Agenda and minutes

Venue: Hybrid Meeting - Council Chamber

Contact: Mrs Sara Steele, Democratic Services Officer  90320202 x6301

No. Item




            Apologies for inability to attend were recorded on behalf of Alderman McCoubrey and Councillor Cobain.





The minutes of the meeting of 10th May were taken as read and signed as correct.  It was reported that the minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 1st June.


Declarations of Interest


            Councillor Newton declared an interest in agenda item 5 (b) Food Service Delivery Plan 2022-2023, he advised that a Company by which he was employed did work with the Food Standards Agency, as there was no discussion on the item he did not leave the meeting.


            Councillor Bunting declared an interest in agenda item 5 (i) Commonwealth Games Support, she advised that she had a relative who had been selected to compete in the Northern Ireland Team and she left the meeting whilst the matter was under consideration.





The Chairman extended condolences to former Councillor Stephen Magennis and his family on the recent passing of his wife Tricia and advised that he would forward a letter of sympathy on behalf of the Committee.   



Retirement - Mrs. R. Crozier


            The Members were informed that this would be the last meeting of the People and Communities Committee which would be attended by Mrs. Rose Crozier, who had held the position of Interim Director of Neighbourhood Services since April.  The Members noted that she would be retiring from the Council after almost 42 years’ service. 


            The Chairperson and several other Members thanked the Director for her valuable contribution during her time with the Council and wished her a long and happy retirement.


            The Director thanked the Members for their kind remarks.





Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens


            The Chairperson welcomed to the meeting, Ms. C. Higgs, representing Rainbow Alley in East Belfast, and Ms. P. Mkomera, representing North Belfast Woman’s Initiative Support Programme (NBWISP).


            The representatives commenced by providing an overview of the work undertaken by each organisation within their respective communities, detailing the importance of this work particularly during the recent lockdowns.


            Ms. Mkomera advised that there was an interest and need within the wider community for safe places to connect and for people to share a common interest.  With this in mind, since September/October 2021, approximately 32 different community groups had come together to create a community network, known as the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, with its creation having helped to form a space for people to connect through growing.  She explained that the network had enabled visits to other community gardens for participants to share knowledge and resources, for example, plants, tools, and paving. The representative highlighted the inclusivity of the participating groups and their desire to promote the diversity of their respective communities, not just in terms of mental health but also class, religion, gender, sexual identity, race and age.


            The representatives concluded by reemphasising the benefits of both alleyways and community gardens within their respective communities, highlighting their desire to work with the Council to explore options as to how this initiative could be further enhanced and promoted

to help meet the objectives of the Belfast Agenda, in terms of making Belfast a vibrant, attractive, connected and environmentally sustainable City. 


            Several of the Members welcomed the work being undertaken by this network and indeed all those involved in similar programmes throughout the City.  The Members noted that they would be keen to see a scoping exercise undertaken to identify all similar projects throughout out the City, with a view to establishing how the Council could best support the networks to flourish.


            Following discussion, it was agreed that officers would undertake a scoping exercise to identify community garden and alleyway initiatives throughout the City with a report to be submitted to a future meeting.  It was further agreed that a site visit would be arranged to enable the Members to view some of the schemes.


            The Chairperson thanked the representatives for their informative presentation and they left the meeting.



Representatives from PlayBoard NI and Mae Murray Foundation RE: Inclusive Parks Notice of Motion referred from Standards and Business Committee


            The Chairperson welcomed to the meeting Ms. A. Stallard, representing Playboard NI, and Ms. A. Crawford, representing the Mae Murray Foundation.


            The representatives thanked the Committee for the opportunity to present and commenced by providing the Members with an overview of the role of their respective organisations. 


            Ms. Stallard advised that Playboard NI and the Mae Murray Foundation had been working collaboratively on several pieces of work over the past number of years to find solutions and develop partnerships to promote inclusivity.  She advised that this work was underpinned by the work of the UNCRC, in particular, Article 31. 


            The representative advised that over the last year-and-a-half both organisations had undertaken an extensive piece of work entitled, ‘Let Me Play’ Inclusive Play Park Study, this had looked at the provision of playparks for children with physical, learning, sensory or complex needs who faced exclusion from play parks in Northern Ireland.  The results had been launched in March 2022, reporting on the outcomes of the regional online survey, focus groups and play participation sessions that had been undertaken as part of the study. 


            The Members were advised that from 500 respondents:


·        57% of families had reported that they were unable to use a play park as often as they would like:

·        56% had to travel long distances to access a play park that would meet their play needs; and

·        40% had rated their play park experience as poor or very poor.


            Ms. Crawford stated that unfortunately these figures highlighted that many children continued to be excluded from play parks and were not having their play needs meet and she then drew the Members’ attention to the six common barriers faced by families:


·        Getting to the Play Park;

·        Play Park Site Facilities;

·        Access to Play;

·        Participation in Play;

·        Communication; and

·        Attitudes.


