Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall

Contact: Ms Vicki Smyth Democratic Services Officer & Mr. Henry Downey, Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item




Apologies for inability to attend were reported on behalf of Councillors Doran and Howard.




          The minutes of the meeting of 15th March were taken as read and signed as correct.  It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 3rd April, subject to the omission of those matters in respect of which the Council had delegated its powers to the Committee.



Declarations of Interest


Councillor T. Kelly declared an interest in relation to agenda items 2b and 2c – Applications for a New Licence to Operate a House in Multiple Occupation – Flats 1 and 2, 6 Sandhurst Road, on the basis that she had been liaising with residents in that area and left the meeting for the duration of those items.



Delegated Matters pdf icon PDF 201 KB

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HMO Licences Issued Under Delegated Authority pdf icon PDF 262 KB


The Committee noted a list of licences for Houses in Multiple Occupation which had, since its last meeting, been issued under the Council’s Scheme of Delegation.



Application for a New Licence to Operate a House in Multiple Occupation - Flat 1 and 2,, 6 Sandhurst Road pdf icon PDF 201 KB

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The Interim City Solicitor/Director of Legal and Civic Services informed the Members that a legal representative who had only recently been appointed to represent the owner of the properties had requested additional time to consider the Committee reports and take instruction from their client.  


Accordingly, the Committee agreed to defer consideration of the applications until a future meeting.



Applications approved under Delegated Authority pdf icon PDF 366 KB


The Committee noted a list of applications which had, since its last meeting, been approved under the Council’s Scheme of Delegation.



Review of Pavement Café Licence – City Picnic, Fountain Street pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Additional documents:


Review of Pavement Café Licence – Voodoo, Fountain Street pdf icon PDF 249 KB

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(The Committee agreed to consider these two items simultaneously.)


(Mr. S. Dolan, Senior Development Manager, City Regeneration and Development Unit, attended in connection with these items.)


The Committee was reminded that, at its meetings on 16th November and 14th December, it had considered a request from DfI Roads Service for the removal or relocation of two Temporary Pavement Cafés situated in the middle of Fountain Street, close to its junction with Castle Street, being operated as part of the City Picnic and Voodoo businesses. The request had been made with the aim of facilitating the safe movement of vehicular traffic in the street, following its reopening after the Primark fire. The Committee had agreed to defer the request to enable further information to be obtained from the Department for Infrastructure on its plans for the development of the City centre, for Council officers to determine Translink’s intentions for the area and for new applications to relocate to adjacent locations to be determined.


The Building Control Manager reported that a pavement café licence had since been granted under delegated authority to the owner of City Picnic for the remaining closed portion between the junction of Fountain Street and Castle Junction and to the owner of Voodoo for another location in Fountain Street, beside Norwich Union House. No objections had been received from DfI Roads or the Police Service of Northern Ireland or through the public notice process for either application and the licences had been issued. 


He went on to point out that matters relating to transport planning and policy in the City were dealt with by the Council’s City Regeneration Team, via the City Growth and Regeneration Committee. He explained that the Department for Infrastructure was currently developing the Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan, in line with the Northern Ireland Executive’s commitments under the Climate Action Plan. The initial stage would focus upon the City centre and strategic public transportation connections and involve a modelling exercise to identify options for shaping the Department’s future plans for the City centre in terms of transportation requirements. It would, in due course, present its findings to the City Growth and Regeneration Committee.


He added that Translink was also due to attend a future meeting of the aforementioned Committee to outline its transportation plans for the City.  However, this would also be dependent on the outworking’s of the Transport Plan modelling exercise and subsequent recommendations. It would, he suggested, be beneficial for the Members of the Licensing Committee to attend the meeting of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee at which the Department for Infrastructure and Translink would be making their presentations.


The Building Control Manager concluded by recommending that the Committee consider the request from DfI Roads Service to revoke the Temporary Pavement Café Licences in Fountain Street which had been granted originally to City Picnic and Voodoo. Should the Committee accede to that request, the Council would be required to inform each licensee of the grounds for revoking their licence and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Non-Delegated Matters


Motion – Industry led Initiatives to Tackle Sexual Harassment within our Night-time Economy pdf icon PDF 277 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues


1.1       To provide the Committee with an update on a motion on industry led initiatives to tackle sexual harassment within our night-time economy.


2.0       Recommendation


2.1       The Committee is requested to consider the representation from Hospitality Ulster and the information provided in this report and note the initiatives that are in place or being developed to help tackle sexual harassment within our night-time economy.


3.0       Background


3.1       At the meeting on 12th December 2018, the Committee considered a motion which had been brought by former Councillor McReynolds to the Council meeting on 3rd December. The Committee agreed to amend the wording to read as follows:


3.2       This Council is concerned at the number of people in Belfast that feel they have been the victim of sexual harassment. Accordingly, the Council will undertake to meet with our universities, hospitality sector and the PSNI to explore any industry led initiatives that we can support, to tackle sexual harassment within our night-time economy, keeping in mind that this is a global societal issue that needs tackled.


3.3       After discussion, it was agreed that the Building Control Manager would undertake research and would bring a report back to the Committee and invite Hospitality Ulster and any other organisations who may have an interest in an industry led initiative to deter sexual harassment to the meeting.


            Summary Position following the

            December 2018 Committee Meeting


3.4       Due to resource constraints in the Service, work on this did not commence until January 2020. Meetings were then held with Councillor McReynolds, QUB and Hospitality Ulster to explore what initiatives were in progress.


3.5       With the onset of the pandemic and hospitality venues closed, no further progress was possible in 2020. Thereafter, whilst hospitality was no longer under the same restrictions because of covid the cost-of-living crisis was, and still is, having a significant impact on the sector and this led to further delays in progressing the motion.


3.6       More recently, meetings have taken place with Hospitality Ulster, QUB and the PSNI to explore initiatives aimed at creating a safer and more inclusive night-time economy and these are outlined below.


4.0       Key Issues


            Police Service of Northern Ireland Initiatives


4.1       The PSNI has joined with licensed venues and security staff across Northern Ireland to help keep people safe while enjoying a night out.


4.2       The safety initiative ‘Ask for Angela’ was launched in Northern Ireland in December 2022 and, since then, local bars, clubs and other licensed venues have been encouraged to sign up to the scheme.


4.3       Anyone who is feeling unsafe, vulnerable or threatened can discreetly seek help by approaching venue staff and asking them for ‘Angela’. This code-phrase will indicate to staff they require help, and a trained member of staff will then look to support and assist them. This might be through reuniting them with a friend, seeing them to a taxi, or by calling venue security and/or Police.


4.4       Venues  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.