Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall

Contact: Mrs Sara Steele, Democratic Services Officer  90320202 x6301

No. Item




            Apologies for inability to attend were recorded on behalf of Alderman McCoubrey and Councillor McCusker.





            The minutes of the meeting of 6th December, 2022 were taken as read and signed as correct. 


            It was reported that the minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 9th January.



Declarations of Interest


No declarations were reported.




Installation of Gates at Crescent Park pdf icon PDF 271 KB

Additional documents:


The Director of Neighbourhood Services reminded the Members that this matter had been deferred from the December meeting to enable the Committee to hear deputations from representatives of the Friends of Crescent Park, South Belfast and also from a delegation of those opposing the possible gating of the Park.


            Accordingly, the Chairperson welcomed Mr. Hetherington, Ms. Bonhomme, Mr. Mulgrew, Ms. Hayles and Ms. Johnston to the meeting.


            Mr. Hetherington and Ms. Bonhomme (representing Friends of Crescent Park) commenced and thanked the Members for the opportunity to address the Committee. 


            Mr. Hetherington (Chair of Friends of Crescent Park) advised that Crescent Park, which was owned by Belfast City Council, was an invaluable park to the people who resided on or near the Crescent and to many other users daily. He advised the Members that for many years the park had suffered as a hotspot from incidents of anti-social behaviour, highlighting that these problems were much worse at night-time, particularly with substance abuse and drinking and he provided a detailed overview of the ongoing issues.


            He advised that approximately six years ago some improvements had been made to the park, including improved lighting, the pruning of shrubbery and a better maintenance programme.  The representative continued, however, that, since the pandemic, things had again deteriorated and Friends of Crescent Park (FoCP) had been looking at what measures could be taken to try and improve the park to try and reduce the ongoing incidents of antisocial behaviour (ASB).


            The Members were advised that, following a scoping exercise, FoCP had produced ‘Improving the Crescent’, which considered proposed actions to try and address anti-social behaviour and increase the attractiveness of the park to all members of the public. One of the actions recommended was the installation of gates at the four entrance points of the park, with the Council taking on the responsibility for the daily opening and closing of the gates.  The representative continued that, whilst the installation of gates was a sizable structural project, following local consultation they had received majority support from residents and businesses supporting the proposed work. 


            Ms. Bonhomme, who had resided in the park? since 2018, then provided a detailed overview of the antisocial behaviour that she was subjected to daily which made her feel unsafe in her own home at night-time, this included details regarding groups of aggressive and loud individuals inhabiting the park, drug dealing, alcohol and drug misuse, knife crime, littering and urination in shrubbery.


            The Chairperson thanked the representative for their input and then asked Mr. Mulgrew and Ms. Hayles to address the meeting. 


            Mr. Mulgrew thanked the Committee for the opportunity to contribute to the discussion. He advised that he worked near to the park and very much enjoyed using it as did many others.  He stated that, in recent years, much work had gone into making Crescent Park the area that it now was and noted that these were all very welcome measures. He continued that, whilst he appreciated that there were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2a




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



Late night hot food premises opening hours on Ormeau Road

Additional documents:


The Committee was reminded that over the last number of months the Council had received complaints around noise, nuisance and disturbance emanating from the late-night opening of food premises on the Lower Ormeau Road. 


            At its December meeting, the Committee had agreed to receive a deputation from Lower Ormeau Residents Action Group (LORAG) for a small delegation of residents to attend it’s January meeting to highlight the impact on the local neighbourhood.


            Accordingly, the Chairperson invited Ms. J. Armstrong and Ms. J. Breen to address the Committee.


            Ms. Armstrong provided detail about the large crowds that were gathering outside the premises in the early hours of the morning due to its late closure of 4.00 a.m.  She advised that this was having a detrimental impact on her mental health as she could not sleep due to the continuous noise, and she urged the Council to try and implement an earlier closure of the facility.


