Agenda and minutes

Contact: Mrs Sara Steele, Democratic Services Officer  90320202 x6301

No. Item




            No apologies were recorded.





            The minutes of the meeting of 10th November 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 December with the following amendment - “that the Council write to the Department for Infrastructure to request that it prioritises design, funding and completion of its public consultation regarding the installation of lighting on the Comber Greenway, and engage in discussion with the Council regarding future ownership and management of the Greenway.



Declarations of Interest


            No Declarations of Interest were received.



Presentation (Restricted)


Collaborative Circular Economy Network


            The Committee was advised that, at the November meeting of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, it had been agreed to support an invitation being extended to the Collaborative Circular Economy Network, which represented businesses in Northern Ireland which utilise recycled products collected by councils, to make a presentation, to a future meeting of the People and Communities Committee and that an invitation would be extended to all Members to attend.  Accordingly, Ms. H. Kinney from Kappa Consulting was welcomed to the meeting.


            Ms. Kinney provided a comprehensive overview of the Collaborative Circular Economy Network 2, she explained that five reprocessors had come together namely; Cherry Plastics Group, Encirc Glass, Huhtamaki, Natural World Products and AgriAD to recycle plastics, glass, paper and food waste respectively.  She advised that recyclate supplies were fundamental to all of these businesses but they were often having import materials from outside of Northern Ireland to supply their business, whilst tens of thousands of tonnes of recyclables were being exported for recycling outside of NI.  Working together provided an opportunity for the NI supply chain to align to:


·        ensure that more recyclate generated in NI could be reprocessed locally;

·        support an expansion of the reprocessing sector;

·        develop a more resilient circular economy approach in optimising value from waste resource; and

·        contribute to achieving future recycling targets in quantity and quality.


            The Committee noted that scoping study had been conducted by the Collaborative Circular Economy Network, funded by Invest NI, as part of its Collaborative Networks Programme.  This found that the reprocessors were major contributors to the local economy with:


·        Over 800 employees;

·        Strong exports;

·        Supporting the local supply chain; and

·        Committed investment.


            She provided a comprehensive overview of each of the five businesses, each which had a growing a demand for recyclate.  The Committee noted that importing material added costs, had an environmental impact and inhibited business growth plans, all of the business had a preference to source recyclate locally, where possible.


            In conclusion she detailed that the Network wished to collaborate with local authorities to:


·        ensure that as much as possible of the recyclate collected/available  in Northern Ireland could be reprocessed locally;

·        that there was alignment and mutual understanding of the local reprocessing and waste management sectors;

·        expand the Network to grow the reprocessing sector so that there was added value outlets for as much of the recyclate collected locally as possible;

·        maximize and add value to waste recovered from NI households; and

·        build economic resilience and move to a circular economy.


            The Chairperson thanked the representative for her informative presentation and she left the meeting.





            The information contained in the reports associated with the following 3 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 on the following 5 items as, due to their nature, 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 the Strategic Policy and Resources, at its meeting on 31st July, had received an update 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 had agreed to continue to provide Members with a monthly update on the financial position and that the same report would be presented to the subsequent standing Committees for noting and to provide further information on ongoing work.


            The Committee noted the November 2020 financial update.



White City and Carrick Hill Community Centres – Update Report


The Committee considered two individual requests from White City Community Development Association (WCDA) and Carrick Hill Residents Associations in relation to future management arrangements and financial support for the two community centres, both of which were independently operated by the community organisations, on land owned by Belfast City Council.  


            The Members noted that the request from White City Community Development Association was seeking the Council to take over the ownership, operation and management of the facility as a result of ongoing community capacity challenges.


            The request from Carrick Hill was to consider how the Council could better support the ongoing maintenance responsibilities of Carrick Hill Community Centre as well as assisting Carrick Hill Resident Group address outstanding necessary repairs as identified by a Condition Survey report completed in 2017.


            The Committee was reminded that both these request had previously been considered by the Committee at its meeting in March 2020 and this update report was to outline the latest position, to outline progress made in relation to each of the previous recommendations, and to seek approval from the Members for the new recommendations.


            Following detailed consideration of the report and the updates provided in regard to both the facilities, the Committee agreed to:


·        recommend to the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee that, as part of the rate setting process for 2021/22, the Council agree to take on ownership of White City Community Centre as a directly owned and operated community centre, subject to the relevant input of the Council’s Legal Services and Estates; and 

·        grant approval to officers to continue to liaise with Carrick Hill Residents Association, with a view to agreeing the terms of a lease agreement which would allow for the transfer of ownership of the building to the Council and enable Carrick Hill Community Centre to become a fully-fledged Independently Managed Community Centre (with the option then to review financial contribution).



Council Strategic Waste Management Arrangements - Update

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered a comprehensive report and update in relation to progress being made in terms of Joint Working between Councils in relation to Waste Management.  The report outlined the proposed process in regard to progressing to the next stage of the process as it was felt that the existing arrangements were not sustainable in the medium to long term. 


