The Committee considered the undernoted report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues
1.1 This report provides a draft People & Communities Committee Plan summarising the committee’s key priorities for 2022-23 developed from the refreshed Corporate Plan. This has been informed by the commitments that are in place and the ongoing work that the committee has oversight for in the delivery of the Belfast Agenda.
2.1 The Committee is asked to
· Agree the draft Committee Plan priorities for 2022-23.
3.0 Main report
3.1 At the SP&R Committee on 25th March 2022 the Corporate Annual Delivery Plan 2022-23 setting out the in-year deliverables against the priorities were agreed as part of the four-year corporate plan, plus some additional priorities that have arisen in response to the pandemic.
3.2 These priorities were discussed with Party Group Leaders at a joint PGL / CMT workshop on 12th January and updated to reflect the comments received.
3.3 The structure of the delivery plan is themed under the following groupings:
· Our Services;
· Economic Recovery;
· Community Recovery;
· Environmental Recovery;
· Strategic Planning Frameworks; and
· Organisational Foundations.
3.4 A series of priorities fall under each theme, each with a number of committed deliverables for 2022-23
3.5 Due to the operational pressures from the pandemic a councillor workshop has not been planned. However, it is proposed that taking into account the feedback from the Belfast Agenda update workshop and the relevant priorities from within the draft Corporate Plan the committee plan is presented for consideration.
3.6 Members will recall that the People and Communities Committee is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies, policies, programmes and projects aimed at improving life at a local level in the context of the outcomes agreed in the community and corporate plans and other corporate strategy. This includes:
- Developing and delivering programmes, events and activities to promote health, safety and well-being at a local level
- Administering and enforcing the Council’s powers and duties under the Public Health Acts and all environmental health and building related legislation and regulations
- Securing and providing adequate provision for the recycling, treatment and disposal of commercial and domestic waste including bulky waste and the collection and disposal of abandoned motor vehicles.
- Exercising the Council's powers for improving local environmental quality in relation to housing legislation, managing controlled waste, emergency planning and community safety and anti-social behaviour, clean neighbourhoods and other environmental or regulatory issues not falling within the remit of any other Committee.
- Managing, maintaining and maximising the benefit of the Council’s parks, pitches, playgrounds and other public spaces as well as community centres and other indoor facilities
- Developing and implementing activities to ensure the delivery of corporate strategies and initiatives in respect of the promotion of health and physical activity, environmental protection, community safety and other such areas under the domain of this Committee
- Overseeing the delivery of the Council’s frontline services and associated community assets including: Environmental Services; Cleansing; Waste Management; Parks and Cemeteries service, Neighbourhood and Development Services; Community Services, Community Safety and Emergency Planning.
3.7 Summary of Committee Plan Priorities
· The draft Committee Plan priorities have been summarised into a ‘plan on page’ (see Appendix 1) to identify key areas of focus for Committee in 2022-23. The plan locates priorities within the framework of the relevant Belfast Agenda themes (Our Services; Economic Recovery; Community Recovery; Environmental Recovery; Strategic Planning Frameworks; and Organisational Foundations) and the CNS Departmental key priority areas (Open Spaces & Streetscene; Community Provision; City Protection and Bereavement; and Resources & Fleet). The plan identifies the following key areas of focus:
- Neighbourhood working & regeneration
- Improve our open spaces
- Implementation of Biodiversity duty
- Improve our community provision
- Work in partnership to address health priorities
- Enhance the delivery of council's sport & leisure provision
- Supporting Children & Young People
- Good relations & Community Safety
- Enhance the management & utilisation of CNS assets
- Improve our City Protection services
- Improve urban air quality
- Port Health improvements
- Improve and extend recycling opportunities
- Improve our Resources & Fleet service
3.8 It is likely many of these areas of focus will take several years to deliver. The draft plan includes and outlines the key deliverables for 2022-23. Appendix 2 sets out the key deliverables against the 2021/22 period.
3.9 It is proposed that Committee receive a 6 monthly progress update regarding the priorities. This will be in addition to usual reports that will be brought to Committee regarding individual priorities & deliverables.
3.10 Committee will be aware of the current resource and capacity and resilience pressures previously discussed since summer 2020 on the City and Neighbourhood Services department with continued recovery impacts falling short of service delivery expectations. This is compounded by some hotspot areas of high vacancy levels due to a variety of recruitment, retention and supply issues and ongoing sickness absence affecting some of these areas. The department is currently working on a transformation and improvement programme which began several years ago with different services being at different stages in the process.
3.11 The departmental Business Plan on which the committee plan is based reflects that the department is continuing to focus on the delivery of business-as-usual services while progressing the transformation and improvement agenda while recovery from the pandemic.
Financial and Resource Implications
3.12 The Committee Plan and annual programme of work will align with the budget agreed by Strategic Policy & Resources Committee through the rate setting process in January for 2022-23 for the People and Communities Committee of £87.418m.
Equality or Good Relations Implications/
Rural Needs Assessment
3.13 There are no implications directly relating to this report however individual strategies and plans will be subject to the council’s equality, good relations and rural needs requirements.”
The Committee agreed the draft Committee Plan 2022-23.