            Ms. Breen concurred and she advised that she had two children aged 8 and 12 who were not able to sleep due to the noise, including loud music, from the premises which was particularly bad from 1.00 a.m. – 4.00 a.m.  She also referred to the noise created by the delivery drivers.  She stated that in the morning there was often broken glass because of anti-social behaviour and a smell of urine from people having urinated in the street. The representative advised that, like Ms. Armstrong, both her and her children’s mental health was suffering due to a continuous lack of sleep, this was now affecting her work as she often did not get any sleep until after 4.30 a.m.  She stated that on numerous occasions she had tried to speak to the owner of the food premises, but he had refused to engage with her.


            The Members noted that this was a popular area for students who were congregating in and outside the premises and as a result had exacerbated the levels of disturbance and, on some occasions, this had resulted in serious anti-social behaviour.


            The Committee was advised that officers had previously written to those businesses allegedly giving rise to the disturbance seeking their co-operation to reduce that disturbance. Some measures had been introduced to try to resolve the issue, such as staff positioned outside the premises, but complaints continued.


            The Interim City Solicitor/Director of Legal and Civic Services advised that Article 5 of the 1985 Order permitted a council to make a closing order with respect to any premises in its district to which this Article applied, if it was satisfied that it was desirable to make such an order to prevent residents in the neighbourhood of the premises being unreasonably disturbed either by persons resorting to the premises or by the use of the premises for the supply of meals or refreshments. It applied where meals or refreshments were supplied for consumption on or off the premises.


            The legislation did not apply to licensed premises during the operating times of their licence.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3a


Resources and Fleet Waste Update

Additional documents:


(Mr. B. Murray, Waste Manager, attended in connection with this item.)


            The Director of Resources and Fleet updated the Committee on Waste Collections Management and Performance.  This included an overview and update in respect of the following key issues:


·        Waste Performance and City Recycling Rates – 2021/22 and 2022/23 Year to Date at Q2;

·        Waste Framework Update;

·        Inner City Recycling Scheme Update;

·        Carpet Recycling Scheme;

·        Reuse of Laptops and Electrical Equipment Scheme;

·        Pre-loved Toys Scheme;

·        Diversion of (Bulky Household) wooden items from landfill;

·        Feasibility studies for Brown Bin and Glass Collection expansion;

·        Community Repaint Scheme,

·        Update in terms of Infrastructure and Behavioural Change;

·        Update in regard to information Technology including the Report-it App, Elogii App and QRT App;

·        Operational Update;

·        HVO fuel trial; and

·        Inter Council / DAERA Collaboration.


            A Member welcomed the HVO fuel trial, specifically the fact that the HVO would not include palm oil.


            Following a query in regard to the Council’s kerbside recycling collection schemes, the Director confirmed that a feasibility study on Option 5 was currently underway and advised that Party Group Briefings would be held in due course, prior to a report being submitted to the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee. 


            Following questions regarding the promotion of the laptop recycling scheme and the need to progress the pedestrianisation of Palmerston Road Recycling facility, the Director advised that update reports would be submitted in due course in respect of both matters. 


            The Director also drew the Members’ attention to the proposed Community Repaint Scheme at HWRCs.  She explained that the Community Repaint Scheme was a UK wide paint reuse network, sponsored by Dulux, that aimed to collect leftover paint and redistribute it to benefit communities, charities and individuals in need at an affordable cost.  She advised that the first stage in establishing the project was the drafting of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) and she drew the Members’ attention to a copy of the SLA which had been attached as an appendix to the report.


            The Members noted that subject to agreement of the SLA, discussion would take place regarding the practicalities of introducing a scheme, along with consideration of the potential financial assistance with a view to commencing the scheme at the start of April 2023.     


            Discussion also ensued regarding the operational decision that had been taken to cancel some bank holiday collections over the Christmas period due to difficulties experienced with lower than usual driver numbers to cover the holiday period.  The Director assured the Members that a full and through analysis of the problems was currently being undertaken with a view to ensuring that similar problems were avoided in the future.


            During discussion a Member raised the problematic parking of vehicles in streets which was also creating issues with missed bin collections. 


