Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall

Contact: Mrs Sara Steele, Democratic Services Officer  90320202 x6301

No. Item




No apologies were reported.




            The Committee was asked to note that the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 10th October had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 1st November, subject to the following variations/amendments:


·        Under the heading Update on Alleygates, the Council agreed that the next report on alleygates being presented to the Committee should examine the potential for proceeding immediately with the installation of alleygates at those locations where there were no issues to be addressed;


·        Under the heading Reference Group on Older People - Greater Belfast Seniors’ Forum (G6), the Council agreed that a report be submitted to the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee on the protocol on the use of the Lavery and Conor Rooms in the City Hall;


·        Under the heading Update on Off Street Parking, the Council agreed that stakeholders from the University Area be invited to attend a future meeting of the Committee in relation to the residents’ parking scheme and that an invitation be re-issued to the Department for Instructure to discuss issues around road safety and parking for local communities; and


·        Under the heading GLL Annual Schedule of Charges 2024/25, the Committee agreed that a report be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee on the status and content of the current contract with GLL and that careful consideration be given, in agreeing any future extensions or new contract with GLL or any other provider, to the clause relating to price increases.


            Under the heading ‘Update on Off Street Parking’, with the agreement of Councillor Black, who made the request at the Council meeting, the Committee agreed to refer the decision taken at the November Council to invite the stakeholders from the University Area, namely the Forward South Partnership, to a future City Growth and Regeneration Committee.  In relation to the issues around road safety and parking for local communities it agreed to refer this matter to be raised at the special meeting of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee on 22nd November, at which the DfI would be in attendance to present its Autumn update.


            The minutes of the meetings of 10th October were taken as read and signed as correct.



Declarations of Interest


            Councillors Canavan, M. Donnelly and Doherty declared an interest in agenda item 4c Social Supermarket Update in that they were associated with or worked for an organisation which had applied for funding and left the meeting whilst the item was under consideration. 



Item Withdrawn from Agenda


            The Committee noted that agenda item 5 (b) Playground Improvement Programme had been withdrawn from the agenda.



Committee Schedule 2024 pdf icon PDF 251 KB


            The Committee approved the schedule of meetings for the People and Communities Committee as outlined below and agreed that all meetings would commence at 5.15 pm:


·        Tuesday 9th January at 5.15 pm

·        Tuesday 6th February at 5.15 pm

·        Tuesday 20th February at 5.15 pm – Special Housing

·        Tuesday 12th March at 5.15 pm

·        Tuesday 9th April at 5.15 pm

·        Tuesday 7th May at 5.15 pm

·        Tuesday 21st May at 5.15 pm - Special - BCYC

·        Tuesday 11th June at 5.15 pm

·        Tuesday 6th August at 5.15 pm

·        Tuesday 3rd September at 5.15 pm – Special Housing HIP Update

·        Tuesday 10th September at 5.15 pm

·        Tuesday 8th October at 5.15 pm

·        Tuesday 5th November at 5.15 pm

·        Monday 9th December – Special – BCYC

·        Tuesday 3rd December at 5.15 pm





Keep Recycling Local


The Chairperson welcomed to the meeting Ms. N. Carruthers representing Keep Recycling Local.

            The representatives commenced by thanking the Committee for the opportunity to present on the work of the Keep Recycling Local campaign.  Ms. Carruthers advised that the campaign had been established by businesses and other organisations to highlight the positive changes required in the way recyclables were collected and to ensure that recyclable materials collected in Northern Ireland (NI) were reprocessed in NI.  She explained that, if this was to be achieved, it would aid NI’s circular economy in terms of supporting local businesses and jobs.

            The representative explained that the current problem with recycling, in most of the NI Councils, was the co-mingling of recyclable materials, this resulted in 91,000 tonnes of recyclables being exported around the globe which was a massive cost to businesses, the NI economy and the environment.

            She drew the Members’ attention to the policy context in NI and referred to the DAERA consultation on a single waste strategy for NI. 

            The representative detailed the following three steep solution:

1.     To collect key materials separately;

2.     To change key legislation to incentivise local reprocessing over export; and

3.     To make information on end destinations of recycling more publicly accessible. 


            She advised that, if recyclables were to be kept separate, over 80% of the recyclable materials could be recycled locally instead of the 10% currently being recycled as a result of co-mingled collections. It was acknowledged that Belfast City Council did not co-mingle recycle glass and paper/cardboard.

