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Corporate plan and improvement plan

Performance Assessment: Year end update on implementation of 2021-2022 Improvement Plan

Published on 30 September 2022


Contents


Overview

Understanding the context

This assessment of the council’s performance in the 2021-2022 period provides an overview of the many improvements that Belfast City Council has progressed over the past year. At the beginning of the year we set ourselves six key improvement objectives and, within these, agreed the main activities that would help drive those objectives forward. This report illustrates exactly what we’ve achieved against these activities. However, these are strategic objectives and as such provide only a snapshot of the vast amount of improvement activity taking place all the time within the council. Individual services and departments refine and improve the way they do things on a continuous basis. For us ‘Improvement’ is about more than just efficiency savings or enhancements to services.  Whilst these are very important to ensure citizens receive the high quality, value for money services that they expect and deserve, our improvement plan has to make a difference also to people’s lives.  It must improve local quality of life and it must help build a sustainable future. We continually look at what has worked well elsewhere, listen to customer feedback and consider more efficient ways of doing things both at a service improvement level and at improving the broader quality of life.

The information provided in this report meets our obligations under the Local Government (NI) Act 2014 to publish details of our arrangements to deliver continuous improvement. We continue to use what we learn to inform our future activity and to use our resources in a way that maximises their impact for the people who live here and for those who visit, study and work in the city.

Since early 2020,COVID-19 has brought new challenges for everyone around the world, for our health, society and economy. In order to allow us to refocus our efforts and reconfigure services to support the pandemic response we published the “Belfast Our Recovery” document in September 2020. This document set out the areas we needed to focus on in the short term during the initial stages of the pandemic and looking forward, what we needed to build on for sustained recovery. Through our 2021-2022 improvement plan, we set out how we would build on this to look ahead to allow our city to recover and resurge even stronger.


Selecting improvement objectives

Previously, we have aligned our improvement objectives to the key priorities within the Belfast Agenda. To ensure that our focus is current and continues to meet the needs of our residents, each year we review and update as part of our annual corporate planning process our improvement objectives. For this reason, and to ensure focus remained on priority areas that is to help the city deal with and recover from the pandemic, in 2021-2022 we aligned the improvement objectives to the Belfast Our Recovery plan published in September 2020. Our recovery plan has six main pillars, each helping to support our communities and economy to recover by building on our strengths and assets as a city and wider city region.

In March 2021 we issued six draft improvement objectives for public consultation which were aligned to the recovery plan. Given the high levels of support, evidenced by the consultation, the proposed improvement objectives were formally approved by SP&R Committee in June 2021. Belfast City Council agreed that as a council we would:

  • Support our city to recover by helping to restore the social and cultural vibrancy of our city spaces and places in a safe and sustainable way
  • Take steps to ensure our services adapt and improve in the short and longer term
  • Work with and support our communities, helping them to become stronger, healthier and more resilient
  • Work in collaboration with others to protect and create jobs and support people into employment
  • Take action to protect the environment and improve sustainability of Belfast
  • Improve digital inclusion and enhance our digital infrastructure to support jobs, our economy, sustainability and wellbeing
  • February 2021: Corporate Management Team (CMT) - review and assessment of 2021-2022 improvement objectives
  • March 2021: SP&R Committee - scrutiny of proposed improvement objectives
  • March to May 2021: Public consultation on improvement objectives
  • May 2021: CMT - review of consultation responses and update of improvement objectives
  • June 2021: SP&R Committee approves Improvement Objectives and Improvement Plan
  • June 2021: Improvement Plan published

Delivering improvements

Lots of the work we do helps us to achieve these improvements. For example, attracting inward investment and regeneration opportunities depends not only on large-scale projects to stimulate growth; it also requires a clean, attractive city with space, good health and leisure opportunities and a strong sense of safety and community. Their success depends on making sure that we deliver high quality effective services on the ground.

However to make it easier to monitor our performance, we also identified a total of 14 activities that we would use to demonstrate progress against each objective. Updates on the progress of these activities are reported to our committees on a regular basis. In addition, updates on the Improvement Plan, as a whole, are reported to our Audit and Risk Panel and Strategic Policy and Resources (SP&R) Committee at mid-year and year-end.


Discharging the general duty to secure continuous improvement in 2021-2022

Arrangements in place to secure continuous improvement

Belfast City Council has well-established governance arrangements in place to ensure delivery of all of our plans and these arrangements are used to ensure that all of the activity underpinning our improvement objectives is monitored on an ongoing basis. These arrangements include:

  • An aligned planning process – where activity is ‘planned’ in at the relevant level (committee, departmental, service, area)
  • Formal regular monitoring of plans and reporting of activities within plans to relevant committees
  • Quarterly reports of our programme of activity to CMT
  • Mid-year and year-end reports of our overall programme of activity to SP&R
  • Reporting on the performance management process to the Audit and Risk Panel as a standing item
  • Consideration of the full costs included in our estimates process
  • Appropriate risk management arrangements for all programmes of work
  • Aligned monitoring, reporting and performance management arrangements underpinning all of the above including reporting cycles for finance and other cross cutting performance information at a corporate management team level

Our commitment to continuous improvement remains. Given the current changing environment, we recognise the need to be agile and adapt to changing circumstances and this has been reflected in both how we adapted during 2020-2021 and what we included in our Improvement Plan for 2021-2022. Belfast City Council has well established governance arrangements in place to ensure delivery of all of our plans and these arrangements ensured that all of the activity underpinning our improvement objectives for 2021-2022 were monitored on an ongoing basis.

Continually meeting resident expectations and ensuring that our services are efficient and fit for purpose is a key priority for council. Therefore in 2021-2022 we took steps to ensure our services adapted and improved in the short and longer term focusing on:

  • Continuing to invest in and improve the quality of our leisure centre
  • Implementing our Customer Focus Programme
  • Developing new procedure to protect port health and adapt to Brexit transition

In keeping with the spirit of our improvement duty, we do not just ‘plan in’ improvement at one point in the year.  We work hard to improve the experience of citizens throughout the year. 

As a responsive, proactive organisation, we recognise that there will be occasions when we need to adapt what we do, perhaps even to divert from planned activity and realign resources to cope with an emerging need. 


Progression, achievement and outcomes from our 2021-2022 improvement objectives


Improvement objective 1: Support our city to recover

COVID-19 changed how public spaces were used, particularly in the city centre, which seen significant reductions in footfall during the pandemic. This improvement objective focused on how we as a council could work towards ensuring our public spaces were as safe as possible, to support health and wellbeing, connectivity, social and cultural vibrancy and economic recovery.  We worked in collaboration with a range of public bodies and other partners to ensure that a joined up approach was taken to bringing forward all possible measures to ensure the safety of residents, staff and visitors to the city. We also worked alongside the Public Health Agency to support them in implementing safety guidelines across the city to support the managed and phased approach to reopening.

