Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote via Teams

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

No. Item




            An apology was reported from Councillor Groogan.



Declarations of Interest


            No Declarations of Interest were reported.



Restricted Items


            The information contained in the reports associated with the following 6 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 Committee 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.



Finance Update

Additional documents:


            The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on 31st July, an update was provided on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Council’s financial position and a strategy to address the forecast deficit and the mitigation measures which had and would be taken as the situation evolved.  It was agreed to continue to provide Members with a monthly update on the financial position and specifically for the August Committee to provide further information on ongoing work in the following areas:


1.    Updated forecasts


2.    The financial impact of recovery plans


3.    The financial impact of the member agreed decision to invoice rents for all tenants from Quarter 2


4.    Employee savings arising from the review of vacant posts


            The Committee agreed at the July Committee meeting to receive the Quarter 1 financial report in August.  Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the quarterly finance reports to Committee incorporated both the quarterly financial performance and the year end forecasts.  With the requirement for monthly forecast updates as part of the financial strategy agreed with Members in June, the Quarter 1 finance report has been included as an appendix to this report rather than a separate report, providing a comprehensive overview of the overall financial position in one report.


            The Committee:


1.    noted the contents of the report, including the August forecast update and theattached Quarter 1 finance report at Appendix 1; and


2.    agreed that a letter be forwarded to the Minister of Finance seeking a meeting in relation to the Council’s rates income for the next 2 years.



Operational Recovery of Council Services

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report in relation to the operational recovery of Council Services.  The Chief Executive reported that, while many key services such as Waste Collection and Bereavement Services had maintained a service throughout the Covid 19 Pandemic, the restoration of services, which had been suspended due to lockdown restrictions, are being phased back in despite significant challenges and the requirement for significant modifications. She informed the Committee that 97/120 services were now operational, albeit with some restrictions and that in many cases the operating model had changed given the need to protect staff and maintain social distancing.


She indicated that these controls were likely to be with us for a considerable time and therefore were operating in a new normal way. The changed operating environment was also impacting on our revenue budgets and contributing to the budget deficit we are operating in. There were also challenging resource management issues behind the new operating models that had impacts on other services.


            The report outlined the guiding principles for recovery and the readiness assessments to restore services in a managed and phased way, as quickly yet safely as possible.  The Chief Executive then provided an update on those services which would next re-open, including more public toilets and community centres over the next number of weeks.


            The Chief Executive conclude by reviewing the proposals for a phased return of the Council’s Working Groups. 


            The Committee:

·         noted the current position, the challenges of recovery of services and the indicative dates for the recovery, albeit in a new norm, of the remaining Council services; and

·         approved the phased return over the next number of months of the holding of remote meetings of the Working Groups where decisions were critical as outlined by the Chief Executive.



Innovation and Inclusive Growth Commission Thinkpiece on Economic Stimulus

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report which provided a briefing for Members on a ‘thinkpiece’ from the Innovation and Inclusive Growth Commission, aimed at making the case for investment in several jobs-led programmes, to drive an inclusive economic recovery. 


The Committee noted:


·         the report and the intention for the Commission to engage in further discussion at ministerial level; and

·         that ongoing discussion between the Commission and elected members would continue on broader areas of an inclusive economic strategy.



Bryson Recycling - Kerbside Recycling Contract


            The Committee was reminded that the Council had a contractual arrangement with Bryson Recycling for the provision of a kerbside collection service to approximately 58,000 households in primarily the inner city areas. This service was a weekly collection of segregated, dry recyclables and food waste.    


            The contract commenced in August 2013, with the initial contract period and subsequent extensions ending in July 2020.


            At the Committee meeting on 19th June 2020, officers had requested that a Single Tender Action (STA) be awarded for fifteen months to ensure service continuity until strategic decisions were taken regarding the waste collection and procurement arrangements for this service.  The Committee agreed to an STA for six months, with a further report to be brought back to the Committee explaining the implications of this decision and also any changes to the service after such a short timeframe.  Accordingly, the Committee considered a report in this regard.


