Agenda item


(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, the need for adequate portable toilet provision at identified hotspots, clarity on the new Social Value Fund and how this would be administered and allocated and a messaging campaign around events to promote awareness of consent and sexual assault and to highlight the support systems available for vulnerable young people.  It was also noted that minutes of the stakeholder meetings would be useful.


            The Committee noted the update and the positive outcome from the recent work carried out by the Promotor, Council officers and partnering community and resident organisations 


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