            The Committee noted that it had been agreed at the January meeting of Council to call a special meeting of the People and Communities Committee to discuss to discuss issues around waste collection and it subsequently agreed to invite  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3b


Review of Belsonic and Recent Stakeholder Engagement Session


(Ms. C. Taggart, Neighbourhood Manager for Community Services and Community Programming, attended in connection with this item.)


            The Director of Neighbourhood Services reminded the Committee that a review report had been presented to the Committee in August 2022 and, although the Members had been largely content with the improvements, they had abstained from approving the 2023 event agreeing that it would be useful to have a further meeting with the various stakeholders in advance of considering a multiple year request. 


            The Committee was advised that the first of these sessions had been held last month and this had been specific to the Belsonic event. Following the positive feedback from all involved, the Council had committed to this ongoing engagement process and would continue to amend the methodology for delivery as required. This would also be replicated where necessary across the City with regards to other large promotor events at Council venues.


            The Neighbourhood Services Manager addressed the Committee and advised that invitees to the engagement sessions would include:


·        Community Provision;

·        Building Control;

·        Community Safety;

·        Regulatory Services;

·        PSNI;

·        Elected Representatives from the local DEA’s;

·        Resident and Community Organisations operating in the local area; and

·        Youth practitioner organisations operating in the local area. 


            She reported that the community sector organisations and local resident groups had welcomed this new approach and had noted that this seemed the best way to have their concerns heard and to contribute their ideas and solutions to the problems. Those in attendance at the Belsonic session had noted that it was refreshing to finally be invited to take part in the discussions and indicated their hope that the approach would be adopted for all future large-scale events at the site.


            The Committee was advised that officers were planning an initial community stakeholder event for the Boucher Playing Fields 2023 event programme in the New Year, this would include engagement with local Elected Members to agree the timeframe and invitees.


            The Committee noted that the Belsonic Promotor had sought permission for the 2023 concert and future concerts within a separate report. If permission was granted work with the promotor, the new stakeholder approach would commence early in the New Year to inform the series of concerts requested to commence in June 2023. 


            A Member referred to his previous request for enhanced accessibility and the provision of changing places facilities for attendees with disabilities and stated that he was disappointed that more had not been included in this regard.


            The Neighbourhood Services Manager assured the Member that this area of work was being progressed and would be looked at in more detail within the context of the Event Management Framework review. 


            The Director also undertook to liaise with the other relevant Directors in this regard as the review of the Framework was a corporate review and he undertook to discuss it further with the Member directly. 


            The Members also discussed other areas that could be further discussed at the stakeholder meetings which included the gridlock on the Lower Ormeau Road,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3c


Request for the use of Parks for 2023 Events


            The Committee considered requests seeking permission for the use of various parks and facilities during 2023, as follows:


·        Belsonic – Ormeau Park – June 2023; and

·        Planet Love Festival – Boucher Road – 15th and 16th September 2023.


            The Committee granted authority to each of the applicants for the proposed events on the dates outlined and delegated authority to the Director of Neighbourhood Services:


·        to negotiate a fee where appropriate which recognised the costs to Council and endeavoured to minimise any negative impact on the immediate area and take account of the potential wider benefit to the city economy, in conjunction with the Council’s Commercial Manager; and

·        to negotiate satisfactory terms and conditions of use via an appropriate legal agreement to be prepared by the City Solicitor, including managing final booking confirmation dates and flexibility around ‘set up’ and take down’ periods, and booking amendments, subject to:


o   The organisers resolving any operational issues to the Council’s satisfaction;

o   Compliance with Coronavirus restrictions in place at the time of the event;

o   the organisers meeting all the statutory requirements of the Planning and Building Control Service including the terms and conditions of the Park’s Entertainment Licence


            The Committee also granted multiple year approval for Belsonic to host concerts at Ormeau Park in June of each year for a 3-year period (2023 – 2025), with the provision that all events with a multiple year approval would be subject to annual review. The Director of Neighbourhood Services was granted authority, under the scheme of delegation, to remove the permission for subsequent years, if necessary, based on findings from annual reviews and upon officer recommendation.