After discussion, the Committee agreed:


1.    to rescind its decision of 19th June to award a Single Tender Action (STA) for six months to Bryson Recycling for the Kerbside Recycling Contract and agreed, instead, to award the STA for a period of 12 months; (with the possibility of extension)


2.    to the commissioning of an options appraisal on the arrangements for future waste collections as soon as possible, to be completed and submitted to the Committee for consideration within 2 months;


3.    that a monthly update be submitted to the Committee on progress; and


4.    that Bryson Recycling be asked to attend a future meeting of the Committee with a view to improving performance.


            The Committee also noted that a workshop on waste management would be arranged to help inform this piece of work.



Minutes of Meeting of Party Group Leaders' Consultative Forum


The Committee approved and adopted the minutes of the meeting of the Party Group Leaders’ Consultative Forum of 14th August, 2020.



DfC COVID-19 Recovery: Revitalisation Fund update


The Committee considered report which provided an update for Members on the status of the Department for Communities (DfC) COVID 19 Recovery: Revitalisation funding; additional detail on the proposed business grants scheme and seeking  approval to open the scheme and proposals for an Autumn and Christmas animation programmes and campaign and seeking approval also to proceed with the plans as outlined.


            The Committee:

·         noted the update on the DfC COVID 19 Recovery: Revitalisation funding;


·         approved the process and approach for the business grants strand of the funding; and


·         noted the proposals for an Autumn and Christmas animation campaign to run alongside safety enhancements and granted approval to ring fence a proportion of the second tranche of the DfC Revitalisation Fund for this purpose.



Matters referred back from Council/Motions


Motion - Suicide Awareness Training pdf icon PDF 309 KB


The Committee was reminded that the Council, at its meeting on 1st July, had referred, in accordance with Standing Order 13 (f), the following motion, which had been proposed by Councillor M. Kelly and seconded by Councillor Long, to the Committee for consideration:


 “This Council recognises the Covid-19 pandemic will exacerbate the current mental health crisis in our City. 


The Council previously agreed to work with others to make Belfast a Zero Suicide City to include challenging the taboos of mental health and suicide and ensuring that there is adequate training and resources for all the citizens so that Belfast can react positively to assist those in need.


All of us need to be aware of the signs and understand the questions to ask someone we are worried about and what help they can get.  Therefore, Council agrees:


1.    That Training in mental health and suicide intervention is crucial; therefore Council will investigate resourcing further SafeTALK and Mental Health First Aid training programmes for staff.


2.    To appoint mental health champions in each Council Department in to act as a point of contact for an employee who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress, helping the person get appropriate help, and also provide early intervention for someone who may be developing a mental health issue.


3.    As a practical first step, to encourage Councillors and staff to undertake a short, free online course in Suicide Awareness training (developed by Mersey Care Foundation Trust and widely used across the NI Health and Social Care Trusts) – this teaches people how to recognise the warning signs and safeguard someone who could be contemplating suicide, talking openly to them and then directing them to appropriate services.”


            The Committee agreed that a report on how this would be facilitated, resourced and managed would be brought back to a future meeting.



Motion - Opening our Streets for Everyone pdf icon PDF 303 KB


The Committee was advised that the following motion, which had been proposed by Councillor McKeown and seconded by Councillor Whyte, had, in accordance with Standing Order 13(f), been referred to the Committee for consideration.


“The coronavirus pandemic has shown that there is a real appetite among the people of Belfast to walk and cycle more, which is benefitting their physical and mental wellbeing. This energy and enthusiasm needs to be supported so it can be sustained.

While potentially transformative work is being undertaken by the Department for Infrastructure to install pop-up cycle lanes, pedestrianise streets and widen footpaths, there is a significant opportunity for Belfast City Council also to play its role in the recovery and the enhancement of our city by taking the car out of many of our streets.

The Council therefore agrees that a programme of temporary road closures be rolled out across the city on specific days, such as at weekends, in consultation with local communities, disability organisations and businesses. This will help in the recovery – socially, economically and environmentally – by making room for people to get around in a socially-distanced way, affording local businesses extra space to operate more safely, and supporting the move towards reduced car use and a cleaner, greener, healthier city for all.

To facilitate this in a managed way, the Area Working Groups will be reconvened remotely at the earliest opportunity to help identify potential sites in each part of the city. Any closures must not adversely impact residents, businesses, or people with a disability or accessibility issues. Closures must also take account of public and road safety.”