In our Improvement Plan for 2021-2022, we said we would support our city to recover by helping to restore the social and cultural vibrancy of our city spaces and places in a safe and sustainable way by:

  • Implementing a Revitalisation Fund for Local business interventions and public realm
What are the expected outcomes?

Our work to achieve this objective contributes to:

  • Belfast is a vibrant, attractive, connected and environmentally sustainable city
  • Everyone in Belfast benefits from a thriving and prosperous city 

How we measured our performance and impact 

Belfast City Council performance indicators Achieved 2019-2020 Achieved 2021-2022
Resident satisfaction with Belfast as a place to live 86% (2019) 85% 
percentage of residents who agree the city centre is vibrant and attractive, with lots going on  81% (2019) 80% 

Improvement activity: We supported our city to recover by helping to restore the social and cultural vibrancy of our city spaces and places in a safe and sustainable way

In our Improvement Plan for 2021-2022 we said we would:

  • Implement a Revitalisation Fund that will:
    • deliver direct local business interventions
    • deliver public realm improvements and streetscaping
    • improve and enhance city dressing and signage

Specific achievements included:

  • Finalised the COVID-19 Recovery Grant with 454 businesses having claimed their funding allocations
  • Provided Brexit support sessions for 26 businesses including retail, construction, ICT and manufacturing and EU exit support sessions for 40 businesses in those sectors
  • Launched the Digital Transformation scheme supporting over 1,000 businesses to a significant shift in their business operations. 
  • Successfully completed the capital grant scheme with 33 applications obtaining grant funding from the DfC COVID-19 Revitalisation Programme
  • Progressed the public realm enhancements including Adelaide Street, Castle Place and the Entries
  • Enhanced lighting across the Business Improvement Districts

Understanding project status in milestones tables

In each milestones table, we describe project status as Red, Amber or Green:

Red means 'project delayed'
Amber means 'project progressing with delays'
Green means 'project is on target'

Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Local business interventions and business cluster and community grants scheme 
Continue to oversee payments & administration of the COVID-1919 Recovery Grant  Green Green not applicable not applicable
Undertake business support programmes as required for example via the innovation Factory, Brexit Support sessions, and development of transformative digital support  Green Green Green Green
Deliver a capital grants scheme to community groups, charities, social enterprises and business collaborations for environmental improvement schemes, to support business operation and recovery  Green Green Green Green
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Reimaging the Public Realm
Deliver the Adelaide Street pavement extension and enhancement scheme  not applicable Amber Green not applicable
Deliver Castle Street project  not applicable Amber Amber not applicable
Deliver Entries Phase 2 project  Green Green Green Green
Deliver Business Improvement Districts -BID ONE; Cathedral Quarter; Linen Quarter  not applicable Amber Green not applicable

Responsible chief officer: Strategic Director of Neighbourhood Services
Reporting Committee: Strategic Policy and Resources Committee


Improvement objective 2:  Adapt and improve our services

In our Improvement Plan for 2021-2022, we said we would take steps to ensure our services adapt and improve in the short term and longer term by:

  • Implementing our Customer Focus Programme
  • Continuing to invest in and improve the quality of leisure centres
  • Developing new procedures to protect port health and to adapt to new Brexit transition arrangements

What are the expected outcomes?

Our work to achieve this objective contributes to:

  • Creating a fit for purpose organisation

How we measure our performance and impact percentage of residents satisfied with Belfast City Council 

Belfast City Council performance indicators Achieved 2019-2020 Achieved 2021-2022
percentage of residents satisfied with Belfast City Council 65% (2019) 76%
percentage of residents who agree that the council provides good customer service 62% (2019) 73%
percentage of residents who agree that the council consults with and listens to views of local residents 63% (2019) 63%

Improvement activity: We continued to invest in and improve the quality of our leisure centres

Specific achievements included:

  • Shortlisted for an international award for ‘Social Project of the year’ by the Association of Project Management
  • Completed the construction of the new Avoniel Leisure facility which was formally launched in November 2021
  • Continued construction work at Templemore Baths which is on schedule to open in 2022
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Complete construction of new £8m leisure centre at Avoniel focused on outdoor leisure provision and indoor flexible space  not applicable Green Green Green
Launch Avoniel Leisure Centre  not applicable Green Green Green
Continue to develop options for the new Girdwood Indoor Sports facilities as part of the £105m leisure transformation programme  Green Green Green Green
Continue construction of a £17 million restoration and extension of Templemore Baths, where the focus is on heritage and spa provision Green Green Green Green
Continue to work to develop options for a potential Leisure Phase 4 –  Belvoir, Loughside, Shankill, Whiterock, Ballysillan and Ozone  Green Green Green Green
Work with GLL to develop effective mobilisation plans to ensure that, on completion of the build programmes, Avoniel and Templemore are open and fully operational on time  Green Green Green Green
Develop a BCC mobilisation plan to ensure that the council is, on completion of the build programme, ready to operate the Heritage element of the Templemore project Green Green Green Green

Responsible Chief Officer: Director of Physical Programmes
Reporting Committee: Strategic Policy and Resources Committee


Improvement activity: Implemented our Customer Focus Programme

Specific achievements included:            

  • Initiated Phase 2 to identify which services will be onboarded
  • Established protocols for telephone and email communications to ensure we maintain our standards for customer service.  
  • Continued to develop Customer Hub analytics to produce management information dashboards
  • Continued to oversee the programme’s change management and quality assurance processes
  • Drafted new product descriptions and quality criteria for products due to be delivered in Phase 2
  • Continued to review programme and project registers
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Develop a programme plan for implementation Phase 2: Service design of existing services Green not applicable not applicable not applicable
Review the corporate telephony and email standards  Green not applicable not applicable not applicable
Design and develop the corporate efficiency framework  Green Amber Amber Green
Develop a suite of KPIs and continue to develop management information (analytics)  not applicable Green Green Green
Initiate testing of the corporate efficiency framework and commence programme plan for Phase 2  not applicable not applicable Amber Green
Further refine the ‘deep dive’ for Cleansing and Waste service not applicable not applicable Green not applicable
Go live with the Customer Hub support and training  not applicable not applicable Green Green
Ongoing development of Corporate CRM  Green Green Green Green

