Committee structure

Belfast has 60 councillors representing the ten electoral areas across the city. The current political make-up of the council is 19 Sinn Féin, 13 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), eight Alliance Party, six Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), four Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), three Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), one Green Party, one People before Profit Alliance and five Independents.

The Council's form of governance to undertake its decision-making is a committee system, which is now based on the full council and six standing committees.

Through the work of committees, our councillors oversee the work of the council. All committee decisions need to be ratified by the full council except where committees have been granted delegated authority to make decisions. This means that the council has authorised the committee to make decisions on specific matters.

All meetings of the council and committees are open to the public and press (except those parts of the meeting at which restricted and/or confidential information is being considered).

The dates, times and venues of the meetings are published in advance and are detailed on the agenda for each meeting.



A committee is a group of councillors appointed by the Council which meets to review, scrutinise or make decisions on a range of functions within its particular remit.


The Council currently has 6 committees, the members of which were appointed at the annual general meeting of the shadow council on 24 March.


Each of the committees consists of 20 councillors, except the Planning Committee and the Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Shareholders’ Committee which have 14, with the quorum (the minimum number of councillors required to be present to transact business legally) of each committee being one quarter of the membership, that is, 5 members and 4 for Planning and the Shareholders’ Committee.


Committees are constituted to reflect, as far as practicable, the different political parties into which the members of the council are divided.  The posts of chairperson and deputy chairperson are allocated on basis of the d’Hondt method of filling positions of responsibility as set out in Part 3 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.


Click on the links below to find details of the membership and other information relation to a particular committee:


City Growth and Regeneration Committee

The City Growth and Regeneration Committee is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies, policies, programmes and projects directed to the regeneration and growth of the city in the context of the outcomes agreed in the community and corporate plans and other corporate strategy. 


This includes:-


       Influencing and contributing to regional regeneration and growth strategies and activities

       Developing and implementing city-wide economic strategies and policies

       Managing and maximising the impact of major physical developments in the city

       Coordinating and promoting major city wide events

       Sourcing and providing support to attract and utilise European and other grants which contribute to the growth of the city

       Providing support for economic development initiatives

       Supporting the development of culture, heritage and the arts

       Working with other agencies to promote Belfast as a key investment and tourism opportunity

       Developing programmes and actions to support local businesses and attract inward investment

       Managing the Council’s markets and maximising their benefit to the city

       Influencing and contributing to strategies and policies affecting skills, employability, transportation and energy in the City

       Overseeing the delivery of the following services

Economic Development, Urban Development, Tourism, Culture and Arts, European and  International Relations, City Markets, City Events, Belfast Castle, Malone House, Belfast Zoo and the transferring car parks


Licensing Committee

The Licensing Committee is responsible for the consideration of all matters pertaining to policy and legislation in relation to licensing issues. The Licensing Committee has delegated authority for determining the following matters:


(i)      The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 1985


         Entertainment Licences

               Applications for the grant of outdoor licences

               Applications for the grant, renewal, transfer or variation of licences where objections are received

               Suspension and revocation of licences

               Applications for a waiver to permit entertainment involving striptease or nudity.


         Sex Establishments

               Applications for the grant of licences

               Applications for the renewal, transfer or variation of licences

               Revocation of licences


(ii)     The Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 (as amended by the Betting and Gaming (Northern Ireland) Order 2004).

         Applications for the grant of amusement and pleasure permits

         Applications for the renewal of amusement permits where adverse representations have been made

         Registration of Societies in relation to the running of lotteries.


(iii)    Street Trading Act (Northern Ireland) 2001

         Designation of streets or part thereof

                Applications for the grant of licences

                Applications for the renewal, transfer or variation of licences where objections are received

                Revocation of licences

                Setting of licence fees


(iv)    Administration of the provisions of the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 and the Registration of Clubs (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 relating to entertainments and liquor licensing in licensed premises and registered clubs.


(v)     Such other licensing matters as the Director of Health and Environmental Services considers appropriate to be addressed by the Licensing Committee.


Whilst the Committee has full delegated authority in relation to licensing decisions it may reconsider any decision referred to it by the Director of Health and Environmental Services in consultation with the Director of Legal Services.


People and Communities Committee

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

       Overseeing the delivery of  the Council’s frontline services and associated community assets including:

Environmental Services; Cleansing; Waste Management; Parks and Cemeteries service (excluding zoo, Malone House and Belfast Castle), Neighbourhood and Development Services; Community Services, Community Safety and Emergency Planning. 


Strategic Policy and Resources Committee

The Strategic Policy and Resources Committee is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Council through the development of its corporate plan and other key corporate and cross cutting strategies and policies.  It will also ensure effective use of resources and value for money for ratepayers, and oversee the Council’s relationship with a number of key agencies and partners.


This includes:-


       working with partners to lead the development of the community plan

       supporting the development, implementation and monitoring of the Physical  Investment Strategy

       developing and implementing the organisation’s Good Relations and Equality Strategies

       allocating resources based on the corporate and city priorities

       managing and monitoring performance against the achievement of the council objectives and those agreed in the community plan

       developing the council’s finance strategy and all matters relating to its implementation including; all revenue and capital financing and borrowing, the annual revenue and capital budgets and the rate to be levied, monitoring of financial performance

       developing the council’s organisational development strategy and all matters relating to its implementation including; governance and organisation structures, organisational improvement initiatives, member and officer capacity building and monitoring of organisational performance

       developing the internal strategies to ensure the smooth running of the council including; asset management, procurement, grants, human resources, ,diversity, communications and accommodation

       managing and maintaining the corporate land bank and city assets, including the City Hall

       agreeing the Local Development Plan with the Planning Committee

       overseeing  the delivery of the internal council services listed below;

Human Resources; Corporate Communications; Legal Services; Democratic Services; Corporate Policy and Strategic Planning; Finance and Performance; Digital Services and Audit Governance and Risk Services.  Property and Projects will also report on Procurement; Contract Management; Programme Management; Estates Unit and Facilities Management .  Good relations will also be the responsibility of this committee.



Contact us
Democratic Services
028 9027 0497
Democratic Services
Belfast City Hall