Venue: Harrison Road Methodist Church Hall, Harrison Road, Leicester LE4 6QN
Contact: Punum Patel. Ward Community Engagement Officer 0116 454 6575. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Jason Tyler, Democratic Support Officer: 0116 4546359. Email: email@example.com
INTRODUCTIONS AND APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
The Chair will introduce those present and make any necessary announcements.
The Chair and any other Councillors who are present will make any declarations as required by the Councillors Code of Conduct.
Councillor Willmott in the Chair.
The Chair introduced himself and welcomed all present. At the invitation of the Chair, the other Ward Councillors and the officers present introduced themselves.
No interests were declared.
ACTION LOG OF PREVIOUS MEETING PDF 839 KB
The Action Log of the meeting held on 16 July 2019 is attached for information and discussion.
Item 5, “Local Policing Unit”
All to note that the Head teacher at Sandfield Close Primary School had expressed sympathy with those trying to park in Sandfield Close. The car park at the pub had been available for parking for many years, but had to be closed due to problems with fly tipping and drug use. The church allowed use of its car park, but this filled up quickly. The school was working with the Council and the Police to encourage parents not to use cars to take children to school.
Ward Councillors to investigate reports that the lease of the pub car park required the car park to be available for use by the public.
Item 8, “Community Meeting Budget”
All to note that the disabled access ramp referred to was for the Recreation Centre, not the library.
Ward Councillors to liaise with officers to ensure that a disabled access ramp is included in the refurbishment work being carried out at the Recreation Centre.
Councillors will provide an update on their recent activities in the Ward.
All to note:
· A scheme of improvements for the recreation centre and library have been approved. Work on the library is scheduled to begin on 11 November and last for five weeks. The library will be closed during this time. Work on the recreation centre will begin when those on the library have finished;
· Improvements at the recreation centre will include decorating and providing a new carpet and lighting;
· Ward Councillors have agreed to set aside £3,000 from both this year’s and next year’s Ward Community Budget towards an outdoor gym at Upperton Park. In addition, £6,000 will be funded from Section 106 developer contributions and £6,000 from the City Council’s Parks service;
· Consultation on the Harrison Road parking scheme has ended and the scheme is scheduled to be implemented next year;
· The pavilion at Rushey Field is to be demolished, helping to make the area safer;
· Someone was threatened with abduction at an organisation’s premises in Glen Street by a person claiming to be a Police Officer. When the Police got there the perpetrator had left;
· Narborough Road will be closed for one night for Navratri. Appropriate permissions for this have been obtained and insurance taken out. Residents in the vicinity of the closure will be advised of details in due course;
· An application for a Ward Community grant has been received from some parents concerned about knife crime, (see item 17, “Community Meeting Budget”, below). Work on this also is being led by one of the City Council’s Assistant Mayors;
· Ward Councillors are aware of problems being experienced in the Jacklyn Drive area with empty nitrous oxide cannisters, bottles of whisky and needles being left by people parking cars in the side streets. All agencies are working together to find a way of dealing with this;
· Ward Councillors are supporting residents in Bath Street to install their own CCTV following anti-social behaviour there;
· The Council does not have sufficient funding to install and monitor CCTV in all locations where it is requested, but the wards in East Leicester have funded a mobile camera that can be moved to different locations as needed;
· Complaints have been received about parking on footpaths at the industrial estate on Melton Road. Enforcement officers have visited the area to address the problem; and
· It is hoped that Diwali lights eventually can be extended up to Melton Road. No Council funding is available for this, so sponsorship will need to be found.
Ward Councillors to ask officers to display a schedule of the improvement works to be made to the recreation centre in the centre, so that users can see what work is to be done.
LOCAL POLICING UPDATE
A Police Officer will be at the meeting to provide an update on local policing issues in the Ward.
All to note:
· Due to staff changes, Sgt Harland, based in Hamilton, is overseeing the Local Policing Unit until Sgt Millward joins it at the end of October;
· PC Ben Broad has been replaced by PC Mark Barlow;
· There has been a spate of burglaries and vehicle crime in the east Leicester area, due in part to the time of year and a number of previous offenders having just been released from prison. Officers are targeting relevant areas to address this;
· As burglaries tend to take place during the night, Police shift patterns have been adjusted to account for this;
· The Police need issues to be reported to enable them to target areas and/or take remedial action. For example, pod cameras can be put in areas for a short time in response to anti-social behaviour, but evidence is needed in order for this to be done;
· Witnesses should not feel afraid to report crime, as legislation to prevent witness intimidation is very powerful;
· The Police do not deal with parking issues, except where vehicles are causing an obstruction. Vehicles parked with no MoT or tax are the responsibility of different agencies, but once a vehicle’s tax is out of date by at least two months and one day the Police can remove that vehicle;
· The Police officers for a particular area can be found through the Police website; and
· If issues are not ones dealt with by the Police, they can be reported to the Ward Councillors.