            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.



Fair Funding 2% Salary Uplift 2022/23


            The Director of Neighbourhood Services advised that, as the Members would be aware, the Department for Communities (DfC) provided an annual grant to the Councils to help with the delivery of the Community Support Programme (CSP).


            He also reminded the Members that, in March 2022, the Committee had agreed to accept additional funding for the Department for Communities (DfC) to allow for improvements in the terms and conditions for those working in the Community and Voluntary Sector to offer ‘fair pay’ and associated conditions.  This funding had specifically related to those organisations that used Council Community Development grants towards staff related costs and was proportional to the Council’s contribution.


            The Director continued that DfC had now made an additional provision in the 2022/23 Community Support Programme Letter of Offer, a 2% uplift towards salary related costs.  The additional allocation was £69,798.59.


            The Director proceeded to outline the proposed approach for allocation of the uplift.  The agreed 2% uplift would be applied to identified staffing budget lines and payment for this amount would be issued to organisations for the 2022/23 financial year. Belfast City Council would ask organisations to ensure that this funding was used in the spirit of the ‘Fair Funding’ uplift to offer “fair pay” and associated conditions for those employed in the Voluntary and Community Sector to enable those employed in the Sector to receive real living wage rates.


            The Members noted that the allocations provided by DfC would cover the total budget for applying this uplift, therefore there would be no need for additional funding from Council to implement this change.


            Following a query from a Member, the Director confirmed that currently this was only an ‘in year uplift’ and that no confirmation of funding at been received for future years.


            The Committee approved the outlined approach for implementing the 2% ‘Fair Funding’ uplift which had been provided through the Community Support Plan.



Committee/Strategic Issues


Anti-Social Behaviour within BCC Parks pdf icon PDF 433 KB

Additional documents:


The Director of Neighbourhood Services provided the Members with an overview in respect of the levels of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) within Council Parks over a 3-year period.


            He highlighted that, as previously advised, within Community Safety and OSS over the last 3 years there had been significant pressures upon staffing resources, with new staff (temporary and permanent) having been appointed, this had further been exacerbated by sickness absence and annual leave requirements, all of which had impacted upon the consistent recording of data.  In addition, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and recovery phases, the limited OSS and community safety staff had been at the front line delivering essential services to the public. The redeployment of staff to cover essential services had therefore impacted upon services within parks which had also contributed to an inconsistent capturing of data on ASB.


            The Director referred to theAPP-CivicaDatabase which captured information collated by Council staff and complaints made in relation to ASB in the City. 


            He referred to the table below, which detailed the ASB figures recorded over the last 3 years across 52 Council parks and also a more detailed breakdown of these figures that had been attached as an appendix to the report:





3 Year Combined






            He reiterated to the Members that the figures might not provide an overall accurate picture of ASB within Parks and outlined that their usefulness in terms of determining patterns or hotspots was extremely limited for the following reasons:


·        residents complaining about ASB in Parks state that they don’t always report every incident; 

·        the Capturing information on ASB within Belfast City Council parks lies within the responsibility of Park Wardens, ASB Officers, and Safer Neighbourhood Officers. However, Safer Neighbourhood and ASB Officers are not located within parks but are rather deployed in the City centre and neighbourhoods;

·        a team of Park Wardens is located in each quadrant of the City and each Park in the City is patrolled daily, with the more problematic parks receiving more targeted patrols than others; 

·        the Park Warden Service operates within the current Parks closing times (dawn to dusk).  However, the Department and the PSNI do plan and carry out interventions outside these hours in response to large events in Parks, reports of ASB and underage drinking.


            The Director continued that, along with the resource pressures, officers had also identified that there had been a variety of ways in which the teams had captured data (if at all) which presented challenges in obtaining reports that had accurate data and from which conclusions could be drawn.  In addition, he advised that a short review of current recording mechanisms of ASB within Parks would be completed by January 2023 to ensure there was a standardised and robust approach to capturing ASB data across all parks going forward.  This would include a review of how members of the public could report ASB in parks.