Responsible Chief Officer: Programme Director
Reporting Committee: Strategic Policy and Resources Committee


Improvement activity – Developed new procedures to protect port health and adapt to Brexit Transition

Specific achievements included:

  • Completed a range of facilities upgrade work on Health and Safety issues with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs(DAERA)
  • Completed a range of security enhancements installed by DAERA
  • Undertook a resource analysis of the current operational model to update planning assumptions on task durations and staff time allocation on SPS checks. This cannot be fully completed until the UK Government advises on the new planning assumptions for future arrangements
  • New staff cannot be recruited until confirmation of funding from HM Treasury to operate the service has been agreed
  • Commenced a review of the temporary staffing model for Port Health to help reduce reliance on Environmental Health Officers for document/administrative duties
  • Extended existing staff contracts until March 2024 to help with the retention of staff
  • Participated in regular joint planning and operational engagements to support delivery, working jointly with various government departments across key programme strands
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Implement additional security and health and safety measures at Corry Place with relevant protocols  Amber Amber Green Green
Work with relevant systems providers to ensure necessary system integrations and functionality  not applicable Amber Amber Amber
Prepare updated volumetric and resource models to inform future resource planning  not applicable Amber Green Green
Prepare updated staffing model to reflect any increased service demands on expiry of grace periods and implement  not applicable Green Green Green
Recruit and retain sufficient staff to deliver the service not applicable Red Red Amber
Work with DAERA and FSA to develop sustainable funding model to secure necessary funding from HM Treasury to operate the service, assurance for financial year 2022-2023 required by Quarter 3 at the latest  not applicable Red Red Red
Support and facilitate ongoing planning and implementation of necessary protocols and operational activity with competent authorities including FSA, DAERA, DEFRA, other ports and local council  Green Green Green Green

Responsible Chief Officer: Strategic Director of City and Neighbourhood Services
Reporting Committee: People and Communities Committee


Improvement objective 3: Support our communities  

In our Improvement Plan for 2021-2022, we said we would work with and support our communities, helping them to become stronger, healthier and more resilient by:

  • Developing and implementing an £8million Neighbourhood Regeneration Fund
  • Enhancing our parks and open spaces
  • Encouraging participation in sport and physical activity
  • Developing enhanced approaches to civic engagement and the involvement of the VCSE sector

What are the expected outcomes?

Our work to achieve this objective contributes to:

  • Everyone in Belfast experiences good health and wellbeing
  • Everyone in Belfast benefits from a thriving and prosperous city

How we measure our performance and impact 

Belfast City Council performance indicators Achieved 2019-2020 Achieved 2021-2022
Resident satisfaction with Belfast as a place to live 86% 85%
percentage of residents who agree that their local area has good quality parks and green space 78% 78%
Number of parks and green spaces with Green Flag accreditation   20 20
percentage of residents using council parks at least monthly (from resident survey data)  56% 62%

Physical Activity Referral Programmes participation[1]
PARs Level 3 – Healthwise
Chronic Conditions

not applicable 424
not applicable 101
Number of registered participants on YourSay Belfast 248 (2021) 2453
Number of registered VCSE participants on YourSay Belfast 113 (2021)[2] 217

Improvement activity: Developed and began the implementation of an £8million neighbourhood regeneration fund

Specific achievements included:

  • Agreed the principles, allocation model and thematic areas for the fund
  • Continued work on the programme level outcomes framework working in collaboration with colleagues across the departments
  • Agreed the introduction of an Outcomes Based Accountability approach to monitoring the outcomes for NRF
  • Held an information webinar in March 2022
  • Developed an assessment and scoring process; collation and assessment of Stage 1 applications will begin in summer 2022.
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Develop new £8million physical programme to support communities aligned to corporate strategies including new 10-year tourism plan, resilience strategy and social enterprise action plan Green Green not applicable not applicable
Launch new Neighbourhood Regeneration Fund physical programme via an open call for proposals not applicable Green Green Green

Responsible Chief Officer: Director of Physical Programmes
Reporting Committee: Strategic Policy and Resources Committee


Improvement activity: Enhanced our parks and open spaces

Specific achievements included:

  • Achieved the Green Flag status for BCC parks and heritage site.
  • Agreed the final Belfast Open Spaces Strategy (BOSS) whereby members were informed of the localised delivery plans
  • Opened Vere Foster playground in July
  • Completed the refurbishment works at Ormeau Park Playground (Park Road)
  • Completed the pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Lagan and the navigation lock
  • Commenced construction of the Forth Meadow Community Greenway
  • Secured over £7million in external funding from central government for the enhancement of both Marrowbone Millennium Park and Ballysillan Playing Fields.
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Open Spaces strategy
Reapply to retain Green Flag accreditation for our current 19 sites not applicable Green not applicable not applicable
Reapply for Green Flag Heritage Award for Botanic Gardens not applicable Green not applicable not applicable
Agree governance and project plan for a Belfast Open Spaces Strategy (BOSS) Green Green not applicable not applicable
Establish strategic priority groups and develop draft delivery plans (BOSS) not applicable not applicable Green Green
Invest in playground improvements at Vere Foster, Cavehill and Ormeau Green Green Green Green
New park in Colin - Creation of a new city park in partnership with the Urban Villages Initiative Green Green Green Green
Development of Lagan Gateway Greenway Green Green not applicable Green
Creation of Forth Meadow Community Greenway Green Green Green Green

Responsible Chief Officer: Strategic Director of City and Neighbourhood Services and Director of Physical Programmes Reporting Committee: People and Communities Committee


Improvement activity: Encouraged participation in sport physical activity

Specific achievements included:

  • Delayed procurement of external support to commence the development programme for a sport and physical activity strategy due to staff secondments and departmental re-organisation, however a new timeline has been drawn up with a completion date of May 2023
  • Continued to work with partners to review and enhance physical activity referral pathways across the city.
  • Continued delivery of the Level 3 and 4 PARS programmes with some adaptions as a result of COVID-19.
  • Launched a new jointly funded partnership with Macmillan Cancer to deliver the ‘Macmillian Move More’ programme
  • Continued delivery of the Physical Activity Referral programmes with a blended model of face to face and virtual classes
  • Worked in partnership with BHSCT Physiotherapy Specialist Services on the Post COVID-19 Rehab Pilot Programme
  • Secured a funding application of £5,000 to support people living with MSK conditions across the city.
  • Established ‘active ageing/step down programmes for members of the public which will be delivered across the city
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Commence development programme for a sport and physical activity strategy Green Amber Amber Amber
Undertake pre-consultation and develop a draft strategy not applicable not applicable Amber Amber
Deliver the Physical Activity Referral Programmes: Prevention, level III, Healthwise Green Green Green Green
Deliver the Physical Activity Referral Programmes: Chronic Conditions Level 4 Green Green Green Green

Responsible Chief Officer: Strategic Director of City and Neighbourhood Services
Reporting Committee: People and Communities Committee


Improvement activity: Developed enhanced approaches to civic engagement and the involvement of the VCSE sector

Specific achievements included:

  • Launched a new engagement platform in December with over 100 officers now trained.
  • Registered 2,453 active participants on the platform which were achieved through a combination of proactive outreach to existing community planning contacts
  • Launched a programme of engagement in collaboration with the Belfast Community Planning Partnership that focused on the review of the Belfast Agenda.
  • Created a dedicated engagement hub for the Belfast Agenda and offered residents the opportunity to participate in online engagement workshops
  • Commenced the Belfast Agenda refresh and the engagement and development process will continue into 2022-2023
  • Continued to develop and grow the VCSE Citywide Network in collaboration with the VCSE Sectoral Advisory Panel.
  • Registered 217 third sector participants on Your Say Belfast
  • Held the second annual VCSE Community Conference ‘ Enabling Change: People and Communities at the heart of Community Planning’ with 90 attendees
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Introduce new approaches to engagement and deliberative participation through the new YourSay Belfast platform Green Green Green Green
Work with CVSE and other partners to develop and co-design an engagement programme for the review of the Belfast Agenda Green Green Green Green
Develop innovative and inclusive methods of engaging young people and other seldom heard communities in the review of the Belfast Agenda Not applicable Not applicable Amber Amber
Continue to develop and grow the VCSE Advisory Panel and Network by establishing a support contract, information mechanisms and annual conference Green Green Green Green

Responsible Chief Officer: Director of Economic Development
Reporting Committee City Growth and Regeneration Committee


Improvement objective 4: Support People into Employment   

In our Improvement Plan for 2021-2022, we said we would build and adapt to the economic challenges brought about by the pandemic, working in collaboration with others to protect and create jobs and help support people into employment by:

  • Delivering employment academies
  • Delivering local business start-up and growth programmes
  • Supporting social enterprises and co-operatives

What are the expected outcomes?

Our work to achieve this objective contributes to:

  • Everyone in Belfast has the right skills for the future
  • Addressing educational inequalities and increasing skills attainment
Belfast City Council performance indicators Achieved 2019-2020 Achieved 2021-2022
Number of jobs promoted through BCC employment academies 240 572
Number of participants on employment academies 334 816
BCC Statutory Indicator – Number of jobs promoted through the Go For it Programme 210 311
Number of business plans developed 342 518
Number of participants or businesses supported 530 731
Number of social enterprises and cooperatives accessing support to start up 38 52

Improvement activity: Delivered employment academies, local business start-up and growth programmes and supported social enterprises and co-operatives

Specific achievements included:

  • Recruited 816 people onto our Employment Academy programmes across a range of sectors including transport and care
  • Completed the Belfast Business Survey with over 400 responses received which helps to shape future programmes
  • Supported 327 business through growth programmes namely growth strategies, resilience, enhancing digital and online presence
  • Engaged 20 Belfast Based businesses on the Way to Scale Bootcamp programme and 10 of these companies were supported to take place at MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development programme in March
  • Launched the Digital Transformation initiative in partnership with 10 other councils
  • Developed a Fintech Action plan for the region in partnership with Fintech NI
  • Helped over 611 individuals to test and develop new business ideas via our Enterprise Awareness activity
  • Launched the Social Economy Incentive Fund in October 
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Employment academies
Working with employers to identify opportunities for academies Green Green Green Green
Deliver employer-led academies as opportunities emerge (COVID-19 allowing) not applicable Green Green Green
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Local business start-up and growth programmes
Ongoing delivery of support – growing a business Green Green Green Green
Ongoing delivery of statutory support - business start (Go for it) Green Green Green Green
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Social enterprises and co-operatives 
Ongoing delivery of support - social enterprises Green Green Green Green
Identification of opportunities to enhance support for social enterprises and co-ops not applicable Green Green Green

Responsible Chief Officer: Director of Economic Development
Reporting Committee: City Growth and Regeneration Committee


Improvement objective 5: Protect the environment and improve sustainability

In our Improvement Plan for 2021-2022 we said we would take action to protect the environment and improve the sustainability of Belfast by:

  • Managing and developing a council climate adaptation and mitigation plan
  • Developing a local Biodiversity Action Plan
  • Co-ordinating the Belfast One Million Trees Programme
  • Re-assessing our statutory waste obligations and approach

What are the expected outcomes?

Our work to achieve this objective contributes to:

  • Belfast is a vibrant, attractive, connected and environmentally sustainable city

How we will measure our performance and impact

Belfast City Council performance indicators Achieved 2019-2020 Achieved 2021-2022
percentage of residents who agree that Belfast is environmentally friendly; it protects and values its natural resources 74% (2019) 73% (2021)
One Million Trees Programme:
  • Number of participants and pins submitted per annum (YourSay Belfast)
  • Number of site assessments undertaken 
  • Number of trees planted
  • 114/275
  • not applicable
  • not applicable
  • 104/580
  • 18
  • 24,000
Amount of (tonnage) of biodegradable BCC-collected waste that is landfilled (Statutory indicator) 30,071 35,786 [3]
Percentage of household waste collected that is sent for recycling (including waste prepared for re-use) (Statutory indicator) 43% 41%
Amount (tonnage) of BCC-collected municipal waste arisings (Statutory indicator) 171,795 168,037

Improvement activity: Managed and developed a council climate adaptation and mitigation plan   

Specific achievements included:

  • Continued to manage the Belfast Resilience and Sustainability Board and support QUB in the management of the Belfast Climate Commission
  • Produced a carbon baseline and trajectory report for Belfast City Council and energy audits for five council buildings are now underway
  • Development of Belfast City Council Climate Risk assessment, Climate Action plan and Climate Investment Plan is underway and the communication work will follow the completion of the Climate Action plan in 2022-2023
  • Participated in the TRACE project identifying opportunities to address SCOPE 3 emissions and decarbonisation of the supply chain
  • Completed housing and transport readiness workshops on the Belfast Net Zero Carbon Roadmap
  • Approved the Belfast Ambitions Document Delivery Plan and ready to move into the delivery phase
  • Worked in collaboration with Core Cities to ensure Belfast is central to the new Climate Investment Commission
  • Completed a submission to the Carbon Disclosure Project on Belfast’s emission across a range of sectors
  • Supported Visit Belfast by submitting to the Global Destination Sustainability Index, which saw Belfast move from second last to seventeenth of 72 cities
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Co-ordinate the Belfast Climate Commission, its work programme and associated working groups Green Green Green Green
Produce a Belfast City Council Environmental Sustainability Review phase 2 report Red Green Green Green

Finalise the BCC Climate Adaptation Plan and agree a delivery and governance framework

Green Green Green Amber
Develop a communications plan and commence delivery of the climate adaptation plan Amber Amber Amber Amber
Delivery of Belfast Mini Stern – Net Zero Roadmap for Belfast (assessment workshops and next steps) Green Green Green Green
Finalise and approve Belfast Ambitions Document Delivery Plan Green Green Green Green

Responsible Chief Officer: Belfast Climate Commissioner
Reporting Committee: Strategic Policy and Resources Committee


Improvement activity: Developed a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP)

Specific achievements included:

  • Assessed the LBAP Programme and reviewed the timeline for progression which has been delayed due to a lack of resources. This programme of work will move into 2022-2023 and work is underway to scope options to support its development.
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Complete final draft strategy  Green Green Red Red
Carry out public consultation  not applicable Amber Red Red

Finalise and disseminate strategy

not applicable not applicable not applicable Red

Responsible Chief Officer: Strategic Director of Neighbourhood Services
Reporting Committee:Strategic Policy and Resources Committee


Improvement activity: Co-ordinated the Belfast One Million Trees Programme

Specific achievements included:

  • Continued coordinating the Belfast One Million Trees site assessment and planting process
  • Continued administering the Woodland Trust SLA and Emergency Tree Funding (ETF)
  • Continued ongoing engagement with a broad range of stakeholders including members of the public, community organisations, business academia and city partners from UK and EU
  • Established the Yoursay platform and the mapping tool is open regularly
  • Delivered tree giveaway events ‘Give a Tree a Home’ in Ormeau and Waterworks parks
  • Established a Million Trees Schools Programme with 33 schools signed up
  • Funded the development of the Belfast Tree Strategy led by City and Neighbourhood services
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Co-ordination of Million Trees site assessment and planting process Green Green Green Green
Manage delivery of Belfast I-Tree Eco Report not applicable Green Green Green
Manage Woodland Trust SLA and delivery of Woodland Trust Emergency Tree Fund activity and associated claims Green Green Green Green
Manage delivery of TCV tree supply and workshop contract Green Green Green Green
Co-ordination of Million Trees Steering Group, Delivery Group and Communication Group Green Green Green Green
Ongoing liaison with key stakeholders, including public engagement through YourSay Belfast  Green Green Green Green

Responsible Chief Officer: Belfast Climate Commissioner
Reporting Committee: Strategic Policy and Resources Committee


Improvement activity: Re-assessed our statutory waste obligations and approach (impact of COVID-19 restrictions on waste)

Specific achievements included:

  • Responded to a consultation on Extended Producer Responsibility and Deposit Return Schemes which will significantly impact future waste management and collections
  • Scheduled a pilot scheme to examine wood/furniture
  • Completed an economic appraisal on kerbside recycling schemes to inform the strategic approach to waste collections
  • Introduced carpet recycling at the council’s recycling centres
  • Commenced work on “The More Circularity, less Carbon” project
  • Piloted a laptop re-use scheme which will be expanded in 2022-2023
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Conduct an economic evaluation on waste collection schemes to inform capital programme and medium-term financial plan not applicable not applicable Green not applicable
Explore opportunities to divert items of bulky household waste from landfill not applicable not applicable Green Green
Introduce carpet-recycling at household recycling centres not applicable not applicable Green not applicable
Develop waste acceptance policy at recycling centres and civic amenity sites  not applicable not applicable not applicable Green
In partnership with ACR+ conduct a baseline assessment of the carbon impact of waste management practices not applicable not applicable Green not applicable
Participate in and respond to the consultation on the Extended Packaging Responsibility (EPR) scheme and Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) Green not applicable not applicable not applicable

Responsible Chief Officer: Strategic Director of City and Neighbourhood Services Reporting Committee: People and Communities Committee


Improvement objective 6: Improve digital Inclusion and enhance infrastructure

In our Improvement Plan for 2021-2022 we said we would improve digital inclusion and enhance our digital infrastructure to support jobs, our economy, sustainably and wellbeing by:

  • Investing in the city’s wireless and data infrastructure 
  • Implementing projects aimed at improving urban innovation and citizen inclusion

What are the expected outcomes?

Our work to achieve this objective contributes to:

How we will measure our performance and impact

Belfast City Council performance indicators Achieved 2019-2020 Achieved 2021-2022
percentage of residents who agree that Belfast is a well-connected city with excellent infrastructure 79% 83%

Improvement activity: Invested in the city’s wireless and data infrastructure and began the process to implement projects aimed at improving urban innovation and citizen inclusion

Specific achievements included:

  • Completed the Feasibility study and strategic case for the Advanced Wireless OBC
  • Presented the draft Smart Belfast Framework 2022-2027 to elected members and subsequently carried out a consultation which completed in March
  • Progressed work on a Healthy Living Pilot within the Markets area of Belfast working in collaboration with local universities and Connected Places Catapult
  • Participation in the Amazing Spaces project allowed local companies to develop innovative apps which have gained international publicity
  • Completed phase 1 of the Horizon 2020 Project ‘Hubs of Innovation’ which will create  an Innovation Hub for communities surrounding the Maritime Mile to create opportunities for local entrepreneurship
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Advanced Wireless Infrastructure (for the Smart District) 
Complete Infrastructure Study and Recommendations Green not applicable not applicable not applicable
Carry out Feasibility Study and develop business case for funding not applicable Green Green Green
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Urban Smart District 
Complete the development of the Smarter Belfast Strategy and Smart District Masterplan Green Green Green Green
Establish barrier busting group involving asset owners, land owner, Dept for Infras, city planners Green Green Green Green
Co-design the Urban Healthy Neighbourhood Programme working cross sector and with developers not applicable not applicable Green Green
Co-design sustainable movement of goods and people programme not applicable not applicable Green Green
Co-design sustainable energy programme not applicable not applicable Red Green
Milestones Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Urban Innovation Programme  
Design  ‘Your Belfast ‘ programme to build citizen/community capability to understand the nature of new technologies in the public realm not applicable not applicable Green Green
Deliver Phase 2 of the Smart Spaces/Amazing places programme not applicable Green Green not applicable
Development of ‘Data for Innovation’ delivery framework to support cross sector collaboration Green Green Green Green
Development of ‘Data for Innovation’ framework and Data Science capability to support council decision -making not applicable not applicable Green Green
Completion phase 1 of the Development of an Innovation Hub for communities surrounding the Maritime Mile not applicable not applicable not applicable Green

Responsible Chief Officer: Director of Finance and Resources, Director of City and Organisational Strategy
Reporting Committee: Strategic Policy and Resources Committee


Assessment of progress of improvement objectives

As outlined throughout this report, the vast majority of activities we set ourselves to help deliver our improvement objectives are progressing as intended. By year-end the majority of activities

Based on the evidence provided it is therefore our assessment that the council is delivering on its 2021-2022 commitments and that it is demonstrating strong overall performance.

Improvement objective Milestones
Green Amber Red
Support our city to recover  80% 20% zero%
Adapt and improve our services  78% 13% 9%
Support our communities  87% 13% zero%
Support people into employment  100% zero% zero%
Protect the environment and improve sustainability  80% 10% 10%
Improve digital inclusion and enhance infrastructure  97% zero% 3%
Overall assessment [4] 85% 10% 5%

Assessment of progress of statutory performance indicators

Assessment of progress of statutory performance indicators Trend
Number of jobs promoted through business start-up [5] Green
Amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill   Green
Household waste collected and sent for recycling [6] Red
Amount (tonnage) of waste arisings Green
 Major planning applications  Green
Local planning applications   Green
Enforcement cases processed within 39 weeks Green
Payment times to suppliers within 30 days Green

Sickness absence rates

Red 
Absence rate increased [7]

Quantifying our performance

Statutory indicators year-end position and benchmark with other councils

Results of statutory performance standards for 2021-2022

The Local Government Performance Indicators and Standards Order requires councils to collect and publish information to allow them to measure performance against a number of indicators set by the Department for Communities. This relates to activity in respect of economic development, waste management and planning applications. Our results are outlined for Economic development, Waste to landfill, Recycling rates, Waste arisings, Average processing time for major planning applications, Average processing time for local planning applications, Enforcement cases concluded, Prompt payments and Sickness absence rates.

Logos for local councils in Northern Ireland

 


Economic development

The number of jobs promoted through business start-up in Belfast fell short of its 325 target in 2021-2022.[8]  ‘Go for it’ provides individuals who wish to start a business with support in the production of their own business plans and in registering for self-employment. Business plans produced as a result of this programme are quality assured by the ‘Go for It’ management team. Once verified the results of the programme are issued to each of the 11 councils and reported to Invest NI and DFE. In 2020-21, BCC had 210 new jobs promoted [9] through business start-up (342 client led business plans completed). 

 In 2021-2022, BCC had 311 new jobs promoted through business start-up (518 client led business plans completed).  Although slightly below target Belfast as a City Council with a considerably larger population, outperforms other council areas, representing approximately 15 per cent of the overall programme performance.

Number of jobs promoted through business start-up (measure of business plans completed through Go For It programme)  
Council 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 Target
Antrim and Newtownabbey 83 105 106 84 97 80
Ards anbd North Down 92 111 105 101 128 85
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 185 221 229 190 233 165
Belfast 249 264 258 210 311 325
Causeway Coast and Glens 185 142 120 133 154 125
Derry City and Strabane 139 139 133 113 143 140
Fermanagh and Omagh 193 170 171 101 186 170
Lisburn and Castlereagh 96 140 112 106 129 85
Mid and East Antrim 140 124 122 94 109 85
Mid Ulster 233 204 185 132 163 158
Newry, Mourne and Down 168 184 183 164 215 155

Waste to landfill

Amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill Article 5(2) of the EC Landfill Directive sets challenging targets that require member states to reduce the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill. The Landfill Allowance Scheme Regulations place a statutory responsibility on councils not to exceed allocated allowances (although allowances can be transferred across councils). During 2021-2022, BCC landfilled 35,783[10] tonnes of biodegradable waste, well within the 50,753 tonne target set out in the order.  All councils performed well against their statutory targets and NI as a whole has demonstrated continued improvements by continuing to reduce the volume of waste landfilled over time.

Amount of biodegradable waste in tonnes councils sent to landfill
Trend and comparisons 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 Target
Antrim and Newtownabbey 14,235 11,622 10,988 11,694 12,339 21,148
Ards and North Down 18,869 19,18186 15,762 19,873 20,262 23,956
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 9,401 8,771 6,104 4,340 6,830 30,759
Belfast 38,876 36,658 30,299 30,071 35,783[11] 50,753
Causeway Coast and Glens 18,992 14,356 9,999 5,861 10,278 21,494
Derry City and Strabane 12,074 10,974 7,694 4,802 8,299 22,586
Fermanagh and Omagh 15,439 13,677 13,478 14,410 14,026 17,360
Lisburn and Castlereagh 16,458 16,108 14,373 15,967 14,756 20,716
Mid and East Antrim 14,221 14,444 13,684 14,508 14,495 20,644
Mid Ulster 10,117 5,681 1,505 1,482 1,537 21,330
Newry, Mourne and Down 2,612 1,846 2,133 2,494 2,685 26,396

Percentage of household waste collected by Councils and sent for recycling 

EU Member states have a legal requirement to recycle a minimum of 50 per cent of household waste by 2020. Household waste sent for recycling includes all household waste prepared for reuse, dry recycling and composting. In 2021-2022, the volume of waste sent for ‘recycling’ in Belfast was 41.0 per cent a slight decrease from the previous year (there is no statutory target for this indicator). The trend of significant pressure on the recycling rate remains as we move into recovery and normalisation phase following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Percentage of household waste collected by councils and sent for landfill
Trend and comparisons 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Antrim and Newtownabbey 52.2% 56.1% 57.3% 54.5% 60.2%
Ards and North Down 52.1% 53.1% 54.7% 51% 48.3%
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 50.5% 51.6% 54.8% 54.3% 53.9%
Belfast 44.4% 44.4% 45.4% 43.1% 41%
Causeway Coast and Glens 42.2% 47.7% 53.8% 53.9% 52.3%
Derry City and Strabane 43.3% 44.3% 44.2% 46.1% 45.1%
Fermanagh and Omagh 46.3% 49.3% 49.1% 47.1% 47.7%
Lisburn and Castlereagh 46.3% 48.1% 50.8% 50.4% 49.7%
Mid and East Antrim 52.8% 52% 51.4% 50.8% 51.9%
Mid Ulster 54.3% 56% 58.8% 58.9% 58.2%
Newry, Mourne and Down 46.1% 51.4% 53.7% 52.6% 49.2%

Waste arisings

Belfast City Council had the largest volume of arisings out of the 11 councils in 2021-2022 with 168,037[12] tonnes. Unsurprisingly there is a direct correlation between total waste arisings and the population count of local council areas.  There is no statutory target for this indicator but performance over time shows that waste arisings in Belfast has remained relatively consistent over the last number of years, despite continuing population growth in the BCC area. The amount of waste collected by the council reduced by 2 per cent on the previous year suggesting a return to pre-COVID-19 levels and reductions in waste previously generated during public health restrictions.

