Agenda item


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1            The purpose of this report is to update members on work undertaken by officers in the last few months to identify issues and needs within the Community Infrastructure Pilot areas previously approved by Committee on 9th November 2021.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       Members of the Committee are asked to note the update, and


·        To liaise with the relevant Neighbourhood Integration Manager should they require more information, and/or if they would like to contribute to the ongoing mapping and engagement exercise, and

·        To agree that more detailed reports (on mapping, engagement and delivery in each of the pilot areas) are presented to the next round of Area Working Groups planned for August/September 2023, and

·        To agree that a composite report will then be brought to P&C committee in October 2023.


3.0       Main report




3.1       Committee (alongside Area Working Groups) previously considered reports in May and November 2021 which agreed the approach proposed within them (namely the development of Community Infrastructure Pilots) to help address weak community infrastructure in targeted localities, with members subsequently deciding that there should be 8 pilot projects developed (2 per area – N, S, E & W, rather than the 4 – one per area of the city initially proposed).  With each pilot area being supported with a £15k per annum budget for a 2-year period.


3.2       It was further agreed that Neighbourhood Integration Managers (NIMs), supported by the Neighbourhood Services Manager aligned with community planning and the community provision review within Neighbourhood Services/CNS, would lead on developing and delivering the approach, working alongside identified internal and external stakeholders, and key communities/community groups within the 8 areas selected.  The table below, outlines the NIM for each area, as well as the areas chosen by members for targeting.


3.3       Table 1 – Neighbourhood Integration Managers by area/Areas identified for targeting


East Neighbourhood Integration Manager – Kathy Watters

·        Ormiston DEA – Braniel

·        Lisnasharragh DEA – Clonduff

South Neighbourhood Integration Manager – Denise Smith

·        Botanic DEA – Ballynafeigh

including Annadale)

·        Balmoral DEA – Finaghy

North Neighbourhood Integration Manager –


·        Oldpark DEA – Mid Antrim Road (Limestone/Glandore)

·       Castle DEA – Lower Shore Road

West Neighbourhood Integration Manager –

Alice McGlone

·        Colin DEA – Black’s Gate

(former Visteon site)

·        Court DEA – Glencairn


3.4       The update report tabled at P&C Committee in November 2022, highlighted that this work had been significantly delayed as a result of staffing issues and competing service demands on the within CNS, and in particular, on the team tasked with leading this piece of work.  The report also noted that the additional budget had also been impacted and was no longer available.


3.5       Following this update, members requested that ‘a meeting be convened between officers and Elected Members to further explore any short-term actions that could be taken to support the participating areas identified in the Community Infrastructure Pilot.’


3.6       In the interim period, in preparation for further engagement with members, each Neighbourhood Integration Manager has been liaising with the internal Area Teams (these meet quarterly and comprise of council staff from across the range of service areas within neighbourhood services i.e. community services, community safety, good relations, leisure development, parks outreach, open space and street scene, health development, environmental education) in order to begin to map the following information:


·        Groups active in the area

·        Stakeholders to include in discussion

·        Community Facility in the area - If yes – details of programming offered

·        Community Assets – Eg Churches/Playgrounds/Parks/ Centres – Youth/ Leisure/ Community

·        Feedback on current needs or issues

·        Funding – CNS/Physical Programmes/ external


3.7       NIMs have also commenced one to one engagement with elected members and key stakeholders operating within the pilot areas to build on this picture – and this element will continue throughout February and March 2023.  Members are encouraged to contact the NIM for their area if they wish to share information, or discuss in more detail, their aspirations for, and understanding of needs/issues, in the area.


3.8       It is also worth noting that, in some areas, actions have already been undertaken or are underway, whereas for others it is still very much about assessing the need and capacity within that locality.  This would be the case for example in North, where unfortunately the Neighbourhood Integration Manager posts has been vacant from November 2022.


3.9       As such, officers are proposing that this work continues between now and the summer months and that more detailed reports are then brought forward to the August round of Area Working Group meetings.  These will outline the results of the mapping exercise, feedback from the stakeholder engagement, give an overview of any action(s) already undertaken, and make recommendations in relation to next steps/further actions required and how these might be taken forward.


3.10      Officers will then bring a composite report to P&C committee in October 2023 (as EAWG is only meeting on 7 September 2023).


            Financial and Resource Implications


3.11      As previously reported at committee in November 2022, there is currently no additional budget identified to support this work in-year, or for 23/24.  However, as noted above, any identified needs or asks will, where possible, be met via existing BCC resources, and by linking in with key statutory and VCSE partners in the identified areas to see what they can also provide.


            Equality or Good Relations Implications

            and Rural Needs Assessment


3.12      Will be considered as part of the needs assessment and action planning and delivery processes within each pilot area.”


            The Committee adopted the recommendations as outlined at 2.1 of the report and further agreed that the information within the reports due to be submitted to the West Area Working Group and the People and Communities Committee regarding the Black’s Gate site would include information and recommendations on commercial, open spaces and the management of the community centre moving forward.


Supporting documents: