Contents by keara


3 7 8 Ulster Hall gets ready to reopen Christmas opening hours Seniors section 11 Celebrated citizen: Jim Murdock, market trader 13 Boost to those on benefits 16 Christmas recycling 21 Win a £200 Debenhams Designer outfit 22 Customer service feedback 23 Help birds beat the winter 24 Healthier takeaway treat 26 How to cook your turkey safely 28 Consumer advice on internet shopping 30 Kids get into the Grove 33 What‟s on

Welcome to the winter edition of City Matters.
This issue is packed full of festive advice from shopping tips (page 6) to recycling Christmas waste (page 16) and cooking your turkey (page 26). We have our usual seniors section on pages 8 to 10 with information on a new directory for older people and some practical advice on looking out for the elderly this Christmas. Read about Jim Murdock, our „celebrated citizen‟ on page 11. He may not be famous, but he‟s a well known face at St George‟s Market and is still working flat out on his fruit and veg stall after almost 70 years. We offer consumer advice on internet shopping on page 28 and our frequently asked questions tackle the familiar winter woes of burst pipes and leaking oil tanks. Turn to pages 33-38 for a round-up of what‟s on over the festive season, including Belfast Waterfront and zoo events, the Continental Market and the Christmas lights switch-on. Please spend a few minutes to answer some short questions about our customer service on page 21-22. And finally, don‟t miss your chance to win a designer outfit from Debenhams worth £200 on page 21. Wishing you a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

A token Christmas gesture
Struggling with Christmas gift ideas? Why not cut down on the hassle of shopping and be kinder
to the environment by opting for vouchers or memberships instead? If your loved-one is a fitness fanatic, they may appreciate one of our Boost leisure centres memberships, giving them access to all of our leisure centres. Go to or contact your local leisure centre (see page 34) for details on the various packages available. Or for something a bit different, you could buy a course of tennis or climbing lessons at our Indoor Tennis Centre and Ozone Complex. For more information on this, telephone 9045 8024 or go to leisure centres For animal lovers, what about animal adoption or membership to Belfast Zoo? Telephone 9077 6277 or go to to find out more. Concert tickets are also a popular choice, so check out what‟s on at the Waterfront next year by calling the Box Office on 9033 4455 or going to Happy shopping!

Ulster Hall gets ready to reopen
The Ulster Hall, one of Belfast‟s oldest buildings and most famous landmarks, will open its doors again
next March. It closed in May 2007 for restoration and refurbishment. For almost 150 years, the Ulster Hall has staged a variety of live events. And we‟re planning an exciting programme for 2009, including a gala concert to celebrate the reopening. The main hall is being refitted and redecorated and the venue will provide a new city centre box office for both Ulster Hall and Belfast Waterfront events. It will also be the new home of the Ulster Orchestra. There will be some new attractions to enjoy when you visit, including a permanent exhibition of paintings of Belfast by Joseph Carey, one of Northern Ireland‟s best known artists. The Ulster Hall will also be telling its own story through interpretative displays of poetry, pictures and sound, all created by local people. Many of you have been contributing your own special Ulster Hall stories, memories and personal memorabilia and it‟s not too late to contribute. If you would like your Ulster Hall story to be heard, email us the details at or write to: Ulster Hall Memories Ulster Hall Bedford Street Belfast BT2 7FF Please note: We can‟t accept hand deliveries to the Ulster Hall. Please do not send any memorabilia at this stage. Tickets are already on sale for one of the first concerts at the restored venue - Jackson Browne‟s „Time The Conqueror‟ tour on 21 March 2009.

Medalists to light up the city
Congratulations to our local sporting heroes who brought medals home from the Beijing Olympics
this year. Some of the medalists will be joining the guests on stage at our Christmas lights switch-on on 18 November. Athletes helping to launch our festive celebrations will include: λ Belfast boxer, Paddy Barnes (pictured above) who gained a bronze; λ silver medalist in track cycling, Wendy Houvenaghel, from Magherafelt; and λ Belfast runner Michael McKillop who brought home a gold medal from the Paralympics. The event kicks off at 7.30pm on 18 November (see page 30). As well as the medalists, guests will include comic characters and a mystery pop act. For more information on the Christmas lights switch-on telephone 9024 6609 or go to

Don’t toy with safety
Toys cause injury to thousands of children in the UK every year. Shop with care this Christmas to
make sure any gifts you buy for youngsters are safe and suitable. λ Make sure toys display the European Community (CE) symbol. This shows that the goods meet the requirements of the EC Toy Safety Directive. λ Only buy toys from recognised outlets. λ Make sure the age range is suitable for the child in question. If there is a small parts warning for 0-3 year olds, never give the toys to children within this age range as they are particularly prone to choking. λ Check for loose hair and small parts, which could present a choking hazard. λ Check for sharp edges and points which could cause injury. λ Look out for long pieces of string and loose ribbon which could cause strangulation. λ Avoid novelty items and sweets which come with small toys.

Kids exhibit art in Finland
In September, children from some of our play centre after school schemes displayed their artwork at
an international exhibition. The event was a celebration of the „European Year of Intercultural Dialogue‟. Organised by the city of Espoo, on the outskirts of Helsinki, Belfast participated along with cities in Sweden, France, Germany and Turkey. The children from our Avoniel, Olympia and North Queen Street centres, had to create a drawing of their city. When asked what they felt their pictures said about Belfast, their love of home was clear: “I like the big wheel because it‟s spinny,” said one child. “It‟s the best town in the world,” summed up another. Events like this are happening all across Europe to celebrate the variety of cultures within the European Union. To find out about more, visit or telephone 9032 0202 ext 3576.

Community makeovers
September saw the launch of a new initiative to help transform local communities by giving their area a
„makeover‟. The „Re-imaging Communities programme‟ funded by the Arts Council will see a total of twelve re-imaging projects. Artists have already started working with each of the community groups involved to develop positive images which reflect their culture. Ideas so far have included: λ public spaces, λ sculptures, λ mosaics, and λ non-sectarian murals.
For further information on this scheme contact 9027 0661 or go to

Be a savvy shopper
National Consumer Week: 17 – 21 November

Don‟t let the credit crunch spoil your Christmas. Make sure you get value for money by shopping
wisely and knowing your rights. λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ Start shopping early to take advantage of pre-Christmas promotions. Work out your budget and write out lists. Try to keep to your lists and avoid impulse buys. Shops are competing against each other so shop around to get the best prices. Buy from reputable traders. Don‟t pay good money for fake goods. Check the shop‟s policy on returning unsuitable goods as policies differ from shop to shop. Keep all your receipts. If the items you are buying are gifts ask for gift receipts which do not show the price, but serve the same purpose as a normal receipt. You will need these if you have to return unsuitable goods. Do not remove any labels until you are certain the items are suitable. Check all items are working before you put them away or wrap them. Use your credit card for items costing more than £100. You get extra protection if something goes wrong. Be aware of time periods for returning goods you buy on the internet or by mail order. You have seven days to change your mind.

For further information contact the Consumer Advice Centre on 9032 8260 or email your query to Go to for answers to common consumer problems.

Escalator safety
Most of us use escalators during our shopping trips, but if they are not used safely, they can cause
serious injury. There has been a recent increase in escalator-related accidents and the most common of these include: λ tripping, λ falling, λ getting tangled in the machinery, and λ accidents involving prams. Here are some tips to help you stay safe when using escalators: λ Supervise children at all times. λ Always hold on to the hand rail. λ Check for loose or dangling items of clothing before stepping onto the escalator. Long or untied shoelaces, high heels and drawstrings can get trapped in the machinery. λ Lift toddlers on and off the step. λ Try to keep feet planted firmly on the step - footwear with soft rubber soles can slip into the cracks between the steps or the side.

