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Old November 21st, 2017, 01:36 AM   #6161
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More often than not its excellent. Staff are excellent too.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 11:29 AM   #6162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiseJoeyD View Post
A rare stillness to the Lagan.
Never been to Holohans but heard good things.

Loving your photos WiseJoeyD! You always seem to capture the lighting and textures very well!
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Old November 21st, 2017, 01:34 PM   #6163
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Thanks sir
Honestly just luck, and good timing on my walks with the weather and light.

If you're interested the camera's on a Nexus 5X - unfortunately they all have a defect and stop working after a year or so, but I recommend their successor, the first generation Google Pixel. Unbelievable night time photos, they're the best cameraphones going.

Waxing lyrical here, but the other day I was called a pessimistic hipster contrarian*. I genuinely argue I'm none of those, mainly by pointing to my pictures. I love the city and what it can be. Hopefully it shows through in the photos. I'd post more except it'd look like self-promotion! ("I dub ye narcissistic pessimist hipster!!")

I'm very hopeful and proud of Belfast. I was away for over 3 years and when I came back it was like jumping forward 10 years in time. When I first walked through Victoria Sq it was like an alien mall had landed in Belfast. Seeing Obel too (I know, I know...).

That feeling of awe is something I will always remember and it's something I think about when I look at the projects here. Basically I'm always wondering would it wow the ex-pat? (And yes would it look nice in a photo?)

It's also not just that rush of discovering all the changes in one big bang when you come home - there was that amazing year where first the National, then Dirty Onion, Harp bar, and Hudson all opened. ("What a time to be alive!"). The changes were just jaw dropping and it's really cool to see that unfold in real time.

Belfast is a very unique city, and I haven't found another place with the same variety and range (and safety!). There was more ambition and achievement in those 3 years immediately after the financial crash than the next 5.

Right now I'm excited to see a lot of big projects finally come to fruition in the next year - Windsor House/Grand Central; hypnotoad's excellent writeup made it seem a little better - Erskine house; offices where they should be and a decent design - Expansion of Bullitt; another good place and great use of old bulidings - Titanic Walkway; adding more for tourists to make the area really shine.

Anyway. I'm hardly going to convince anyone who thinks I'm all these nasty things with one post, but cos it's that time of year and everyone of us does it... a picture of Victoria Sq, which had no right to be as amazing as it turned out to be



*I find it pathetic, or a lack of argument or character, if you need to lash out with labels because they don't like something you do. We're not in the school playground anymore like.

(Having said that, we all know the real hipster here is ulster jamsie right?! )
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Old November 21st, 2017, 01:37 PM   #6164
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(Having said that, we all know the real hipster here is ulster jamsie right?! )
The missus tells me I'm too old and fat to be a hipster, joe
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Old November 21st, 2017, 01:53 PM   #6165
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Hey, if anything, the hipsters are probably the most equal opportunity clique going!
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 04:09 PM   #6166
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UK Government to commence negotiations for the Belfast city deal. That's excellent news for the city. It opens the door to a range of central funding options and allows the city to have control over a range of matters and in some instances bypass the ineffective Stormont.

More info on city deals here - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/city-deals


Council wants 'city deal' to take control of improving Belfast infrastructure

Quote:
BELFAST authorities want more powers to take control of transforming the city.

The City Council has made a pitch to government for a so-called city deal similar to those struck by Manchester and Glasgow. Councillors want to take over a variety of responsibilities that currently rest with other government or Stormont departments. The plan could see Belfast earn back tax revenue generated by added economic growth.

Among the council's wish list is to take a lead on major regeneration projects and improving the transport infrastructure such as building rail links between the city and the north's two main airports. Councillors are working with think-tank ResPublica, which has helped formulate the proposals and will now steer the political lobbying efforts. The strategic consultancy played a key role in Greater Manchester's city deal.


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'City Deal' model could fulfil Belfast's potential

IN this column I've previously outlined the potential benefits that could be derived for Northern Ireland by pursuing a 'City Deal' – that's an agreement between government and a city that gives the city certain powers and freedom to take charge and responsibility of decisions that affect its area.

Nearly all major cities in Scotland and Wales have agreed billions of pounds worth of additional benefits to boost their infrastructure and wider economies in the form of City Deals, and even rural areas of Wales are set to benefit. But City Deals had been little-mentioned in Northern Ireland.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 04:22 PM   #6167
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Great news. The sooner major decisions relating to Belfast are as far away from the hopeless Stormont as possible, the better.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 06:56 PM   #6168
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Finally! Most of the Stormont clowns simply cannot escape their sectarian upbringings - and this will always prevent them from making real progress for the province. We need people who're free from the past to be making decisions on these issues.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 08:00 PM   #6169
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Good news, with the right checks and balances it will be glorious to see them okay some of the stalled projects {West Link Interchange intensifies}
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 08:45 PM   #6170
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Good news, with the right checks and balances it will be glorious to see them okay some of the stalled projects {West Link Interchange intensifies}
Hopefully Streets Ahead would fall under their remit.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 08:52 PM   #6171
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Hopefully Streets Ahead would fall under their remit.
Streets Ahead should be long underway by the time this happens. It’s just waiting on a budget allocation. Probably hear more in the coming months now a budget has been approved and discussions for the next financial year are due to commence.


