LISBURN CITY COUNCIL
Minutes of Meeting of the Corporate Services Committee held in the Cherry
Room, Island Civic Centre, Lisburn on Tuesday, 11th December, 2007 at 7.00 pm
PRESENT: Councillor Wm Gardiner-Watson (Chairman)
The Right Worshipful The Mayor
Councillor J Tinsley
Councillor R Crawford
Alderman W J Dillon
Councillors R T Beckett, D J Craig, A G Ewart,
P J Givan, T J Lunn, P O’Hagan and M H Tolerton
IN ATTENDANCE: Director of Corporate Services
Assistant Director Corporate Services – Miss E Shields
Assistant Director Corporate Services – Mr J Gillanders
Commencement of Meeting
The Chairman of the Committee, Councillor Wm Gardiner-Watson, extended a welcome to
those present at the Meeting and, in particular, to the Vice-Chairman, Councillor P O’Hagan, on
his return from illness. Councillor O’Hagan thanked the Chairman for his best wishes.
Councillor D J Craig referred to an omission in the Minutes with regard to the Council’s
policy for taking a table at events organised by third parties.
It was proposed by Alderman W J Dillon, seconded by Councillor D J Craig and agreed
that, subject to the undernoted amendment, the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee
held on the 13th November, 2007 as adopted by the Council at its Meeting held on the 27th
November, 2007 be confirmed and signed:-
Page 802 – Item 7.11
Policy for Council Taking a Table at Events Organised by Third Parties
The undernoted recommendation be amended to include the Chairman of the Standing
(a) the aforesaid Council policy be amended under the sections referring to
invitations received by the Council from outside groups and committees from
outside groups to read that the ‘Mayor and/or Deputy Mayor and the Chief
Executive (or his nominee) will be invited’.
There were no apologies.
3. Report of Assistant Director Corporate Services (Mr J Gillanders)
It was proposed by Councillor A G Ewart, seconded by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor R
Crawford, and agreed that the report and recommendations of the Assistant Director
Corporate Services be adopted, subject to any decisions recorded below:-
3.1 Accounts Processed for Payment
It was agreed that the undernoted payment of accounts be approved and that the
Treasurer’s Advice Notes be signed on behalf of the Council:-
Revenue Account 816,795.23
Treasury Account 2,935,000.00
3.2 Financial Statement - Payments and Receipts
It was noted that the net profiled expenditure for the period ended the 30th November, 2007
was 1.55% below the approved estimates for the financial year 2007/08.
The Assistant Director verbally reported that the budget for Official Visits was required to
be increased by £30,000 by a transfer from the Section 115 budget. This was agreed.
3.3 Treasury Account - External Temporary Investment
It was noted that the transactions, as detailed, had obtained retrospective approval on the
11th December, 2007.
3.4 2007 Review of Domestic Rating Policy
The Assistant Director referred to a consultation document in respect of the above which
had been considered by the Committee at its Special Meeting held on the 21st August,
2007. Members now noted the contents of the undernoted items of correspondence:-
a summary of responses to the consultation document which had been received
from the Department of Finance & Personnel;
a letter dated the 22nd November, 2007 from the Northern Ireland Local
Government Association responding to certain points which had been raised at the
3.4 2007 Review of Domestic Rating Policy (Continued)
Alderman W J Dillon gave an assurance that concerns – similar to those expressed by the
Deputy Mayor that NILGA’s response to the document had not been representative of
Local Government - had been raised and discussed at a recent Executive Meeting of
The Assistant Director (Mr J Gillanders) left the Meeting (7.06 pm)
4. Report of Assistant Director Corporate Services (Miss E Shields)
It was proposed by Councillor A G Ewart, seconded by Councillor T J Lunn and agreed
that the report and recommendations of the Assistant Director Corporate Services be
adopted, subject to any decisions recorded below:-
4.1 Bye-Law for the Prohibition of the Consumption of Alcohol in Public Places
Department for Social Development Consultation
“Review of District Council Drinking in Public Bye-Laws: Draft Legislation”
(Closing date: 31st January 2008)
The Assistant Director verbally reported that the Area Commander at Lisburn PSNI had
been asked to provide the Council with any comments she might wish to make on the
It was agreed that:-
the content of the proposals as included in the consultation document be welcomed;
the Committee’s final response to the above consultation document be deferred to
the next Meeting of the Committee thereby allowing for the receipt of the PSNI’s
information on alleged breaches and number of prosecutions be presented to the
Committee at its next Meeting.
