BCC’s proposed £20m conferencing investment in the Waterfront, knocking down the Studio in the process

annotated view of the Belfast Waterfront and nearby buildings

When Belfast City Council’s Investment Programme was launched earlier this year, it included a reference to expending the conference/exhibition space at the Belfast Waterfront. Along with colleagues, I idly wondered where the additional space would be found. Would they build a glass covered bridge across to the unfinished building sitting in front of the Waterfront? Could the ugly carbuncle (Lanyon Quay Building) between the Waterfront and the new Laganside Courts building be used? It turns out that the option being … Read more

The misunderstood Lord Mayor shuffle – timing, facts & Sinn Féin tying themselves in knots over friendship

May 2012 front page An Phoblacht

Once a month, the postie delivers a bulging A5 envelope. Stuffed inside is a twice-folded copy of An Phoblacht, Sinn Féin’s 32 page monthly newspaper. The May edition’s back page is devoted to a story that broke in the Belfast Telegraph last Monday. Niall Ó Donnghaile is “leaving his post a few days early to allow a DUP Mayor to take up office in time for the Jubilee celebrations”. The newspaper story explained that the new mayor would be “elected … Read more

What’s in Belfast City Council’s draft investment programme?

belfast city council draft investment programme 2012 2015 - front of brochure

Belfast City Council launched their 2012-2015 Draft Investment Programme (PDF) this morning. The 44-page colour brochure is packed with optimism, bullet points and potential. But away from the headline £233m figure and the photocall with Peter Robinson, Martin McGuinness, Niall Ó Donnghaile and Deirdre Hargey, what’s the real story? It should be recognised as a plan with cross-party and cross-institution agreement. All the parties represented in the City Hall have put their name to the plans. It’s a coordinated effort … Read more

John Kyle on faith and loyalism

Councillor John Kyle (PUP)

John Kyle – Belfast City councillor, well known East Belfast GP and evangelical Christian – addressed a large crowd at Contemporary Christianity last Tuesday evening. The strapline for his thirty minute address was Where Faith and Loyalism Collide You can listen to his talk on the Contemporary Christianity website or through the embedded audio player below. John Kyle explained how he joined the Progressive Unionist Party in 2000 “to support David Ervine”, a man who he found to be “refreshingly … Read more

Belfast City Council to invite Irish Government to Somme Commemoration

Not a bad opening gambit ahead of all those anniversaries.  Belfast City Council have agreed to invite the Irish Government to participate in the Somme and Remembrance Sunday commemorations in Belfast [this year?].  But it wasn’t unanimous.  From the BBC report SDLP councillor Pat McCarthy proposed the move which was discussed at a city council meeting on Wednesday evening. There was no opposition to the motion. The two main unionist parties, the DUP and the UUP, agreed with the SDLP … Read more

For what purpose will the special Belfast City Council meeting go ahead on Monday evening?

belfast city council logo

Belfast City Councillors took their opportunity on Thursday evening to scold and support the Lord Mayor Niall Ó Donnghaile, following his decision to only present half of the Duke of Edinburgh awards at a ceremony last Monday night, and in particular to avoid presenting the award to a young woman who was down in the programme as belonging to an Army Cadet Force. A summons signed by 21 unionist councillors was submitted on Thursday and a special meeting is still … Read more

Live stream from Belfast City Council #bcc

belfast city council logo

In Switzerland, they have a TV channel that switches between live views from the top of snowy mountain tops so that skiers and holiday makers can gauge the weather. In NI, we could have a channel that switches around live views from council proceedings! Loading…Webcast Available Here : http://www.belfastcity.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/68969 Alan Meban (Alan in Belfast)Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse … Read more

“bright colours and/or striped materials should not be worn as these may distort the images” … a summons … and a protest … it’s democracy live

belfast city council logo

Tomorrow could be an interesting day – and night – around Belfast City Hall. A rally is being planned to protest at the Lord Mayor’s actions at Monday night’s Duke of Edinburgh Award ceremony. Facebook suggests: [click on the thumbnail to expand] The people of Belfast will emerge on the City hall tomorrow night at 6pm [or 5pm depending on where you look] to express their anger. We would hope that Citizens from all over Northern Ireland will join for … Read more