            The representative advised that the need for the provision of changing places facilities was one repetitive barrier, amongst others, that had been highlighted as an ongoing concern.


            The representatives referred the Members to the 4 Nations and Play Industry Statement.  They detailed that the proposed next steps, over the next twelve months, was to build on the ‘Let Me Play’ and PSF Statement.  This would involve both organisations working to develop guidance for play providers, aiming to provide the information and guidance needed to enhance both accessible and inclusive play provision, building an Inclusive Play Park model of best practice and working with families, young people, landscape designers and Councils to ensure the co-design of any future schemes.  


            In terms of the ‘ask’ from the Council, the Members were asked to:


·        adopt the ‘Let Me Play’ findings and to apply the recommendations into the park and play park planning processes;

·        adopt the terminology, definitions and recommendations from the UK statement – ‘Including Disabled Children in Play Provision’;

·        embed participative processes in play park design – involving families and communities throughout the design process;

·        undertake a review of the current play park portfolio to ensure all were accessible; and

·        build on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6a


Deputation in relation to Bright Lights Event


            The Chairperson welcome Ms. L. Thompson to the meeting.


            Ms. Thompson commenced by thanking the Committee for the opportunity to address the Members to detail her concerns in relation to the Bright Lights event.


            Ms. Thompson advised that within the area there was much opposition to the event.  She explained that, following last year’s event, residents had been left disappointment and bewildered by numerous factors, including lack of consultation, the length of time the park had been disrupted, vehicles having been permitted to access the park which had made it unsafe, the noise from generators and glare of lights late at night whilst people were trying to sleep.  She also highlighted that, unlike with other events, various parts of the park had been inaccessible to the public for a prolonged period of time and also expressed dismay at the cost of the tickets.


            She concluded by stating that residents were not opposed to the gardens being used for events but stressed the need for consultation and for the Council to retain control over its parks.


            Following a number of questions and brief discussion, the Chairperson thanked the representative for her input, and she left the meeting.







            The information contained in the reports associated with the following 4 items is restricted in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.


      Resolved – That the Committee agrees to exclude the Members of the Press and public from the Committee meeting during discussion on the following 4 items as, due to their nature, there would be a disclosure of exempt information as described in Section 42(4) and Section 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.



Bright Lights Event at Botanic Gardens

Additional documents:


            The Members considered a report which detailed the additional information in respect of the Bright Lights event.


            Following discussion, it was proposed by Councillor Corr, seconded by Councillor Donnelly and agreed that discussion be deferred for a report to be submitted to the special People and Communities Committee on 21st June, to enable further advice and information to be sought in relation to declarations of interest.



Events in Parks and Open Spaces


The Members considered a report which provided an update to the Committee on the mitigation arrangements in place to permit Aiken Promotions Limited to conduct ‘load out’ up until 3.00 a.m. after each of their concerts in Botanic Park in June 2022.


            The report also provided detail in regard to the current assessment arrangements for applications from third party promoters to use council parks and open space for large scale events.


            It was noted that, as previously agreed, authority had been granted based on a number of mitigations having been put in place in order to limit the disruption to local residents.  As part of these mitigations, the promotor would be required to liaise and seek advice from the Council’s environmental noise team. The Committee further noted that satisfactory terms and conditions would be agreed and included as clauses within the overall licence agreement for use of the site, which would include communication and engagement with local residents.  Council officers with Regulatory Services had also agreed a number of recommendations that should limit the disruption to residents, as detailed:


·        use of silent generators;

·        use of a particular entrance to the park furthest from the residential areas; and

·        soundproof screening to be erected around the concert area fencing which would also limit the light pollution shining at residential areas.


            The Committee noted the update report.



Request for the use of Parks including those supported by the Summer Community Diversionary Festivals Programme 2022


The Committee were advised of the details of a number of requests that had been received from organisers seeking to host events in various Belfast park locations during the coming months, including those that had received funding via the Summer Community Diversionary festival fund, as agreed at the May 2022 meeting of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee. 


            The Members of the Committee agreed to grant authority to each of the applicants for the following proposed events:


July Programme


·        Twaddell and Woodvale Residents Association - Events in Woodvale Park and other local venues from 27th June – 11th July. To include a community cultural activity programme, diversionary youth work and two large scale musical events on 8th and 9th July;

·        EastSide Partnership (Eastival) - Programme of music and community events 7th – 9th July. To include a ‘Fifes and Fusion’ event, large-scale community event at the CS Lewis and Ballymacarrett walkway;

·        Ballymac Friendship Trust - Urban/ Street Festival 7th – 11th July. To include outreach work, community events live music performances and animation between CS Lewis Square and Pitt Park;

·        Charter NI - Youth work, community, cultural, creative art and sporting events 4th – 12th July. To promote heritage, educate on a broader cultural context, and showcase local artists.

