Date: 22 Aug 2022
Belfast City Council continues to implement a series of measures to improve cleanliness in the city centre.
The Cleansing Taskforce, set up by elected members in response to recent complaints, has prioritised a number of actions to tackle littering, dumped waste and other cleansing-related issues.
A review of cleansing operations in neighbourhoods across the city is also underway.
Staffing capacity has now returned to pre-Covid levels, with extra patrols added to enhance the city’s appearance.
A dedicated in-house street washing team has been created, and improved quality assessment checks are being implemented to ensure a high standard of care across the city centre.
Specialist cleansing will also take place over the next few weeks to further support the council’s operation in key shopping streets.
Large letters, spelling the word ‘Think’ and filled with litter, have also been installed in the grounds of City Hall to remind residents and visitors to dispose of litter in bins provided across the city centre. They will remain in place until Friday 26 August.
The taskforce is also prioritising better engagement with city partners to improve how they respond to recurring issues like weed removal, which fall outside the council’s remit, but have led to complaints.
Plans for a more co-ordinated approach to graffiti removal are being developed, as well as proposals for a dedicated horticultural team who will look at dressing the city with additional greenery and planting.
Improvements are also planned for Cathedral Gardens, next to the new University of Ulster Belfast campus.
Work is progressing to develop the site as a new public space for the city in the long-term, with an Active Travel Hub planned in the short-term.
Ahead of its opening in September, the site will be resurfaced and receive new planting, landscaping, play equipment and additional seating. Staff will also work to remove graffiti, increase litter picks and deep cleanse the area more regularly, and foliage is being trimmed back to improve the sight lines of nearby CCTV cameras.
Elected members have also agreed to establish an all-party working group for the city centre.
It will look at the long-term regeneration and diversification of the city’s core, including projects linked to the council’s Future City Centre programme, and identify opportunities to work with others to address current challenges, including homelessness, addiction and safety.
Ongoing advertising across the city is also encouraging residents to take pride in their local area, and to dispose of rubbish responsibly.