Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room (Room G05), City Hall

Contact: Mr. Barry Flynn  Tel: 028 9027 0610

No. Item




Apologies were reported on behalf of Councillors Hendron, Mac Giolla Mhin and Kyle. 





The minutes of the meetings of 9th and 23rd April were taken as read and signed as correct.  It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 1st May.



Declaration of Interest


            In respect of item 2, viz., ‘New York/New Belfast - One City Conference’, Councillor Ó Muilleoir declared in interest that he was the Managing Director of the Belfast Media Group which was organising the event.



New York/New Belfast Conference- One City Conference pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:


            (Councillor Ó Muilleoir left the room whilst this matter was under discussion.)


            The Committee was advised that the Belfast Media Group and the Irish Echo would be hosting the fourth ‘New York/New Belfast - One City Conference’ at Fordham University, New York, on 12th and 13th June.


            The Director advised the Committee that the theme of the conference would be ‘building bridges of mutual benefit between two cities’ and that a range of prominent individuals from business, community and political organisations would attend the event. He reported that the Council had been invited to speak at the conference and he indicated that the estimated cost of attendance, per delegate, would be £1,500. Accordingly, he recommended that the Committee agree to authorise the attendance at the event of the incoming Chairman and the Director (or their nominees).


            After discussion, it was


Moved by Councillor Reynolds,

Seconded by Councillor McKee,


      That, in accordance with the Committee’s decision in 2012, the Director only (or his nominee) be authorised to attend the ‘New York/New Belfast - One City Conference’.


            On a vote by show of hands, seven Members voted for the proposal and nine against and it was declared lost.


            Accordingly, the Committee adopted the recommendation and authorised the attendance at the event by the incoming Chairman and the Director (or their nominees). 



Bursary Scheme - Prince's Trust pdf icon PDF 110 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1       Background Information


1.1      Members will be aware that the Council has invested £300,000 in a Student Bursary Fund supporting hundreds of young people in the city to take part in further education and training opportunities.


1.2      The ‘Achieve’ Bursary Fund which aims to improve the employment prospects of young people in the Belfast City Council area is currently being administered through Belfast Metropolitan College (Belfast Met) and The Prince’s Trust with the funding made available through the Council’s Investment Programme for 2012-2015.


1.3      Members are reminded that through Belfast Met, grants of up to £500 can be applied for by young people living in Belfast who must be preparing to study or currently studying on one of the college’s full-time further/higher or vocational education training courses at Levels 2-5.  This includes 10 courses - among them, courses in IT, multimedia, science, tourism or hospitality.

1.4      The Prince’s Trust bursary (with funding allocated through the charity’s Development Awards programme) is open to young people aged 16-25 residing in the city who are not in education, training or employment.  The scheme aims to help recipients overcome barriers which may prevent them from undertaking training and education or moving into employment. 


2         Key Issues


2.1      Members will recall that a number of reports have of late been presented to the Strategic Policy and Resources and Development Committees in connection with development and implementation of the ‘Achieve’ Bursary Fund.  


2.2      In particular the Committee is reminded that at its meeting on 25 January 2013 Members of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee received a full update on delivery of the bursary scheme during year 1 (2012/13) and considered appropriate levels of assistance for year 2 (2013/14).


2.3      Whilst an indicative split of £30,000 to the Prince’s Trust and £70,000 to Belfast Met was the funding allocation in year 1, Members agreed to a 50/50 split in year 2 with £50,000 of the Council funding being allocated towards supporting further/higher education initiatives (through Belfast Met) and a further £50,000 of funding to help individuals access training or education (not at further or higher levels) or employment (administered through Prince’s Trust). 


2.4      Since this agreement was reached the Council has worked with both partner organisations to ascertain what volume of bursaries might be feasible to deliver given the change in funding allocations.  Whilst it is difficult to predict the exact number of student applications to be received in 2013/14, Belfast Met expects to be able to offer approx 240 awards of £500 to new first year students entering in September 2013 to undertake a further/higher/vocational education training course at levels 2-5 of one the 10 priority courses.  Members are reminded that Belfast Met will administer £120,000 in the current financial year (£70,000 carried forward from year 1 plus £50,000 from year 2) and will cover all costs associated with the awards administration. 