·        The Hubb Community Resource Centre - Diversionary and Cultural workshops from 27th June – 12th July. To include music and community festival events in Grove Park;

·        Greater Village Regeneration Trust (GVRT) over July and August to coordinate a programme of cultural, community and diversionary events. To work with community partners and include trips across South Belfast.


August Programme


·        Feile (Feile August Diversionary Dance Night) in Falls Park on the 8th August.  To enable the delivery of a free dance music event as part of Feile and ongoing targeted outreach work in partnership with local community groups across Belfast. A community event to also take place in Distillery Street;

·        Feile (South and East Summer Diversionary Intervention Programme) community festival along the Lagan Walkway on 6th and 7th August and a music event in St Georges Market. To enable to delivery of outreach and diversionary work during the summer, in the lead up to the 8th August;

·        Feile (North Belfast Summer Diversionary Intervention Programme) – To enable to delivery of a number of diversionary outreach activities and community and sporting events (including a boxing event) in the lead up to the 8th August;

·        Combat Laser – Cave Hill Country Park – July and August - The organiser to pay the Council an appropriate fee for use of the park. Forest Fitness NI to use a secluded forest area within Cave Hill Country Park with little disruption to other park users.


            It was further agreed to delegate authority to the Director of Neighbourhood Services to ensure the following:


·        to negotiate a fee where appropriate which recognised the costs to Council and endeavoured to minimise any negative impact on the immediate area and take account of the potential wider benefit  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Feasibility Report on Kerbside Glass Expansion

Additional documents:


(Mr. B. Murray, Waste Manager, attended in connection with this item).


            The Committee considered a report which provided a summary of the findings of the feasibility report into the expansion of the kerbside collection scheme, along with detail regarding the capital costs that would be associated with any potential expansion to the scheme.


            Several Members welcomed and commended the report.


            The Committee noted the feasibility report on Kerbside Glass Expansion and that it would be submitted to a future meeting of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee for its consideration regarding the potential impact on the capital programme, revenue estimates and the rates setting process.



Update on Strategic Cemeteries and Crematorium Development Working Group

Additional documents:


            The Director of City Services drew the Members’ attention to the minutes of the Strategic Cemeteries and Development Working Group and provided a brief update in regard to the matters that had been considered, as follows:


·        Update on City Cemetery Project;

·        Update on Bereavement Services – Operational;

·        Update on the Crematorium Development; and

·        Update on new Cemetery Provision


            The Committee was advised that the Planning Application in respect of the proposed new Crematorium Development was scheduled to be submitted by 17th June.    


            The Chairperson, on behalf of the Committee, asked that the Committee’s thanked be extended to Mr Jim Parker, Crematorium Officer, who was leaving the Council after almost 29 years of service and wished him well in his new role with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.


            The Committee approved and adopted the minutes and the recommendations from theStrategic Cemeteries and CrematoriumDevelopment Working Group meeting held on 26th May, 2022.



Matters referred back from the Council/Motions


Notice of Motion - Cleansing Task Force Motion referred from Standards and Business Committee pdf icon PDF 230 KB


            The Committee was advised that the following Motion, which had been proposed by Councillor Beattie and seconded by Councillor McLaughlin, had been referred to the Committee for consideration by the Standards and Business Committee, at its meeting on 24th May.


            With the permission of the Chairperson, Councillor Beattie, proposer of the Motion, addressed the Committee and provided an overview of the motion.


“This Council will establish a Cleansing Task Force, to address the escalating problem of street cleanliness in both neighbourhoods and the City Centre, and the service delivery of bin collection.


Having clean neighbourhoods is a necessity for our ratepayers and this council must do everything in our power to address this issue.


Regular bin collections are vitally important to the health and wellbeing of our citizens, however, large numbers of streets are being missed on a weekly basis.


The Cleansing Task Force will consist of elected members from each party, senior management, cleansing management and convened by the Lord Mayor (Ard-Mhéara).


We must use everything at our disposal to resolve this problem, such as and not exclusively, improved service delivery structures, street inspectors, increased staffing and better communication with citizens.”


            Several Members addressed the Committee and outlined their concerns regarding the cleanliness of the City.


            The Committee adopted the motion and agreed to establish a Cleansing Task Force made up of Elected Members from each Political Party and Council officers.  It was agreed that officers would ascertain the party nominees and liaise with the Lord Mayor’s office to set up the first meeting of the Task Force, in the coming weeks, with an update report to be submitted to the August meeting of the People and Communities Committee detailing recommendations as to how the proposed works would be facilitated, resourced and managed.