λ When shopping with a pushchair or pram always use the lift. There is no safe way of using an escalator with a pram. The steps aren‟t wide enough to accommodate the wheels and it may also block your view of the top or bottom of the escalator, increasing the risk of accident. λ If you or your child does happen to tumble or get caught, use the emergency stop buttons located at the top and bottom of each escalator.
For more information contact our health and safety team on 9027 0428 or email

Christmas shopping opening hours
With our Moretime programme encouraging you to stay later in the city centre, many shops are
already open in the evenings. And in the run-up to Christmas, most of these shops will stay open even longer, giving you more time and flexibility to shop around for the best festive bargains. November Mon - Tues Wed - Fri Saturdays Sundays December Mon - Fri (1-5 Dec) Mon - Fri (8-23 Dec) Saturdays Sundays Christmas Eve Boxing Day * Mon 29 - Tues 30 Dec New Year‟s Eve

9am - 7pm 9am - 9pm 9am - 6pm 1pm - 6pm

9am - 9pm 9am - 10pm 9am - 6pm 1pm - 6pm 9am - 5pm 11am - 6pm 9am - 7pm 9am - 5pm

January New Year‟s Day* From 2 Jan

1pm - 6pm as November

From November, we have also extended the opening hours of all city centre public toilets. Our city centre facilities will now open on Sundays from 9.30am to 5.30pm and during the week, they will stay open to meet the needs of shoppers. * (selected stores)
For more information on city centre shops, you can request a copy of our free Moretime guide from the Belfast Welcome Centre (9024 6609) or download it at

Councillors focus on seniors
Our councillors set up an All Party Reference Group in April 2006 to focus on issues relating to older
people. The group‟s four main priorities are: λ getting sectors to work together for the benefit of older people; λ citizenship and involving older people in decision making; λ supporting issues relating to seniors; and λ improving our services for the older generation.

The following councillors are members of this group: λ Cllr Diane Dodds (Chair), DUP λ Cllr Mervyn Jones, Alliance Party λ Cllr Chrissie Mhic Giolla Mhín, Sinn Féin λ Cllr Peter O‟Reilly, SDLP λ Cllr Jim Rodgers OBE, UUP λ Cllr Hugh Smyth OBE, PUP You can contact any of the above councillors for more information on this group. See page 29 for councillor contact details. To find out more about what we‟re doing for older people, go to

Distraction burglary
For most of us, the Christmas period is a time of celebration, but it also brings the heightened risk of
burglaries. A common, yet very preventable burglary is known as a „distraction burglary‟. A „distraction burglary‟ is when someone uses a false identity or distraction to gain access to your home. The most common of these involves pretending to be from high-profile organisations such as: λ Northern Ireland Electricity, λ Northern Ireland Water, λ telephone companies, λ Northern Ireland Housing Executive, λ Age Concern or other charities, and λ Police Service of Northern Ireland. Some false callers also pretend to be looking for directions, selling items or cleaning windows. Common times for distraction burglaries are weekdays between 8am and 6pm (so that the homeowner will be less suspicious if the caller is posing as an employee).

Nearly three quarters of these burglaries happen to older people. To help you stay safe at home, take the following precautions: λ Do not open the door to anyone unless they provide proof of identity. λ Check their identity and phone the appropriate agency if you are unhappy or suspicious about the caller‟s identity. λ Do not keep large amounts of money in the house. Although the level of distraction burglaries is going down here, it is important to remain alert in order to avoid becoming a victim.
For more information on community safety, contact our community safety team on 9027 0469, email or go to

Directory for seniors
On 12 December, Belfast Healthy Cities will launch its „Seniors Info‟ directory. Developed with input
from older people, the publication will be packed full of useful information for senior citizens living in Belfast. We‟ve helped to fund the directory along with: λ Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, λ Belfast Home Accident Prevention Group - Investing for Health, and λ The Northern Ireland Housing Executive. It will contain information and contact details on everything from city transport services to organisations that can provide financial support. Other topics include: λ heating your home, λ preventing crime, λ safety in the home, λ income, benefits and money, λ housing advice, λ health and wellbeing, λ support groups, λ rights and advocacy, λ learning and leisure, and λ emergency numbers. Belfast Healthy Cities is developing more detailed information on these topics. We will host the information on our website at
You can request a printed copy of „Seniors Info‟ after 15 December by ringing Maura Ahern at Belfast Healthy Cities on 9032 8811, or Adele Keys at Belfast City Council on 9032 0202. Contact Maura for more information on the launch of the directory.

Elderly at Christmas
Christmas is a time of celebration to share with family and friends. But for some of our elderly
relatives, friends and neighbours who are more vulnerable at this time of year it can be a difficult and lonely period. To help avoid this, you can make sure any elderly people you know are safe and well over Christmas. Just make that extra effort by doing some or even one of the following: λ Call in, even for a quick visit to make sure that everything is alright and to find out if they need anything. λ Check they are warm enough. Make sure their heating system is working properly and timed for the weather. Suggest blankets, hot water bottles and hot drinks. λ Make sure that they are eating properly and encourage them to drink plenty of fluids and eat hot meals. λ Suggest that they get the „flu jab‟ from their local GP or health centre. λ If you have elderly neighbours, keep an eye out for signs that something could be wrong such as milk not being taken in and curtains remaining open or closed. λ Make sure there are no fire hazards and that they have a working smoke alarm. For advice on home safety or to organise a home safety check they can call us on 9091 8715. λ If you‟re going out to buy groceries, or on other errands offer to pick up shopping or messages for them. λ If you have time, offer to help them with their holiday shopping if they find it difficult to get out and about or find big crowds intimidating. Many organisations offer help and support to older people, including Engage with Age and the Society of St Vincent de Paul. There are also a range of befriending projects throughout Belfast, such as the Voluntary Service Belfast (VSB) befriending scheme for older people, funded by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. If you would be interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer befriender in the Belfast area, please contact VSB on 9020 0850 or email
For more information on support for the elderly at Christmas or at any time of year, contact Adele Keys on 9032 0202 ext 3607.

Free bus service extended
Due to demand, we‟ve extended the trial for our free Roselawn Cemetery bus service. The
service, which was originally due to run from May to September, will now continue over Christmas and into the New Year. Aimed at older people living in Belfast, the service operates on Tuesdays and Fridays. It leaves from designated pick-up points throughout the city and goes to Roselawn Cemetery and City of Belfast Crematorium.

The bus, which is supplied by Disability Action, seats up to 15 people and can accommodate wheelchairs.
For details on the timetable or to book your place please phone 9027 0296. You can also find more information at

Support a Belfast family
As a parent you‟re not just a mum or just a dad-what you‟re doing takes skill. If you‟ve got
through the highs and lows of parenthood, your experience could be invaluable to other parents who are struggling to cope. Home-Start, the leading family support charity, is asking everyday mums and dads from Belfast to volunteer a couple of hours a week. Local families need your support and friendship for different reasons, including post-natal depression, disability or becoming parents at a very young age.
Visit the Real Parents website email or call 0800 068 63 68.

