Belfast City Council Improvement Objectives 2019 - 20

Closed 24 Apr 2019

Opened 26 Feb 2019


Under the Local Government Act (NI) 2014, councils in Northern Ireland are required, every year, to set one or more improvement objectives and to ensure arrangements are in place to deliver those objectives.  This is referred to as our “Duty to Improve”.  

As part of this duty, we must produce and publish an Improvement Plan that sets out our improvement objectives for the year ahead.  The plan explains why we have chosen these improvement objectives, what we will do and what we hope to achieve.

The Improvement Plan, however, does not describe every single improvement or activity that the council intends to make.  That is the role of our corporate plan.  Instead, the Improvement Plan focuses on a small selection of activity that enables the Local Government Auditor to assess whether we are meeting our duty to improve.  

The Local Government Auditor has defined improvement as activity that "enhances the sustainable quality of life and environment for ratepayers and communities".  Although the improvement duty only applies to local councils, we believe that improving quality of life is a shared responsibility.  The Belfast Agenda, the community plan for Belfast, sets out a shared vision and plan for improving quality of life for all people living in Belfast.  Our improvement objectives therefore stem from this vision and its agreed priorities and outcomes.

In 2017, we developed a four year Corporate Plan which set out our corporate priorities for the period 2017 - 2021 and how, as a council, we will help deliver the shared ambitions for the city as set out in the Belfast Agenda. It also contains a number of internally focused priorities and actions. 

The Improvement Plan, in turn, sets out small number of specific areas that we will focus on in the year ahead.  When choosing our improvement objectives, we have sought to ensure that they provide a good cross-section of what people want to achieve for the city as articulated by the priorities in the Belfast Agenda, whilst also focusing on what people have told us matters most to them.  

You can view the Belfast Agenda and our Corporate Plan 2017- 21 by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.  

Why we are consulting

Between 2015 and 2017, we undertook an extensive engagement programme to help inform and shape the Belfast Agenda and the priorities for the city.  At the same time, we also began consulting with local people on the areas that we, as a council, should focus on.  We then used this information, along with other statistical data and analysis, to develop the Corporate Plan 2017 - 21 and our subsequent improvement objectives.

Each year, we review the improvement objectives to make sure they are still relevant and appropriate.  Given the long-term and strategic nature of the Belfast Agenda, a number of our proposed improvements have been retained and updated for 2019 - 20.  However, in response to ongoing engagement with local people, we are also proposing two new improvement objectives.    

We want to know what you think about our proposed improvement objectives for 2019 - 20.  For example, are they the right ones, is anything missing or do you have any ideas about what you would like to see happen?

We will use this feedback to agree and refine our improvement objectives and Improvement Plan for the period 2019 - 20.

What happens next

A feedback report will be brought to the Strategic Policy & Resources Committee in June so that they can finalise and agree the 2019 - 20 Improvement plan.  A copy of the finalised plans will be available on the council website by the 30 June 2019.        


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