2.5      In return for an investment of £50,000, The Prince’s Trust will aim to support 202 young  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Economic Impact of Belfast Anchor Institutions pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on 22nd May, 2012, it had agreed to commission a report which would provide an overview of the economic impact which anchor institutions have on the City. The Director reminded the Committee that anchor institutions were organisations such as universities, hospitals, museums, libraries, churches and other large institutions which provided significant employment and expenditure within the local economy. Given, amongst other things, the relocation of the University of Ulster to the inner north area of Belfast, such research would enable the Council to identify opportunities to maximise the economic benefits which could be accrued in working with the full range of anchor institutions.  Accordingly, the Committee considered a report, together with the contents of a research paper, which had been prepared by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, copies of which were available on the Council’s system.


            In considering the report, a Member suggested that the Council should seek to build on the findings of the paper by enhancing its relationship with the key anchor institutions by hosting an engagement session prior to the July recess. A further Member, on behalf of the Democratic Unionist Party, indicated that he would wish his Party to receive a briefing on the contents of the research.


            After discussion, the Committee noted the contents of the report and the research paper and agreed that briefings would be provided to those parties who so wished. It was agreed further that, if practicable, an engagement event would be hosted by the Council prior to the July recess.





Belfast Tourism Monitor pdf icon PDF 177 KB


            The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on 22nd February, it had agreed that tenders be invited for the provision of tourism and research services for a three-year period from 1st April, 2013 till 31st March 2016, and had agreed also to delegate authority to the Director to accept the most advantageous tender received.


The Director reported that, given the contents of the Council’s Cultural Framework for 2012/2015, together with the Integrated Strategic Framework for Belfast Tourism and the Departmental Business Plan, it had been deemed appropriate to review the scope of the contract to enable it to address the evolving nature of tourism in the City. He reported that, in order for the review to be undertaken, it would be necessary to extend the existing arrangement with the current contractor until 31st December, 2013, with a view to undertaking a further tendering exercise thereafter.


            The Committee agreed to the extension to the contract as outlined.



Donegall Pass Community Centre - Management Arrangements pdf icon PDF 98 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1       Relevant Background Information


1.1      Donegall Pass Community Centre (Apsley Street, Donegall Pass) was constructed in 2001. Council support for the community centre was approved by the Community & Leisure sub-committee at its meeting on 12th March 1996. Council provided part funding toward capital and running costs.  The total capital cost being £244,500.  75% of which was funded by ‘Making Belfast Work.’


1.2      Direct management of the centre by Council was viewed as a short term measure with the ultimate aim being to adopt the local community management model at the end of an agreed period (2 years).  This was extended in 2003 and again in 2007 on the basis that both the local community and Council officers felt the capacity had not been adequately developed to support local independent management arrangements.


1.3      Donegall Pass Community Forum (DPCF) published a master plan for the area in 2009 and officers met with representatives of the DPCF in order to assess their potential to assume management responsibilities for the centre.


1.4      A full economic business plan (2010) was undertaken by DPCF in 2010 and this included stakeholder consultation, extensive desktop research and benchmarking analysis.  The study considered a range of options for the management of the centre and associated risk.


1.5      The Development Committee (11th May 2010) agreed to a request from the DPCF to ‘seek to explore the possibility with Council of conducting a period of transition (1 year) which would allow it to fully examine the practicalities of assuming the management of the centre successfully’. Committee (14th September 2011) authorised an extension of the transition period for a further six months.


1.6      Before entering into agreement to undertake management of the community centre DPCF felt that a number of outstanding issues needed to be addressed.  These related to income and expenditure (current and potential), programming of local services, the current design of the building and possible adaption to meet the needs of DPCF.  Development Committee agreed (26th June 2012) that it would be necessary to provide some time to the DPCF (Autumn 2012) to allow them to consider fully all elements of this undertaking and to then provide a realistic, planned and robust approach to Council.


2         Key Issues


2.1      DPCF have expressed its preferred approach which involves transferring services, projects and staff to the community centre in advance of undertaking the formal management of the facility. This transfer of their business and related staff team to the community centre would facilitate the acquisition of ‘hands on’ experience of management responsibilities.  It will also support the provision of specific training to the DPCF and its staff on all aspects related to community management of a Council facility.


2.2      This arrangement has merit for Council as it will enable a partnership approach to services and support provision for the local community delivered from one local facility.  It provides opportunity for joint working with no competing interests. The move to the community centre  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Linenhall Library- Study Visit


            The Chairman reported that the Committee had been invited to undertake a study visit to the Linenhall Library.


            The Committee agreed to undertake the study visit on Wednesday, 29th May, at 3:30 p.m.