Notice of Motion - Belfast City Council - Inclusive Play Parks referred from Standards and Business Committee pdf icon PDF 251 KB


Following on from the presentation earlier in the meeting, the Chairperson drew the Members’ attention to the following motion which he had proposed and had been seconded by Councillor McKeown.  He informed the Members that the Standards and Business Committee, at its meeting on 24th May, had referred the motion to the People and Communities Committee for its consideration:


“This council believes every child has the right to play but recognises not every child in Belfast has realised this right.


It notes the findings and recommendations of the ‘Let Me Play: Inclusive play park study 2022’ report undertaken by Play Board NI and the Mae Murray Foundation and the recent statement (and Appendix) from UK Play Safety Forum and Children’s Play Policy Forum – which has the endorsed the ‘Let Me Play’ report and published definitions for ‘accessible’ and ‘inclusive’.


The report found compelling evidence that children and families are facing exclusion from play park environments in Northern Ireland from experience across the following areas: Wider infrastructure surrounding play parks; Play Park site facilities; Access; Participation; Communication; and Attitudes.


The UK Play Safety Forum and Children’s Play Policy Forum statement defines accessible and inclusive play spaces as follows: 


An Accessible Play Space is a space which is barrier-free, allows users access to move around the space and offers participation opportunities for a range of differing abilities. Not every child of every ability will be able to actively use everything within an accessible play space.


An Inclusive Play Space provides a barrier-free environment, with supporting infrastructure, which meets the wide and varying play needs of every child. Disabled children and non-disabled children will enjoy high levels of participation opportunities, equally rich in play value.


This council will adopt the full findings from both the ‘Let Me Play’ report and the UK Play Safety Forum and Children’s Play Policy Forum statement into its park and play park planning processes.


In doing so it will also conduct a review of our full estate and make strategic decisions on where to plan to specifically build or upgrade to ‘inclusive’ status to deliver accessible and inclusive play parks within reasonable distances in each quarter (North/South/East/West) for all children to play together. 


As the delivery of ‘accessible and inclusive’ play parks will also require linkage with surrounding infrastructure and public transport services, we will also work with the Department for Infrastructure, Translink and other stakeholders.”


            The Committee adopted the motion in relation to Inclusive Playparks and agreed that a report on how this would be facilitated, resourced and managed would be submitted to a future meeting.



Notices of Motion - Update pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1             To provide an update to People and Communities Committee on Notices of Motion and Issues Raised in Advance by Members.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       It is recommended that People and Communities Committee:


·        Notes the updates to all Notices of Motion / Issues Raised in Advance that the Committee is responsible for as referenced in Appendix 1; and

·        Agree to the closure of Issue Raised in Advance, as referenced in Appendix 1 and noted in paragraph 3.5 below.


3.0       Main report




3.1       Members will recall that the previous Notices of Motion update was presented to People and Communities Committee in December 2021. At this meeting, Committee agreed that the Notices of Motion update could move from a quarterly to a six-monthly update due to workload pressures on Council staff.


3.2       This report provides an overview of the progress on those Notices of Motion and Issues Raised in Advance which remained open following the December 2021 update.


            Notice of Motion Updates


3.3       There are currently 26 active Notices of Motion and Issues Raised in Advance which the People and Communities Committee is responsible for. An update on those Notices of Motion and Issues Raised in Advance which remain active on the live database is attached at Appendix 1.


            Closure of Notices of Motion and Issues Raised in Advance


3.4       At SP&R Committee on 20th November 2020, it was agreed that Notices of Motion could be closed for one of two reasons:


·        Category 1 - Notices of Motion which contained an action that has been completed.  All Notices of Motion within this category contained a specific task that has since been complete.  It is worth noting that, when Committee agree to action a Notice of Motion, there are sometimes additional actions agreed alongside the Notice of Motion.  As these are not technically part of the Notice of Motion, they are taken forward through normal committee decision making processes.  The Notice of Motion can therefore be closed, but additional actions related to it will continue to be progressed and reported to the committee.  These additional actions are not contained in this report, but will be noted in the live database moving forward.


·        Category 2 - Notices of Motion have become Council policy or absorbed in to a strategic programme of work.  These Notices of Motion did not contain a specific task that could be complete.  Instead, they were more strategic in nature and required changes in Council policy and/ or strategy for long term outcomes.  Those listed within this category have all been agreed by Committee and are now either Council policy or are currently being implemented through a Council strategy that is managed by a Standing Committee through the corporate planning process. 


3.5       Following an update of those Notices of Motion and Issues Raised in Advance on the live database, it is recommended that Members approve the following Motions/Issues for closure.


            Category 1 Recommended Closures:


3.6  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.


Committee/Strategic Issues


People and Communities Committee Plan 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Additional documents:


            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.


2.0       Recommendations


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  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Food Service Delivery Plan 2022-2023 pdf icon PDF 273 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the following report.


“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       The Food Standards Agency, in their monitoring and oversight role, require all NI District Councils to prepare an annual Food Service Delivery Plan which sets out the Council’s key functions and planned activities for delivery of food hygiene, food standards and other food safety related responsibilities.


1.2       This report presents Belfast City Council’s draft Food Service Delivery Plan for the 2022/23 year and seeks Committee approval of the draft plan so that it can be submitted to the Food Standards Agency for review.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is requested to:


·        Approve The draft Belfast City Council Food Service Delivery Plan 2022-2023


3.0       Main report




3.1       The Council’s Food Safety Unit works with local businesses to build compliance with Food Law and to ensure that food produced and sold in Belfast is safe and can be trusted. This not only protects the consumer it also protects and enhances the reputation of the City, our local businesses and their competitiveness.


3.2       Food related illness costs the local economy, individual businesses and the consumer. It is estimated (based on N.I. Department of Health statistics) that in Belfast around 11,200 people may suffer from food poisoning and food related illness annually, potentially resulting in 104 hospital admissions, 5 deaths and costing the Belfast economy in the region of £19 million.


3.3       A reputation for good food hygiene standards can support economic growth. The Food Hygiene Rating Act (NI) 2016 requires businesses to display their food hygiene rating, improving the opportunities for consumers to make informed choices and encouraging improved compliance. It is expected that this enhances the reputation of Belfast as a safe place to visit with at least 95% of food businesses rated as 3, 4 or 5 (broadly compliant or better).  (See Appendix 2 for ratings breakdown).


3.4       It is estimated that around 2 million people living in the UK have a food allergy and officers work to ensure food businesses provide the required (allergen) information to enable consumers to make informed choices. However recent cases of severe allergic reactions, including the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse after eating a Pret a Manger sandwich, have highlighted concerns regarding the adequacy of labelling requirements for food that is prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) i.e. food that has been packed on the same premises from which it is being sold. New labelling legislation that came into force on 1st October 2021 requires any business that produces PPDS food to label it with the name of the food and a full ingredients list with allergenic ingredients emphasised within the list. These additional legal requirements will require officer time to support, monitor and ensure compliance. It is likely this work will impact significantly on the unit.


3.5       The UK’s exit from the European Union continues to pose challenges for the Council’s imported food control function this year. Ongoing uncertainty arising from extended UK/EU discussions on the NI Protocol,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Boxing Strategy Quarterly Update pdf icon PDF 252 KB

Additional documents:


            The Director of Neighbourhood Services reminded the Committee that the Council had previously agreed to provide £200,000 in funding to the Irish Athletic Boxing Association Ulster Branch (IABA) in the current financial year for delivery of an agreed action plan which supported the Belfast Boxing Strategy and she thenprovided an update on progress on implementation for January to March 2022 (Quarter 4).


            She explained that, in line with the Council’s objectives, the Belfast Boxing Strategy Steering Group had met quarterly with the most recent meetings having been held online due to Covid-19 and the associated regulations. The Steering Group had been chaired by the Director of Neighbourhood Services, with Council Officers, IABA Officers and Officials and County Antrim Board Officials attending. It was noted that small variations had been agreed to the budget spend across the six areas to assist prioritization, in line with the agreed annual action plan.


            The Committee was reminded that the Council had previously agreed a total of 37 Indicators with the IABA to monitor delivery of the programmes.  The Director reported that the IABA had been compliant with all the reporting matters. She highlighted that achievement of targets had continued to be significantly impacted by Covid-19 regulations and restrictions as imposed by NI Executive, however, as Covid Restrictions had eased many previously deferred programmes had been able to be held within Quarter 4. IABA had provided narrative against each of the KPIs to describe progress against each indicator and had noted that Covid restrictions had impacted on the realising of some of the targets at year end.  It was also highlighted that, since the pandemic, the focus in terms of method of delivery had changed to online delivery.


            The Committee noted the Quarter 4 progress update report and the impacts of Covid-19 restrictions on the agreed KPIs.



Stadium Community Benefits Initiative Update pdf icon PDF 439 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       To advise Committee of progress with the Stadia Community Benefits Initiative (SCBI) for year 2021/22 and update on the action plan for year 2022/23.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


·        Note progress to date and content of programme for 2022/2023


3.0       Main report


3.1       The Council has been undertaking the Leisure Transformation Programme to renew its Leisure facilities across the City. This Programme has been influenced by the Partnership opportunities presented by the NI Executive Stadia Programme.


3.2       The Council, Department for Communities (DfC) and the Irish Football Association (IFA) have recognised the opportunities presented by the Stadia Programme, have committed to work together to maximise these benefits, and have agreed to establish a Stadium Community Benefits Initiative as part of the Belfast Community Benefits Initiative (‘the Project’) to implement and deliver agreed objectives including promoting equality, tackling poverty, and tackling social exclusion within the Belfast area.