Jim Murdock Market trader
t George‟s Market trader, Jim Murdock started selling fruit and vegetables almost 70 years ago and is still going strong. Although he recently handed the business over to his nephew, he still works as hard as ever and can‟t imagine life without the stall. He got involved in market trading as a young boy under the watchful eye of his grandmother, who ran a shop and a market stall in the old May‟s Market. Raised as a Roman Catholic, she had come to Belfast from the country where she met her Presbyterian husband. On Tuesdays and Fridays, Jim was allowed to stay off school to help her out. His job was to take the pony to the market to collect his grandmother‟s produce. He‟d then have „a drop of tea and the heel of a loaf‟ and go out on the streets to sell. He looks upon these years as an „early education programme‟ and believes that he learnt a lot more selling on the streets than he ever did at school. He left school at the age of 14 and started going to the Ballynahinch market every Thursday. He didn‟t get paid much, but it was a family business and it kept him out of trouble and made sure that he was fed and watered. He admits that times were hard, but looking back, he‟s adamant that he wouldn‟t change a thing.

His mother took over from his grandmother, but although she‟d married a Murdock, the Hawkins name was still linked to the fruit and vegetable business. His father‟s side of the family were better known for selling horses and horse-drawn carriages. Between them, the family owned several shops in Cromac Street, which was the main shopping thoroughfare at the time. Jim recalls how the shops used to stay open until midnight, with men calling in to buy chickens for the next day‟s dinner after a night in the pub. Another fond memory is the buzz of the outdoor trade over the long, hot summers. But there were also many wet, cold days and in the mid-1960s, this began to have an impact on his mother‟s health. That‟s when Jim took over the stall. A major turning point for the business was in the 1960s when the wholesale traders relocated from St George‟s to Boucher and the indoor market venue became available to retail traders like himself. Moving indoors made a big difference and since then, the stall has gone from strength to strength. Jim‟s seen many changes over the years. When he started out, his main business was „bare essentials‟ like potatoes and carrots. Now the stall displays a huge array of fruit and vegetables from as far away as New Zealand and Mexico. But Jim still prides himself the most on his fresh, local produce. To find out more on the history of St George‟s Market and what‟s on offer there, go to

QE2 ahoy
When the QE2 cruise liner arrived in the Port of Belfast as part of her year-long farewell tour on 4
October 2008, our port health officers were among the first on board. The specialist team, made up of four environmental health officers, had to carry out a series of checks on the ship as part of their duties. Belfast is Ireland‟s busiest ferry port, receiving over 6,000 vessels each year. Our Port Health Unit , based in the Harbour Estate, is responsible for carrying out a range of functions on these vessels. This work includes: λ imported food control, λ infectious disease control, and λ food safety inspections on board ships. And from 21 August 2008, our port health officers have been able to issue Ship Sanitation Certificates under the Public Health (Ships) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008. All vessels operating between countries or off-shore must hold one of these. In addition to looking after port health, the team also oversees food safety at the George Best City Airport.
For more information on port health call 9035 1199 or go to

Boost to those on benefits
If you live in Belfast and receive certain means-tested benefits (MTB), you and your dependant children
may be eligible for a discounted rate with our Boost leisure discount scheme. You can qualify for discounted rates if you receive any of the following: λ Income support λ Job Seekers allowance λ Housing Benefit λ Pension Credit λ Tax Credits λ Working Family Tax Credits The price of your Boost card depends on what package you choose.

Spray tan offer
If you want a healthy glow over the dreary winter months, we have a quick fix solution to help you
look your bronzed best… and safely too. Shankill Leisure Centre‟s spray tanning booth will make you as brown as a berry in just 45 seconds! For first time tanners, there‟s a short DVD explaining how to use the facility and get a beautifully even tan. For the remainder of November, enjoy our special discount price of just £5 per session (normal session price £10).
To check availability or make a booking call 9091 8750.

Be green with The Belfast Bag
This season, „green‟ is the new black. And this winter, it‟s all about our limited edition, reusable
shopping carrier, The Belfast Bag. Based on an image by Belfast artist Terry Bradley and manufactured by Ulster Weavers, the bag is very much „by Belfast, for Belfast‟. The aim is simple - to encourage people not to use disposable carrier bags. On average each of us uses about 167 disposable plastic bags each year, but we only recycle one in every 200. The best way of reducing the amount of rubbish we have to throw out is to produce less in the first place, so a reusable bag is a good place to start. The bag will highlight the importance of reducing the amount of waste we produce and help to make ethical waste choices more fashionable. The Belfast Bag costs £13 and will be available from House of Fraser in Victoria Square just in time for the Christmas shopping rush.
For more information on how to do your bit for the environment, telephone 0800 032 8100 or go to

A visit from the ELF
To celebrate and promote a „litter free‟ Christmas we will be offering nurseries in Belfast the chance to
receive a special visit from our Christmas Environmental Litter Friend (ELF). The ELF will be touring around Belfast between 1 and 19 December 2008, reading nursery children short litter related stories, and there might even be a few goodies for the boys and girls! The visits can be tailored to the needs of your individual nursery, and it is expected that each visit will last no longer than 30 minutes. The ELF will visit nurseries each morning and afternoon, with a maximum of one visit per nursery. There are a limited number of slots available so nursery school teachers should contact our Community Awareness Team as soon as possible on 9032 0202 Ext 5240 to book your nursery‟s festive learning experience!

Did you know... The main litter types found on the streets of Belfast are: λ cigarette litter, λ chewing gum, λ dog mess, and λ fast food waste. Litter facts λ We spend £11 million per year keeping Belfast‟s streets clean. λ We empty over 7.2 million bins each year λ It takes one hour to remove the chewing gum from an area of 1m² λ People tend to litter more in an area that is already littered.

Slim your waste 2009
We are looking for volunteers to take part in an environmental challenge. The aim is to show how
much waste you can avoid throwing in the bin by simply reducing, reusing and recycling. Many of us try to lose weight in the New Year, so why not put your black landfill bin on its own weightloss programme? Our „Slim your waste‟ challenge is for all Belfast residents and we are looking for volunteers from all over the city to take part. It will run for three months from January 2009. We‟ll ask participants to keep a record of their bin weights and post comments and details of their progress on our website. They can also share their recycling tips on the blog. To register your interest in „Slim your waste‟, log on to, email or contact our Waste Education and Promotion Team on 9032 0202. Remember to check our website regularly to see how the volunteers are getting on.

Christmas recycling
When the celebrations have ended, remember to visit your local recycling centre to recycle all
your Christmas leftovers. The centres are free and easy to use and accept a wide range of materials to be recycled including: λ aluminium foil, λ books, λ cans (food and drink), λ car batteries, λ cardboard, λ cooking oil, λ electrical goods and equipment,

λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ

engine oil, fluorescent tubes, garden waste, gas bottles, glass bottles and jars, household batteries, ink cartridges, mobile phones, old hand tools, paper, plastic bottles, scrap metal, spectacles, Tetra Pak cartons, textiles, timber, white goods (fridges for example).

Treecycle Don‟t forget to recycle your real Christmas tree at any of our recycling centres from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 January and receive a free gift in exchange.

We have four main recycling centres at: λ Alexandra Park, north Belfast 180 Alexandra Park Avenue, λ Blackstaff Way, west Belfast 1 Blackstaff Way, λ Ormeau, south Belfast 6 Park Road, λ Palmerston Road, east Belfast 2-4 Palmerston Road,

Opening times October to March Monday – Friday Saturday Sunday April to September Monday – Friday Saturday Sunday

8am – 5pm 9am – 5pm 12pm – 5pm 8am – 8pm 9am – 5pm 12pm – 5pm

Please note: The centres will be closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year‟s Day.

Holiday bin collections

For more information on your holiday bin collections visit or call our call centre on 9027 0297

I’m dreaming of a green Christmas
The festive period is thought to result in an extra three million tonnes of waste. It is estimated that in
the UK we use around: λ 1 billion Christmas cards, λ 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper, λ 750 million extra glass bottles and containers, λ 500 million extra drinks cans and λ 8 million real Christmas trees. This year, why not have a greener Christmas by following a few simple steps?