            The Committee agreed that a report on the contents of the motion be brought to the Committee, highlighting how some the work outlined was being undertaken as part of the city recovery programme.



Belfast Agenda/Strategic Issues


Inclusive Growth - Update on the Development of the City Charter & Inclusive Growth Network Launch Event pdf icon PDF 273 KB


The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues


1.1       In March 2020 the council’s commitments to Inclusive Growth document was published. One key commitment was the development and implementation of an Inclusive Growth City Charter for Belfast. Since then a cross council team led by Strategy, Policy and Partnerships has been progressing the development of this charter. The purpose of this paper is to provide a short update on progress to date and proposed key activities going forward.


1.2       In addition we would like to inform Elected Members that the Chair of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, Councillor Christina Black and the Deputy Chair, Councillor Sarah Bunting, have been extended an invitation to attend the virtual launch event of the Inclusive Growth Network (IGN), of which Belfast City Council is a member, on Thursday 17 September from 3-4pm.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


a)    Note the progress to date in relation to the development of the charter and agree to an elected members workshop / engagement following the initial developmental stages.

b)    Note the proposed key stages of work going forward to shape the council’s future ambitions with regard to the development and implementation of a city charter for Belfast.

c)    Note the proposed attendance of the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee at the IGN virtual launch event.


3.0       Main report


            Inclusive Growth City Charter


3.1       Members will be aware that in 2019 they tasked officers with the production of a cross council ‘strategy’ to reflect their growing ambitions in relation to inclusive growth.  The result of this process was the production of the councils ‘Commitment to Inclusive Growth’.  This document sets out a clearly defined list of ambitions and linked actions as to how the council, in its capacity as a corporate body and as a city leader, will deliver against its commitment in the next two years. 


3.2       The document contained commitments that Belfast City Council would progress over the next two years, including the development of an Inclusive Growth City Charter for employers across the city – setting a city wide standard in relation to procurement, employment and civic / neighbourhood engagement. 


Inclusive Growth City Charter Working Group


3.3       An initial employer workshop was held in partnership with Allstate NI in Jan 2020, with over 70 employers from a wide range of sectors represented. It was agreed that a small working group would be convened with broad representation from this group, to help council shape and co-design the charter (nominees were received but the work was paused until May 2020 due to COVID).


3.4       The first working group virtual meeting was held on 21 July  2020 with almost all members in attendance.  The meeting aims and outcomes were to:


·         Bring working group members together to co-design the charter

·         Discuss and test emerging ideas, building on the January workshop, to scope the charter

·         Agree the purpose and role of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4a


Partnership Panel pdf icon PDF 239 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee was advised that The Local Government Act (NI) 2014 provided for the establishment of the Partnership Panel for NI. The Act provided also for all Executive Ministers (including Junior Ministers) to be members of the Partnership Panel. Local government representation on the Panel comprises one nominated elected Member from each of the 11 councils (designated as a position of responsibility), with Belfast City council being represented by Councillor McAteer, and cross-party representation from NILGA.


The Partnership Panel provided a structured, political relationship between central and local government, creating opportunities for innovative working between Ministers and Councillors, and the formation of joint policies which will ultimately improve co-ordination and help deliver better outcomes for local people.  It had not met since 2016.


Minister Chuilín has indicated that reconvening the Partnership Panel would provide an opportunity to discuss how we could continue to work together for the benefit of everyone, particularly in the social and economic recovery from Covid-19.  It would provide an opportunity to consider joint policy design on key issues of public concern and improve coordination between departments and councils.


It was therefore anticipated that the next meeting of the Panel would explore how both tiers of government could continue to work together in leading recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Recognising the importance of the financial and organisational sustainability of local government for progressing this recovery within their local areas and communities. The meeting would also be asked to agree Standing Orders and Terms of Reference for the Partnership Panel.


As a position of responsibility, Councillor McAteer’s role would be to provide a corporate voice for the Council, alongside working with other local government representatives to promote wider local government sector positions, on key areas which require closer engagement and action from relevant Executive Ministers and their departments.


Councillor McAteer would be supported in this role by officers in the Strategic Hub. Briefings would be provided reflecting the current priorities of the Council and the wider local government sector through continued involvement and engagement with local government bodies such as SOLACE NI and the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA).