3.3       In March 2016 the Council, DfC and IFA signed an agreement which sets out their respective commitments to the project. As other major stadia are developed in Belfast it is anticipated that other sports governing bodies shall become parties to the agreement. At its April 2018 meeting, People and Communities committee agreed that Council would work with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) within the Stadia Community Benefits Initiative and recognised their significant planned investment in Gaelic Games in the city to support their Gaelfast strategy. GAA activities became fully incorporated into the action plan at the start of financial year 2019-2020, with Gaelfast staff imbedded into the governance structure at Communications Board, Delivery Board, Policy and Performance Board.


3.4       The agreement is for a period of ten years with financial commitment from Council and IFA in place to the end of March 2026. Delivery is managed through monthly meetings of the Delivery Board, which reports quarterly to the Policy and Performance Board. Financial and performance reports will be presented to Council and other partners’ Boards as necessary. Formal review of the agreement will be carried out in this financial year in accordance with the requirements to review at years 5 and 10. The interim review which has recently been completed has been attached (Appendix 1). The report highlights the intermediate benefits and gives a full assessment of the outcomes delivered by the programme over the first 5 years of delivery. The report summarises in detail delivery year by year as well as examining governance practice, key conclusions to date and highlighting issues for consideration regarding the next stage of the SCBI programme.


            The report highlights that many of the projects delivered to date have further potential and could provide even further benefits in phase 2, these include:


1)     Provision of high quality coaching;

2)     Safeguarding training;

3)     Further development of volunteer skills;

4)     Further increase in female participation and development of female clubs;

5)     Shared Education;

6)     Mental Health First Aid;

7)     Promotion of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


Plastic Promise and BCC Single Use Plastic Policy pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered a request from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful (KNIB) seeking the Council to sign up to the Live Here Love Here – ‘Plastic Promise’ campaign.


            The Operations Director, Resources and Fleet advised the Members that KNIB had approached the Council asking it to make a commitment to reduce its plastic footprint by signing up to the Plastic Promise. She reported that all other councils in Northern Ireland had agreed to sign up to the pledge and to outline their commitments to reduce unnecessary plastic - in particular single-use plastic (SUP). The Members noted that this information would be shared on the Live Here Love Here website and also promoted through KNIB’s public media campaigns.


            The Director detailed that KNIB had proposed a press launch, it would take place over the summer to promote the Northern Ireland wide Council support of the Plastic Promise.


            The Members’ attention was drawn to the draft declaration of the work available here which detailed the work that the Council was already involved with, along with details in respect of its quest to reduce single use plastic across the Council. It also outlined the Council’s commitment to further reducing its single use items and unnecessary plastic.  The Members were asked to review and agree the commitment as outlined within the draft declaration of work. 


            The Chairperson welcomed the document but suggested that wording be added which would adequately reflect the Council’s concern at the long-term environmental damage being caused by single use plastics. 


            A Member concurred and raised concern about the volume of soft plastics and lack of accessibility to recycle them.


            The Director advised that, in parallel to the Plastic Promise, the Council had also applied to the Council’s Climate Fund to help produce a Single-Use Plastic Policy for the Council.  A Strategic Outline Case was currently being developed which would summarise the approach and funding request.  She highlighted that this approach supported previous Notices of Motions and Committee reports on the issue of single-use items.


            Several Members welcomed the launch of the Climate Fund and the opportunity to apply to the programme to progress the Council’s proposals relating to single-use plastic and other single-use items. 


The Committee:

·        approved the request for Belfast City Council to sign up to the Live Here Love Here ‘Plastic Promise’;

·        endorsed the Council’s commitment to reducing the use of single use plastic across the Council as detailed in its ‘Plastic Promise’, subject to wording being added to reflect the Council’s concern at the environmental damage being caused by single use plastics; and

·        noted the funding application to develop a Single-Use Plastic Policy for Belfast City Council.



Belfast Healthy Cities - Proposed Contract Arrangements 2022-2026 pdf icon PDF 288 KB


            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 progress to date since the last report was presented to People & Communities Committee in November 2021.  It outlines the context, reminds members of the findings and recommendations of the VfM Review, sets out the proposed arrangements for governance and oversight, and outlines the agreed priorities and emerging actions in support of Phase VII and community planning under health inequalities.  It also seeks approval from members to provide Belfast Healthy Cities with a longer-term commitment (in terms of contract and finance) to end of March 2026.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       Given the recent positive conclusions of the Value for Money Review completed in 2021, alongside the recent redesignation of Healthy Cities status for Belfast from 2021 to 2026, and the role that BHC will play in addressing identified health inequalities priorities and actions agreed under the Belfast Agenda Refresh (22-26 new community plan) it is recommended that Committee:


·        In addition to the funding already secured for 22/23 - agree to commit to fund Belfast Healthy Cities at the same level (£81,294 per annum) for a further 3-year period to align with the Phase VII and Community Plan timeframes – to 31 March 2026. 