Amount (tonnage) of local authority waste
Trend and comparisons 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Antrim and Newtownabbey 93,023 93,023 102,267 95,425 106,804
Ards and North Down 89,749 89,749 86,702 93,705 91,434
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 105,778 105,828 106,742 113,712 115,324
Belfast 169,368 171,118 168,515 171,795 168,037[13]
Causeway Coast and Glens 79,634 81,432 81,270 81,611 80,884
Derry City and Strabane 77,707 78,860 81,296 83,989 83,540
Fermanagh and Omagh 53,828 55,931 55,224 58,109 58,209
Lisburn and Castlereagh 74,992 77,861 78,888 80,846 80,299
Mid and East Antrim 72,404 73,032 73,797 78,986 76,689
Mid Ulster 72,404 73,032 73,797 78,986 76,689
Newry, Mourne and Down 81,483 82,136 84,610 86,980 87,337

Average processing time for major planning applications

Major planning applications relate to developments with important economic, social and environmental implications; most are multiple housing, commercial and government and civic developments. 

Belfast has a figure of 31 weeks average processing times for major applications. This is a decrease of 13.2 weeks from the previous year. During 2021-2022, the average processing time across all councils to bring major applications to a decision or withdrawal was 49.8 weeks across all councils; representing a decrease of 11.6 weeks compared with the previous year. It is worth noting that planning activity and processing performance during 2020-2021 and 2021/2022 were impacted by restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, during January and February of 2022 the Northern Ireland Planning Portal was inaccessible for a period of time.[14]

Major planning applications - Average processing time in weeks
Trend and comparisons 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 Target
Antrim and Newtownabbey 40 24.2 24.6 113.4 25.1 30
Ards and North Down 53 151 97 57 110.8 30
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 36.4 23.6 45.2 54.4 31.6 30
Belfast 51.5 41.4 37 44.2 31 30
Causeway Coast and Glens 58.4 49.6 74.5 86.2 54.6 30
Derry City and Strabane 63.2 154.2 96 65.2 51.6 30
Fermanagh and Omagh 30.6 22 23.4 58.6 110.2 30
Lisburn and Castlereagh 94.4 78 55.2 79.7 106.8 30
Mid and East Antrim 29 43.2 42.4 39.2 34.7 30
Mid Ulster 44.4 64.7 73.2 74.1 88 30
Newry, Mourne and Down 127.6 76.6 94 64.6 44.3 30

Average processing time for local planning applications

Local planning applications are mostly householder, residential and minor commercial applications. They can also include more complex residential schemes up to 49 units and larger commercial proposals.[15] The average processing time for local planning applications brought to a decision or withdrawal during 2021-2022 was 17.2 across all councils exceeding the 15-week target. In 2021-2022 the average processing time for Belfast was 17 weeks slightly over target but a decrease of 2.2 weeks on the previous year.

Local planning applications - Average processing time in weeks
Trend and comparisons 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 Target
Antrim and Newtownabbey 12.1 12.4 9.4 12.4 13.2 15
Ards and North Down 17.2 15.6 15.8 16.8 22.4 15
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 14 14.6 14.6 26.4 24.8 15
Belfast 15.2 15.2 14 19.2 17 15
Causeway Coast and Glens 20.4 21.6 20 20.8 18.8 15
Derry City and Strabane 16.2 14.1 14 14.2 15.6 15
Fermanagh and Omagh 12.4 12.2 10.6 15.6 16.4 15
Lisburn and Castlereagh 21.6 17.7 16.6 23.8 16.2 15
Mid and East Antrim 9.6 7.8 7.6 10.4 9.6 15
Mid Ulster 14.4 16.9 12.5 16 16.6 15
Newry, Mourne and Down 17 18 20.6 19 18.8 15

Enforcement cases concluded

Enforcement cases are investigations into alleged breaches of planning control. The time taken to conclude an enforcement case is calculated from the date on which the complaint is received to the earliest date that a notice is issued; legal proceedings commence; a planning application is received; or the case is closed. In BCC during 2021-2022, 83.0 per cent of all enforcement cases opened were concluded within the 39 week target, this is well beyond the 70 per cent target. 

Enforcement Cases processed within 39 weeks

Percentage of enforcement cases processed within 39 weeks
Trend and comparisons 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 Target
Antrim and Newtownabbey 94.2 94 98.7 90.8 78.3 70
Ards and North Down 73.4 76.9 81.1 62 41 70
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 82.5 80 85.9 77.7 86.3 70
Belfast 72.3 86.8 93.2 66.2 83 70
Causeway Coast and Glens 70 80.1 87.6 66.5 78.8 70
Derry City and Strabane 71 53.6 78.1 73.3 77.9 70
Fermanagh and Omagh 79.2 84.9 81.1 56.6 60.6 70
Lisburn and Castlereagh 78 83.8 84.5 83.6 83.9 70
Mid and East Antrim 86 88.2 88.8 82.6 90.5 70
Mid Ulster 77.4 77.4 90.1 88.6 75.2 70
Newry, Mourne and Down 59.9 52.9 36.2 40.9 48.5 70

Prompt payments

Councils are encouraged to pay suppliers as promptly as possible. BCC endeavours to pay 90 per cent of valid invoices within 30 days. BCC continues to show steady improvement since 2017-18 in this regard. The figure for 2021-2022 was 93 per cent again achieving our target.

