Agenda item


The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues


1.1             The purpose of this report is to update Committee on the progress of all motions for which the SP and R Committee is responsible.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


·        note the updates on all motions that the Committee is responsible for; and

·        agree to the closure of motions 13,17, 18, 34, 82, 115, 193, 216, 220, 221, 223, 227, 230, 231, 238, 240, 246, 249 and 250, as referenced in the attached appendix and in paragraph 3.4 below.


3.0       Main Report




            At the SP and R Committee meeting on 25th October 2019, the following motion was agreed:


            ‘This Council notes that other Councils produce a monthly status report in relation to motions; and agrees Belfast City Council adopts a similar practice and produces a monthly motion update which will be brought to each full Council Meeting, detailing the following:


1.      Date received

2.      motion title

3.      Submitted by which Councillor

4.      Council meeting date

5.      Committee motion is referred to

6.      Outcome of Committee where the motion will be debated

7.      Month it will be reported back to committee

8.      Other action to be taken.’


            Following a review exercise, a new database containing all motions and Issues Raised in Advance at Committee was created and quarterly reporting to Committee commenced in March 2021.  The latest quarterly update showing all active motions and Issues Raised in Advance for which the SP and R Committee is responsible is attached.


            Closure of Motions and Issues Raised in Advance


3.3       At the SP and R Committee meeting on 20th November 2020, it was agreed that motions could be closed for one of two reasons:


·        motions which contained an action(s) that has been completed; and

·        motion which have become Council policy. 


3.4       The Committee is asked to agree that the following 19 motions be closed:


            Category 1 Recommended Closures:


·        Social Investment Fund (Ref no 13) –This motion called for the recommendations of the SIF Audit to be taken forward. The learnings from this audit and ensuring compliance with OBA principles are now embedded into the new Neighbourhood Regeneration Fund programme. Therefore, it is recommended that this motion is now closed.


·        Dog Friendly Policies (Ref no 17) – This motion called for the Council to make its public properties dog friendly. The Council’s current policy is that we do not allow dogs that are not guide dogs into our facilities (both staff and public facilities). There is no written policy after that. To make all council properties ‘dog friendly’ would be a significant policy change with health and safety, hygiene, insurance and liability and facility upgrade implications. It is recommended that the current policy in respect of guide dogs be continued due to the reasons outlined.


·        Feasibility Support Fund for each AWG (Ref no 18) – a framework is being agreed around NRF and feasibility support is incorporated into the project proposal development process. This is now embedded in the NRF which includes feasibility support. Therefore, it is recommended that this motion is now closed.


·        Unregulated Car Washes (Ref no 34) – This motion called for a report to be prepared on the number of unregulated car washes across Belfast. The Council has no responsibility for regulating or licensing hand car washes and valet services. Responsibility for Health and Safety at such car washes lies with the HSENI. The NI Environment Agency has responsibility for enforcing the requirements of the Water (NI) Order 1999 and have advised Council officers that in line with guidance they would recommend that vehicle washes are connected to mains sewer where possible and a suitable treatment system would be required. The NIEA currently has no vehicle wash sites in Belfast on its books which hold a consent to discharge. Further enquiries with the NIEA, HSENI and PSNI has not determined that the relevant data can be sourced from elsewhere.


·        Roselawn Cemetery (Ref no 82) – This motion requested that a further equality screening be carried out in relation to the proposed new 2 chapel crematorium and refurbishment of the existing crematorium at Roselawn. An update was provided to Strategic Cemeteries and Crematorium Working Group in December, 2021 and agreed at the P and C Committee meeting in January.


·        COP 26 Global Day of Action (Ref no 216) – All agreed actions were completed in November 2021, including the circulation of promotional materials and the illumination of the City Hall.


·        Illumination of a Council Building – Samaritan’s Longest Night Event 21/11/21 (Ref no 220) – Belfast Castle was illuminated on 21st December, 2021.


·        Illegal Puppy Trade (Ref no 221) – As requested, the Council’s views were expressed in writing to the DAERA Minister and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine on 17th December, 2021.


·        Support for Higher Education Staff (Ref no 223)- As requested, the Council’s views were expressed in writing to the senior management of Queens University and Ulster University.


·        Free Public Transport for Young People (Ref no 230) – As requested, the Council’s views were expressed in writing to the Minister of Infrastructure and the senior management of Translink.


·        End of Hunting of Mammals with Dogs (Ref no 231) – As requested, the Council’s views were expressed in writing to the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the Committee responsible for DAERA. Their responses were noted by the P and C Committee on 8th March 2022.


·        The Samaritans (Ref no 238) – The Council was asked to commend and recognise the extraordinary efforts of the Samaritans and the motion was passed at Council meeting on 1st March 2022.


·        Illumination of Belfast Castle for the Samaritans (Ref no 240) – On 28th March, the SP and R Committee granted approval to illuminate Belfast Castle in green on 21st December 2022 to mark the Longest Night.


·        University Sector Industrial Dispute (Ref no 246) – As requested, the Council’s views were expressed in writing to the Vice Chancellors of Queens University and Ulster University on 14th April, 2022.


·        Illumination of City Hall – Menstrual Hygiene Day 28th May – (Ref no 249) – the SP and R Committee granted approval to illuminate the City Hall on the evening of 28th May 2022 to mark Menstrual Hygiene Day.


·        Illumination of City Hall – An Lar Dearg – (Ref no 250) –   The SP and R Committee granted approval to illuminate the City Hall in red on 20th May to symbolise the campaign for language rights.


            Category 2 Recommended Closures:


·        Racism free zone (Ref no 115) – There have been a number of internal working groups to look at different elements raised in this motion and the Council is also working with Inclusive Cities and has agreed to be a City of Sanctuary.


·        Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (Ref no 193) – The S P and R Committee, on 18th February, agreed to allocate funding of £100,000 for events to take place in local communities across the city over the Platinum Jubilee weekend (2nd – 5th June 2022). The Community Foundation NI administered the fund. The grants scheme closed on 11th April and awards will be made w/c 2nd May. The Committee was provided with an update on this activity on 25th March.


·        Holocaust Memorial Day (Ref no 227) – Elements of this motion were incorporated into Holocaust Memorial Day held in January 2022. These will be incorporated into the planning of Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2023.


3.5       Financial and Resource Implications


            There are no additional financial implications required to implement these recommendations.


3.6       Equality or Good Relations Implications/

            Rural Needs Assessment


            There are no equality, good relations or rural needs implications contained in this report.”


            The Committee adopted the recommendations and agreed:


            Holocaust Memorial Day


            That an update report in relation to the Holocaust Memorial Day arrangements be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee.


            Unregulated Car Washes


            That officers ascertain whether the NI Environmental Agency had powers of entry.


            Fertility Treatment Leave


            That an updated report on the motion on Fertility Treatment Leave be submitted to the June meeting of the Committee.


            Closure of Ulster Bank


            Democratic Services to ascertain what responses had been received in relation to the motion of the Closure of the Ulster Bank.


Supporting documents: