Agenda and minutes

Rushey Mead Community Meeting - Thursday, 14 March 2013 6:30 pm

Venue: Edgehill Road Methodist Church, Edgehill Road, Leicester LE4 9EA

Contact: Julie Harget 

No. Item




There were no apologies for absence.



The first main item on theagenda is Declarations of Interest where Councillors have to say if there is anything on the agenda they have a personal interest in. For example if a meeting was due to discuss a budget application put forward by a community group and one of the Councillors was a member of that group, they would not be able to take part in the decision on that budget application.


Councillors are asked to declare any interest they may have in the business on the agenda, and/or indicate that Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.




There were no declarations of interest.



The minutes of the previous Rushey Mead Community Meeting, held on 10 January 2013, are attached and Councillors are asked to confirm them as a correct record.



The minutes of the previous Rushey Mead Community Meeting held on 10 January 2013 were agreed as a correct record.




Sainsbury’s Development


At the previous community meeting on 10 January 2013, a query was raised relating to a ‘stopping up order’. Members of the public were given a written update on this issue and the general progress of the development, as follows:


A closure under section 247 of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 was advertised on 14th January 2013 the closing date for representations was 11th February. Closures under section 247 were undertaken by the National Casework Team at the Department for Transport, the procedure which they have to follow is shown in section 252 of the 1990 Act.


With regards to advertising, the DfT had to publish a notice in the Leicester Mercury (this was carried in the edition dated 14th January) and the London Evening Gazette.  There were also a number of statutory consultees who the Dft had to serve notice upon. Notices also had to be displayed at prominent positions near the highway to be stopped up. In addition notices were also displayed in the Customer Service Centre at New Walk Centre.


A further update on the current position of the development was received prior to the meeting. This explained that the council had received a discharge of condition application for two of the conditions attached to the planning consent for the Melton Road site. When planning permission was granted, it was subject to certain conditions which required further details to be submitted and approved by the council, either before the commencement of the development or before it was occupied.   The conditions in question related to tree protection and vegetation clearance. The details of these were being agreed with our Trees and Woodlands Section. Further discharge of condition applications were expected this month.


First Leicester


The Chair explained that at the previous community meeting there had been some discussion relating to the First Leicester bus service to Rushey Mead. An email had been sent to First Leicester informing them of the concerns that had been raised and to also ask them to amend the route.  First Leicester had not responded to the email but had attended a recent Belgrave and Latimer Community Meeting to discuss similar issues. The Chair added that he did not feel that there was much hope of First Leicester being able to make the changes as requested by the residents.



Suzanne Collins, Property Lettings Manager at Leicester City Council, will be present to give an update on the extensive changes that are being made to welfare and benefits.


Mike Watson, Income Collection Manager and Suzanne Collins, Property Lettings Manager were present to provide an update on the changes to the welfare and benefit system. Information relating to the forthcoming changes was distributed at the meeting and a copy of this leaflet is attached at the back of these minutes.


The meeting heard that the changes were brought in by the Government and the council had no choice but to implement the new changes. The reforms affected those people predominately of working age.


The forthcoming changes included the following:


Council tax benefit changes


Council tax benefit would be abolished from 1 April 2013 and would be replaced by a new council tax reduction scheme. From April 2013 each working age household would have to pay towards their own council tax. People who had not paid in the past because they had received maximum council tax benefit, would now be required to pay something.


Benefit Capping


The weekly amount of benefits (including housing benefit) would be capped at a maximum of £500 for a family and £350 for a single person, although there were exceptions to this. It was estimated that nearly 600 households in Leicester may face a reduction in their benefit as a result of the government’s reforms.


Bedroom tax


From April 2013, people who lived in council housing or a housing association property and were classed as under occupying would get a reduction in housing benefit. Houses with one extra bedroom would result in 14% less housing benefit (about £12) per week.


A question was raised as to the situation for people of pensionable age where they had a spare bedroom and Mike explained that generally people aged over 62 years of age would not be affected by bedroom tax.


