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) Ed Brown, Democratic Support Officer (Tel: 0116 454 3833) (Email: Edmund.Brown@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 as Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were given.
An apology for absence was received from Chris Nutting. It was also noted that no officers were present to provide an update on the new school and therefore any questions that could not be answered would be forwarded to them for a response.
The Action Log of the previous meeting held on 12 July 2018 is attached for information and discussion.
The Action Log of the previous meeting held on 12 July 2018 was submitted and noted.
HINCKLEY ROAD RECOVERY UPDATE
There will be an update on the progress of the recovery plan following the incident at Hinckley Road in February 2018.
Attendees were asked to note an update from Councillor Cassidy on the situation following the explosion at Hinckley Road in February 2018. Points made included the following:
· The Community Recovery Committee had been working to reassure the community and were trying to open up the shops and get the road back into proper use.
· The team work between the Police, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance, Red Cross and the Council had been excellent.
· The Committee and schools, particularly English Martyrs had been helping to provide counselling for students.
· The young people had chosen a place near to the site, where there they could put candles and flowers in memory of the young girl who had been killed.
Comments and queries from attendees included the following:
· Disappointment was expressed that planning permission had been granted to demolish some beautiful buildings. Comments were made that Leicester had suffered from the demolition of historical buildings and regret was expressed that such buildings were not being retained. Councillor Cassidy responded that the decision to demolish must have been an officer decision and officers were often very limited as to what they could do. Residents were advised that they could submit views or objections on planning applications. Where there were more than five objections, the application would be brought to committee for Members to determine.
· Concerns were raised that demolished buildings would end up as an eyesore due to the time it took to clear the site.
· An attendee reported that squatters had taken residence in a building due for demolition. Councillor Cassidy responded that the Council had taken action as soon as the issue of squatters had been reported.
Councillors drew the discussion to a close and explained that as the court case was ongoing, the Council were limited as to what they could do, but they were trying to show that the local shops there were open for business.
HIGHWAYS - FIVE WAYS PROJECT UPDATE
Highways officers will give an update on highways issues in the Ward, including progress on the Five Ways project.
Attendees were asked to note an update on Highways issues from Robert Bateman (Special Projects Manager, Highways).
· The Five Ways junction was a particularly complicated part of the Leicester North West project. The engineers were working to find a satisfactory conclusion and no decision would be made yet, but the funding was there for the work to be done.
· In relation to Rally Park, David Beale, Senior Project Manager, City Council Development Team said that he believed that any future link road through the park would commence with a public consultation. Such proposals would often be put forward for consultation through a future revision of the Leicester Local Plan although David did not know whether the next revision of the local plan would propose a link road, or not.
· Councillor Cassidy stated that the Link Road had been included in the original document and people would have an opportunity to submit views and comments on this if it was included in the draft plan.
· Work on Ravensbridge Drive was underway; the disruption was acknowledged but it was very much hoped that the benefits would outweigh the current disruption.
· The intention was that when the highway improvements including the Five Ways junction was completed, motorists would use the A6 and Woodgate could be declassified.
· Concerns were raised about the volume of in-bound traffic from the county which was expected to get worse with the Christmas season approaching. David responded that this would improve once the work was completed as it would be more convenient for motorists to turn left at the Five Ways junction.
· In response to a question, the meeting heard that traffic signal timings would make Ravensbridge Drive a more attractive option and the Sat Nav devices picked up faster routes.
· An attendee commented that the timing of the traffic lights at the junction by Abbey Park was wrong as the lights were timed to let traffic through, but that traffic had been diverted. This was resulting in unnecessary delays. Action: Robert Bateman to report the issue to the relevant Highways officers.
· Robert stated that officers in Highways were looking at the parking situation on Tudor Road. Two-way traffic was difficult because vehicles parked on both sides of the road. Councillors commented that there may be another survey regarding a residents’ parking scheme. A previous survey had been carried out but at the time, residents had indicated that they did not want the scheme.
· Concerns were expressed about speeding on Brading Road. Councillors explained that they had been asking for three years for action to be taken and they reiterated a request for the Police to install a speed camera there. The Police Officer responded that they would look at Brading Road, it may not be possible to put up a speed camera, but a speed gun or traffic van might be used. Action: the Police and also for Robert Bateman to forward the concern to the relevant officer in Highway Development Control and Road Safety.
POLICE ISSUES UPDATE
Officers from Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an update on police issues in the Ward.
Attendees were asked to note the update of local policing issues. In particular, the Police had been working to reduce anti-social behaviour and on issues relating to drug misuse.
An attendee referred to a fatal accident where a pedestrian at the bus stop on Woodgate had been killed by a motorist. The Police Officer said that she could not give any details about the case other than to say that one person had been arrested on the night of the accident.
Concern was expressed that there was a strong smell of marijuana near certain properties on Bonchurch Street. An attendee stated that she had reported the issue to the Police and she questioned whether any action was being taken. The Police officer asked for specific details and said that the Police needed as much information as possible in order for them to proceed. Attendees were reminded that crimes could be reported through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.
In relation to the demolished buildings on Hinckley Road, a request was made for CCTV cameras to be installed on the corner properties, but the meeting heard that there were limitations as to where cameras could be installed; the Police could however carry out target hardening.
It was reported that the back windows of the old public house on Tudor Road had been broken. The Police Officer confirmed that they would investigate to make sure the building was secure.
Councillors suggested that the Police looked at an information sharing scheme on Gimson Road; this road affected two wards and a Whats App group had been set up so that both wards could communicate with each other. The scheme operated in a similar way to Neighbourhood Watch.
WATERSIDE DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
There will be an update on the Waterside regeneration project.
Attendees were asked to note an update from David Beale on the Waterside Development. A map was displayed, and David pointed out areas of the map to show how the development was progressing.
David was asked what would happen to the businesses in the Arches and he responded that as the Arches were owned by Charles Street Buildings (CSB) he could not be sure, but he suggested that as the character of the wider area continued to change, CSB might consider different types of occupiers.
In response to a question about affordable housing, David said that the new build proposals on the Council owned sites would meet the affordable housing guidelines.
Concerns were raised that the old Premier Screw site on Storey Street was an eyesore and had been so for several years. David responded that they had been trying very hard to encourage others to bring that site back into use, but the discussions with the owner had so far been unsuccessful.
Concerns were raised relating to flooding and whether the new build would exacerbate the risk and make home insurance more expensive. David explained that the Environment Agency were trying to reduce the risk of flooding by putting in flood defences. The intention was to implement these by 2021. Councillors asked for an appropriate officer to come to a future Fosse Community Meeting to talk to attendees about the issue, as flooding was a concern. Action: Community Engagement Officer.
NEW SCHOOL UPDATE
There will be an update on the progress concerning the new school in the Ward.
Attendees were asked to note an update from Councillor Cassidy on the new school.
Councillor Cassidy explained that the investigations on site was limited to around 50% of the site, due to the identification of protected species at the top of the site, namely the presence of badgers and nesting birds. The ground investigation at the lower part of the site which was accessible at the time of the survey showed some areas of isolated contamination, however this was determined to not be extensive. The badger sets were closed in November 2017, and when that part of the site was investigated it became obvious that there was extensive contamination on the site.
Comments were made that the school would not be ready to open in 2019 and it was questioned whether the school could be made smaller with a yearly intake of 120 pupils instead of 180. Councillor Cassidy said that the City Mayor and Executive were looking at different options and Councillors would update residents further when they knew what was happening.
The City Warden will give an update on issues in the Ward.
Attendees were asked to note an update from Charlotte Glover, the City Warden for Fosse, Abbey and Beaumont Leys wards. An information sheet was circulated which gave details of the issues she had been dealing with. This is attached to the back of the action log.
It was noted that the City Warden was carrying out some education work and this initiative was commended.
Concerns were raised that the orange bags for recycling were being misused. It was questioned whether the refuse collectors still put notices through doors when they found an orange bag they could not collect because it contained contaminated waste.
An attendee expressed concerns regarding abandoned Tesco trolleys and he questioned whether Tesco could be asked to be more pro-active in collecting abandoned trolleys.
WARD COMMUNITY BUDGET
There will be an update on the 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
Attendees were asked to note an update on the Fosse Community Meeting budget and heard that twelve funding applications had been received since the previous meeting; eight of which had been approved totalling £10182.
A balance of £4881.80 remained in the Fosse Community Meeting budget which could not be carried forward to the new financial year. Further funding bids were welcome but would need to be submitted by the end of February 2019.
An attendee asked for details of the bids that had been approved and the Community Engagement Officer explained that details of the bids would be published on the Council’s website at the end of the financial year. Concerns were raised that not everyone had access to a computer.
At attendee commented that a grit bin was needed near to the City Wide Cars business. She had asked for this twice before, but nothing had happened. It was noted that a funding application would be needed in order to pay for the grit bin. Action: Community Engagement Officer to investigate.
Councillors commented that recipients of community meeting funding had previously been invited to the meeting to provide feedback on their projects and it was suggested that a representative of the Woodgate Resource Centre and the Woodgate Adventure Playground be invited to provide updates at the next meeting. Action: Community Engagement Officer.
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 8.03 pm