            The Committee noted that the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives NI (SOLACE) had requested, through the Technical Advisors Group NI structure, that the Councils would review the current set up with a view to making proposals for the future arrangements.  The timing was appropriate as reviews of Councils’ Waste Plans and DAERA’s “Delivering Resource Efficiency - Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy” were both also scheduled for the near future.  Organisational changes within the waste management groups also reinforced the need for a strategic review of current arrangements.


            A Member highlighted that whilst he was content to proceed with the recommendation he wished to make it clear that this was not a formal endorsement by the Committee of future strategy on waste management plans, he added that the Social Investment Board needed to understand the Governance arrangements and the role of the Elected Members. He added that any procurement opportunities needed to take account and consider the social added value of the procurement contract.


            The Director of City Services agreed to feed these comments back.


            The Committee endorsed the actions of Officers and the Society of local Authority Chief Executives NI (SOLACE) to date and:


·        noted that further updates would be submitted in due course; and

·        agreed to commence to the next stage of the process with the Strategic Investment Board proceeding to carry out an Economical Appraisal, subject to agreement of all eleven Councils at a cost of £3,600 per Council.



Southcity Resource and Development Centre: Bridging Support

Additional documents:


The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the request from Southcity Resource and Development Centre seeking revenue support for St. Simons Hall to enable up-to-date information to be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee and to ensure that a precedent was not being set.  



Update Report 'Wild Lights' Show


The Members considered a report which provided an update in regard to a previous request from Wonderland Productions Ltd. seeking permission to hold a Wild Lights type event in Botanic Gardens, Belfast in 2020.  The Committee was reminded that this request had originally been approved at the June meeting of the Committee but, at the July meeting of Council, it had been agreed that the decision be amended to allow for an environmental assessment to be carried out. 


            The Committee was advised that the applicant had since advised that the request created potential operational and contractual difficulties and as a result had cancelled the 2020 event.  The Committee noted that the Promoter was still minded to run the event in future years but felt that a light impact assessment survey was unnecessary. 


            A Member sought specific clarity as to whether there was a presence of bats in Botanic Park.   During discussion it was agreed that it would be helpful to have an understanding of the current legislation that existed around habitats, including bats and any environmental assessments that might be required. The Members agreed that once they had this information, the Council might wish to adopt a future policy position for all its parks and open spaces rather than just this one specific request.


            The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the report to enable a briefing paper on the legislation that exists around the impact of habitats, including bats, and the environmental assessments required in relation to this to be submitted to a future meeting.



Committee/Strategic Issues


Update on the New Crematorium Capital Project pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee was advised that at the meeting of the Strategic Cemetery and Crematorium Working Group, held on 25th November 2020, a detailed update had been given in regard to the New Crematorium Capital Project. 


            The Committee was advised that an Integrated Design Team had been appointed for the new crematorium development and representatives from this Team had attended the Working Group meeting where they had presented options for the proposed design development. 


            The following key items had been considered:


·        Chapel size and design – three options had been presented and after consideration option 3:  mezzanine provision of 160 ground floor seat capacity and 40 seat mezzanine had been agreed as the preferred option; and 

·        Function Room – it was agreed to remove the function room from the design of the new crematorium building and to explore the option to re-use parts of the existing crematorium as a place where functions could be held.


            The Working Group had also been advised that a pre-application discussion (PAD) had taken place with the Planners from Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) and statutory consultees. That meeting had been followed by another meeting with LCCC to discuss the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment.


            The Director of City Services detailed that the next stage in the planning process would require a request to be submitted to LCCC to formally determine the requirement for an Environmental Statement, in order to try to save time it had been agreed that preparation of the document would commence at this stage. 


            Following a query from a Member who sought clarity in regard to ensuring the proposal would meet future demand, the Director of City Services advised that an Economic Appraisal had been undertaken previously and she undertook to liaise with Property and Projects and to feed the results of this back into the Working Group for information purposes. 


            The Committee approved and adopted the minutes and the recommendations from the Strategic Cemeteries and Crematorium Development Working Group meeting held on 25th November 2020.



Proposed Alleyway Transformation Programme pdf icon PDF 465 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0        Purpose of Report


1.1          The purpose of this report is to give the committee an update on progress to date in response to:


·        Motion proposed by Councillor Dorrian and Seconded by Councillor Newton (September 2018):  ‘This Council will engage with relevant agencies to develop protocols in respect to addressing issues around unadopted alleyways across the City, recognising health and safety and public hygiene concerns. All efforts should be also made to identify legal owners and compel them to meet their obligations.’


·        A request from Cllr Kelly (August 2020): ‘following the success of initiatives such as Wildflower Alley and similar projects across the city, that the Committee would write the Department for Communities, Department of Justice and Department for Infrastructure with a view to co-ordinating support and assistance for residents and groups who would like to transform and regenerate communal and open spaces throughout the city.’


·        Minute action from February 2020: Members will recall at the Feb 2020 People and communities Committee,  the Committee agreed to defer consideration of appointing an external alleygate review, to enable a further report to be submitted on the possibility of the evaluation being undertaken in-house or options to reduce costs associated with an external evaluation.