            He also drew the Members’ attention to the PSNI figures below relating  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4a


Active Belfast Partnership and Funding Update pdf icon PDF 291 KB


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       Members will be aware, as part of a previous update report presented to Committee in April 2022, that approval was sought and given for the Active Belfast partnership to develop a participatory budgeting pilot in 2022/23.  This report provides an overview of progress to date, outlines the planned timeframe for application, assessment and award and notes that further spend against delivery of the PB pilot will occur in the 23/24 financial year.


1.2       A further report will be brought to Committee in March/April 2023 which will outline the broader work undertaken by Active Belfast in 2022/23, as well as outlining the partnership’s proposed plan for 2023/24.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


·        Note the content of the report – particularly the work undertaken to date in developing the PB Pilot approach and the planned timeframe for promotion, application, assessment and delivery; and

·        To agree that part (26K) of the overall BCC contribution (90K) to Active Belfast in 23/24 is utilised towards covering the costs of project delivery (i.e. allocation of funding awards) in 23/24 – alongside 38K of the PHA allocation (146K) for 23/24.

·        Active Belfast partnership intends to hold a planning session early in the New Year to identify and agree priorities for 23/24, alongside associated spend profiles, for the remaining budget (172K) – which is currently subject to Council discussions and decisions on discretionary spend, and thus a further report will be brough to committee in March/April 2023.


3.0       Main report




3.1       Active Belfast (AB) is a multi-agency partnership supporting physical activity and healthy eating in Belfast. It is jointly funded by BCC (£90,000) and Public Health Agency (£146,000) per annum.  Thus, the overall funding allocated for work in support of Active Belfast is £236,000 per annum.  Physical activity and healthy eating remain priority areas within the refreshed Belfast Agenda as well as wider health-focussed strategic documents.  Active Belfast therefore, both as an approach and as a partnership, is vital in relation to us being in a position to work collaboratively with key partners to take forward relevant actions and to test out novel approaches and ideas.   


In-year Progress against PB Pilot action


3.2       Both Belfast City Council and the Belfast Community Planning Partnership (BCPP) are committed to enhancing civic engagement and participation.  This commitment is articulated in both the Belfast Agenda and the BCC Corporate Plan as well as other key documents such as the inclusive growth and consultation and engagement frameworks.


3.3       In December 2020, Council launched a new engagement platform, Your Say Belfast, which offered greater opportunity for ongoing and deliberative methods of engaging.  However, it was also recognised that more participative and innovative methods are required to be developed across our services. Council’s 2022-23 Improvement Plan includes a commitment to piloting Participatory Budgeting (PB) within Belfast.  PB is a democratic process in which citizens decide  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4b


Update from the Strategic Cemeteries and Crematorium Working Group pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee was advised that a meeting of the Strategic Cemeteries and Crematorium Working Group had been held on 12th December 2022 and the Director of City Services highlighted some of the specific issues that had been considered:


·        Update on Bereavement Service Operations; and

·        Update on the new Crematorium Development. 


The Committee:


·        The Committee adopted the minutes from the Strategic Cemeteries and Crematorium Development Working Group meeting held on 12th December 2022;

·        endorsed the recommendation of the Working Group to increase the time frame for the submission of cremation documentation from 12 noon the day before cremation to two working days; and     

·        endorsed the recommendation of the Working Group to write to the relevant Permanent Secretary encouraging a workable solution to be found allowing the electronic transfer of documentation relating to burials and cremations to continue on a permanent basis, given that the current Coronavirus Act Provisions that currently enabled the process were due to expire on 24th March 2023.



Department for Communities Private Tenancies Act (NI) 2022 -update on Powers for Council commencing April 2023 pdf icon PDF 457 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       To update Members of the new provisions of the Private Tenancies Act (NI) 2022 commencing on 1st April 2023 and to set fixed penalty levels for certain offences under said Act.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


·             Note the new legislative powers for Council’s in relation to the private rented sector.




·             Agree the proposed fixed penalty levels at £500.