            The presentation concluded with the representative asking the Council to consider introducing a 3-stream collection system, like the one adopted by Antrim and Newtownabbey Council and also to support DAERA in its ambition to introduce a single waste policy across all of Northern Ireland and to promote the need for better public awareness and education.

            The representative addressed a query in relation to the capacity of the wheelie box trial and stated that she would be more than happy to provide further information in relation to capacity issues or to organise a site visit to member companies, she urged the Members to contact her directly if they had any further queries.

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


            The Committee noted the presentation.





            The information contained in the reports associated with the following four 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 the following four 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.





Alleygates Consultation Update


            (Mr. S. Leonard, Neighbourhood Services (OS Portfolio Lead), attended in connection with this item.)


            The Committee considered a report which provided an update on the consultation exercise carried out in relation to the Alleygate Phase 5 sites.


            The report outlined the consultation process that had been undertaken, detailing that a letter. containing a questionnaire, had been issued to 2000 properties within the proposed Phase 5 gating location areas.  The Members were advised that, due to a low response in July, a further letter had been reissued to properties who had not completed the original survey, with a closing date for the end of August.


            The Committee considered the responses and noted that there had been a number of objections received, it was felt by officers that many of these were access concerns which could be addressed during the installation period.  It was also noted that consultation with the Department for Infrastructure and PSNI had taken place, with support for the locations and ‘Agreement in Principle’ having been received for the proposed gating locations.


            The Strategic Director then drew the Members’ attention to advice from Legal Services, following its review of the findings. 


            The Committee noted the unprecedented level of objections received, higher than any other previous phases of Alleygates.  It was noted that there had been difficulties with the consultation and that the low number of returns might be due to this being the first time an online consultation process had been used. Previous consultations had used door to door canvassers, who could aid residents in completing the survey forms. The consultation had been accessed over 800 times but only 694 online forms had been completed. 


            The Committee noted that the next stage of the Alleygating process would be to move directly to the public notification, by sending a Notice of Intention to each property stating that Belfast City Council sought to make a Gating Order, however, it was suggested that, at this stage, the Council would instead re-open the consultation process, using canvassers to revisit those properties who had not completed the online survey.  It was felt that this might help to improve the level of responses across the programme area and assist to move the programme towards the notification period and to provide the Council with a more robust evidence base upon which to decide whether to progress to the next stage in the alleygating process.


            Several Members voiced their frustration that this process was taking so long to progress and noted that many of the constituents were eagerly awaiting the installation of these gates, some of which had been made and were ready to be installed. 


            Following a query as to why those streets which had not received any objections could not be progressed, the Strategic Director advised that it would be more cost effective to undertake as one complete phase of works.


            The Members discussed the challenges of consulting through letters and the complexity of the questionnaire issued, especially for their older constituents.  In considering  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Update on late night hot food premises opening hours on Ormeau Road

Additional documents:


The Committee was reminded of the issues associated with the late opening of hot food premises on the Ormeau Road, Belfast, which had resulted in representations having been made to the January 2023 meeting of the Committee.  The Members were reminded that, at this meeting, the Committee had agreed that it was minded to make a Closure Order and had agreed that the business operator be afforded the opportunity to make representations at a future meeting of the Committee, prior to a final determination.


            The Members were then provided with an update on the progress since that decision. They were advised that, following facilitated discussions, an agreement had been reached between the hot food business operator, local residents and LORAG in relation to the future operation of the premises.


            The Director drew the Members’ attention to the conditions that had been agreed which formed the negotiated agreement.  He also advised that a review meeting had been held since the commencement of the new arrangements and it appeared that the new arrangements had been successful in addressing the residents’ concerns. LORAG had acknowledged the efforts of the business operator toaddress the residents’ concerns through the range of measures implemented and had agreed that the residents would continue to support the current arrangements, subject to a review in six months.


            The Director outlined that Council officers were concerned, however, that other business operators in the area might be tempted to open later to attract the customers that would previously have gone to the other hot food establishment, which would clearly negate the good work that had already taken place.  It was noted that one establishment within the vicinity of the residents already appeared to be opening later.  The Committee was advised that officers were engaging with the business operator to seek a similar negotiated agreement.


            The Committee:


·        agreed not to make a Closure Order at this time, subject to compliance with the agreement and a review in six months’ time; and


·        agreed the proposed approach in respect of other hot food premises in Lower Ormeau Road Area, as outlined in paragraph 3.4 of the report.