Everyone asked to report suspicious activity to the Police.
Police asked to be present at Ward Councillor surgeries where possible, in order to respond to Police issues raised there.
CITY WARDEN UPDATE
The City Warden will give an update on issues in the Ward.
All to note:
· The Police are aware of people drinking at the junction of Melton Road and Flax Road. However, there is concern that moving them on could lead to the drinkers getting in to cars, resulting in drunken driving. A solution to this is being sought;
· CCTV is being used to combat fly-tipping at Bath Street and the Lockerbie Avenue shops;
· The main focus at present in the Ward is bins that are being left on streets. Most people are moving them when they receive Notices, so it has only been necessary to issue three Fixed Penalty Notices;
· Community Protection Orders are being used to stop people leaving items on pavements and to address dog fouling and bird feeding;
· Work is ongoing to resolve issues caused by untidy private land. Good results have been achieved in Kintyre Drive and some land will be entered in November when appropriate procedures have been completed;
· Abandoned vehicles can be reported directly to the DVLA on-line; and
· The City Warden has undertaken a “plain clothes patrol”, but it was not possible to resolve many issues.
All encouraged to contact the City Warden about environmental issues in the Ward.
City Warden asked to liaise with residents and the Parks team to have a plastic (or other suitable material) sign forbidding bird feeding erected on the pathway identified.
City Warden to investigate whether there is potential for a number of trees to be planted at the junction of Magnus Road and Hazel Road.
An officer from Highways Maintenance will be present to provide an update.
All to note:
· Vehicles were permitted to make U-turns near 437/439 Melton Road, but the location had been added to the list of sites for consideration for the installation of bollards;
· Melton Road, from the Troon Way junction, had been added to the list of locations for prioritisation for the installation of vehicle activated speed signs;
· Three bollards had been installed outside the Swaminarayana Temple on Catherine Street, to prevent parking there;
· The parking scheme for Harrison Road was at the detailed design stage. Flax Road had been included in the scheme;
· The filter traffic light at the Troon Way / Gleneagles Avenue junction was an intelligent system. It allowed 7 seconds between red and green, unless there was a long queue of traffic, when the time increased to 10 seconds;
· The Council has been unable to install new disabled person’s parking bays on roads for some time, as it has had to wait for changes in the regulations governing this to be announced. A decision on how the Council will proceed under the new regulations is awaited.
Highways officers to:
a) Liaise with Ward Councillors about concerns that the traffic light system at the Troon Way / Gleneagles Avenue junction did not allow sufficient time for vehicles to turn, due to the speed of traffic entering the junction from some directions; and
b) Consider including Sutton Avenue in the list of roads suitable for prioritisation for changing to one-way traffic.
COMMUNITY MEETING BUDGET
Councillors are reminded that under the Council’s Code of Conduct they should declare any interest they may have in budget applications.
An update will be given on the Ward Community Budget. A summary of grant applications submitted for consideration since the last meeting is attached.
All to note that six grant applications have been supported since the last meeting, leaving a balance of £3,732.
Grant applicants to note that:
· All grant applications must be made on-line. The Ward and Community Engagement Officers can assist with this;
· Grant applicants do not have to be formal organisations, but all projects must benefit residents of the Ward; and
· Projects will part, not fully, funded.
All to note the thanks given by the Highfield Rangers football club for the financial assistance received from the Ward Community Grants fund.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
a) Former Police Station, Melton Road
A planning application is being considered to change the use of the former Police station premises on Melton Road to a religious use. The application is for it to become a “side temple” for a city centre temple, as some potential users of the main temple are unable to get there.
Anyone wishing to know more details of this planning application can contact the Council, either via its website or by telephone.
b) Suggested Joint Ward Meetings
All to note that, in relation to a resident’s suggestion that joint meetings be held between the Rushey Mead and Belgrave Wards, the Ward Councillors already work together and joint meetings are held for issues of mutual interest. Between them, the two wards cover a large area, so meeting separately enables a local focus to be retained.
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 7.50 pm