Long welcomes agreement on terms for BCC Summer Community Diversionary Fund

Alliance Lisnasharragh Councillor Michael Long has welcomed agreement from the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee over updated terms for Belfast City Council’s Summer Community Diversionary Fund (SCDF) for 2024 at tonight’s Full Council meeting (7 May).

Belfast City Council Michael Long

He has been consistently calling for more effective regulation of this diversionary fund, aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour around bonfires, for example.
The agreed criteria include, for example, that only events scheduled for July and August are eligible for funding, that only applications which reach a certain eligibility threshold can be considered, and that an independent evaluation must be undertaken of any events which do receive the funding.
Cllr Long has said: “Alliance has continually pushed for more openness and transparency at Belfast City Council, especially when it comes to ratepayers’ money and how it is used. With that in mind, coming together with other Councillors to approve these terms is incredibly welcome.
“During the discussion over the last number of months about how to improve the effectiveness of this fund, we as a party have put forward a number of proposals, including the need for independent evaluation, and reiterating the fact that applications which didn’t meet the threshold should not be funded.
“We have also raised what we felt to be an important issue, that different types of local community celebrations and events may also be eligible for funding, which we’re glad to see recognised and reflected in the agreed terms.
“Council should always aim to represent all sections of society, and all the diverse identities within it. We were especially glad to work together with and take insight from the other parties on this, aiming to devise a high-quality scheme that works for everybody, and we will continue to do so going forward.”