Venue: Woodgate Resource Centre, 36 Woodgate, Leicester LE3 5GE
Contact: Anita Clarke, Community Engagement Officer, (Tel: 0116 454 6576 (Email: Anita.Clarke@leicester.gov.uk) Jason Tyler, Democratic Support Officer (Tel: 0116 454 6359) (Email: Jason.Tyler@leicester.gov.uk)
INTRODUCTIONS & 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 Alfonso took the Chair and welcomed those present.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Cassidy, Richard Sutton (City Warden), Martin Fletcher (Head of Highways) and Andy Goadby (Leics Police).
The Action Log of the previous meeting held on 16 March 2016 is attached for information and comment.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 16 March 2016 was agreed and noted.
WATERSIDE REGENERATION PROJECT - UPDATE
The Senior Project Manager for the Waterside regeneration will provide an update on the project.
David Beale (Project manager, Development Team) provided an update on the Waterside Regeneration Project.
He displayed plans and commented that the scheme had progressed well and that works to Friars Mill were nearing completion and had received positive feedback. It was expected that the two new office buildings adjacent to the main Friars Mill building would be completed by the end of 2017 and that once this element of the scheme had been completed, over 200 jobs would be created on the site.
With regard to the wider area, it was reported that the Council had attempted to purchase land required for a comprehensive regeneration of the area, which would provide a further 400 jobs in addition to those at the Friars Mill site. Negotiations with business to ensure appropriate relocation were ongoing. It was also reported that the Council would be making a Compulsory Purchase Order which would lead to a process involving an Inquiry by an Inspector in the spring of 2017.
The process of securing developer partners was explained and it was noted that three interested parties were involved. A preferred bidder would be announced in due course.
In terms of housing provision, it was confirmed that around 400 new homes had been identified as part of the regeneration scheme. It was considered that the homes should be high quality affordable units of varying sizes and types to give vibrancy and character to the area.
In response to questions it was noted that traffic impacts had been assessed, and that parking provision for the new houses would be considered as part of the planning process.
The need to ensure schools provision was also raised and it was confirmed that there was a commitment to provide a new Primary School in the regeneration area following work undertaken with the Education Service.
In response to further questions, it was reported that the unique ecology of the site had been considered and measures for the protection of wildlife during the construction period and thereafter were explained.
It was also reported that the Council acted within its powers to ensure that sites in the Fosse Ward were cleared of rubbish and made safe, however it was noted in this respect that the Council’s powers were limited.
In conclusion, the impact of the Referendum decision to leave the EU was discussed and it was noted that financing of the project this had been debated at the recent full Council meeting.
David was thanked for his presentation and update.
Transport Development Officers will give an update on highways issues in the Ward.
Rupert Bedder (Commercial Manager, Highways and Planning) provided an update on highways issues in the Ward.
He referred to the previous item concerning Waterside and confirmed that that traffic modelling had been assessed as part of the design process.
Other schemes affecting the Ward included the resurfacing works at Bosworth Street and the continuation of the A50 cycleway.
He advised that design work was ongoing in respect of the A50 improvements as part of the wider Northwest Leicester Major Transport Scheme. It was noted that this scheme aimed to relieve pressure on the A50 and developed initiatives to encourage traffic to use the A6 and Abbey Lane, away from Woodgate. Details of the proposals would be subject to public consultation once design options were known.
A consultation on a possible residents parking scheme at the Nugent Street and Tudor road area was to commence.
In response to questions concerning the recent flooding of road junctions, it was confirmed that drains and gulleys were regularly cleared; but that the drainage capacity itself was inadequate and significant structural work would be required to alleviate the problems.
The impact of highway trees to deal with flooding issues was discussed and it was noted that the trees on the A50 towards Glenfield were close to the highway boundary. It was noted that this proximity had a traffic calming effect.
In response to further questions and comments, Rupert agreed to investigate problems with rat-running in and speeding in residential side roads, particularly those roads being used to access Groby Road from Anstey Lane. The effect of design of speed bumps and the need to improve signage were also raised. It was also reported in regard to signage that drivers were often witnessed riving the wrong way in one-way streets.
In terms of traffic enforcement, it was reported by residents that problems existed with taxis parking inappropriately. The matter would be referred to Licensing and Enforcement Officers.
It was reported by residents that shoppers continued to ignore the left-only exit from the Woodgate Aldi store. It was suggested that more liaison with the store management and improved signage would help to alleviate problems. It was suggested that traffic management of the site would have been made part of the original planning approval for the store.
Problems of motorists parking across the Sanvey Gate/Frog Island junction were raised and it was thought that this could be dealt with by repainting the yellow hatched box markings that previously existed. Rupert agreed to look into the matter and report back to Councillor Alfonso.
In conclusion it was noted that the access to Rally Park from Bonchurch Street had been improved to allow disabled access and also ensure the safety of children. The compromise situation concerning the extension to the railings was explained and accepted.
Rupert was thanked for his update and report.
The City Warden will give an update on issues in the Ward.
It was noted that the City Warden was unable to be in attendance and written information concerning environmental and enforcement activities in the Ward was circulated and noted.
Residents expressed concern at the increase in fly-tipping and the amount of bulky items being left in residential streets. The problems of bins being left on streets were also highlighted.
Residents expressed further concerns at the time taken to report issues using the Council’s telephone system, it being noted that not all residents had use of the internet or devices which allowed use of the LoveLeicester app.
POLICE ISSUES UPDATE
Officers from Leicestershire Police will provide an update on issues in the Ward.
Matt Wilson (PCSO) gave an update on Police activities in the Ward, commenting on the following issues:
· Multi-agency work to tackle various problems at a group of flats in the Ward had led to eviction notices being issued.
· Problems with stolen motorbikes continued, with reports of youngsters riding motorbikes in Rally Park. Recent arrests had led to a reduction in reported incidents.
· Anti-Social behaviour and street-drinking continued in the Tudor Gardens area.
· Work with schools concerning Graffiti awareness and a competition to allow street artwork was ongoing. A graffiti ‘tagger’ had recently been caught and prosecuted.
In response to the comments raised in the previous item concerning traffic enforcement, Matt agreed to investigate the issues including speeding and inappropriate parking.
In response to a question it was noted that caravans parked on the highway were lawful unless causing an obstruction. A particular problem was raised and noted for monitoring.
Matt was thanked for his update.
WARD COMMUNITY BUDGET
Councillors are reminded that under the Council’s Code of Conduct they should declare any interest they may have in budget applications
a) An update will be given on the Ward Community budget together with
details of applications submitted for consideration by Councillors.
b) Feedback will be provided from previous recipients of Ward Community
grant funding in respect of their events and activities.
The following bids were received and were determined as indicated:
Woodgate Residents Association
Main Hall Lighting
Ndi Igbo Leicestershire
Big Lunch – Rally Park Craft Activities
The Recycling Man
Environmental and recycling activities
PART SUPPORTED - £500
Polish Play and Stay
Play and Stay Sessions
Woodgate Adventure Playground
Sensory and Creative Play Area
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
a) Lord Mayor’s Charity - Mablethorpe Holiday Home
Councillor Alfonso promoted an event to be held in the Market on Friday 29 July in support of the Lord Mayor’s charity.
b) Single Persons Accommodation
Reference was made to the large amount of student accommodation in the city. It was considered that this led to a reduction in single person accommodation which was not identified or promoted to non-students. It was suggested that a statement on the issue be sought for a future meeting.
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 8.25 pm.