Universal Credit


This benefit would replace income support, job seeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, housing benefit and tax credits. Recipients would no longer receive fortnightly payments, but would receive all the money in the form of one payment, which would be paid once a month in arrears. People would also be required to set their own budget and pay their rent themselves.  Universal Credit had already been introduced in 6 pilot sites around the country and the scheme was due to be rolled from October 2013 onwards.


The meeting then received an overview of the position in Leicester and how many people would be affected.  Members of the public were assured that staff at the council were making every effort to offer support to people affected by the changes. Staff had carried out approximately 700 home visits, to raise awareness of the changes and more visits were planned. There had also been letter drops and advice surgeries.  The council were also working with financial institutions such as credit unions. Work was also taking place on the development of Credit Union Budgeting Accounts (CUBAs) as a way to help people manage their own budgets.


Help was also available through the council and a variety of agencies as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.



The City Warden for Rushey Mead will provide an update on street scene enforcement issues in the area.


Jethro Swift and Mo Patel, City Wardens for Rushey Mead, Belgrave and Latimer Wards were present at the meeting and provided an update on the issues they had been dealing with recently. These included the following:


·         Increased patrols on Gipsy Lane, Nicklaus Road and Lockerbie Avenue due to littering problems there. One fixed penalty notice had been issued for littering on Nicklaus Road.


·         The shrubbery in the planters on Nicklaus Road had been examined and there were plans to have the shrubbery removed and replaced with flowers. However the planters were damaged and in need of repair before any further work could be carried out. To this effect, the Handy Person service had been contacted.


·         The abandoned car on Rosedale Avenue had been removed.


·         Patrols in Watermead Park were on-going to educate and take enforcement action against people who were feeding the birds inappropriately.


·         There was a major dog fouling issue within the ward, and work was being carried out in an attempt to resolve the problem. The Wardens would be grateful for any further information regarding this issue.


There was some discussion concerning untaxed vehicles on Barkby Road and Dunbar Road.  The Police reported that they had contacted the DVLA, but other than that, they did not have the powers to take any action. There were concerns that the cars parked on the road were for sale. The City Wardens responded that they could take action where cars for sale were parked on the highway and the Chair asked that the Police to talk to the Jethro and Mo to explain where precisely the problem was



Members of the community will receive an update on local policing and community safety issues.


Police Sergeant Danny Paddock provided an update on policing issues in the Rushey Mead area.  Ps Paddock made the following points:


·         Over the last 3 months there had been 140 crimes (compared to 150 last year).


·         The detection rate target has been exceeded.


·         At the previous meeting in January, there had been concern over anti-social behaviour at the shops on Lockerbie Avenue. There had been increased police patrols there and this strategy appeared to be effective.


·         In respect of the parking problems at the local schools, there were four primary schools and two secondary schools in relatively close proximity. It was unfortunately inevitable that this would create parking difficulties. However, the police no longer had the powers to enforce parking as this was now the responsibility of the council.


There was some discussion relating to young people and anti-social behaviour. A member of the public commented that there had been a problem with young people playing football around Barkby Road and Dunbar Road, but the Police had helped with the issue and their efforts had alleviated the situation.


A comment was made that children and young people played out more when the weather was better, and there was likely to be increased activity in the area around Fairfax Road and the shops on Gipsy Lane in the summer. Ps Paddock responded that there was an anti-social behaviour police car which patrolled hot spots in the area. They were aware of the problem, but tried to resolve it by engaging with young people rather than by adopting a zero tolerance approach.


Members of the public were reminded that the councillors held monthly surgeries at the Rushey Mead Recreation Centre on Gleneagles Avenue, and people would also be able to talk to the Police there as a member of the local policing team would also be present.



Councillors are reminded that they will need to declare any interest they may have in budget applications, and/or indicate that Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.


The following funding applications have been received:


Ref 2869. Easter play scheme / activities session


Applicant: Mr Vijay Patel, Activities co-ordinator and founder of Live Sport


Amount requested: £1000


The applicant has submitted the following information in support of their funding application:




To organise an ‘Easter Playscheme’ with sports activities sessions for young people in the Rushey Mead area.  These sessions will take place during the Easter holiday over 2 weeks, 10 sessions are planned and each session is 3 hours duration. We will be using qualified coaches who currently coach for livesport and also activity leaders who will be supporting the running of the playscheme. 