It was understood that agenda items for the September Meeting of the Panel would include Finance, Recovery Plan and City Deals.


            The Committee agreed:


a)        that proposed agenda items for Partnership Panel meetings be reported through the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, or to the Party Group Leaders Forum when committee timings were not viable to ensure political oversight; and


b)      that, in future, the minutes and outcomes of the Partnership Panel be reported back to the Committee for information and consideration.



Invitation to join COP26 UK Mayors Advisory Council pdf icon PDF 404 KB


            The Committee was informed that Glasgow would be hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on 1st till 12th November, 2021. The climate talks would be the biggest international summit the UK had ever hosted, bringing together over 30,000 delegates, including heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change.


            The COP26 President Designate and UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, had written to invite the Lord Mayor, or appropriate nominee, to join the COP26 UK Mayors Advisory Council.  The group would meet quarterly and would be focused on the COP campaigns, communications and events in the lead-up to, and at, COP26; including engagement with all communities and sectors across the UK as part of the goal to make this an ‘All of Society’ COP.  


            Fully committed to the principles of the UN, the COP26 would focus on promoting tangible action that brings to life the transformational change required to unleash the full potential of the Paris Agreement with key ambitions including: phase out coal power by 2025; pledge to net zero emissions by 2050; and speed up the transition to low emission vehicles.


            The Secretary of State Alok Sharma had held meetings in Belfast during the week commencing 10thAugust and, during meetings with Belfast City Council and city partners (the Belfast Climate Commission), had stressed the importance of city involvement in preparation for COP.  He restated his encouragement that Belfast would play an active role in a UK Mayors Advisory Council. 


            The Committee approved Belfast City Council’s membership of the Mayors Advisory Council, and agreed that the Lord Mayor represents the Council, with the Chairperson of Strategic Policy and Resources Committee to deputise if required.



Physical Programme and Asset Management


Assets Management pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee approved:


I.        Brooke Drive NIE Substation – Lease


the disposal of c. 0.007 acres of land. along with a cable easement and right of way, at Brooke Drive to Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) Networks Ltd for the purposes of an electricity substation. Disposal to be by way of a 950 year lease from 1 January 2020, subject to a premium of £2,350.


II.     Cromac Street, Station Street and Kent Street Car Parks – Licence Agreements


a new one year licence for Cromac Street Car Park from Northern Ireland Housing Executive from 1 April 2020 and a new fee structure for payment of licence fees due under a current licence at Kent Street car park and the terms already agreed for a new licence at Station Street Car Park, both of which are held from the Department for Communities.


III.  Blanchflower Playing Fields - Lease of land for an NIE Networks sub-station


the lease to NIE Networks Ltd of c.29.45 square metres of land at Blanchflower Playing Fields for a term of 99 years from the date of the agreement at a peppercorn rent of £1 per annum.  The Lease would also grant NIE Networks a right of way to carry out installation, repairs and maintenance works at the sub-station.



Provision of temporary office accommodation-Community Rescue Service pdf icon PDF 144 KB


The Committee was advised that the Community Rescue Service was a charitable search and rescue organisation operated by volunteers from communities across Northern Ireland. They operated from an office in Apollo Road but had been notified by their landlord that their premises had to be vacated as it was ear marked for new development by a commercial partner.


            The Council had been able to identify suitable premises which the Community Recue Service could use on a temporary basis. This would be under a license arrangement for up to 3 months initially but with discretion on the part of the Council to extend on a month to month basis.


            Officers from the Estates Unit, Facilities Management and Legal Services had been working on the identification of premises in Dunbar Link, which was currently the Council’s Disaster Recovery Suite. The Emergency Planning Team would obviously take priority if that suite was required by the Council. The suite is located on the second floor and offers two large offices, kitchen and toilet facilities. In addition, the Cleansing dinette on the 1st floor would be used one night per week as a training facility for the 54 volunteers. A closed garage had been identified at the Charlotte Street Cleansing depot for secure parking, plus a small office would be available for the community rescue team within the depot. Their three additional vehicles would use three spaces in the neighbouring Belfast City Council car park on Ormeau Avenue (on Apsley Street) on a temporary basis, however, priority would be given to Council staff if they were required in the future.