4.2 Registration Unit
Marriage (NI) Order 2003 and Civil Partnerships
Attendance of Registrar – Fees
It was agreed to recommend that:-
the fees associated with the attendance of the Registrar to solemnise marriages at an
Approved Place and those for the attendance of the Registrar to register Civil
Partnerships at an Approved Place remain as at present, ie:-
Monday – Friday £100.00
Bank Holidays £175.00
the above fees be reviewed on an annual basis.
4.3 Emergency Planning
The Assistant Director reported on a recent Inter-Agency Emergency Training Exercise
which had been attended by 120 representatives from a wide variety of Councils,
organisations and voluntary groups. The exercise had focused on the Council's co-
ordinating role within the City and had demonstrated how each agency would respond in
the event of a major emergency within the City.
In view of the fact that the Council had a role in emergency planning under the Civil
Contingencies Bill, it was agreed to recommend that Article 29 of the Local Government
(Northern Ireland) Order 2005 be adopted.
4.4 Buddy Bear School for Conductive Education, Dungannon
The Assistant Director referred to the decision of the Committee on the 9th October 2007
that the Minister for Education be requested to support the prospect of a North South
Conductive Education Centre of Excellence similar to the Middletown Autism Centre.
The Committee noted the content of a letter dated the 16th November, 2007 from the
Minister for Education by way of a response to the above request. The Minister had
indicated that the education boards were the main providers for such a facility and the
Assistant Director advised that the Council had already communicated with the boards.
4.5 Revised Curriculum – Creation and Intelligent Design
The Assistant Director referred to the decision of the Committee at its Meeting held on the
11th September 2007 that post-primary schools in the Lisburn City area be asked to advise
of any plans which they might have to develop teaching material in relation to creation,
intelligent design and other theories of origin.
The Committee noted the content of a response dated the 30th November, 2007 from
Wallace High School, Lisburn on this matter.
The Deputy Mayor, Councillor R Crawford, and Councillor T J Lunn expressed concern
about the accuracy of the Council’s decision in this regard as had been conveyed to the
The Assistant Director (Miss E Shields) left the Meeting (7.12 pm)
5. Report of Director of Corporate Services
It was proposed by Councillor D J Craig, seconded by Councillor P O’Hagan and agreed
that the report and recommendations of the Director of Corporate Services be adopted,
subject to any decisions recorded below:-
5.1 Council Properties
5.1.1 Disposal of lands at Lisburn Leisure Park
The Director reported receipt of the valuation for lands at the above location from the
Council’s commercial estate agents and advised that the preparation of the legal documents
for their disposal was underway with a view to such a disposal being advertised early in
January 2008. In line with Council policy, the valuation was not disclosed as such matters
were of a commercially sensitive nature.
It was agreed to recommend that:-
a team comprising the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Corporate Services
and Leisure Services Committees, together with the Directors of Corporate
Services and Leisure Services, evaluate any responses to the advertisement
against the criteria established by the Leisure Services Committee for the
a further report in this regard be brought to the Corporate Services Committee
in due course.
5.1.2 Mandeville Avenue, Lisburn
In view of the fact that the Director was not in possession of all the facts relating to the
potential for the disposal of lands at the above location, it was agreed to recommend that a
progress report be made to the Committee in January 2008.
5.1.3 Land at Hillsborough Road (East), Lisburn
The Director reported that, further to confirmation from the Council’s legal advisors that
the Council held the relevant lands at the above location in Fee Simple and that there were
no Restrictive Covenants, he had requested the Council’s commercial estate agents to
advise on the most appropriate method of disposal.