·        Note a report will be brought to Living Here Board on 13th June requesting that the Board recommend to the Belfast Community Planning Partnership that the Health Inequalities Strategic Reference Group (HISRG) be established, and recognised, as the oversight body for allocating resources to, and agreeing and reviewing action(s) undertaken in support of, health inequalities work in the city under community planning.  It is proposed that Belfast Healthy Cities will have representation on this group.


3.0       Main report


3.1       Background/Context


            Belfast’s membership to the WHO European Healthy Cities Network is facilitated by Belfast Healthy Cities (BHC), an independent partnership organisation, recognised as having charitable status by The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. Belfast Healthy Cities is governed by a Board of Directors, elected annually and representing the public, university, voluntary and community sectors.


            Council are one of four core funders to Belfast Healthy Cities, along with the Public Health Agency (PHA), Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) and Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).  Annual funding amounts to over 300k of which BCC contributes £81,294.


            Phase VI of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network was in operation from 2014 and came to an end in 2019.  The application process for Phase VII commenced in 2019, with the outcome originally expected to be known by April 2020. This was significantly delayed by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and as such the existing contract with BHC was extended during 19/20, 21/22 and for the first quarter of 22/23.


            On 21st May 2021 Belfast Healthy Cities confirmed that the City of Belfast had been successful in its application (previously approved by Council), and had been designated in Phase VII, and thereby extended as a WHO  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


Update on All Party Reference Group on Older People pdf icon PDF 252 KB

Additional documents:


            The Director of City Services drew the Members’ attention to the minutes of the Reference Group on Older People and provided a brief overview of the items that had been considered, as follows:


·        Update from Ms. A. Keenan, EOS Community Consulting, in regard to the Development of Age-friendly Belfast Plan 2022-2026;

·        Update on the ‘Get It Project’; and

·        Update in respect of age-friendly Belfast Activities and Events.


            The Committee approved and adopted the minutes and the recommendations from the Reference Group on Older People meeting held on 30th May, 2021.



Consultation on Reforms to the Packaging Waste Recycling Note (PRN) and Packaging Waste Export Recycling Note (PERN) System and Operator Approval pdf icon PDF 261 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       To present to Committee, Belfast City Council’s draft response to the DEFRA consultation on the Reforms to the Packaging Waste Recycling Note (PRN) and Packaging Waste Export Recycling Note (PERN) System and Operator Approval.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to endorse the draft response as the Council’s response to the DEFRA consultation on theReforms to the Packaging Waste Recycling Note (PRN) and Packaging Waste Export Recycling Note (PERN) System and Operator Approval which was submitted by the 21st May deadline, subject to the consideration of Committee and Council ratification.(Consultation paper attached as Appendix I and BCC Draft response attached as Appendix II)


3.0       Main report


3.1       Key Issues


            Members may recall from the People and Communities Committee meeting on 8th June 2021 that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) had launched two consultations on packaging: one on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and one on Deposit Return Schemes (DRS).


3.2       Following the consultation periods, DEFRA collated feedback and have now issued a response to the EPR consultation (the DRS response is expected to follow).


3.3       Within the EPR response, the UK Government and Devolved Administrations have decided to make provisions for the continuation of the PRN/PERN system in the new ‘Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations for Packaging Waste’ as an interim measure, to demonstrate that recycling obligations have been met.


3.4       In light of the decision to retain the PRN/PERN system, DEFRA has published a consultation titled ‘Reforms to the Packaging Waste Recycling Note (PRN) and Packaging Waste Export Recycling Note (PERN) System and Operator Approval’.


3.5       Whilst the wider EPR measures (including full net cost payments for household packaging, modulated fees, mandatory labelling and enhanced communications) should address many of the shortcomings of the current producer responsibility arrangements, there are several improvements that may be necessary to further improve the functioning of the PRN/PERN market in the short term. These include the volatility and unpredictability of PRN/PERN prices, a lack of transparency, the potential for fraud in the issue of PRNs/PERNs and producer dependency on exports to meet recycling targets.


3.6       This consultation seeks views on proposals to address the identified issues and improve the overall effectiveness of the system, including suggestions from the Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) and other industry bodies. 


            In particular, the consultation focuses on the following areas for reform:


·        Reporting requirements on the sales of PRNs/PERNs

·        Reporting requirements on how the revenue from PRN/PERN sales is used

·        Timeframes for the trading of PRNs/PERNs

·        The introduction of a ‘technical competence’ test for compliance scheme operators and accredited reprocessors/exporters

·        The interface with the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS)


3.7       The consultation also asks for additional views and evidence on other proposed changes to the PRN/PERN system, including:


·        The introduction of a compliance fee for producers that fail to meet their obligations


3.8       The responses to this consultation will inform decisions on Government’s approach  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Commonwealth Games Support pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered a request from the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICGC) seeking financial assistance from the Council to help support the team competing in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.


