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Published - June 2024

Performance Improvement Plan 2024 - 2025

Identifying our performance improvement objectives for 2024-25

All our key strategies and plans are informed and developed by listening to our residents, businesses, partners, staff, and elected representatives. Our 2024-25 performance improvement objectives were developed by rolling out a three-phase process. In phase one we reviewed the evidence base, in phase two, we engaged internally and in phase three, we carried out public consultation.

​The rich and diverse analysis and feedback we received throughout this process has been shaped into this revitalised Performance Improvement Plan 2024-25. 

Figure 4: Three-phase process


Phase one: Reviewing the evidence base

Understanding the needs of users, citizens and the internal and external environment is critically important. We analysed baseline evidence drawn from existing engagement findings, survey results, performance data and a review of relevant strategies and plans, including:  

  • Results and trend data from our 2023-24 Performance Improvement Assessment report.
  • Feedback gleaned from partners, residents, and other stakeholders as part of the consultation and engagement process for the Belfast Agenda’s refresh.
  • Inclusion of guidance issued by the Department for Communities and recommendations provided by the NI auditor (including the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) Section 95 report). 
  • Evidence and issues arising from committee and meetings of the full council.
  • Priorities identified during the rate setting process.
  • Areas for improvement emerging from the internal audit and risk management processes.
  • Results and trend data identified from the Residents Survey 2023.
  • Good practice data benchmarking with other local authorities. 
  • Good practice research and a review of relevant strategies and plans, to ensure alignment to outcomes and ambitions and avoid duplication of effort, for example the Belfast Agenda, draft corporate plan, and annual corporate delivery plan. 

Phase two: Engagement feedback

Feedback was gleaned and approval granted from engagement sessions including workshops and meetings, including:

  • Priorities identified during corporate planning workshops with elected members, committee chairs and the Corporate Management Team (CMT).
  • Planned service improvements identified during engagement with key officers from different council services.
  • Regular engagement with departmental teams and key officers, at every phase – ensuring alignment to departmental and service level budget setting and planning processes.
  • Meetings with Directors, Heads of Service and relevant managers to review draft content. 
  • Approval granted via scheduled meetings with senior management teams, CMT, committee and full council meetings. 

Phase three: Public consultation

We carried out public consultation for eight weeks on the council’s Your Say Belfast consultation and engagement website (link opens in new window). We promoted the consultation using a range of communication methods including social media posts, posters in community buildings, email marketing to existing mailing lists, newsletters, news articles, staff memos, intranet promotion and websites.  We used the analysis of the feedback to finalise the plan. As part of phase three, we:

  • Carried out public consultation on the performance improvement objectives and proposed actions, with 92 responses received via the Your Say Belfast website. This represents an increase of 130% compared to the number of consultation responses that helped to inform the 2023-24 Performance Improvement Plan.
  • Worked closely with departmental teams and key officers to consider consultation feedback and refine the Performance Improvement Plan.
  • Secured approval of the final objectives through the normal council governance cycle (CMT, the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee and the full council meeting).

Consultation feedback summary

A summary of the consultation results is set out below:

  • 81% strongly agreed or agreed with the ‘Our services’ improvement objective
  • 89% strongly agreed or agreed with the ‘Our people and communities’ improvement objective
  • 83% strongly agreed or agreed with the ‘Our place’ improvement objective
  • 77% strongly agreed or agreed with the ‘Our planet’ improvement objective
  • 76% strongly agreed or agreed with the ‘Our economy’ improvement objective
  • 85% strongly agreed or agreed with the ‘Compassionate city’ improvement objective

The issues or improvements that respondents felt should be considered in relation to the draft 2024-25 improvement objectives are thematically summarised below. It is important to note that some of the areas highlighted as part of the public consultation process are already being progressed through existing strategies, plans and structures including, for example the Belfast Agenda 2024-28.

Active travel infrastructure and opportunities

Work with relevant partners to improve and enhance the cycling, walking and public transport infrastructure to encourage more people towards active travel.

City centre improvements and interventions

Improve the attractiveness, cleanliness, and appeal of the city centre. Focusing on delivering high quality cleansing services, improving our streetscapes, and reducing dereliction.

Focus on core services

Ensure residents and ratepayers receive value for money and access to high quality core services. Delivery of more efficient waste collection and street cleansing should be prioritised. Increase community engagement and education to try to change attitudes and behaviours on litter.

Prioritise action on climate

Champion and promote action on climate. Consider increasing EV charging points, delivering ground source and district heating schemes in all new developments and the retrofitting of existing buildings.

Economic growth and circular economy

Ongoing support and advice to encourage more business startups and grow existing businesses. Focus on growing a circular economy for sustainability. Better support for businesses in specialised areas such as cyber security.

Greater support for VCSE organisations

Consider how to better support VCSE delivering vital services to address key issues across the city, including advice, homelessness, and addiction support.

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