Belfast City Council:

Minutes for Development Committee meeting, Jun 10 2009, 4.30PM official page

Other committee documents for Belfast City Council :: Development Committee details

Venue: The Council Chamber, 3rd Floor Adelaide Exchange, Adelaide Street, Belfast

Contact: Mr Neil Malcolm, Committee Administrator 

Items No. Item




            Apologies for inability to attend were reported from the Deputy Lord Mayor (Councillor Lavery) and Councillors Kyle and O’Reilly.





            The minutes of the meetings of 13th and 26th May were taken as read and signed as correct.  It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 1st June.  It was reported further that, during discussion of the minute of the meeting of 13th May under the heading “Council’s Transport Policy Review”, the Council had requested that the Committee consider the implications of the transport proposals contained in the Connswater Community Greenway scheme in light of the Council’s Transport Policy.



Mr. Michael Stoker


            The Chairman referred to a recent incident in Afghanistan in which Councillor Stoker’s son, Michael, had been seriously injured and, on behalf of the Committee, wished Michael a speedy recovery from his injuries.



Expression of Sympathy


            The Chairman informed the Committee of the recent death of the father of the Head of Economic Initiatives, Ms. S. McCay, and, on behalf of the Committee, extended his deepest sympathy and condolences to Ms. McCay and her family circle.



Core Cities PDF 35 KB

To consider further the minute of the meeting of 20th April under the heading “Core Cities” which, at the request of Councillor Crozier, was referred back to the Committee by the Council at its meeting on 5th May and which the Committee, at its meeting on 13th May, agreed to defer consideration of for a period of one month.


            The Committee considered further the minute of the meeting of 20th April under the heading “Core Cities” which had been taken back at the Council meeting on 5th May at the request of Councillor Crozier and which the Committee, at its meeting on 13th May, had agreed to defer for a period of one month.  An extract of the minute in this regard is set out hereunder:


      “The Committee was informed that the Lord Mayor had received recently an invitation for Belfastto become an associate member of the Core Cities Group.  This organisation had been established in 2000 to assist Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Gateshead to work together on common issues and to lobby Central Government to re-direct funding for economic regeneration away from London and the South-East of England.  As a result, a number of joint initiatives had been undertaken on issues relating to transport, regeneration and employability.  The Head of Economic Initiatives indicated that Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow had also been invited to join this prestigious Group and that associate, rather than ‘full’ membership, had been offered to the four cities since Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had their own Regional Assemblies.


      She pointed out that joining the Core Cities Group would enable the Council to share information with and obtain information from the other cities which were members of the organisation which would be beneficial to Belfast.  She pointed out further that the Council had not been requested to make any financial contribution and that ‘full’ membership could only be offered to English cities.


      Following discussion, the Committee agreed that the Lord Mayor decline the invitation for Belfastto become an associate member of the Core Cities Group.”


            Councillor Crozier informed the Committee that the Core Cities Group had considerable influence within the United Kingdom and it helped shape the Government’s agenda and he therefore believed that it would be beneficial for the Council to accept the invitation for Belfast to become an associate member of the Core Cities Group.


            In answer to a Member’s question, the Director informed the Committee that Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow, which had also been invited to join the organisation as associate members, had agreed to accept the invitation for a short period of time in order to ascertain whether they obtained any benefit from being a member of the organisation.


            Following discussion, the Committee agreed to rescind its decision of 20th April and agreed to become an associate member of the Core Cities Group for a period of one year.



Belfast Tourism Monitor

Pursuant to the Committee’s decision of 13th May, to receive a presentation on the findings of the 2008 Belfast Tourism Monitor.


            The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on 13th May, it had agreed to receive from representatives of Millward Brown Ulster Limited a presentation in respect of the findings of the Belfast Tourism Monitor 2008.  It was reported that Ms. C. Toner and Mr. R. McGimpsey were in attendance and they were admitted to the meeting and welcomed by the Chairman.


            Ms. Toner stated that in 2008 7.1 million people had visited the City, an increase of 3% from the previous year, with the number of out-of-state visitors increasing by 43%.  She indicated that these visitors had spent £436.5 million in the City, an increase of 39%.  She pointed out that the considerable increase was due largely to residents from the Republic of Ireland visiting Belfast to shop because of the beneficial exchange rate between the Euro and the Pound Sterling.  Conversely, the number of visitors from England, Scotland and Wales had declined by 20%.  She explained that 30% of all visitors to Belfast had used the Big Wheel attraction located at the City Hall.  She indicated that the questionnaires which had been completed by visitors had indicated that Belfast could become an even more attractive destination if there were more information available regarding what was happening in the City, more attractions for people to visit and if opening hours were to be extended.


            In answer to Members’ questions, Ms. Toner pointed out that visitors to the City were no longer indicating that there was a shortage of hotel rooms and that the figure for the total number of visitors to Belfast included day-trippers, given the contribution which they made to the City’s economy, although the Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s figures only included out-of-state and overnight visitors.


            Ms. Toner and Mr. McGimpsey then retired from the meeting.


            After discussion, the Committee noted the findings of the Belfast Tourism Monitor for 2008.



Neighbourhood Renewal PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee noted the contents of the undernoted report:


“Relevant Background Information


      Members will be aware that, in June 2003, the DSD published ‘People and Place: A strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal’, a document which aims to tackle the complex, multi-dimensional nature of Northern Ireland’s most disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods.  In order to progress this Agenda, DSD progressed the establishment of 12 Neighbourhood Renewal Partnerships within the BCC area.  Each Partnership was tasked with producing a Vision Framework (7-10 years) and Action Plan (3 years) for the Neighbourhood Renewal area. The 12 Partnerships are:


      - Inner East  Belfast                          - Inner South Belfast

      - South West Belfast                         - Greater Shankill

      - Greater Falls                                   - Lenadoon

      - Upper Springfield                           - Crumlin/Ardoyne

      - Inner North Belfast                         - Andersonstown

      - Ligoniel                                            - Upper Ardoyne/Ballysillan


      Each Partnership has developed its Action Plan which has been submitted to DSD for consideration.  These Plans propose thousands of actions that would need to be delivered by a range of organisations in key areas such as housing, health, education, community safety, good relations, employability, community development, culture, tourism, leisure, children and young people, older people and environmental and physical improvement.


Key Issues


      The Council has become a key participant in the neighbourhood renewal process and to date the following support has been provided:-



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