            The Committee agreed a contribution of £10,000 to the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICGC) in support of the the team competing in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.



Physical Programme and Asset Management


Playground Improvement Programme (PIP) 2022 - 2023 pdf icon PDF 260 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       The purpose of this report is to update Members on the successful 2021/22 Playground Improvement Programme (PIP), the latest annual Independent Playground Inspector’s report and  the playground refurbishments proposed from that for inclusion in the 2022/23 programme.


1.2       Members are asked to note that refurbishments are to be funded under the Capital Programme and that an allocation of £580,000 has been agreed for this work, in this financial year.


1.3       The report also updates members on the refurbishment works completed under last year’s PIP (2021-22).


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee are asked to:


·        Agree refurbishment works at the sites below under the Playground Improvement Programme (PIP) 2022-23. This year’s programme has an allocated budget of £580,000 under the Capital Programme for financial year 2022/23.


1.      Areema playground

2.      Sally Gardens playground

3.      Westlands playground


3.0       Main report


            Playground Refurbishment Programme


3.1       Since its inception in 2012, the Playground Refurbishment Programme continues to make a significant and positive impact to the overall quality and play value of the city’s playgrounds; this has greatly improved accessibility, providing more inclusive equipment, safety surfacing, boundary fencing, site furniture and landscaping works.


3.2       With continued investment over the last ten years, Council is achieving the desired improvements at each of its sites. Over the last year the Council has constructed a new playground at the Vere Foster site and refurbished the Ormeau 2000 (Park Road) playground.  Refurbishment works at Cavehill Adventurous playground (senior section) are also nearing completion


3.3       In January 2022 Council secured an additional £97k of DfC funding for previously agreed refurbishment works at Clarawood Park playground (junior zone). These works are now due to commence in early June 2022.


3.4       The Council’s newest refurbished playground facilities below are now more inviting, inclusive, and exciting places for children and parents to visit, moving their quality scores to the desired higher standard. (See appendix 1 – images of recently refurbished playgrounds at Forster Greene and Ormeau 2000 (Park Road).


3.5       Members should note that Play Services Ireland Ltd have undertaken the annual independent playground inspections on behalf of the Council. The ‘quality score’ allocated for each playground is based on compliance with European safety standards BS EN 1176-7: 2020.


3.6       The independent playground inspection report highlights the age range for each piece of playground apparatus and identifies and prioritises repairs to existing playground equipment. The Council’s Facilities Management and Playground Inspectors continue to undertake these repairs in the order they have been prioritised. (See Appendix 2 – copy of Independent Playground Inspection report for Sally Gardens playground).


3.7       Each playground is individually categorised, giving a combined ‘quality score’ Sally Gardens playground for example was allocated an overall quality score of 5.6.


            Quality scores:


            Score 9 – 10 Excellent

            Score 8 – 9   Very Good

            Score 7 – 8   Good

            Score 6 – 7   Fairly Good

            Score 5 – 6   Sufficient

            Score 4 – 5   Fair

            Score 3  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Operational Issues


Request for the Use of Dundonald Cemetery for Somme Commemoration Parade pdf icon PDF 242 KB


            The Committee was advised that a request had been received from the Dundonald Apprentice Boys of Derry seeking permission to use Dundonald Cemetery to conduct a wreath laying ceremony.


            The Committee noted that the Director would be exercising her delegated authority to grant authority to the Apprentice Boys of Derry to use Dundonald Cemetery to conduct a wreath laying ceremony on 23rd June from 7.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m., subject to the Event Organisers resolving all operational issues to the Council’s satisfaction.



Installation of AED (defibrillator) at Duncairn Community Centre pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee was advised of a request from the Dean Clarke Foundation, a community organisation/user group at Duncairn Community Centre, seeking permission to place an AED device in Duncairn community centre for public/user access.  It was noted that they wished to have an AED at this location following an incident involving a local resident when no AED had been available.


            The Members were advised that the defibrillator would be placed on an internal wall of the building, this was to avoid vandalism as antisocial behaviour (ASB) in the area was an ongoing problem.  It was hoped that this could be reviewed at some stage in the future, however, until then the device would only be accessible during the community centre opening hours. 


            The AED would be stored in an appropriate wall mounted cabinet with suitable signage and an Co-ordinator would be nominated to carry out regular equipment checks, and appropriate staff training would be provided.  The AED would be repaired and maintained by the Council and registered on the national database ‘The Circuit’ (The National Defibrillator Network).   


            The Committee approved the request to accept donated AED equipment from the Dean Clarke Foundation for installation within the Duncairn Community Centre.