·        The Motion which had been moved by Councillor McKeown and seconded by Councillor de Faoite (September 2020, People & Communities Committee): ‘Determines that a new funded alleygating programme is included as part of Council’s Recovery Plan, recognising the intrinsic benefit and popularity of existing alleygating programmes. Agrees that this new alleygating programme, when determining eligible streets, should give equal consideration and scoring to the efforts of communities to develop and maintain their alleyways as is currently given to crime-reduction and anti-social behaviour concerns.’


1.2          In response to this motion, the September meeting of the People & Communities Committee agreed that a comprehensive report on Alleygates and Alleyways would be submitted to a future meeting, which would consider previous Motions along with the financial resources available and reference any potential external funding opportunities.


2.0          Recommendations


2.1          The committee is asked to:


-        Note the work carried out to date in response to the un-adopted alleyways Notice of Motion,

-        Note the update on alleyway transformation in particular the follow up meetings with the Department of Infrastructure and Department for Justice


2.2          The committee is also asked to note that following consideration by officers it is not in a position to undertake an in-house evaluation of the phases 1-4 of the alleygating scheme.  Members are therefore asked to agree that the Council procure an external consultant to complete this evaluation and that this evaluation is carried out in accordance with the criteria listed in paragraph 3:30 of this report.


3.0          Main report


               Key Issues


3.1          It is acknowledged that there is different levels of support required from different Council departments to deal with issues presented by alleyways across the city.  This level of support can vary according to:


-        the condition of alleyway,

-        the ownership (privately  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8b


Physical Programme and Asset Management


Partner Agreements Update pdf icon PDF 265 KB


            The Committee noted the quarterly progress report in relation to Partner Agreements at seven sites and that all Partners had been compliant on reporting matters and financial checks for July September 2020.



Operational Issues


Proposal for naming a new street and the continuation and realignment of existing streets pdf icon PDF 250 KB


The Committee approved an application for naming a new street and the continuation of two existing streets in the City, as set out below:



Proposed Name             



Galgani Crescent

Off Ardilea Avenue, BT14

The Boyd Partnership



Proposed Continuation of Existing Street             



Hopewell Crescent

Off Hopewell Avenue, BT13

Hall, Black, Douglas Architects

Hopewell Square

Off Hopewell Crescent, BT13

Hall, Black, Douglas Architects



Street food events in Lower Crescent Open Space April 2021 – September 2021 pdf icon PDF 258 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0         Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1          The purpose of the report is to obtain permission from Members for a series of weekend street food events to be held in Lower Crescent Open space over period April 2021 – September 2021.


2.0          Recommendations


2.1          The Committee is asked to:


1.      Grant authority to Night Cap Event Group Ltd   for a series of street food events to be held in Lower Crescent Open space over period April 2021 – September 2021, subject to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions and compliance required by Council.


2.      Grant authority to the Director of Neighbourhood Services subject to satisfactory terms being agreed and on condition that:


·        The promoter resolves all operational issues to the councils’ satisfaction

·        An appropriate legal agreement is completed, to be prepared by the City Solicitor; and

·        the promoter meets all the statutory requirements of the Planning and Building Control Service including the terms and conditions of the Park’s Entertainment Licence

·        Grant authority to the Director of Neighbourhood Services to negotiate an appropriate fee for use of Lower Crescent Open Space taking into account costs to the Council, minimising negative impact on the immediate area but also the potential wider benefit to the city economy.

·        To write to the promoters and advise that a social levy will also be charged in accordance with Council policy. 

·        The event company will also be required to reimburse any ancillary costs for services provided by the Council at the event.

·        Agree that Event Organisers shall consult with public bodies and local communities as necessary.


3.0          Main report


               Key Issues


3.1          ‘Night Market’ is an original project that supports local jobs, training and enterprise. The intention is to bring an exciting and unique outdoor street food dining experience to Belfast. In an ever changing and challenging climate the aim is to provide a safe open air space for socializing whilst enjoying all that’s good about NI local food.


3.2          Hosted by the Nightcap Event Group Ltd, an innovative drinks led hospitality company which focuses on providing consultancy and mobile bar services across Northern Ireland with over 20 years industry experience. The company is keen to involve the local hospitality sector by organizing this bespoke event. In addition they seek to support the NI events sector as a whole that have been arguably hardest hit during this year’s pandemic by creating jobs and giving suppliers a direct route to market.


3.3          ‘Night Market’ has the aim of being the street food event to transform Belfast’s food landscape by turning a lost suburb into a vibrant street food destination. The aim of Night Market is to provide a platform for the best street food traders in the province to cook quality, locally-sourced and honest food to the people of Northern Ireland in a safe open air venue.


3.4          Considerable consultation will be required with local house holders and businesses in the surrounding area. Alcohol will be on sale as part of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Issues Raised in Advance by Members


Mapping exercise of 3g and 4g Pitches - Councillor Cobain


            Agreed that a report be submitted to a future meeting listing the Council’s 3g and 4g pitch facilities which would include information about the services available at each of the locations (for example lighting).