outline proposals on how Council can mark the 80th anniversary of the Belfast Blitz on 15th April 2021, in the context of Covid-19 restrictions.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is requested to:

 

                                              i.          note the update on the Decade of Centenaries Programme and provide feedback on the approach to the revised format of events occurring between February – June 2021; and

 

                                             ii.          approve the proposals contained in the report to mark the 80th anniversary of the Belfast Blitz on 15th April 2021 and contribute £1,000 towards the Northern Ireland War Memorial Programme.

 

3.0       Main Report

 

            Decade of Centenaries Programme

 

3.1       At the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee on 23rd October 2020, Members agreed the programme for the remainder of the Decade of Centenaries until March 2022.

 

3.2       Officers have progressed a number of actions in relation to the programme as agreed including a submission of an application requesting £87,700 to the Shared History Fund which is being distributed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This application is seeking funding for four of the projects listed in Appendix I, a copy of which has been circulated, namely:

 

-       Drama and animation programme in mid June 2021

-       The restoration of the chairs in the Council Chamber, used by the King and Queen on the occasion of the inauguration of the NI Parliament in 1921

 

-       A digitised artefacts and stories project related to 1921 and;

 

-       A time capsule project

 

3.3       It is anticipated that notification of the outcome will be given at the end of February, 2021.

 

3.4       Further to a query from officers, the HLF has advised in writing, without prejudice, that there is no issue should the Council commence a procurement process for these 4 projects prior to being notified of the outcome of the application. Therefore, Officers intend to start the process in mid February but will not appoint until Council has received formal written confirmation from HLF as to the result. The specifications have already been drawn up and BCC will advise organisations wishing to bid, that any award will be dependent upon funding. This will allow a maximised timeframe for successful delivery agents to develop quality programmes in advance of May and June as well as minimising the financial risk to the Council. 

 

3.5       In parallel with this process, as a result of the ongoing restrictions set by The NI Executive, the Council at its meeting on 1st February, agreed to suspend live events from January 2021 until August 2021. In addition, the Council also agreed to develop an alternative option to deliver an event or exhibition to mark the Centenary  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Request from Northern Ireland Office

Minutes:

            The City Solicitor informed the Committee that a request had been received from the Northern Ireland Office to use an image of the City Hall for a promotional video, as part of its Year ’21 Centenary Programme.

 

            The Committee agreed that the City Solicitor would circulate further details of the proposal to Members and that it be considered initially by the Party Group Leaders.   

 

37.

Northern Ireland Centenary Programme - Repositioning of Royal Chairs pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the following report:

 

“1.0      Purpose of Report

 

1.1

·        To seek approval to relocate the Town Hall Mayoral Chair in the Council chamber to improve the display of this artefact and the newly conserved Royal Chairs; and

 

·        To seek approval to commission a new brass plaque marking the successful conservation of the chairs and marking their use in historic royal visits and the events of June 1921 at the City Hall. Both requests are linked into the council’s NI Centenary Programme 2021.

 

2.0      Recommendations

 

2.1      The Committee is recommended to;

 

                                             i.           approve the request to relocate the Town Hall Mayoral chair to its own feature area and update the area for the two royal chairs; and

 

                                           ii.          approve the request to commission a new brass plaque for the royal chairs.

 

3.0      Main Report

 

            Background

 

3.1      At present within the Council Chamber, a wooden platform against the back wall of the chamber showcases the two royal chairs and Town Hall Mayoral chair. The Mayoral Chair is believed to have been commissioned for the opening of the Town Hall on Victoria Street in 1871 and is a rare example of the Irish arts and craft style.

 

3.2      The royal chairs were formerly the property of former Lord Mayor Sir Crawford McCullagh and were used at the City Hall by King George V and Queen Mary in 1921 at the official state opening of the new Northern Ireland Parliament and by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during their coronation tour of 1937. The Council purchased the chairs at auction from the late Sir Crawford’s estate in 1950.

 

3.3      As part of the NI Centenary Programme, specialist conservators have been appointed to stabilise and conserve the condition of these two important artefacts. The cost of the

            conservation of the two Royal chairs is part of the NI Centenary Programme presented to the Committee in November 2020 and within a funding application to the Shared History Fund.

 

3.4      At present, City Hall Tour Guides have reported that international visitors to the City Hall are often confused by the current layout and display of these three chairs and it is hoped by separating the Mayoral Chair and pair of Royal Chairs, their respective historical significance and context will be better explained and illustrated to visitors.

