Venue: Meeting Room G.01, Ground Floor, City Hall, 115 Charles Street, Leicester, LE1 1FZ
Contact: Punum Patel, Community Engagement Officer (Tel: 0116 454 6575) (Email: email@example.com) Jessica Skidmore, Democratic Support Officer (Tel: 0116 454 2623) (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
INTRODUCTIONS, APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE, AND DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
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 Myers (in the Chair) led introductions.
An apology for absence was received from Councillor Dr Sangster.
There were no Declarations of Interest.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 18 October 2021 is attached for information and comment.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 18 October 2021 was confirmed as a correct record.
Councillors will provide an update on their recent activities in the Ward.
Councillors referred to the ongoing issues affecting the Ward and casework. Councillor Kitterick referred advised of recent Planning and Licensing representations.
Clarendon Park Play Area
Councillors invited Bronwen Barradell, a campaigner for Clarendon Park Play Area, Clarendon Road, to update the meeting. It was noted that there had been significant movement to improve the play area with more than 40 families now joining the campaign. There had been a survey of families in the area to ascertain the preferred types of play and design of equipment. Although significant finances had been raised it was a disappointment that there would be no local authority funding for the project.
In terms of the existing equipment the problems with poor surface/base materials were explained and age suitability of equipment. There was also concern on current fenced off area.
Councillors confirmed that they were determined to assist in progressing the project.
LOCAL POLICING UPDATE
Leicestershire Police will provide an update on policing priorities in the Ward.
Insp Adam Wardle provided the following update on police activity in the Ward:
· Violent crime had increased
· Street lifestyle (begging, rough sleeping, drinking) also on increase and linked to the point above
· Concerns continued around ASB in Market Street
· A ‘Purple Flag’ scheme was being pursued to identify the city as a safe place to visit and enabling improvements to a strategic approach
· Organised crime and criminality had reduced
· Crime seemed more sporadic than organised, but vehicle crime remained a concern with over 100 spot checks resulting in a number of arrests.
· Concerns relating to E-scooters and E-bikes remained, and the issues in New Walk were recognised. National guidance was expected which would help with the approach to that issue.
Questions from residents were invited.
The Friends of Clarendon Park stressed the need for greater enforcement of speeding E-scooters and referred to the increased recent press coverage.
Residents of New Walk asked whether registration plates could be made compulsory for bikes/e scooters as CCTV footage could identify offenders. The increased use of e-scooters by food delivery companies was also becoming a greater problem.
The proposals to install gates and barriers along New Walk were ongoing and some disability and visually impaired accessibility issues had been raised. The spacing and location of any physical measures was therefore still under discussion.
CITY WARDEN UPDATE
The City Warden will give an update on environmental and enforcement activities in the Ward.
Mikael Mandhu (City Warden) was unable to attend but provided a written update on environmental and enforcement activities in the Ward.
An officer from the Planning, Development and Transportation team will provide an update, including:
· Queens Road regeneration project
· Queens Road E-bike dock and cycle racks
· Residents Parking Scheme Phase 2 and 3
· Right of Way across QE land
Robert Bateman (City Highways) provided an update on current and expected highways issues, as follows:
Queens Road E-bike Dock and Cycle Racks
Noted that the work to install E-bike docks and cycle racks was ongoing.
Right of Way Across QE Land
Councillors had expressed frustration at the situation with the public right of way and acknowledged that the legalities in this and other cases were complex. A right of way could be established if proof of use could be demonstrated.
Residents Parking Scheme Phase 2 and 3
An update was provided on the phases of the scheme.
Councillor Kitterick referred to the experiences of previous schemes which although not perfect had on balance made a significant difference to the parking situation in other areas with greater improvements than problems.
Officers commented that in supported of this view, it was confirmed that residents of streets on the border of the area proposed had asked to join the scheme. As in many parking scheme proposals, displacement problems were likely.
The survey results were available and a large percentage of responses in favour of the scheme.
The Friends of Clarendon Park referred to communications recently before the experimental second part of phase two and asked for the results of the Officer’s survey concerning the number of spaces. Officers advised that after the survey they found that sufficient spaces were available and confirmed the method for accounting the spaces.
Questions were also raised concerning the timeline for phase 3 and it was confirmed that once results of the public consultation and exhibitions were analysed the objection period would conclude around March 2023.
Queens Road Regeneration Project
Proposed improvements were noted, and consultation would be undertaken, including information to be provided at the Summer Fair. It was recognised that the planters and bollards and other street furniture were no longer suitable or obsolete.
Resurfacing works were also expected.
Residents present expressed concern regarding increased traffic flows in the Clarendon park area.
VICTORIA PARK UPDATE
The Landscape Development Officer will provide an update.
An update was provided concerning the following matters at Victoria Park:
Encouraging progress had been made in relation to the re-use of the Pavilion, with the design features and development potential being shared and promoted. It was accepted that a significant investment would be required to provide a high quality venue.
The installation of the bandstand had been delayed due to the impact of the Covid pandemic. The national situation, including difficulties in recruitment of planning officers was acknowledged.
It was confirmed that the bowling green was not to be reopened
The update was noted.
WARD COMMUNITY BUDGET
An update will be given on the Ward Community budget.
Councillors are reminded that they will need to declare any interests they may have in budget applications.
The Chair referred to the availability of funds and reiterated previous comments that applications in the Castle Ward should show a specific benefit to the Ward and its residents, and not be related to an event or project held centrally for the wider benefit.
The position concerning the determination of applications and allocation of the Ward Community Fund was noted and accepted.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Residents commented on the low numbers using the London Road cycle lane, which they suggested supported enforcement activities on New Walk.
Concern was expressed that national media reports had identified the LE2 area as one of the nation’s highest crime areas. The Police would explore the situation and report back.
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 8.00pm.