Reduce λ Avoid using disposables like plastic cups, paper plates or serviettes. λ Send electronic cards to your friends and family as most Christmas cards cannot be recycled in your blue bin. λ Say no to plastic bags by taking a reusable shopping bag with you when doing your Christmas shopping. λ Buy vouchers for your friends and family so they can exchange them for something that they will definitely want. λ Use energy efficient LED lights on your Christmas tree which reduces your electricity bill and your carbon usage. λ Don‟t buy more food than you need and turn leftovers into new meals like turkey pie with hash browns and bubble and squeak. Visit for helpful hints and recipes for leftover food. Reuse λ Buy rechargeable batteries for electrical gifts this Christmas. λ Save excess cards and wrapping paper for use again next year and turn old Christmas cards into gift tags. λ Re-use old gift wrap and bags. λ Donate any unwanted gifts to charity shops who can pass these on to families who need them. You can also join up with your local Freecycle group to swap, pass on or adopt unwanted items. Visit for more information. Recycle λ Compost your leftover vegetable peelings for use in the garden. Order a home composting kit for just £5. Telephone 0800 032 8100 or order online at λ Once the festive season is over „treecycle‟ your real Christmas tree at one of our recycling centres along with your other recyclable Christmas waste. λ Recycle your glass bottles and jars at one of our bottle banks in the city. λ Use your kerbside recycling box to recycle as much of your waste as possible. If you are unsure of what you can put in your blue or brown bin or food waste caddy call our wasteline on 0800 032 8100. For information on what can be recycled in your black kerbside box call Bryson Recycling on 9084 8494. And finally, why not make a New Year‟s resolution „slim your waste‟. By reducing, reusing and recycling your waste, you will be helping to protect the environment by reducing the amount going to landfill.
For more information, contact our recycling helpline on 0800 032 8100 or go to

Win a deluxe edition of new Belfast book
We‟re supporting a new paperback edition of A History of the Town of Belfast, published by Blackstaff
Press. The book was originally published by George Benn, a local historian and charitable donor in 1877 and again in 1880. It details Belfast‟s early days, from small town to industrial city.

It costs hundreds of pounds to buy second hand but the new paperback version currently retails for £30. Available in bookshops such as Waterstone‟s and Fountain Street‟s PLACE, it‟s the ideal Christmas gift for anyone interested in the history of our city. There‟s also a limited run of a hardback deluxe version which retails at £125. For your chance to win a copy simply answer the following question: What year was A History of the Town of Belfast first published? And send your answers to: Heather Bulfin Cecil Ward Building Cultural Communications officer 4-10 Linen Hall Street Belfast BT2 8BP The closing date for entries is Friday 12 December.

Willowbank welcomes sports facility
The local sports scene in west Belfast has received a major boost with a new multi-use games area.
The Willowbank Sports Facility (or Áis Spóirt Bhruach Na Saileoige) is now open, thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund. We also supported the project along with Belfast Education and Library Board and local groups and residents. Locals have welcomed the new facility, as it puts the site to good use and is helping to reduce antisocial behaviour in the area. During the day, pupils from three local primary schools have free use of the games area, while youth and community groups and sports clubs use it in the evenings. Although we own the Willowbank Sports Facility, it is managed by local sports groups and the Willowbank management committee. To make a booking, call 07531 544406

Autumn 2008

And the winner is...
Congratulations to our autumn competition winner, Mrs Catherine Hughes, who won a two night break for two at the Europa Hotel.

Win a £200 Debenhams Designer outfit
The exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio features unique designer signature styles with a mix of „value for money‟ and more premium items for that extra special something. The Belfast store in Castle Court has over 30 designer brands, including J by Jasper Conran, Rocha.John Rocha, Butterfly by Matthew Williamson and Star by Julien Macdonald to name just a few. For your chance to win a designer outfit worth £200, simply answer the following question: Q. Name Matthew Williamson‟s designer range at Debenhams (a) Ladybird (b) Caterpillar (c) Butterfly

Please send your competition replies to: Belfast City Council, FREEPOST BEL4010, Belfast BT1 5BR (no stamp required).

Your views
We want your views to help us improve how we deal with our customers. Please take a few minutes to fill in this short questionnaire. How would you find having a single contact number on which you could contact us instead of a range of numbers? Please tick one box: Very useful Useful Neither useful nor not useful Not useful Not at all useful Why do you say that?

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How useful would you find a „one stop shop‟ facility for accessing all council services in one place? Please tick one box: Very useful Useful Neither useful nor not useful Not useful Not at all useful Why do you say that?

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Please return your completed questionnaire to: Belfast City Council FREEPOST BEL4010 Belfast BT1 5BR You can also provide more detailed information on our website at or email

Customer service feedback
We would like to hear your views on our level of customer service – from what we do well, to what we could do better. Your views are extremely important to us. As a council we are committed to providing value for money and efficient and effective services. We are also committed to providing the highest standards of customer care that we can. We are currently gathering feedback to help us: λ improve communications between us and our customers; λ develop our customer training; and λ create customer service standards. We want you, as our key customers, to tell us what you think. We can‟t change unless you tell us what we need to do to improve, so this is your opportunity to give us your views. On the left hand side of this page, you‟ll see a short questionnaire. Please take a few minutes to complete this and tell us what you think. You can also give us more detail about your experiences of our customer service at or email your feedback to

Help birds beat the winter
The winter weather can have a serious impact upon wildlife, particularly for our feathered friends.
But we can help the birds survive the colder months by providing them with food and water in our gardens or outside space. Feeding the birds also rewards us with close up views of these wonderful, engaging creatures. Here in Belfast, you are most likely to see: λ starlings, λ house sparrows, λ blue tits, λ great tits, λ robins, λ goldfinches, and λ greenfinches. Some of these species have declined dramatically due to habitat loss, and are increasingly reliant on supplementary feeding and gardens. You can feed birds at any time of year but it is most important between October and April when food may be in short supply. Birds need high energy foods during cold weather so seeds, nuts and fat balls are best. They also need to stay hydrated so we should provide clean water for drinking. When feeding the birds remember to: λ wash your bird table and feeders regularly and don‟t allow uneaten food to accumulate; λ remove nylon mesh bags from fat balls and peanuts as they can cause damage to birds‟ feet; λ position the feeders high off the ground where cats can‟t reach them.
For tips and further information on how to help wildlife go to

Blooming marvellous result
It is now official - Belfast is blooming after scooping a medal in the Britain in Bloom competition.
For the first time since the competition started 40 years ago, Belfast was invited to take part in Britain in Bloom, the largest horticultural campaign in Europe. Organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, the event involves hundreds of communities working together to improve their local environment for everyone. Judging for Belfast took place in August when two judges completed a tour of the city assessing it for imaginative planting of trees, shrubs, flowers and landscaping. They also looked at how we deal with issues such as litter, graffiti and vandalism.