 

            Key Issues

 

3.5      The City Hall Collections team, once the conversation of the two royal chairs is completed, request permission to move the Town Hall Mayoral chair from its current location against the back wall of the chamber to the left of its current position, creating a separate small plinth on the north side of the chamber below the window; locating the artefact where Members may remember the Covenant table was on display for many years. All artefacts would continue to be cordoned with rope and staunton, as they are, now to protect the artefacts from damage.

 

            Financial and Resource Implications

 

3.6      A budget for conservation of the two Royal chairs has already been already approved as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Shared City Partnership pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee approved and adopted the minutes of the meeting of the Shared City Partnership held on 8th February, including the recommendations:

 

                            i.          to seek nominees from the Interfaith Forum and The Executive Office to replace the positions which had recently become vacant;

 

                          ii.          to agree that a letter be forwarded, on behalf of the Shared City Partnership, to the Belfast Multi-Cultural Association, condemning the arson attack which had occurred on 15th January;

 

            PEACE IV

 

            BPR4 – Belfast and the World

 

                         iii.          to agree a further extension to mid-March 2021 to allow for Ligoniel and Ballynafeigh groups to complete;

 

                         iv.          that the 26 contact hours be made up of 13 online delivery and 13 hours of self-directed learning using the course materials provided.

 

            Good Relations Action Plan 2020/21

 

                          v.          that a follow up event be organised with Professor Waller to explore further the themes discussed at the online seminar on 26th January;

 

                         vi.          to note the potential for underspend within the Good Relations Action Plan 2020/21, due to the current pandemic and subsequent restrictions, and that the  Chief Executive has written to The Executive Office to ask for an extension to the funding to allow end of year flexibility;

 

            Draft Good Relations Action Plan 2021/22

 

                        vii.          to agree that that the draft Good Relations Action Plan 2021/22, as attached at Appendix 2 of the report, be submitted to The Executive Office, subject to the total cost for Strategic Intervention Programme BCC10 being amended to read £68,000;  

 

                      viii.          to note that, in order to meet the deadline set by The Executive Office, that the plan will be submitted in draft, subject to approval by the Council at the beginning of March; and

 

                         ix.          to note that this Action Plan submission is subject to amendment during the assessing and scoring process that will be undertaken by The Executive Office. The Council will be notified of any changes in the final approved Action Plans.

 

39.

Equality and Diversity - Quarter 3 Equality Screening and Rural Needs Outcome Report pdf icon PDF 332 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee noted the contents of a report which provided a summary of equality screenings and rural needs impact assessments for Quarter 3 (October to December, 2020).

 

40.

Equality and Diversity - Audit of Inequalities and Equality Action Plan 2021-24 pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee approved the Draft Audit of Inequalities and the Equality Action Plan which had, over the past six months, been developed in collaboration with Council Departments and were aligned with the timescale of the Corporate Plan 2020-24.

 

41.

Operational Issues

42.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Party Group Leaders' Consultative Forum pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee approved and adopted the minutes of the meeting of the Party Group Leaders’ Consultative Forum of 11th February.

 

43.

Requests for Use of the City Hall and the Provision of Hospitality pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the following applications for the use of the City Hall which had been received up to 5th February:

 

NAME OF ORGANISATION

FUNCTION DATE

FUNCTION DESCRIPTION

CRITERIA MET

ROOM CHARGE

HOSPITALITY

OFFERED

CIVIC HQ RECOMMEND

2021 EVENTS

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

November 2021

 

Dependent on City Hall recovery and COVID guidelines 

Belfast Trust Chairman’s Awards 2019 – Awards ceremony to recognise the contributions and achievements of the staff in the Belfast Trust.

 

Numbers attending – 300

 

* Numbers and room layout will be reviewed and revised in line with COVID19 social distancing guidelines at the time of this event.

 

C

Yes - £825

No hospitality

Approve

Charge £825

No hospitality

County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast

On Date to be agreed within 2021

 

Dependent on City Hall recovery and COVID guidelines 

Celebration Dinner of Centenary of Northern Ireland A dinner to celebrate the 100years since the creation of Northern Ireland.

 

Numbers attending – 300

 

* Numbers and room layout will be reviewed and revised in line with COVID19 social distancing guidelines at the time of this event.

 

C

Yes - £825

Yes,

Wine Reception

Approve

No charge

Wine Reception

 

            After discussion, the Committee approved the use of the City Hall by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the County Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland on the dates set out above. The Committee noted that the City Solicitor would, at its next meeting, provide clarification on whether the provision of a wine reception at the County Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland event, as recommended within the report, was permitted under the current criteria governing the provision of hospitality. 

 

44.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Social Value Working Group pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee approved and adopted the minutes of the meeting of the Social Value Working Group of 29th January.