Six monthly leisure management contract compliance and performance report


            The Committee was reminded that it had previously been agreed that contract compliance and performance reports would be presented, at a strategic level, to Committee on a six-monthly basis in November and May.  That would allow for sufficient time to collate and verify management information data related to the preceding six-month periods of April to September and October to March.


            The six-monthly reports, as submitted, included detailed quarterly information on the two relevant quarters within each six-month period.


            The Committee noted the:


·        information provided in paragraph 3.2.1 of the report in relation to contract compliance;

·        information provided at paragraph 3.2.2 in relation to key performance indicators;

·        supporting narrative presented at paragraph 3.2.3;

·        facility asset management monitoring information set out at paragraph 3.2.4; and

·        Health and Safety compliance assurances presented at paragraph 3.2.5.



Six monthly Healthwise and Physical Activity Referral report


The Committee noted the six-monthly progress update on the exercise and health referral programmes managed by GLL in Belfast, which included an overview of the various health related contracts and services along with the key performance indicators.



Committee/Strategic Issues


Lagan Valley Regional Park - Response from DfI pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on 8th August, it agreed to write to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to express its concern at the withdrawal of core funding for Lagan Valley Regional Park for the financial year 2023-24.


            The Committee was advised that a response had been received from Ms. Violeta Morrison, PPTO, Rivers Directorate.  In her response, she advised ‘that the Department was fully appreciative of the close working relationship that had existed between the Department and Lagan Valley Regional Park. The Department understood that the withdrawal of the discretionary funding of £42k from Lagan Valley Regional Park had left the Park in a precarious situation, however, the decision to cut all discretionary spending and, therefore the funding to LVRP, had been taken at Departmental level due to overall budget cuts that had affected all Departments’. She reiterated that the Department’s Inland Waterways team would ‘not be able to enter into a new Operational Service Agreement (OSA) with LVRP’.


            A Member stated that this was a disappointing but not unexpected response from the DfI and referred to the valuable work undertaken out by the LVRP staff and the impact that this cut in funding would have.


            It was proposed by Councillor Murray, seconded by Councillor McAteer and agreed to recommend to the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee that additional funding of £21,000.00 be awarded to the LVRP from reserves and to write to LCCC asking it to contribute the same amount to address the shortfall in funding from the DfI.



Smokefree Generation consultation response and update on Vaping - Notice of Motion pdf icon PDF 431 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues


1.1       To update the Committee on the motion passed at Council in relating to vaping, including a draft Council response to the UK wide ‘Smokefree Generation’ consultation (published on 12th October 2023 by Department of Health and Social Care, in partnership with the Department of Health in Northern Ireland) which makes proposals for restrictions on the sale of tobacco and vapes, including a proposed UK wide ban on the sale of disposable vape products.


2.0       Recommendation


2.1       The committee is asked to:


                                           (i)          Note the updates on current policy context and recent strategic level engagements in relation to tobacco control and vaping issues; and

                                         (ii)          Agree the BCC draft response to the public consultation ‘creating a Smoke free Generation – your views’ and agree that officers submit the response by 6th December


3.0       Main Report


3.1       Council previously agreed the following notice of motion in April 2023:


            ‘Belfast faces a growing problem of vaping by children and young adults. These products are addictive, damaging to health and often contain illegal substances.


            The legislation covering their sale is inadequate. While it is illegal to sell them to under 18s there is no registration of retailers, no restriction on the display of the products and no resources to identify illegal and harmful additives.


            Some disposable vapes are designed to be attractive to children and many are discarded in the street posing an environmental and health risk.


            In the face of a developing public health crisis this Council will convene a working group with other stakeholders, including the Department of Health, the Public Health Agency and the PSNI to consider measures to strengthen current legislation and enforcement, including the consideration of a ban on the sale of disposable vapes.


            Furthermore, the Council will ban the use of vapes by under 18s in all its sites and premises.’


3.2       A previous update provided to the Committee at its meeting on 13th June 2023 indicated that Officers would engage with key partners, including Department of Health and the Public Agency to explore options for Elected Members to discuss potential measures to strengthen the control and restrictions around youth vaping.