3.0       Main Report


            Key issues


3.1       Members were previously appraised at their November 2021 Committee of the new provisions contained in The Private Tenancies Act (NI) 2022 which has received royal assent on the 27thApril 2022. It amends the Private Tenancies Order (NI) 2006 with 11 substantive clauses and three schedules aimed at making the private rented sector a safer and more protected housing option.  This report provides the details of the elements of the new Order that will come into effect on the 1st April 2023, however it should be noted that there are still a number of provisions which require further consultation and members will be provided with an update when we receive the Department for Communities (DfC) consultation papers.


3.2       The Act creates new offences for which the Council will have powers to issue fixed penalty notices.  The fixed penalty payable in respect of an offence is an amount determined by the Council, being an amount not exceeding one-fifth of the maximum fine payable on summary conviction of that offence which is currently £2500.  Therefore, the maximum level of fixed penalty fine that the Council can set for the new offences is £500.  The Council has previously set the fine level at £500 for failure to register as a landlord under the same legislation.  Therefore, it is proposed that the fines for the new offences are set at the same level of £500 as detailed below.


3.3       The Act will provide additional powers to Councils in relation to the regulation of the private rented sector as follows:


Tenancy Information Notice


Tenancy Information Regulations 2022 require a landlord to give a tenant a Tenancy Information Notice containing specified information within 28 days of the commencement of a tenancy. A Tenancy Information Notice is an important legal document which provides the landlord and tenant with information on their respective rights and responsibilities. It can help to minimise disputes, as information, such as, the rent payable, deposit details, duration of tenancy, responsibility for repairs and notice of termination are given in writing. The Notice also provides tenants with the landlord’s (and, if appropriate, agent’s) contact information.


If the landlord has previously given a tenant a Notice which substantially meets the specified requirements, this would be deemed compliant.


If the landlord commits an offence, the council will have the power to issue a fixed penalty notice, not exceeding £500. If the landlord is convicted by a court, the penalty will be a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale (currently  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4d


Physical Programme and Asset Management


Orangefield Pavilion Artwork pdf icon PDF 260 KB


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       The purpose of this report is to update members on work with community partners and a group of young men in the Orangefield area, and to seek approval for a piece of artwork on the wall at Orangefield Pavilion.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


·        Approve the intent to install a piece of artwork on the wall at Orangefield Pavilion and agree the approach for codesigning the image.


3.0       Main report




3.1       East Belfast Alternatives have been working with a group of young men, supported by Eastside Greenways and Belfast City Council parks outreach team. This group of young men lost a friend at the start of the year to ongoing battles with mental health and substance misuse. This prompted a number of tributes and graffiti being sprayed on the walls at the pavilion.


3.2       East Belfast Alternatives have been using the pavilion every Thursday evening to work with the group of young men. They have undertaken training sessions around mental health including a wellness initiative created by the Trauma Resource Institute as well as emergency first aid and defibrillator training with the Red Cross.  The group are keen to continue working together to support mental health initiatives, develop increased use of the pavilion for the community and take a bit of positive ownership of the space around the pavilion.


3.3       The group have requested approval to create a piece of artwork on the wall and produce something that would be a more fitting tribute to their friend as well as celebrate his work as a local artist. We believe this will also reduce any further graffiti or damage to the building and give the group a sense of ownership of the space.  To date, the group have worked with a local east Belfast artist and have produced an image which council officers have advised might be unsuitable.


3.4       Officers have discussed and shared the PHA guidance on memorials which outlines some circumstance where memorials can have a negative effect on people, and also the importance of considering other park users - all who interpret images differently.


3.5       Officers are keen to support the work with this group of young men and continue to build on the positive outcomes for both the young men involved and the council’s work to create safe, welcoming spaces and increase community and resident capacity for development and participation.


3.6       This project aligns with priorities set out in the Belfast City Council’s Cultural Strategy, A City Imagining. One of the key themes of the strategy is ‘A City Belonging’, which proposes that through active participation, citizens will gain a sense of cultural belonging. Citizens should be supported to creatively express their identity and ensure they themselves and their creativity is reflected, welcomed and celebrated in their city.