25th March to 6th April 2013, Mon-Fri, 9am to 12pm each day.

To take place at the Sports Hall at Soar Valley College


To encourage young people aged 13 plus to participate in multi-sports sessions. These sessions will help young people to keep active and healthy.  These sessions will bring young people in the area together and keep them off the streets.  The sessions will encourage team building through fun sporting activities.  Publicity planned via Rushey Mead and Soar Valley secondary schools and livesport website



I received positive feedback from the children and their parents from my Easter 2012 play scheme. As well as the children having fun and keeping active they learn valuable lessons about team work and social skills. Both children and parents have contacted me asking if I would be running a similar scheme this year and if so, could the scheme be held over the 2 weeks rather than the 1 like last year.


Funding is requested as follows:





Estimate or Actual cost

(E or A)?

Request to Ward Meeting


Hire of Sports Hall = £15 per hour x 3 hours x 5 days 




Public Insurance Liability = £2 per day x 4 days




Hire of coach £10x3hrsx4days




Activity leaders

No charge


No charge

Hire of Equipment




Advertising (printing)


















Ref 2870. Proposal: Painting of Rushey Mead Recreation Centre


Applicant: Kirit Vaja – Facility Manager


The applicant has submitted the following information in support of their funding application:




The Rusheymead Recreation Centre is a well used centre in the heart of Rusheymead.


Due to budget limitations, it has not been possible to maintain the standard of the building. The building is badly in need of painting both internal and external in order to enhance and bring it up to standard and make it more welcoming.


The grant applied for will cover the painting of internal/ external areas by property services.


This will not only benefit the centre users but it will  ...  view the full agenda text for item 81.


The Chair presented the community meeting budget and explained that the following applications had been received. The Councillors would make the final decision on whether or not to support the funding applications, although they welcomed comments on the bids from members of the public. The Chair explained that there was a balance of £6966 remaining in the community meeting budget, and the total sum of the bids to be considered at the meeting exceeded this amount.


Ref 2869 Easter play scheme / activities session


Applicant: Mr Vijay Patel, Activities co-ordinator and founder of Live Sport

Amount requested: £1064


The meeting was advised that the original bid was for £1000, but a subsequent bid had been submitted for £1064.


Mr Patel explained that the scheme would provide sports activity sessions for young people in Rushey Mead. Soar Valley College were very supportive of the scheme and offered the use of the sports hall and their equipment. The aim was to promote an active lifestyle and to keep the children and young people off the streets during the Easter holiday.


Councillors indicated that they were in support of the funding application and the Chair added that it was good to hear that the school was benefiting the community in this way.



that the funding application be supported in full to the value of £1064.


Ref 2871 Cleaning the river of litter and flotsam


Applicant: Leicester City Council, Parks Services, Riverside Team

Amount requested: £800 (from Rushey Mead Ward – bid also submitted to other wards.


Councillors indicated that they were in support of this funding application.



                        that the funding application be supported in full to the value of                    £800


Ref 2872 Dance Workout (this funding application was submitted too late for inclusion on the agenda)


Applicant: Lucy Bailey

Amount requested: £1000


The project was to offer two free dance workout sessions per week for a year at the Rushey Mead Recreation Centre. Funding was requested to pay for the hire of the centre. The meeting heard that the sessions were proving to be very popular.


Councillors indicated that they were in support of the funding application.



that the funding application be supported in full to the value of £1000.


Ref: Highfields Rangers Community Family Fun Day (this application was submitted to late to be included on the agenda


Applicant: Highfields Rangers

Amount requested: £1052.98


Samira and Tony from the Highfields Rangers were present and explained that there had been a bit of a ‘shake up’ of the committee and old ideas. They intended was to become more of a presence both to the local and wider community. They added that their venue was generally under used by the community.


They would be holding a community family fun day on 27 May from 12.00 noon to 5.00pm at the Highfield Rangers on 443 Gleneagles Avenue to which everyone was welcome.  Samira explained that the fun day would be similar to a school fete but bigger and with an international flavour.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.




The meeting closed at 7.45 pm.