3.3       Over recent months, concerns surrounding the sale and use of nicotine inhaling product (NIPs), including disposable vapes have been highlighted by a range of agencies, partners and working groups. These concerns have included matters relating to health impacts and addiction for young people, and environmental considerations.  A range of public bodies and charitable organisations have publicly called for a complete ban on disposable vapes, including NILGA , the LGA in England and Wales, and the Welsh and Scottish Governments, with widespread media coverage at national and regional levels.


3.4       Since the last update to committee in June, Officers have engaged with officials from Department of Health and other partners such as the Public Health Agency who are represented on a range of multiagency groups, to seek updates on potential for input to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Social Supermarkets Update pdf icon PDF 514 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


1.0      Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues


1.1       The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the operation of the Social Supermarket Fund and seek members approval to operate an open call for grant applications to the Social Supermarket Fund in 24/25 as outlined in the report.


2.0       Recommendation


2.1       Members are asked to note the contents of the report and to grant approval to operate an open call for grant applications to the Social Supermarket Fund in 24/25 as outlined in the report.


3.0       Main Report






3.1       In September 23, Council approved the approach to allocate Social Supermarket funding for 23/24. During discussions, elected members expressed a desire that going forward, this funding programme should be administered through an open call. Officers in City & Neighbourhood Services have since engaged with the Central Grants Unit (CGU) in Place & Economy who have advised that an open call process for 24/25 can be facilitated.


3.2       For council to operate an open call for 24/25, the application period would run from early December 2023 until end of January 24 and applications would be open to any constituted group delivering eligible projects. CGU support would ensure that applications are administered within a recognised independent process that allows for separation of duties between project delivery and administration staff.


3.3          Members will be aware that Social Supermarket Funding is provided 100% by Department for Communities (DfC) through the Community Support Programme Letter of Offer. The availability of funds for 24/25 is dependent upon the allocation received from DFC.


3.4          The operation of an open call process requires a lead in period of approximately 4 months and in order to ensure readiness, council would need to operate the call in advance of confirmation of the level of funding in 24/25 from DfC. If an open call was not agreed until confirmation of funding levels was received, it would not allow for the practical delivery of activity. Members will note that in 23/24, the funding for social supermarkets was not confirmed by DFC until in July 23. Had an open call process been implemented only on confirmation of funding, support would not have been available to organisations until January 24.


3.5          DfC officials have advised that Social Supermarket funding is delivered through a ringfenced welfare reform mitigations budget which is agreed in principle until March 25 and that it is likely that the starting budgetary position would be the same as 23/24, ie; approximately £415,000 for Belfast City Council. In the unlikely event that no funding is made available from DfC, Council will be under no obligation to make awards to organisations who have applied.


3.6       It is suggested that the following parameters for an open call be applied;


·        Eligible projects will be those that can demonstrate that they provide food/food support to individuals impacted by poverty and provide wraparound support through their own services and/or a referral network

·        The delivery time frame will be 1st  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Belfast Boxing Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Additional documents:


The Strategic Director drew the Members’ attention to the contents of a report which provided an update on the implementation of the Belfast Boxing Strategy, for the period April to September 2023 (Quarters 1 and 2).  The report noted that the Irish Athletic Boxing Association Ulster Branch (IABA) had advised that it anticipated that all the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) would be achieved by the end of 2023/24.


            The Committee was reminded that, pending the development of Council’s Physical Activity and Sports Development Strategy, the Committee had agreed at its March 2023 meeting to extend the current strategy and related work programme from 1st April 2023 until 31st March 2024.


            The Committee noted the progress to date of the Belfast Boxing Strategy annual work plan for 2023/24.



Stadia Community Benefits Initiative Update pdf icon PDF 261 KB

Additional documents:


The Members were reminded that that the Stadia Community Benefits Initiative agreement was for a period of ten years with a financial commitment from the Council and IFA in place until the end of March 2026. Delivery was managed through monthly meetings of the Delivery Board, which reported quarterly to the Policy and Performance Board. In addition, financial and performance reports were presented to the Council and other Partner Boards.


            The report noted that, in terms of performance, delivery to date in Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of year 7 (financial year 2023/24) had continued.  It further highlighted that a number of joint initiatives, including a schools coaching programme and a best practice conference were planned for Quarter 4.


            The Action Plan for 2023/24 had been produced by the Partners and included a mixture of sports specific programmes with both National Governing Body specific coach education courses, along with some joint collaborative initiatives.


            The Committee noted theprogress of the Stadia Community Benefits Initiative for 2023/2024 and the update on the action plan.