The Director verbally reported that a query raised by the estate agents in relation to the
protection of the area by planning policy was being clarified.
5.2 Registration of Electors
Payment of Council Contribution
It was agreed to recommend that a payment of £10,590.42 be made to the Northern Ireland
Office by the 17th December, 2007 by way of the Council’s assessed contribution towards
expenses incurred in connection with the Registration of Electors.
Councillor P J Givan entered the Meeting (7.18 pm)
5.3 Proposed Upgrade to Council-Wide Telephone & Computer Network
The Director advised of a proposal to upgrade the Council’s current data leased line
network which had been installed for the opening of Lagan Valley Island in 2001. In his
report the Director advised of the features of the upgrade which was estimated to cost a
one-off expenditure of £28,450.00 with annual costs of £66,525.00 across the Council.
Overall this would result in a reduction in annual spend on data and voice communications.
It was agreed to recommend that the upgrade of the network be proceeded with.
It was further agreed that problems associated with the telephone equipment at the Lagan
Valley LeisurePlex be investigated.
5.4 Surplus in the District Fund
Members were reminded that the detail of the District Fund was normally reported to the
first meeting of the Committee which would look at the District Rate Estimates. In his
report, the Director outlined the areas in which the 2006/2007 District Fund balance was
It was agreed to recommend that the use of the projected District Fund Balance be
considered within the Rates Estimates discussions for the year 2008/2009, the first meeting
of which being scheduled for the 17th December, 2007.
The Director agreed to advise the Committee at its next Meeting as to whether or not the
Laganview Enterprise Centre was yet in operation.
5.5 Relocation of Lisburn Post Office
Further to the Meeting of Council held on the 27th November, 2007 the Director reported
that he had sought confirmation from the Royal Mail Group that the possibility of the
provision of a lift at the relocated Lisburn main post office might now exist.
The Committee noted the content of the following communications:-
a letter dated the 3rd December, 2007 from the Royal Mail Group advising that,
whilst A & D Thornton owned the premises formerly occupied by Warnock’s
Pharmacy, they did not own sufficient property to allow for a lift to be provided;
a verbal communication from the Royal Mail Group confirming that A & D
Thornton were not intent on acquiring any further property at the above location at
the present time and therefore the provision of a lift was not possible.
In view of the above, it was agreed to recommend that Postwatch Northern Ireland be
requested to carry out a customer survey on access aspects of the new Lisburn main post
office in the Spring of 2008.
It was proposed by Councillor R T Beckett, seconded by Councillor A G Ewart and agreed
that the Royal Mail Group be made aware of the Council’s concerns at the service levels
associated with the new Lisburn main post office, ie the length of queues, the non-
availability of high demand products, the lack of atmosphere etc.
5.6 Northern Ireland Office – Criminal Justice Reform & Delivery Division
Proposed Draft Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2007
(Closing date: 5th February, 2008)
It was proposed by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor R Crawford, seconded by Councillor
A G Ewart and agreed that:-
the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust be asked to indicate if it was in
favour of girls aged 12 being prescribed the contraceptive pill or the morning-after
pill. This information was sought in light of:-
the Committee having been made aware that the majority of health trusts in
Great Britain would not license a pharmacy if it were not prepared to stock
the morning-after pill;
the Committee being concerned that the prescription of birth control was not
an acceptable way to protect children;
the Committee’s response to the above consultation document be deferred to the
next Meeting of the Committee thereby allowing for the receipt of the comments of
the Trust as referred to above;
Members respond to the consultation document on an individual basis if they so
5.7 Review of Charges – Corporate Services
It was agreed to recommend that the increases in Corporate Services’ scale of
administrative charges, as detailed in the Director’s report, be implemented with effect
from the 1st April, 2008.
5.8 IT Training for Members in the Use of Laptops
Members were provided with a report on the IT Training questionnaire which had been
issued to all Members in October 2007.