YSI should also have commenced by the time a city deal has been finalised.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 09:16 PM   #6172
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Would we be getting this city deal anyway? or is it only as a result of the DUP's leverage at Stormont?
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 11:12 PM   #6173
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Would we be getting this city deal anyway? or is it only as a result of the DUP's leverage at Stormont?
Belfast City Council were lobbying Parliament and the Government long before the recent election and subsequent DUP supply and confidence arrangement.

The leg work has been put in by Belfast City Council and they should be commended for it.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 11:56 PM   #6174
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As noted, a lot of the Big Projects that will absolutely transform the city (and region - especially YSI) are already 'inflight' before this city deal thing.

I'm curious what projects they'd bring to the table with their Powers. As noted all the big ones are going to go ahead under regional control/budget.

Hoping this doesn't just bring cronyism down a a city level (then again if they want to offer me money to fire up the wood burner... #abandoningPrinciplesNeverFeltSoGood)
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 01:08 AM   #6175
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Originally Posted by WiseJoeyD View Post
As noted, a lot of the Big Projects that will absolutely transform the city (and region - especially YSI) are already 'inflight' before this city deal thing.

I'm curious what projects they'd bring to the table with their Powers. As noted all the big ones are going to go ahead under regional control/budget.

Hoping this doesn't just bring cronyism down a a city level (then again if they want to offer me money to fire up the wood burner... #abandoningPrinciplesNeverFeltSoGood)
It’s not so much about big projects. The major benefit is the centralising of an array of regeneration powers to BCC. That allows the council to operate as a ‘one stop shop’ for regeneration, infrastructure renewal and public land management to name Just a few.

It allows projects to be progressed, whether that be major future projects similar to Victoria Square or smaller localised projects like regeneration around Donegall Street or Sandy Row, without having to go between various NI Government departments.

It’s more than regeneration of course. The deal allows BCC to develop new economic development projects to target deprivation and economic inequality without the bureaucracy of the Executive Office and other departments.

There’s a host of benefits on top of the above that deal with borrowing and finance which allows the city to benefit more directly from wider economic growth and have that money reinvested in Belfast and economic development in areas that require it.

BCC have a good record over the past few years in regard to this sort of thing so I’m hopeful they’ll make the best of the deal and manage it well.

It’s time Belfast took greater charge of its economic development and wider urban renewal.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 03:37 PM   #6176
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Guess we won't be seeing that city deal any time soon!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-42096365
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 05:00 PM   #6177
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Shame..

I understand where the EC is coming from though, it's just disappointing and perhaps a touch premature as we don't know what the future relationship will be.


Quote:
Brexit 'bombshell' for UK's European Capital of Culture 2023 plans

The European Commission has cancelled the UK's turn to host the European Capital of Culture after Brexit - sparking dismay in the UK arts scene. Five places have already bid to hold the title in 2023 - Dundee, Nottingham, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Belfast/Derry.

But the Commission has said the UK will no longer be eligible to have a host city after it leaves the EU in 2019.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 05:19 PM   #6178
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Shame..

I understand where the EC is coming from though, it's just disappointing and perhaps a touch premature as we don't know what the future relationship will be.
Looks like an early sign of things to come. It's also bitterly disappointing to everyone who worked hard on the bid, to be told so close to the finish line that their work was wasted.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 05:28 PM   #6179
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Shame..

I understand where the EC is coming from though, it's just disappointing and perhaps a touch premature as we don't know what the future relationship will be.
I don't understand at all. Norway has no intention of joining the EU yet Stavanger was selected in 2008.

This will be a huge boost for Brexit supporters especially after the UK doubled its offer in the 'diverce' payment.

It just highlights how much contempt the EU has for the UK and will backfire immensely as many people who were still sitting on the fence will realise that the UK is no longer welcome and should really work to getting the best settlement possible for the UK. Switzerland and Norway share huge borders with the EU and don't feel anymore closed off or less European so the NI border issue is complete nonsense, the sooner Brexit is sorted the better for everyone.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 05:36 PM   #6180
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I don't understand at all. Norway has no intention of joining the EU yet Stavanger was selected in 2008.

This will be a huge boost for Brexit supporters especially after the UK doubled its offer in the 'diverce' payment.

It just highlights how much contempt the EU has for the UK and will backfire immensely as many people who were still sitting on the fence will realise that the UK is no longer welcome and should really work to getting the best settlement possible for the UK. Switzerland and Norway share huge borders with the EU and don't feel anymore closed off or less European so the NI border issue is complete nonsense, the sooner Brexit is sorted the better for everyone.
Cities from countries that are part of the EU, European Free Trade Association or European Economic Area can bid.

Switzerland and Norway have a trading arrangement and free movement, something the UK has refused to entertain. The border comparison based on what the UK wants is not comparable.
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