            Legal Services would draw up a licence which would need consent from the Department for Communities as it represented a technical disposal at a nil rent if the Council was minded to approve this arrangement.


            This would allow the Community Rescue Service to continue to provide a service while they sourced permanent office accommodation.


The Committee agreed that temporary accommodation be provided to the Community Rescue Service as set out.



Finance, Resources and Procurement


Audit and Risk Panel Annual Report to Strategic Policy & Resources Committee, including draft Annual Governance Statement pdf icon PDF 258 KB


The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       The Audit and Risk Panel is constituted as a working group of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee.  The purpose of the Panel is to provide an independent assurance on the adequacy of the Council’s risk management framework and associated control environment.  The Panel also oversees the Council’s financial reporting process. 


1.2       The purpose of this report is to provide a summary to Committee of the key issues that have been considered and discussed by the Panel during the 2019/20 financial year, the assurances received and the areas requiring attention.  This report also summarises the process by which the year-end reports are to be considered by the members of the Audit and Risk Panel.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


·         Note the summary of the work of the Audit and Risk Panel during 2019/20 as set out at Section 3 below.


·         Note the process by which the year-end reports are to be considered by members of the Audit and Risk Panel.


3.0       Main report


            Key Issues


Summary of the work of the Audit and Risk Panel in 2019/20


3.1       During 2019/20, the Panel met four times (including a training session at Belfast Castle).  The Audit and Risk Panel did not meet in June 2019, following the elections in May, as the composition of the Panel had to be agreed by Strategic Policy and Resources (SP&R) Committee on 21st June and ratified by Council on 1st July, with nominations to the Panel sought from each of the eight parties thereafter.


3.2       In the absence of an Audit and Risk Panel and in order to ensure that there was proper consideration of the year-end papers, the Audit Assurance Board met on 3rd June 2019 to review these reports.  In addition, an annual report was submitted to SP&R committee in June 2019 providing a summary of the key issues that had been considered and discussed by the Panel during the 2018/19 financial year, the assurances received and the areas requiring attention.


3.3       During 2019/20, the Panel has considered audit plans and issues arising from audit activity, such as the findings, assurance levels and recommendations arising from audit work and the progress being made to implement audit recommendations.  It also received regular updates on:


·     the Council’s financial position, as set out in its financial statements

·         reports from the Council’s external auditors

·     risk management

·         business continuity

·     fraud, financial irregularity and whistleblowing investigations

·         governance related matters

·         financial control

·         health and safety

·         performance management

·          staff attendance.


3.4       The key assurances that the Panel has received on are as follows:


·         the Council’s financial statements and annual governance statement 2018/19, as prepared by the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance and Resources and his team; this provided a management assurance on the Council’s financial position


·         the audited accounts and the associated external audit annual letters for 2018/19 (providing an opinion on the accounts) and report to those  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6a


Contracts Update pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee:


·         Approved the public advertisement of tenders as per Standing Order 37a as detailed in Table 1

·         Approved the award of STAs in line with Standing Order 55 exceptions as detailed in Table 2


Table 1 – Competitive Tenders

 Title of Tender

Proposed Contract Duration

Estimated Total Contract Value

Senior Responsible Officer

Short description of goods/ services

Tender for the procurement of laptops and docking stations

Up to 8 months


R Cregan

Laptops and docking stations to facilitate homeworking

Replacement Financial System (T2051)

Up to 10 years

£3.5m - £800K upfront Capital; £300K per annum

R Cregan

Procurement of a new corporate financial system

Provision of a Roma Support Project PEACE IV Programme Services (T2111)

Up to 20 months


N Grimshaw

Delivery of a project to support the Roma and settled community as part of the Peace IV programme of work

Tender for the provision of delivery of events as part of Wider Work plan Peace IV Programme Services(T2018)

Up to 2 years


N Grimshaw

Delivery of events as part of the Peace IV programme of work

Seeking re approved as value has increased

Provision of a Shared Spaces and Services Volunteer Training PEACE IV Programme Services (T2085)

Up to 18 months


N Grimshaw

Delivery of volunteer training as part of the Peace IV programme of work

Seeking re approved as duration has increased

Provision of ‘Shared History, Heritage and Identity Content / Narratives for Interpretative Panels on Shared Space Greenway’ PEACE IV Programme Services (T2084)