3.7       The Orangefield Pavilion is a perfect example of this active participation as a group of young men  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5a


Pitch Partner Agreements Short Term Extensions pdf icon PDF 421 KB


            The Director of Neighbourhood Services reminded the Members that in 2017/18 the Council had agreed to enter into Partner Agreements with local clubs at 6 Council sites.  Originally, the Agreements had been agreed for an initial period of 5 years with an option to extend, subject to satisfactory performance by the Agreement holders.  He advised that the Department had subsequently extended all of the Agreements for a further 2 years beyond the initial 5-year period.


            The Director highlighted that a number of the agreements were due to expire before the end of the 2022/2023 financial year, as listed below:




Expiry Date

Shore Road Playing fields

Grove United FC

8 December 2022


Co. Antrim GAA

15 December 2022

Orangefield Park

Bloomfield FC

15 December 2022

Dixon Park

Sirocco FC

7 February 2023


            He reported that, to ensure continuity of service, he had extended the Agreements under the Scheme of Delegation.


            The Members were reminded that 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. He continued that, as the Members were aware, one of the sites included in the initial pilot had been Ulidia Playing Fields.  He advised that, at the October 2022 meeting of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, it had endorsed the recommendation of the People and Communities Committee to transfer the existing Partner Agreement at Ulidia to a long-term lease. 


            He advised that it was anticipated, following review of the CAT pilot process, that a number of the sites listed above might also be made available for consideration under new management arrangements, however, until this had been agreed, and to ensure continuity of service provision, it was intended that the remaining existing Partner Agreements would continue until the new arrangements had been established.



            The Committee noted:


·        That, under the Scheme of Delegation, the Director had extended the current Partner agreements for the sites at Shore Road Playing Fields, Woodlands, Dixon Park and Orangefield Park until 31st March 2023; and


·        that a further report would be submitted to Committee in due course to seek any further extension for all agreements following the confirmation of 2023/24 budgets and that this would be linked to the timeframe and outcome of the CAT pilot.



Community Management of Assets Update pdf icon PDF 132 KB


            The Director of Neighbourhood Services reminded the Committee that the Council had previously agreed to the appointment of consultants to pilot an approach to the Community Management of Assets at the six agreed sites.  At the October meeting of the Committee a Member had asked for consideration to be given to removing the Willowbank Park site and replacing it with Lenadoon Park, subject to the groups confirming their willingness.


            The Director confirmed that the local groups were content with this arrangement.


            The Committee agreed that Willowbank Park be removed from the pilot and replaced by Lenadoon Park.



Operational Issues


Proposal for naming new streets and continuation of existing streets pdf icon PDF 251 KB


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



Proposed Name             



Lady Ishbel Boulevard

Off Hospital Road, BT8

Alskea Ltd


Proposed Continuation of Existing Street             



Ishbel Gardens

Off Lady Ishbel Avenue, BT8

Alskea Ltd

Ishbel Mews

Off Haddo Crescent, BT8

Alskea Ltd



Consultation response to Food Standards Agency on the proposed changes to the Food Law Code of Practice in relation to a new Food Standards delivery model pdf icon PDF 255 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the undernoted report.


1.0       Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is seeking views and comments from stakeholders on the proposed changes to the Food Law Code of Practice (Northern Ireland) in relation to the introduction of the new Food Standards Delivery Model.


1.2       The proposals presented in the consultation are the introduction of a new method of determining the food standards risk posed by a food business, and a new frequency schedule for the delivery of food standards official controls. These changes will require significant changes to the Food Safety Unit’s current information management system (CIVICA) for recording and reporting of food standards interventions and for the migration of existing premises to the new scheme.


1.3       The Council’s Food Safety team have reviewed the FSA consultation questionnaire and have prepared a draft response for committee approval which indicates general support for the implementation of the new food standards delivery model. However the draft response comments on a number of technical points in relation to implementation, in particular the availability of financial assistance from the FSA for the necessary amendments to the IT systems used by the Food Safety Unit.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is requested to:


·        Approve the draft consultation response.