It was agreed to recommend that the content of the above report be accepted and that the
recommendations contained therein be accepted, ie that:-
a further series of training sessions be organised as follows:
Microsoft Word (to incorporate letter typing, printing and scanning)
PDA (to be organised through Members’ Services)
training be not provided in Excel, Access and PowerPoint as these were not required
by Members in order to use the IT equipment for Council business;
5.8 IT Training for Members in the Use of Laptops (Continued)
one-to-one training be not organised as feedback from previous training sessions
indicated that the relatively low number of attendees enabled the trainer to give each
person adequate attention;
training be offered to all Members and training sessions be held as follows:-
Monday, 7th January 2008, 1745 hours – 1845 hours
Monday, 3rd March 2008, 1745 hours – 1845 hours
E-mail and Members Intranet.
as from the 1st April 2008, all reports to only be available electronically from the
Members Intranet and that paper copies would no longer be produced by Members
Services except those for The Right Worshipful The Mayor and the Chairman of the
Committee in question.
5.9 Transfer of Land at Moira Demesne to Roads Service
for the Purpose of Additional Public Car Parking
The Committee noted that the Council’s legal documents were with the Roads Service for
signature following which the land would transfer into the ownership of that organisation.
The Director verbally reported that the Roads Service would not sign the Council’s
documents until it had received a communication from the South Eastern Education &
Library Board about the release of their lands.
It was agreed that the SEELB be asked to expedite their response to the Roads Service in
respect of this matter.
Details of outstanding claims as at the 30th November, 2007 in respect of Employers’
Liability, Public Liability and Vehicle Fleet Insurances were noted.
It was agreed that the format of the information provided be amended so as to include a
total figure for settled claims.
5.10.2 Third Party Claims
The present position with regard to allowances paid to employees from 2000 during their
absence occasioned by an accident with a third party was noted.
5.11.1 Members’ Attendance - Expenditure to Date
Members noted the position with regard to the remaining funding for Members’ attendance
at conferences in respect of 2007/2008.
5.11.2 Officers’ Attendance - Expenditure to Date
Members noted the position with regard to the remaining funding for Officers’ attendance
at conferences in respect of 2007/08.
5.12 Review of Committee Structure
The Director confirmed that the party leaders had been requested to provide details of their
preferred meeting plan and that he would hope to bring forward a report in January 2008.
5.13 Bank of Credit and Commerce International
Further to the Meeting of Committee held on the 11th September, 2007 the Committee
noted receipt of the 6th dividend in the sum of £85,608.58 on the 29th November, 2007.
The Committee noted that the receipt of this dividend had brought the total amount
received to £3,019,310.88.
The Director was commended on his tenacity in pursuing the Council’s claim so as to
maximise its compensation in this matter.
5.14 Relocation of Lisburn Post Office
Parking for the Disabled
5.14.1 Roads Service
Members noted the content of a letter dated the 23rd November, 2007 from the Roads
Service advising that the necessary consultative and legislative processes to enable the
following changes would be commenced:-
existing 4 parking bays for the disabled on the north side of Market Square –
limiting the stay period to two hours with no return within one hour;
provision of new parking bay for the disabled at the top of Bridge Street on the
same side as the Post Office.
5.14.2 Lisburn Taxi Rank
Members noted the content of a letter dated the 14th November 2007 from the Royal Mail
Group advising of discussions which had taken place with a representative of the Lisburn
Taxi Rank in regard to their release of a taxi space to provide for a dedicated parking bay
for the disabled. It was noted that the Royal Mail Group would be corresponding with the
Roads Service about this matter.
5.15 Army Benevolent Fund
Fund Raising Concert at Lagan Valley Island – 20th March, 2008
Request for Waiving of Charges & Provision of Refreshments
Further to the previous Meeting of the Committee, Members noted the content of the
undernoted items of correspondence:-
letter dated the 1st November, 2007 from the Army Benevolent Fund seeking
financial support to supply refreshments for the artists taking part in a forthcoming
the Director’s response dated the 7th November, 2007 advising that, whilst the
charity event relief of 50% on the normal hire charge would apply, the Council
would not be able to waive the charges nor to provide the refreshments.