Partner Agreements Update pdf icon PDF 256 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 April – September 2023.


            The Strategic Director referred to a request to extend all existing agreements.  He advised that, as the Committee was aware, the Council was currently developing a new policy regarding the management of assets within the community with a pilot being delivered across a number of sites. One of the sites included in the initial pilot was Ulidia Playing Fields and this site had been assessed using the pilot approach. 


            The Director continued that it was anticipated, following a review of the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) pilot process, the sites might also be made available for consideration under new management arrangements, therefore, to ensure continuity of service provision, it was intended that the existing Partner Agreements would continue until any new arrangements had been put in place.


            The Members noted that the Council was also in the process of producing both a Physical Activity and Sports Development Strategy and a Playing Pitches and Outdoor Sports Facilities Strategy.


            Following a query from a Member, the Strategy Director advised that a report on the CAT pilot process was due to be submitted to the Committee within the next few months.


            The Committee noted the progress to date at the Partner Agreement sites.



Consultation on Private Tenancies Act 2022 Section 8: (Smoke, Heat and Carbon Monoxide alarms) and Section 10:( Electrical Safety Standards) pdf icon PDF 459 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues


1.1       To update members regarding the consultations on The Smoke, Heat and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations (NI) and the Electrical Safety Standards Regulations (NI) as part of the new provisions contained in The Private Tenancies Act (NI) 2022.



2.0       Recommendation


2.1       The members of the Committee are asked to note the new legislative powers to be enforced by Councils in relation to the private rented sector regarding:


·        The Smoke, Heat and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations (NI)

·        The Electrical Safety Standards Regulations (NI)


            Members are asked:


·        To agree the Council’s response to the consultation in respect of the above-mentioned regulations. (Appendix 6) and


·        To agree the proposed levels for fixed penalty fines for the offences created under these new regulations as stated in this report.


3.0       Main Report


            Key issues


3.1       Members were previously appraised at their January 2023 Committee of the new provisions contained in The Private Tenancies Act (NI) 2022 which received royal assent on the 27th April 2022 and the report provided the details of the elements of the new Order that come into effect on the 1st April 2023 for the following provisions:


·        Tenancy Information Notice

·        Receipts for cash payments

·        Changes to Tenancy Deposits

·        Increase in time for requirements relating to tenancy deposits

·        Removal of the 6-month time barrier to prosecution of tenancy deposit offence

·        Change in length of notice to quit


3.2       It was noted that there are still a number of provisions which require further consultation regarding new requirements to provide smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms and changes to electrical safety standards in private rented sector properties. 


3.3       A 12-week stakeholder consultation was issued on 13 September 2023 with responses due by 6th December 2023 via the NICS Citizen Space platform in relation to The Smoke, Heat and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations(NI).


            The Smoke, Heat and Carbon Monoxide Alarms for Private Tenancies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 202X Consultation - NI Direct - Citizen Space


            and the Electrical Safety Standards Regulations (NI).


            The Electrical Safety Standards for Private Tenancies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 202X Consultation - NI Direct - Citizen Space


            It is a targeted consultation focusing on engaging and obtaining the views of NI tenants, landlords, electricians, council enforcement officers, and all associated professional bodies/representatives on the draft Regulations and guidance.


            Prior to seeking this approval to proceed to formal consultation with stakeholders there has been engagement in shaping of the regulations with the DfC expert advisory panel representing:


·        Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS)

·        Local Council Environmental Health Officers who will enforce the regulations

·        DoF technical staff in respect of electrical and building regulation adherence 

·        Electrical Safety First – campaigning organisation for electrical safety measures


3.4       The consultations states that these regulations do not cover Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) and single lets properties, as these are covered by separate legislation/guidance. Single let arrangements is housing leased from private landlords and used by the Housing Executive to accommodate homeless people. Single-lets  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16a


Physical Programme and Asset Management


Shankill Bullring - Naming of New Park pdf icon PDF 229 KB

Additional documents:


The Strategic Director advised that the new public park in the Lower Shankill was located at an area formally known as “The Bullring”. The park was funded by the Department for Communities through its Building Successful Communities programme and comprised of:


·        a MUGA;

·        a play area for 0-3 years and 3-6 years;

·        exercise equipment;

·        self-contained community garden, including a toilet facility; and

·        allotments.