We picked up our silver medal in the „large city‟ category. It was a tremendous result for everyone involved.
For more information go to

Park particulars
Falls Park λ Falls Park, the second public park in Belfast, was opened in 1876. λ The name „falls‟ derives from Irish and means road of the hedges. λ The land was formerly owned by the Sinclair family, who used it for hunting and exercising horses. λ The first park ranger in Falls Park earned 12 shillings per week. λ The park contained an outdoor swimming pool between 1924 and 1979, known locally as „the cooler‟. λ Allotment plots were established in the park during both world wars. λ Local schoolchildren have planted thousands of young trees recently as part of an environmental education programme called „Watch this Space‟. λ The park lies between the Belfast Hills and Bog Meadows and is part of a green corridor which helps to encourage wildlife in the city. λ Bowls, soccer, Gaelic football and camogie are all played in the park. λ Plans are underway for a new rose garden, a sculpture and a nature and art trail highlighting the main aspects of the park. λ You can recycle your glass bottles in the bottle bank at Falls Park Pavilion in the park.
For further information on parks visit

Healthier takeaway treat
Next year (16-18 February) we‟re hosting nutrition training for local Chinese restaurants and takeaways
to encourage them to offer more healthy alternatives. A recent UK assessment of 300 meals from different takeaways, showed that most dishes contained at least twice the daily recommended salt allowance. When you eat in takeaways and restaurants the food is prepared with monosodium glutamate (MSG) as well as numerous colourings and flavourings to adapt the food for Western taste buds. We are organising the training along with other community and voluntary groups. It aims to educate Chinese takeaway and restaurant owners about nutrition and help them develop, display and maintain tasty, healthy choice menu options. All those who take part in the training will then be able to display our healthy Chinese nutrition certificates. So if you own a Chinese takeaway or restaurant in Belfast and would like to learn new skills and expand your menu then register to take part in our training course.
For further information or to register for the training, contact Christina McErlean on 9032 0202, ext 3363 or Elizabeth Gilchrist 9032 0202 ext 3395 or go to

Safer pubs and clubs
For the past year, a safer neighbourhood group has been meeting in Ardoyne Community Centre to
look at issues affecting local pubs and clubs such as antisocial behaviour, underage drinking, and drug use. The group, which involves local people and publicans, has been working closely with our Community Safety Team. The project includes qualified training for bar and club staff to help deal with customers more effectively and cope with inappropriate behaviour. Pubs in surrounding areas have been so impressed that they are also keen to get involved. For more information, contact John Fleming on 9074 8523.

Get home safe
The festive party season is fast approaching and the Belfast Get Home Safe campaign is
promoting some important messages to help you stay safe. Each weekend, around 30,000 people enjoy our local nightlife - a figure which increases dramatically at this time of year. By all means, have some fun, but it is important to be responsible and look after yourself if you go out. We lead Get Home Safe along with various organisations including: λ Northern Ireland Office, λ Police Service of Northern Ireland, λ Belfast City Centre Management, and λ Federation of Retail Licensed Trade NI. The group offers the following key pieces of advice: λ Plan your journey home in advance. λ Drink responsibly. λ Think when you drink and stay out of trouble. λ Don‟t walk through areas you are unsure of. λ Stay in well-lit areas. λ Stick with your friends. λ Never accept a drink from someone you don‟t know. λ Always have enough money to get yourself home. Over the Christmas season, our officers will be out and about, delivering and reinforcing the „Get home safe‟ message.
For more information telephone 9027 0469 or go to

Help for students
Translink reminds all those in full-time education to ease the strain of student life by applying for their
Translink Student Discount Card and Uni-Link Smartlink Card. Against the backdrop of a gloomy economic climate the Translink Student Discount Card, at £7.00 per annum, offers up to 33% discount on adult single fares with NI Railways and up to 50% on single fares on Enterprise services. With Ulsterbus students can receive up to 15% discount on standard adult fares of £2.20 and over, as well as reductions on cross border bus services. Students really get their money‟s worth with the Student Discount Card as it also offers various discounts with a number of retail partners, ranging from Pizza Hut and STA travel insurance plus many more. Application forms for the Translink Student Discount Card can be downloaded from, alternatively pick up an application leaflet from your local Translink bus or rail station and return along with £7.00, a passport-sized photo and a college ID. For further information about the Student Discount Card and Uni-Link Smartlink visit Translink‟s website at or contact the call centre on 028 90 66 66 30.

How to cook your turkey safely
λ Check the label of your turkey for defrosting and cooking instructions λ If your turkey is frozen, make sure you defrost it properly before you cook it. Ideally, defrost the turkey in the fridge on a large dish, or else in a cool clean area. Always check defrosting times. Per kilogram, allow approximately 10-12 hours in a fridge (4˚C or 39˚F) or 3-4 hours in a cool room (17.5˚C or 60˚F). λ When your turkey is fully defrosted, place it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it, or else cook it immediately. λ Store the raw turkey at the bottom of the fridge so that it can‟t drip onto other foods. λ Never wash your turkey. Proper cooking will kill any bacteria. λ Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw turkey. Bacteria can also spread to worktops, chopping boards, dishes and utensils so clean these thoroughly too. λ Check that the turkey is properly cooked by making sure that it is piping hot all the way through, with no pink meat. The juices should run clear when you pierce it. λ Cover your turkey with foil during cooking and uncover for the last 30 minutes to brown the skin. To stop the meat drying out, baste it every hour during cooking. λ Ideally you should cook your stuffing separately. If you are cooking the stuffing inside the turkey cavity, pack it as loosely as you can and follow the times below. The amount of stuffing you use should weigh no more than 10% of the weight of the turkey.

Beat the bingeing
Bingeing on food and alcohol over the festive season can play havoc with our health, causing
dehydration, tummy upsets and lethargy. So here are some tips to help you avoid feeling like a stuffed turkey on Christmas Day: Food λ Make time for breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Cereal and fruit should set you up for the day and stop you dipping in to the tin of sweets before dinner. λ When serving Christmas dinner include a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, broccoli, potatoes and sprouts. λ Instead of seasoning vegetables with salt, try using some of your favourite herbs. λ Make a trifle for dessert packed with fruit such as grapes, strawberries, cherries and oranges. λ Pace yourself. When you take your time over a meal, you‟re less likely to overeat. λ Nibble on dried fruit, unsalted nuts and figs throughout the day. Alcohol λ Drink for enjoyment not to get drunk. λ Try to have a glass of water or fruit juice between drinks to prevent dehydration and hangovers. λ Keep an eye on how much you‟re drinking and know your limits. λ Never feel pressured into drinking if you don‟t want to.
For more information on healthy eating and drinking go to For ideas on how to use your leftover turkey, go to

Consumer advice on internet shopping
ur Consumer Advice Centre is at 14 Wellington Place - between Oyster House (the old YMCA building) and Pronuptia Bridal Shop. We offer help and advice on consumer-related problems to both traders and consumers. Our advisers will make you aware of your legal rights and are happy to act as mediators on your behalf. All enquiries are treated seriously and no complaint is considered too trivial. Here we look at your query on credit card protection. I would like to do my Christmas shopping on the internet this year and use my credit card to pay. What are my rights if I do not like what I have bought or if something goes wrong with them? Also how can I protect myself from online card fraud?
If you buy goods on the internet, over the telephone or by mail order then you are covered by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended). This means that the goods you buy should be of satisfactory quality, fit for their purpose and as described. However, under the Distance Selling Regulations you also have a cooling off period. This means that if you change your mind about most goods that you buy on the internet, over the telephone or by mail order then you have seven days from when you receive the goods to get a full refund. Remember, you may have to pay postage to return them if you just change your mind. To protect yourself from online fraudsters, simply follow these tips to reduce the risk of card fraud:

λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ λ

Always keep your cards secure. Use one card for internet shopping and check your statements regularly. Regularly check your credit report through a credit reference agency such as Experian or Equifax. Make sure your Anti-Virus software is up to date. Check security and authenticity of websites. Only use well known internet shopping websites that are trustworthy. When entering your card details, make sure the website address is https and not just http. Double click on the small padlock icon on the bottom right hand corner of the screen to check that the website‟s security certificate is valid. Never give your personal details to websites offering deals that appear to be „too good to be true‟. Always be on your guard if you receive a call from someone who claims to be from your bank or credit card company asking for your personal details.