Up to 19 months


N Grimshaw

Delivery of interpretative panels on Shared Space Greenway as part of the Peace IV programme of work

Seeking re approved as duration has increased

Music Strategy

Up to 10 months


A Reid

Music strategy and implementation plan to feed in to Council’s application for UNESCO City of Music 2021

Virtual server licensing

Up to 3 years


R Cregan

Licensing and support for the council’s virtual server infrastructure

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) equipment

Up to 1 year


R Cregan

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) equipment across the BCC IT estate

Corporate digital backup environment

Up to 1 year


R Cregan

Implementation of a new corporate backup environment


Table 2- Direct Award Contracts (Single Tender Action)

Title of Tender


Total Value

Supply and Delivery of Fruit and Vegetables to Belfast Zoo (T1498)

Arnott’s Fruit Limited and First4fruit


Supply of Alcohol based sanitiser

Antrim Supplier trading as Workwear




Equality and Good Relations


Equality and Rural Needs Screening Outcome Q1 pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee noted the contents of the Equality and Rural Needs Screening Outcome Quarter 1 report.



Dual Language Street Signs Policy pdf icon PDF 260 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       The purpose of this report is for Members to consider the Notice of Motion in relation to the Dual Language Street Signs Policy.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


·         Consider the Notice of Motion in relation to the Dual Language Street Signs Policy.  

·         If Members are minded to adopt the policy position as set out in the notice of motion, you are asked to consider a minimum response threshold in respect of the survey requirement. 

·         Following discussions at Party Group Leader’s Consultative Forum a protocol for managing engagement with consultees will be developed for consideration by members at a subsequent meeting.

·         In the event that Members wish to adopt an alternative threshold to the current policy position of 2/3 supporting as being the trigger for erecting a second name plate, it is open to Members to do this.

·         If Members are minded to change the policy, a revised policy will be drafted in accordance with your decision and presented for adoption with an equality screening carried out.  Committee to note that other revisions could be made to the current policy to address issues which have arisen since it was first adopted, for example new streets or streets which have no occupiers, and accordingly these revisions could be incorporated within any new policy should you choose to adopt one.


3.0       Main report


 3.1      Background


The Council adopted a Street Naming and Buildings Numbering Policy in February 2009 which incorporates a Dual Language Street Signs Policy. At Council on 3 February 2020, Councillor Walsh proposed the following Notice of Motion:


“This Council has one of the most restrictive policies of any council in the North in regards to Irish Language Street Signage Policy.


Currently, the policy is that you need a 1/3rd of the eligible electorate in a street to sign a petition which starts the process. Once the process has been initiated, a letter is sent to everyone in that street who is on the electoral register asking if they consent to have bilingual signage installed. The resident has three options, namely, Yes, No and Don’t Care. For the process to come to a successful conclusion, 2/3rds of the total electorate in the street need to consent to yes. If a letter is not returned, it is considered by the Council as saying that they don’t consent for the bilingual signage. Furthermore, where residents send the survey back saying ‘Don’t Care, this is also considered to be a negative response.


If we, as Elected Members were held to the same standard as this policy in the Local Government elections, not one Member would have been returned to serve on this Council, as we would not have met those restrictive parameters. The Council’s Language Strategy refers to increasing the visibility of the Irish Language in our City. However, it is essential not to impose the Irish language on residents if the majority of them  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7b


Operational Issues


Use of the City Hall and the provision of Hospitality pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee approved the recommendations made in respect of applications received up to 7th August, 2020 as set out below:




Issues Raised in Advance by Members


Video and web streaming of Council Committee meetings - Councillor McReynolds


            In accordance with notice on the agenda, Councillor McReynolds addressed the Committee in relation to the video recording and web streaming of Council Committee meetings.


            The Committee agreed, in principle, to keep in place the current procedure (or a similar alternative) of the live web streaming of Council Committee meetings after the city emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, with a report on how this could be undertaken and associated costs being submitted to a future meeting.



Lighting up City Hall for World Suicide Awareness Day on 10th September - Councillor Long


            At the request of Councillor Long, the Committee agreed to the lighting up of the City Hall on 10th September to mark World Suicide Awareness Day.