            The new park had opened to the public on 29th September 2023.  He reminded the Committee that, at its August meeting, it had agreed to consult on three options for the name of the new park.  A full public consultation had been undertaken using the Council’s Your Say webpage between 20th September and 1st November 2023. A total of 901 responses had been received, with the breakdown as follows:


·        Angel Park: 347 in favour (38.5%);

·        Lower Shankill Park: 416 in favour (46.2%); and

·        Rock Roots Park: 138 in favour (15.3%)


            The Committee approved the name, Lower Shankill Park, for the new park at the Shankill Bullring.



Playground Improvement Programme pdf icon PDF 272 KB

Additional documents:


Naming of open space/playground at Moltke Street pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting in September 2022, it had considered a report in relation to the open space/playground at Moltke Street, this had referred to the renaming of an existing playground adjacent to this open space. The Members were advised that this report should have referred to the open space and not the playground.


            By way of clarity, the Members were asked to note that the open space would be named the Ruby Murray Village Green and that the playground adjacent would remain known as the Nubia Street Playground.


            The Strategic Director confirmed that the Chair of the local Neighbourhood Partnership and other community representatives had been consulted and no issues had been raised.


            The Members were also asked to note that an event to mark the naming of the park would be taking place later in the month and that this would include the planting of a tree and the relocation of an artwork to the park.


            The Committee noted that the open space would be named the Ruby Murray Village Green and that the playground adjacent would remain known as the Nubia Street Playground.



Operational Issues


Winter Preparedness Update pdf icon PDF 518 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues


1.1       The purpose of this report is to update Members on winter preparedness following a Notice of Motion (NOM) referred by Standards and Business Committee on 24/01/2023 requesting a Winter Preparedness Strategy to be presented by quarter 3 of this financial year. This report advises Members on measures taken by BCC and multiagency partners to support the people of Belfast over the winter period, specifically in terms of emergency planning and Age Friendly Belfast.


2.0       Recommendation


2.1       That the committee considers and notes the arrangements in place for winter preparedness.


2.2       Members agree to the recommendation to permit DFI Rivers Staff access to Council land to complete necessary onsite maintenance of infrastructure, subject to relevant access agreements.



3.0       Main Report


3.1       Emergency Planning overview


            Belfast City Council has an emergency plan in place to prepare for, respond to and recover from all kinds of emergencies including severe winter weather. In addition, the regional severe weather plan is a multiagency approach to planning for, responding to and recovering from severe weather. These plans enable partner agencies to co-ordinate their response to and recovery from any severe winter weather.


3.2       Council Site maintenance of grills and culverts


            DFI Rivers Staff are required to maintain grills and culverts upon Council lands acting within their statutory maintenance responsibilities.   To facilitate this ongoing maintenance, an access agreement between Council and DfI to facilitate access is proposed.  


3.3       Community Resilience Group


            There are a number of community resilience groups in Belfast who are supported by multi agency partners to be better prepared for adverse weather, particularly relating to flooding. These community resilience groups have recently been re-engaged with, updating residents contacts details. Re-engagement includes awareness raising within these communities on existing resources including sandbag containers and equipment to help assist during adverse weather.


3.4       Sandbag containers have been audited and continue to be replenished by multiagency partners including NIW, DfI Roads and DfI Rivers in preparation for winter. The sandbag containers have combination locks to improve speed of access by BCC staff or community volunteers when required. Locations of the sandbag containers are published on the Councilwebsite.


3.5       Snow clearance and salting


            DfI Roads continue their annual scheduled process of restocking grit boxes and also responding to requests through their online Public Interface Portal (PIP) - Report an issue with ice or snow | nidirect.An agreement is in place between DfI Roads and Belfast City Council in which council resources can be used to treat predefined areas when prolonged severe icy conditions are forecast. This protocol is triggered when a prolonged cold period is expected or experienced. The areas agreed include arterial routes into the city and streets in and around the city centre.


3.6       Members may recall a report agreed at People and Communities committee in February 2019 (Appendix 1) regarding the provision of salt for Members use in communities during prolonged severe winter weather. Small quantities of salt  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


Request for the use of a Park for 2024 event pdf icon PDF 426 KB


The Committee considered a request from Derriaghy District LOL No.11 seeking permission for the use of the Fullerton Park for the 12th July festivities. The purpose of the event was to celebrate the 334th Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne with a parade, religious service and family fun day. There would be vendors attending the event to provide food and it was anticipated that a total of 3000 people would be in attendance.