The Director clarified certain information in relation to the request.
5.16 Notice of Motion from Ballymena Borough Council
Royal British Legion
It was proposed by Councillor D J Craig, seconded by Councillor M H Tolerton and agreed
that the content of a letter dated the 12th November, 2007 from Ballymena Borough
Council regarding a Notice of Motion adopted by that Council to support the following be
endorsed and that the necessary persons advised accordingly:-
the Royal British Legion in calling on HM Government to honour its lifelong duty
of care to those making a unique commitment to their country serving in the Armed
all Service personnel throughout the World, especially the Royal Irish Regiment
full-time and part-time personnel, as they prepare for deployment to Afghanistan in
the coming year.
5.17 Estimates 2008/2009
Special Meeting of Committee with Chairmen & Vice-Chairmen
of Standing Committees - 17th December 2007
Members were reminded that a Special Meeting of the Committee with the Chairmen and
Vice-Chairmen of the other Standing Committees would be held on Monday 17th
December, 2007 at 5.00 pm in order to consider the draft estimates for 2008/2009.
In his Additional Report furnished to those Members present, the Director advised that the
Meeting of the Strategic Policy Committee at which the draft estimates for the Chief
Executive’s Office would be considered had been re-scheduled to the 2nd January, 2008 at
5.18 Former Mayoral Chain
The Director referred to the decision of the Committee at its previous Meeting that he
investigate how best the former Mayoral Chain could be displayed on appropriate
The Assistant Director Leisure Services (Cultural and Community Services) had identified
that the Chain could best be displayed on a headless bust in a glass case and he was
considering how this matter could be addressed so as to ensure security of the Chain yet
maximising the opportunity for members of the public to view the Chain.
5.19 Corporate Services
Schedule of Staff Absenteeism
It was agreed to recommend that a schedule showing staff absenteeism within Corporate
Services for the period 1st October, 2006 – 30th September, 2007 be noted.
5.20 District Policing Partnership
5.20.1 Schedule of Meetings
The Committee noted a schedule of forthcoming meetings of the Lisburn DPP which
included details of venues.
5.20.2 Resignation – Mr Stephen McGowan
It was agreed to recommend that the resignation of Mr Stephen McGowan, one of the
Independent Members on the Lisburn DPP, with effect from the 26th November, 2007 be
The Committee noted that, in accordance with the provisions of the St Andrews’
Agreement Act 2006, the Lisburn DPP would carry the vacancy created by the above
resignation until the appointment of independent members would take place which was
anticipated to be April 2008.
5.21 Estimates 2008/2009
Meeting of Strategic Policy Committee – 2nd January 2008
Dealt with under Item 5.17.
The Right Worshipful The Mayor, Councillor J Tinsley, entered the Meeting (7.50 pm)
6. Any Other Business
6.1 Lagan Valley Island - Catering
Alderman W J Dillon
In response to comments made by Alderman W J Dillon, the Director gave an assurance
that issues regarding the catering franchise at Lagan Valley Island were currently being
6.2 Post-Primary Education
Councillor P J Givan
Councillor P J Givan referred to the recent announcement by the Minister for Education in
respect of post-primary education arrangements.
It was proposed by Councillor P J Givan, seconded by Councillor D J Craig and agreed
that the Minister for Education be:-
advised of the Council’s concerns regarding the uncertainty for children and their
parents which her statement on post-primary education had created;
called upon to remove such uncertainty and to bring forward clear and
unambiguous detail as to her intentions in this regard;
asked to advise of the discussions which had taken place with the other political
parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly and which had resulted in her statement
on the new arrangements.
After the Chairman had wished those present the Compliments of the Season, the Meeting
terminated at 7.55 pm.