Belfast City Council Improvement Objectives 2018 - 19

Closed 22 May 2018

Opened 27 Mar 2018


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.  This plan also explains why we have chosen these improvement objectives, what we hope to achieve, what we will do, and how people will be better off as a result of the council’s efforts.

However, the Improvement Plan does not describe every single improvement or activity that the council intends to make.  That is the role of our corporate plan.  Instead, it 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 and can only be achieved through partnership working.  Our improvement objectives therefore stem from the Belfast Agenda, our community plan for Belfast.  

Last year Belfast City Council 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.

The priorities contained within our Corporate Plan cascade from the longer-term outcomes identified in the Belfast Agenda.  Our improvement plan in turn outlines some specific areas we intend to focus on in the year ahead to progress those priorities.

When choosing our improvement objectives, we focused on the priorities that we believed provided a good cross-section of what we want to achieve for the city whilst also focusing on what people have told us matters most to them.  

You can view our Corporate Plan 2017- 21 (Year 2 Update) and 2018 -19 Improvement Plan 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 and Improvement Objectives.

We have carried over the same improvement objectives from last year.  This is because these improvement objectives reflect strategic priorities that require a longer term approach.  We believe these improvement objectives are still relevant and indeed, critically important to improving the longer term quality of life for local people.

We want to know what you think about our proposed improvement objectives for 2018 - 19.  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 2018 - 19.

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 Year 2 Update and  2018 - 19 Improvement plan.  A copy of the finalised plans will be available on the council website by the 30 June 2018.        


  • All Areas


  • Council Business