            The Committee granted authority to Derriaghy District LOL No.11 for the use of the Fullerton Park for the 12th July festivities and delegated authority to the Strategic Director of City Operations to ensure the following:


            The Event Organisers:


·        liaise with Council officers to ensure that all Health and Safety requirements are adhered to and an event management plan and risk assessment are produced that the Council is satisfied with; and


·        work in partnership with Council staff, resolving any operational issues to the Council’s satisfaction, including managing final booking confirmation dates and flexibility around ‘set up’ and ‘take down’ periods, and booking amendments.


            The Committee noted that the above recommendations were taken as a pre-policy position, in advance of the Council agreeing a more structured framework and policy for events, which was currently being taken forward in conjunction with the Council’s Commercial Team.



Proposal for Dual Language Street Signs pdf icon PDF 354 KB


The Committee agreed to the erection of a second street nameplate in Irish at Ligoniel Place, Mountainhill Road, Norfolk Parade, Ladybrook Grove, Greenan and Alliance Avenue.



Dual language street sign applications made by developers pdf icon PDF 572 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues


1.1       At the meeting of the People and Communities committee on 12th September it was agreed that a report would be brought to committee regarding requests for dual language nameplates made by developers of new streets.  This followed a proposal from Cllr O’Neill provided below:


1.2       “At present, there is no policy regarding Bilingual Signage for New Developments in the city. Developers or Housing Associations might make an ad-hoc request to the committee; however, there is no overarching policy.


            Therefore, as a matter of practice, this council will amend its policy on naming a new street and will allow Developers/Housing Associations to request Bilingual signage as a part of their application for a new street, with the final sign-off being with the People and Communities Committee.”


2.0       Recommendation


2.1       Members are asked to consider the report and agree to the process for dual language street sign applications made by developers on new streets as outlined.


3.0       Main Report


3.1       Key Issues


            The power for the Council to consider applications to erect a second street nameplate in a language other than English is contained in Article 11 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 1995.


3.2       The Dual Language Street Signs Policy, agreed in 2022, allows for an application for dual language nameplates in a new street to be made by a developer: -


            ‘An application for the erection of a street sign in a language other than English may be made by an ‘Applicant’ which for purposes of this policy means: … (c) a developer of a new street. Any application submitted by a developer with regard to a new street will be considered by the Council in accordance with Section 3(xi) of this policy.”


3.3       Section 3(xi) of the policy states:


            “The Council will retain a residual discretion to decide to erect or not to erect a street sign in a language other than English in certain circumstances. This will be done on a case-by-case basis. It may be appropriate to depart from the procedures in this policy when there are clear reasons for doing so. This may include taking into account:


(a)    the views of the Occupiers of the street;


(b)   the results of the initial assessment for the application, including any identified potential adverse impacts on equality, good relations and rural needs;


(c)    consideration of the local context of the application;


(d)   any other Council policies or strategies related to the application; and


(e)    all material considerations relating to the application.’


3.4       The policy does not set out in detail how the applications would be processed, but states that applications would be considered in the order received. With the significant number of applications received, this would mean that any application received now from a developer of a new street would unlikely be considered until well after the street was occupied.  However, dealing with a dual language street sign request at the same time  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Proposal for naming new streets and the continuation of an existing street pdf icon PDF 340 KB


The Committee approved the following applications for the naming of new streets and the continuation of an existing street:


Proposed Name



Annalee Street

Off Alloa Street, BT14

Clanmil Housing Association

Hazel Way

Off Hazel Crescent, BT17

Toland House Properties


Proposed Continuation of Existing Street



Hazel Drive

Between Lagmore Avenue and Lagmore View, BT17

Toland House Properties



Christmas/New Year Waste Collections - Verbal Update


            The Director of Resources and Fleet advised the Members that a comprehensive article on waste and recycling, including dates for Bank Holiday Bin Collections over the Christmas and New Year period had been included within in most recent edition of City Matters.  She also advised that all Elected Members would be emailed in due course regarding the Christmas/New Year waste collection arrangements.


            The Director also took the opportunity to remind the Members that a site visit had been organised to Blackstaff Recycling Centre and a paper/card reprocessing plant, Huhtamaki Ltd in Dollingstown on Wednesday, 29th November.


            It was agreed to extend this invitation to all Elected Members to ensure cross Party representation.