Forward Look from Brown O'Connor Communications - Week Commencing 25 March


Forward Look

  • The Secretary of State Karen Bradley will extend current legislation on decision making at Stormont until 25 August 2019.

  • She will also give evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on Wednesday 27 March.

  • MP’s are due to debate the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement on Monday. A third Meaningful Vote is expected next week.

  • The Northern Ireland Local Government Association has recommended that Council members and officers should commence a Purdah period by Tuesday 26 March at the latest.

  • Planning permission has been granted for the new Belfast Transport Hub.

  • The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is advertising for a new Chief Commissioner.

  • Belfast will host two Business Missions from the Boston area in 2019. The British American Business Council of New England will bring 25 companies in April and the Boston Irish Business Association will bring 20 companies in December.

  • Belfast City Council is working with Invest NI and Catalyst Inc to identify opportunities for development in Nashville.

  • The EU Council will agree to delay Brexit until 22 May if the PM’s withdrawal agreement is passed next week.

  • The UK is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29 March.

Other Stories This Week

  • Inflation has risen for the first time since August, it was 1.9% in February.

  • The services sector in NI grew by 0.9% in real terms over the fourth quarter of 2018.

  • There were 3204 planning applications from October to December 2019, down 2% on the same period in 2017.

  • Total sales by companies in NI were estimated to be worth £66.6bn in 2017.

  • NI Water will increase bills for 80,000 non-domestic customers by 2.7% from April.


Upcoming Key Political and Business Events

  • 25 – 31 March, Imagine Belfast Festival

  • 27 March, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce ‘Top 5 Mistakes Businesses Make When Managing Staff’

  • 27 March, NI Chamber, Danske Bank Export First Exporter Forum

  • 27 March, The Annual KPMG Lecture at Queen’s University with Keynote Speaker, Steve Rowe, Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer

  • 28 March, Digital DNA Awards 2019

  • 28 March, Royal Town Planning Institute NI Annual Dinner 2019

  • 29 March, Brexit Day

  • 1 April, DisruptHR Belfast

  • 1 April, Belfast City Council meeting