Also if you buy an item that costs over £100 and you pay for it using your credit card, you get extra rights under the Consumer Credit Act. This means that if you do not receive the item and the company is not traceable you can claim your money back from your credit card company.
Go to for more answers to consumer problems.

Need help with a consumer problem?
If you have a consumer problem and would like some specialist advice, visit the Consumer Advice Centre at 14 Wellington Place, Belfast. You can pick up information on consumer issues from here or go online to

Opening times: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm 9.30am - 4.30pm 9.30am - 2.00pm 9.30am - 4.30pm 9.30am - 4.15pm

We are closed at weekends. You can also telephone 9032 8260 or email your query to

Frequently Asked Questions
How do I avoid getting a burst pipe in the cold weather? To avoid a burst pipe, simply follow these steps: λ λ λ λ λ λ Keep your home as warm as possible even if you are out. Lag pipes in exposed or draughty places. Leave your roofspace trap door open to let warm air flow in. Make sure taps are turned off properly, especially last thing at night. Never use an electric, gas or paraffin heater in the roofspace. Find out where your stopcock is in case you need to turn off your water supply urgently.

If a pipe bursts: λ Turn off the main stopcock. λ If you cannot stop the flow of water, open all the cold taps to drain the system. λ If a pipe from the storage tank bursts, turn off the stop valve in the storage tank, turn on all hot taps to drain the system, allow the fire to burn out or turn the heating off until a plumber gets there. How do I prevent my oil tank from leaking? Leaks from oil tanks and boilers are more common in the colder months. Follow these steps to help prevent this from happening: λ Check the condition of the tank and boiler on a regular basis. λ Look out for staining and oil smells. λ Become familiar with your normal oil usage rate. A dramatic increase in the rate of oil being used would indicate a leak. λ Have your heating system serviced by a competent professional on a regular basis. λ Never ignore the problem. Taking quick action will save you money.
For more information on oil leaks contact our Public health and housing team on 9027 0428 or visit our website

Kids – get into the Grove
Last month we opened a soft play area in Grove Wellbeing Centre. We also have a new playground at
the park there. The indoor play area has everything from tunnels and slides to a ball pit and climbing nets. Whether you want to amuse the kids on a rainy day or hold a birthday party, this is the ideal venue for you. The playground encourages children to get active. It features a range of exciting play equipment catering for all ages including a hi-tech, interactive piece of equipment which tests your fitness and reaction time and gives you a score. Register your score at for your chance to win an MP3 player!
For more information on the facilities available at Grove Wellbeing Centre, go to

Don’t alarm the neighbours!
Intruder alarms are a great way of protecting a home from burglaries. However, some alarms can
go off for no apparent reason and when there‟s no-one at home, the noise can be very irritating for neighbours. When we receive a complaint about a noisy alarm, we check any details we have about the property. Where possible, we contact key holders to come and sort the problem out. However, without key holder details, we may have to get an engineer to silence the alarm. A locksmith may also be required if the alarm cannot be switched off from outside the building. You could end up getting billed for the costs incurred to silence your faulty alarm, whether it‟s a dwelling or commercial building. Follow the tips below to help protect your property and make sure your neighbours are not disturbed: λ Make sure your alarm is fitted with a cut-out device to stop it ringing after a period of 20 minutes. λ Have your alarm system checked regularly under contract by a professional company. λ Ring our Noise Hotline on 9037 3006 for a key holder registration form. The key holders must be contactable by phone, live within 20 minutes travel time and know how the alarm system works. Also, don‟t forget to notify us if you move or change key holder details.
If you are bothered by noise, you can call our Noise Hotline during the day or night on 9037 3006 or go to

Members of Belfast City Council
(showing political affiliation as elected in May 2005)
ALL - Alliance DUP - Democratic Unionist Party IND - Independent PUP - Progressive Unionist Party SDLP - Social Democratic and Labour Party SF - Sinn Féin UUP - Ulster Unionist Party

Balmoral Electoral Area
(Blackstaff, Finaghy, Malone, Musgrave, Upper Malone, Windsor) Cllr Thomas Ekin All Cllr Niall Kelly SDLP Cllr Bernie Kelly SDLP Cllr Jim Kirkpatrick, Cllr Ruth Patterson DUP Cllr Bob Stoker UUP Tel: 028 9020 1714 Tel: 078 2873 3125 Mob: 078 2453 5000 Tel: 028 9045 7341 Mob: 078 1012 0553 Mob: 078 7635 8893

Castle Electoral Area
(Bellevue, Castleview, Cavehill, Chichester Park, Duncairn, Fortwilliam) Cllr David Browne, UUP Deputy Lord Mayor (until June „09) Cllr Patrick Convery SDLP Cllr Ian Crozier DUP Cllr Tierna Cunningham SF Cllr Nigel Dodds OBE DUP Cllr Cathal Mullaghan SDLP

Tel: 028 9077 1757 Tel: 028 9028 9380 Mob: 077 7165 7704 Tel: 028 9074 0817 Tel: 028 9077 4774 Tel: 028 9032 0202

Court Electoral Area
(Crumlin, Glencairn, Highfield, Shankill, Woodvale) Cllr Diane Dodds DUP Cllr William Humphrey DUP Cllr Frank McCoubrey IND Cllr Elaine McMillen DUP Cllr Hugh Smyth OBE PUP Tel: 028 9074 4008 Tel: 028 9074 4008 Tel: 028 9032 0202 Mob: 077 2070 9405 Tel: 028 9032 6233

Laganbank Electoral Area
(Ballynafeigh, Botanic, Rosetta, Shaftesbury, Stranmillis) Cllr Alex Maskey SF Cllr Patrick McCarthy SDLP Cllr Michael McGimpsey UUP Cllr Peter O‟Reilly SDLP Cllr Christopher Stalford DUP Tel: 028 9024 3194 Mob: 077 1164 4275 Tel: 028 9024 5801 Tel: 028 9064 6622 Mob: 07791 597918

Lower Falls Electoral Area
(Beechmount, Clonard, Falls, Upper Springfield, Whiterock) Cllr Janice Austin SF Cllr Máire Cush SF Tel: 028 9050 8989 Tel: 028 9050 8989

Cllr Tom Hartley, SF Lord Mayor (until June „09) Cllr Francis McCann SF Cllr Marie Moore SF

Tel: 028 9050 8989 Tel: 028 9050 8989 Tel: 028 9050 8989

Oldpark Electoral Area
(Ardoyne, Ballysillan, Cliftonville, Ligoniel, New Lodge, Waterworks) Cllr Fred Cobain UUP Cllr Daniel Lavery SF Cllr Alban Maginness SDLP Cllr Nelson McCausland DUP Cllr Margaret McClenaghan SF Cllr Conor Maskey SF Tel: 028 9032 0202 Tel: 028 9074 0817 Tel: 028 9022 0520 Tel: 028 9071 7072 Tel: 028 9071 3272 Tel: 028 9074 0817

Pottinger Electoral Area
(Ballymacarrett, Bloomfield, Orangefield, Ravenhill, The Mount, Woodstock) Cllr May Campbell DUP Cllr Sir Reg Empey OBE UUP Cllr Máire Hendron ALL Cllr Margaret McKenzie DUP High Sheriff Cllr Sammy Wilson DUP Cllr John Kyle PUP Tel: 028 9087 8587 Tel: 028 9065 8217 Tel: 028 9065 0052 Mob: 077 0251 3287 Tel: 028 2826 7722 Tel: 028 9022 5040