Celtic myths and legends … will there (shortly) be dragons in Belfast City Hall?

celtic dragon suncatcher by grassymtarts on Etsy

As part of the ongoing work to rebalance the sense of shared space and history at Belfast City Hall, a Celtic-themed stained glass window is being commissioned to “reflect Celtic myths and legends”. The window will be located close to the main reception, and is intended to represent cultural perspectives and promote a “City Hall for all”. Any budding artists and/or stained glass glaziers might want to check out the tender document. Deadline for submissions is noon on Friday 16 … Read more

Mayor Ó Donnghaile: Sinn Fein’s breath of fresh air?

Nuala McKeever welcomes Sinn Fein’s new Lord Mayor of Belfast, not least because of his youth and lack of baggage: Niall O Donnghaile’s year in office is a fantastic opportunity for Belfast to tackle in a meaningful way the problem of suicide among young people. He has spoken already about his desire to work in this area to give young people a sense of hope and optimism that life is worth living. Shame on the old fogies who profess a … Read more

Máirtín Ó’Muilleoir to be Sinn Féin candidate in Balmoral

He neglected to mention it in his farewell to the blog, as he neglected to mention his interim position as a non-executive director on the NI Water Board, but the BBC reports that, the now former publisher of the Belfast Media Group titles, Máirtín Ó’Muilleoir is to stand as the Sinn Féin candidate in the Balmoral district area of Belfast City Council. And I thought he was going “to concentrate on the job of group managing director”? Btw, the BBC report – “Former Sinn Fein … Read more

May 2011 election count timetable – some ideas but still lacking clarity

Three different polls are expected to be scheduled for 5 May 2011 and it might well lead to a record number of posters adorning local lampposts next spring. Northern Ireland Assembly elections Local government (council) elections National referendum on changes to the method of voting at General Elections The date of the council elections will be formally confirmed when the NIO lay a General Amendment Order before Parliament in November. (This order is also expected to make some changes to … Read more

“Sinn Féin is replacing a number of Councillors at City Hall…”

DUP MLA, and junior minister, Robin Newton, appears to have rattled the cage of fellow Belfast City Councillor, Sinn Féin’s Tom Hartley, with his speculation “about Sinn Fein removing six of their current Councillors” on Belfast City Council. “It seems that the current Sinn Fein group is seen as being too soft and is perceived as having become institutionalised and establishment friendly. It looks like the extreme socialist wing of Sinn Fein is unhappy with the performance of the current supposedly … Read more

Bonfire did not wipe Council’s eye after all…

Further to Mark’s post, ‘Belfast bonfire builders wipe Council’s eye’, Belfast City Council have been in touch and have offered us this statement to clarify that the bonfire he mentioned on Friday was not part of their bonfire management scheme: Despite attempts by council officers to engage with those responsible for the bonfire at the City Hospital, the organisers indicated, at an early stage, that they did not want to be involved in the council’s bonfire management scheme, but would … Read more

Convery for Lord Mayor? Kyle as Deputy?

So it is coming round to our eighth birthday with the annual race for Lord Mayor of Belfast (we came in when the first Sinn Fein councillor was successfully elected), it seems Pat Convery is hotly tipped for the top post. There are whispers that one prominent UUP councillor is canvassing for the support of Dr John Kyle of the PUP as Deputy Mayor. It remains to be seen how much political capital Kyle can realistically call in given the … Read more

Belfast City Council Sought ONH Approval for Community Wardens in Ardoyne

According to a report in the Irish News, Belfast City Council officials “had talks with members of Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH)” and “are believed to have sought assurances from members of ONH that employees would be safe” before extending the community warden scheme to Ardoyne. The republican source said: “The council was basically told that as long as the wardens were not acting as the eyes and ears of the PSNI in monitoring republicans then they would not be touched.” A … Read more