Prompt payments
Trend and comparisons 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Antrim and Newtownabbey 86% 82% 86% 89% 80%
Ards and North Down 81% 90% 93% 96% 98%
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 60% 82% 67% 91% 95%
Belfast 88% 91% 93% 93% 94%
Causeway Coast and Glens 82% 86% 79% 87% 92%
Derry City and Strabane 82% 78% 81% 79% 65%
Fermanagh and Omagh 87% 94% 94% 94% 94%
Lisburn and Castlereagh 76% 85% 91% 87% 91%
Mid and East Antrim 84% 83% 86% 84% 95%
Mid Ulster 98% 94% 94% 95% 99%
Newry, Mourne and Down 86% 90% 90% 86% 89%

Sickness absence rates

This is the average number of working days lost due to sickness absence per full time equivalent and the corporate target for BCC is currently at 11.07 days. The BCC rate has increased to 16.33 days on last year’s rate of 10.86 days due to the impact of COVID-19 which accounts for 3.34 days of this total (20 per cent of the total figure). At the end of March 2022, the average number of days' sickness absence per full time employee was 12.99 days excluding COVID-19 absence which in an increase of 2.13 days on previous year. BCC continues to provide a series of health and wellbeing initiatives to assist with absence management, these include mental health, first aid training and webinars to raise awareness and provide support and signposting for staff. In addition, an Active Travel Working Group has been set up to encourage more staff to walk, cycle or use public transport when they can. We will continue to monitor and review to ensure adequate resources are in place.

Sickness absence rates
Trend and comparisons 2016-2017
days
2017-2018
days
2018-2019
days
2019-2020
days
2020-2021[16]
days
Antrim and Newtownabbey 14.4 11.9 13.7 12.4 7.9
Ards and North Down 14.6 16.2 14.2 14.1 10.6
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 13.1 16.1 16.7 18.3 15.7
Belfast 12.4 13.7 13.7 13.6 10.9
Causeway Coast and Glens 15.9 15.8 17.1 17.7 11.3
Derry City and Strabane 14.9 14 12.3 14.5 10.3
Fermanagh and Omagh 12.8 12.9 10.4 13.8 9.7
Lisburn and Castlereagh 15 16.7 13.3 13.8 11.5
Mid and East Antrim 18.3 17.1 12.4 10.6 4.7
Mid Ulster 15.7 12.4 12.9 11.7 9.7
Newry, Mourne and Down 17.3 17.1 14.7 15.8 13.6

2021-2022 Self-imposed indicators - year end position and comparison with previous period insert table

Median Annual Gross Pay (Belfast residents)

Self-imposed indicator Latest available data Previous period
Percentage of Belfast population living in relative poverty  18.2% (2016-2019) 22.9% (2013-2016)
Median annual gross pay (Belfast residents) £23,898

£22,000

Percentage of residents agreeing that their local area was clean and attractive  80% (2021) 80% (2019)
Percentage agreed they could access job and training opportunities  76% (2021) 73% (2019)
Percentage of residents that live within 1,000metres of Green Flag Rated Parks[17] 91.5% 91.3%
Percentage of adult population that is obese 26.8% (2020-2021) 32.4% (2019-2020)
Number of preventable deaths in Belfast 233 (2020-2021) 276 (2019-2020)
Percentage of visitors satisfied with their visitor experience  94% (2019) 81% (2014)
Total spend in £ by external visitors £417,244,271 £395,013,843
Percentage hotel occupancy in Belfast 40.47% (2020) 74.10% (2019)
Street cleanliness index 70[18] 69[19]
Total waste to landfill (tonnes) 35,783[20] 30,071
Average number of weeks taken to process major planning applications (statutory)  31 weeks 44.2 weeks

Average number of weeks taken to process local planning applications (statutory)

17 weeks 44.2 weeks
Percentage enforcement cases concluded within 39 weeks (statutory)  83% 66.2%
Ratio of new business start-ups: to business deaths? 
(ratio greater than 1 means there are more start-ups than deaths)  
1.32 1.12
Number of employment opportunities made available by BCC     125 124
Percentage of school-leavers entering employment, education or training 94.60% 94%
Percentage of residents agreeing that the council makes Belfast a better place to live  80% (2021) 71% (2019)
Percentage of residents agreeing that the council shows good leadership for the city 72% (2021) 62% (2019)
Percentage of residents agreeing that the council keeps residents informed about the services it provides 78% (2021) 75% (2019)
Percentage of residents agreeing that their local area has a strong sense of community 82% (2021) 78.2% (2019)
Percentage of residents agreeing that people work together to improve things 80% (2021) 78.2% (2019)
Percentage of residents agreeing that they cna access all the services they need in their local area 85% (2021) 80.9% (2019)
Percentage of people in Belfast who meet the recommended level of physical activity 65.8% 53[21]
Percentage of bins collected on designated day 99.77% 99.84%
Life expectancy at birth for Belfast residents, male or female  75.8 years, 80.5 years
(2020-2021)
76.1 years, 81 years
(2017-2019)
Life Satisfaction rating Index (people in Belfast who rate themselves as having high levels of well-being)[22] 7.2
(2020-2021)
7.6
(2019-2020)

Footnotes

[1] New performance indicators for 2021-2022 these were not reported previously 
[2] Figures are for 2020-2021 year as platform was not launched until December 2020. 
[3] DAERA provisional figures. Fully verified figures available later in 2022
[4] Note that overall percentage is calculated by averaging the total ‘count’, it is not an average of the averages above it
[5] Whilst direction of travel has markedly improved however it remains slightly below target.
[6] In 2021/2022, the volume of waste sent for ‘recycling’ in Belfast decreased slightly from the previous year
[7] The absence rate for 2021-2022 is 12.99 days (excluding COVID-19) which is an increase of 2.13 days from the previous year. The COVID-19 absence accounts for 3.34 days of the total absence rate of 16.33 days for 2021-2022. The increase in absence is likely linked to the secondary effects of COVID-19 related infections.
[8] BCC 'Go For it' programme target is 344
[9] The jobs promoted indicator is calculated using a multiplier for business plans based on previous programme evaluation, the current multiplier set by Invest NI is 0.61472. 
[10] DAERA validated figures - December 2022
[11] DAERA validated figures - December 2022
[12] DAERA validated figures - December 2022
[13] DAERA validated figures - December 2022
[14] Source: Northern Ireland Planning Statistics April 2021 to March 2022 (link opens in new window)
[15] Source: Northern Ireland Planning Statistics 2021-2022 Statistical Bulletin 
[16] Absence figures have been rounded up to the nearest decimal place
[17] This figure is based on Small Area population estimates for 2020
[18] Please note this index is based on one survey per month April 2021 until July 2021. From August 2021 until March 2022 two random sample surveys per month were scheduled for each area
[19] Please note this is for surveys carried out from November 2020 until March 2021 only. No surveys were carried out from April 2020 until October 2020 due to the pandemic and lockdowns
[20] DAERA validated figures - December 2022
[21] Question not asked in 2017-2018 Northern Ireland health Survey
[22] Source: Annual personal well-being estimates - Office for National Statistics (link opens in new window)

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