Upper Falls Electoral Area
(Andersonstown, Falls Park, Glencolin, Glen Road, Ladybrook) Cllr Tim Attwood SDLP Cllr Michael Browne SF Cllr Paul Maskey SF Cllr Chrissie Mhic Giolla Mhín SF Cllr Gerard O‟Neill SF Tel: 028 9024 7700 Tel: 028 9080 8404 Tel: 028 9080 8404 Tel: 028 9080 8404 Tel: 028 9080 8404

Victoria Electoral Area
(Ballyhackamore, Belmont, Cherryvalley, Island, Knock, Stormont, Sydenham) Cllr Ian Adamson OBE UUP Cllr Wallace Browne, Lord Browne of Belmont DUP Cllr Mervyn Jones ALL Cllr Naomi Long ALL Cllr Robin Newton DUP Cllr Jim Rodgers OBE Cllr David Rodway DUP Tel: 028 9042 1005 Tel: 028 9065 8301 Tel: 028 9047 3420 Tel: 028 9047 2004 Tel: 028 9045 9500 Mob: 078 0188 2478 Tel: 028 9032 0202

Visit for more information on your local councillors.

Your essential guide to Belfast City Council events
For more information on events go to Please note all events are free unless you see the £ symbol. All details are correct at time of going to press, but we advise you to call in advance to check the details.

Student month £
1-30 November Belfast Zoological Gardens Students take a break from your studies and use our discounted offer. Buy one adult admission and receive a second free. Both must present valid student ID. Call 9077 6277 or go to

Cinemagic £
13 November- 5 December Various venues Fantastic film screenings, including premieres, international feature films, documentaries, foreign language films and education screenings. For more information go to

Primal Scream in concert £
16 November St George‟s Market This Scottish alternative rock group promote their ninth album „Beautiful Future‟. More information and tickets from

Commonwealth Ten Pin Bowling Championships
17-23 November Dundonald Ice Bowl Competitors from 16 countries take part in the fourth Commonwealths, which have previously been held in Scotland, Australia and Cyprus. More information from

Christmas lights switch-on
18 November City Hall Festivities kick off at 7.30pm. This will include a guest compere, comic characters and a mystery top pop act. What better way to start the Christmas season with a night that all the family can enjoy.

Continental Market
19 November - 20 December City Hall Grounds Returning to City Hall grounds, Monday to Wednesday 10am to 8pm, Thursday to Saturday 10am to 10pm and Sunday 1pm to 6pm. Also a chance to preview the stalls on 18 November, after the lights switch on. Visit or call Belfast Welcome Centre on 9024 6609

Des Bishop £
22 November, 8pm Waterfront Prepare for a blistering night of stand-up as Des explores his Irish identity. Call 9033 4455 or go to

Katherine Jenkins in concert with Ulster Orchestra £
24 November, 7.45pm Waterfront Katherine Jenkins represents a new genre of opera superstar. The double classical BRIT Award winner has sung on some of the world‟s most prestigious stages. Call 9033 4455 or go to

Duffy in concert £
25 November St George‟s Market This female welsh artist debuted at number one on the UK Album Charts with her album, Rockferry, so far selling over 3 million copies worldwide. More information and tickets from

Robin Hood - Christmas pantomime £
29 November - 10 January Waterfront Booed by the bad - cheered by the good: it‟s Robin Hood! Can Maid Marion and Ye Girlz From Ye Wood save the forest (and themselves) from destruction? Come along to the Waterfront this Christmas and find out! Tickets £15, concessions £10, groups (15+) £9.50, family ticket £45.00 (4 tickets, max 2 adults). Call 9033 4455 or go to

Soweto Gospel Choir £
30 November, 8pm Belfast Waterfront Witness the unique and inspirational power of African gospel music. Call 9033 4455 or go to

KICKmas Box Special £
1 December, 7pm Belfast Waterfront Experience the ultimate in stand-up fighting as World Championship kickboxing and Thai boxing returns to Belfast Waterfront. Call 9033 4455 or go to

Duke Special £
2 December St George‟s Market The enigmatic and eclectic singer-songwriter will be joined by a number of special guests for what promises to be a homecoming to remember. More information and tickets from www.xxxx

Shakin’ Stevens £
2 December, 8pm Waterfront Don‟t miss this rare chance to see and hear Shaky performing some of the classic hits he has recorded during his career, together with songs from his current album, Now Listen, and other great songs. Call 9033 4455 or go to

Dionne Warwick £
3 December, 8pm Belfast Waterfront Music legend Dionne Warwick leads the audience through her celebrated career spanning four decades. Call 9033 4455 or go to

Paddy McGuinness, Plus You! Live £
4 December, 8pm Waterfront You‟ve seen him in Phoenix Nights and Max and Paddy‟s Road to Nowhere - now see Paddy McGuinness‟s live show. Call 9033 4455 or go to

Christmas Late Night Art Party
4 December Selected art galleries A festive treat when some of Belfast‟s public art galleries remain open until 9pm. Take the opportunity to buy local artwork for presents or enjoy free mulled wine and mince pies. Galleries taking part include Belfast Exposed (Donegall Street), the Naughton Gallery at Queen‟s and PLACE (Fountain Street). Call 9024 6609 or go to

Christmas Craft Fair and Market
5 -7 December St George‟s Market This popular seasonal fair and market returns this year with a wide range of gourmet foods and festive crafts. Open Friday 6am to 2pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 5pm. With live entertainment on Saturday and Sunday. The Market Link bus will operate both days. For more information go to

Community Christmas Fair
5 December, 6.30pm-8.30pm Ligoniel Community Centre Includes a performance by Streetwise Community Circus, a visit from Santa and festive stalls. Contact Ulrike on 9071 9337

A Magical Christmas at Belfast Zoological Gardens £
6, 7 and 13-21 December Belfast Zoological Gardens Festive family fun at the zoo. For full details, see page 38.

Christmas Tours at Belfast Castle
6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21 December at 10.30am 9, 15 and 22 December at 19.30pm Belfast Castle Relive the atmosphere of the days gone by with an illustrated talk depicting the various stages of the castle‟s development. Complimentary tea, coffee and mince pies. Tours are free of charge but booking is essential. Contact 9077 6925 or

Daniel O’ Donnell £
8 December, 7.30pm Belfast Waterfront The popular Irish singer returns to Belfast Waterfront. Call 9033 4455 or go to

Belfast Education and Library Board Christmas Concert £
10 December, 7.30pm Belfast Waterfront Students from the School of Music present the annual Belfast Education and Library Board Christmas concert with seasonal music from the City of Belfast Youth Orchestra, Youth Chorale, Junior Music Centre and other groups. Call 9033 4455 or go to

Christmas dinner
11 December, 1pm-6pm Woodvale Christmas Dinner Open to pensioners from the Woodvale area. Includes a meal, ballots and music all included. Contact Dorothy on 9035 1548

Christmas dinner £
11 December, 1pm-4.30pm Hammer Community Centre Open to pensioners from the local community. Call 9033 2860

Arrival - The Music of ABBA Live £
11 December, 8pm Belfast Waterfront Arrival is the largest touring ABBA show in the world. Includes original musicians from ABBA performing favourite classics like Dancing Queen and Waterloo. Call 9033 4455 or go to

The Script £
14 December St George‟s Market The Dublin trio arrive in Belfast hot on the heels of their self-titled debut album, which went straight to number one in both the British and Irish charts. More information and tickets from

Geamaireacht £
15-19 December Culturlann, Falls Road This Christmas pantomime will be a laugh a minute for both adults and children alike. A great chance too for visitors to hear the Irish language in a natural setting. Call 9096 4180 or visit

Christmas dinner £
15 December, 6.30pm-9.30pm Concorde Community Centre. Open to anyone. Call 9071 2450.