3.0       Main Report


3.1       In Northern Ireland, district councils (DCs) are Competent Authorities responsible for verifying compliance with food law in the majority of food businesses. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is responsible for providing advice and guidance on the approach that DCs should take, and this is set out in the Food Law Code of Practice (the Code). DCs have a duty to have regard to the provisions in the Code in relation to the delivery of Official Controls.


3.2       Food standards interventions focus on food matters such as food labelling, provision of allergen information to consumers, food composition and food fraud. Working in collaboration with Councils and other key stakeholders, the FSA have developed a new delivery model for food standards official controls and interventions. This updated model provides a more flexible approach for DCs to better target resources at food businesses presenting the greatest risk.


3.3       The main proposals involve fundamental changes to the current Food Standards Delivery Model, and associated content within the Code of Practice, namely the introduction of:


     a new Food Standards Intervention Rating Scheme that officers will use to evaluate the risk posed by a food business; and

     a new Decision Matrix to determine the frequency at which food standards official controls should be delivered in line with the outcome of the risk assessment

     changes to sections of the Code relating to the delivery of food standards interventions.


3.4       Food Safety Officers within Belfast City Council have expressed support for the new scheme within the draft response but have noted a number of concerns regarding the initial work required for migration from the current risk rating scheme, particularly with regard to the IT solutions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6b


Request from GBBCA to extend their legal agreement with the Council for Grey Lag Goose Control in Victoria Park pdf icon PDF 144 KB


            The Committee considered a request from The George Best Belfast City Airport (GBBCA) regarding bird strike management at Victoria Park, along with a request from them to present to the Committee.


            The Committee agreed to defer the request from the George Best Belfast City Airport (GBBCA) seeking to extend their current Greylag goose licence with BCC to enable GBBCA representatives to attend the February meeting of Committee to make a short presentation, which should include specific data from the last two years around Greylag goose activity in Victoria Park, details of recent egg control measures taken, along with an up-to-date copy of the Airport’s Wildlife Action Plan.



Issues Raised in Advance by a Member - Councillor Flynn


Missed Bin Collections


The Director provided a comprehensive update in respect of the measures being taken to ensure that all waste collections were returned to normal routines by the week commencing 9th January, advising that maximum overtime was being worked to ensure the recovery of the missed bin collections.


            She advised that the primary problem had been a shortage of drivers, particularly drivers with a Category C (HGC) type licence, as the Members were aware this had previously resulted in the suspension of glass collections during the summer/autumn period of 2022 and she provided a comprehensive update on the various measure being taken to try and ensure that there was adequate capacity going forward, including details in regard to recruitment, training and contingency measures.


            Following a query, the Director apologised to the Members for the lack of communication with the Elected Members and for the delay in getting up-to-date information transmitted and advised that a further report in this regard, including proposed updated measures would be submitted in due course.


            It was noted that the Chief Executive had agreed at the January meeting of Council to re-establish the Cleansing Task Force to consider the various issues to help mitigate against missed bin collections over future holiday periods and she advised that a meeting of this Group would take place in the near future.


            The Members welcomed the re-establishment of this Group and suggested that an Update on Staffing Issues should be included as a standing item on the agenda.


            A further Member suggested that a campaign could be organised encouraging the training and recruitment of woman to driver positions.  


            The Director concurred and advised the Members that the recruitment and retention of drivers was also being considered cross departmentally, as a shortage of drivers was having an impact Council wide.  She assured the Members that management were looking at all options, including the retention and training of its current staff to ensure it remained competitive with the private sector.


            The Members agreed that reconvening the Cleansing Task Force was essential to help mitigate against missed bin collections over future holiday periods and that a meeting of this Group needed to take place as soon as possible. 



Strangford Park - Councillor McAteer


At the request of Councillor McAteer, the Committee agreed that a report would be submitted to the February Committee in regard to access paths to the Strangford Playing Fields from Glenveagh Special School and seeking approval for a deputation to attend the March meeting of the Committee.