Scouting for Girls £
15 December St George‟s Market This indie pop band trio will return to Belfast for an end of year party. More information and tickets from

Senior citizens’ Christmas party £
19 December, 2pm-4pm Knocknagoney Community Centre Christmas entertainment and buffet for seniors with proceeds being donated to a designated charity. Call 9076 1432.

New Year’s Eve concert
31 December Belfast City Hall This year the city‟s biggest New Year‟s party will kick off in the grounds of City Hall. Join an eclectic line up of local and international musical talent to bring in the New Year in style.

Cathedral Quarter ‘Out To Lunch’ Festival £
January – dates tbc Cathedral Quarter – Black Box and other venues

Cirque de Glace £
7 - 11 January, 7.45pm (Sunday 5pm), weekend matinées 1pm Waterfront Guaranteed to thrill all ages, Cirque De Glace combines the Olympic standard skating of The Russian Ice Stars with aerial acrobatics and extraordinary circus performances to create a truly unique and mesmerizing show. Opening performance (Wednesday) -: two tickets for the price of one. Group and concession discounts available. Call 9033 4455 or go to

9-11 January Alexandra Park, Blackstaff Way, Ormeau and Palmerston Road recycling centres Recycle your real Christmas tree in exchange for a free gift. Call 0800 0328 100 or go to Keep up to date with Belfast events by signing up to our events newsletter. Go to to join our mailing list.

The handy guide whatabout? gives details of events taking place throughout Belfast – from theatre and exhibitions to comedy and festivals. Pick up your free copy from the Belfast Welcome Centre at 47 Donegall Place or call 9024 6609. You can also go online at
The zoo is open every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. From October to March, the price of a family ticket (two adults and two children) is £18.

Remember to check all events in advance by contacting the venue and booking well ahead. Get Belfast Waterfront‟s new entertainment guide waterfront by calling the box office on 9033 4455. Visit

A Magical Christmas at the zoo


oin the zoo for its Magical Christmas event on 6-7 and 13-21 December.

There‟s a chance to get a gift from Santa before he heads back to Lapland to prepare for Christmas. You can also watch the animals eat their Christmas dinner and try your hand at making seasonal crafts. And to really get into the festive spirit, join in the carol singing at the new visitor centre and enter a special winter quiz. This event costs £6 per child and booking is essential. Normal zoo admission applies.
Call 9077 6277 ext 207, or email with details of the children, their ages and your preferred date and time.

Latest arrival
Kwikila, the tree kangaroo is the latest arrival to the zoo.
Tree kangaroos are from Papua New Guinea and Indonesia and they enjoy a mountainous rainforest habitat. Unlike other kangaroos, tree kangaroos can be quite clumsy on land. But in the trees they have a super jumping ability.
For more information on Kwikila, phone 9077 6277 or email

A Abandoned Vehicles Asbestos Household collection B Bin and container sales Births - Registration Blue Bin Enquiries Building Control General enquiries Technical helpline Bulky household waste and special collections 9027 0656 9027 0656 9027 0656 9027 0274 0800 032 8100 9027 0650 9027 0432 9027 0230

C Cemeteries Office Mon-Thur 8.30am-5.00pm (Fri 4.30pm) Sat 8.30am-12.30pm 9027 0296 City Cemetery 9032 3112 City of Belfast Golf Course 9084 3799 Civic Amenity Sites 9027 0656 Civil Partnerships 9027 0274 Community Safety 9027 0469 Community Services 9027 0505 Complaints Helpline 9027 0270 Consumer Advice 9032 8260 Consumer Safety 9027 0428 Corporate Policy Unit 9027 0519 Crematorium 9044 8342 Culture and Arts 9027 0461 D Dangerous Structures Dead Animal Removal Deaths - Registration District Policing Partnership Dog Warden Service Dundonald Cemetery E Economic Development Entertainment Licensing Environmental Health Equality Officer (Freefone) EU Unit Events Belfast Welcome Centre Leisure and Sporting Parks

9027 0650 9027 0297 9027 0274 9027 0556 9027 0431 9048 0193

9027 0482 9027 0650 9027 0428 0800 0855 412 9027 0317 9024 6609 9027 0345 9091 8768

F Fly Poster Removal Fly Tipping (Illegal dumping) Food Safety Forest of Belfast Officer Freedom of Information G Good Relations Graffiti Removal

9027 0230 9027 0230 9027 0468 9027 0350 9027 0639

9027 0663 9027 0230

H Health and Environmental Services Emergency (after hours) Mobile number 07850 499622 Health Education 9027 0469 Home Safety 9027 0469 I Industrial Estates J Jobline L Landfill Site and Waste Transfer Station N Night-time Noise Hotline P Parks Pest Control Pollution Control Port Health Postal Numbering Public Conveniences Public Health and Housing

9027 0510

9027 0481

9037 0301

9037 3006

9032 0202 9027 0431 9027 0428 9035 1199 9027 0650 9027 0656 9027 0428

R Recycling Centres 0800 0328 100 Recycling Helpline 0800 0328 100 Refuse Collection Customer Contact Centre 9027 0230 Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships 9027 0274 Regulatory Services 9027 0469 (Enforcement of alcohol, street trading and sale of tobacco and Sunday trading bye-laws) Roselawn Cemetery 9044 8288

S Smoke Hotline Street Cleansing Enquiries Street Naming T Tourism U Ulster Hall (currently closed) W Waste Disposal Accounts Waste Management Service Waterfront Administration and enquiries Box Office and bookings Weddings Workplace Health and Safety

9027 0420 9027 0230 9027 0650

9027 0228

9033 4400

9027 0657 9032 0202 9033 4400 9033 4455 9027 0274 9027 0428

Council venues and buildings
Belfast Castle Belfast Waterfront Belfast Welcome Centre Cecil Ward Building Adelaide Exchange Adelaide Exchange (textphone) Consumer Advice Centre, 14 Wellington Place Malone House Smithfield Market St George‟s Market Zoo information line 9077 6925 9033 4400 9024 6609 9032 0202 9032 0202 9027 0405 9032 8260 9068 1246 9032 3248 9043 5704 9077 6277

Leisure and recreation centres
Andersonstown Leisure Centre Avoniel Leisure Centre Ballysillan Leisure Centre Beechmount Leisure Centre Falls Leisure Centre Indoor Tennis Centre and Ozone Complex Grove Wellbeing Centre Loughside Recreation Centre Olympia Leisure Centre Shankill Leisure Centre Whiterock Leisure Centre Outdoor Pitch Hotline 9072 6311 9045 1564 9091 8731 9032 8631 9050 0510 9045 8024 9072 6363 9078 1524 9091 8746 9091 8750 9023 3239 9027 0677

Some other services for which the council is not responsible
Department of the Environment (DOE) Water Pollution Health
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

0800 807060

9056 5656

Belfast Education and Library Board

9056 4000

Planning DOE Planning Service Rate Collection Rate Collection Agency Roads Department for Regional Development (DRD) Roads Service Schools
Belfast Education and Library Board

9025 2800

9025 2252

9054 0540

9056 4000 9042 6972

Council for Catholic Maintained Schools Social Housing
Northern Ireland Housing Executive

9024 0588

Street Lighting (Fault Reporting) DRD Water Northern Ireland Water Customer Service Enquiries Leakline (water mains only)

9025 3051

08457 440088 08000 282011

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