Venue: Friends Meeting House, 16 Queens Road, Leicester LE2 1W
Contact: Angie Smith
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 Kitterick in the Chair. Councillors Clayton and Senior also present.
Everyone was welcomed and introduction made.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
There were no apologies for absence.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Senior declared that her partner was employed by the Council and that his role involved advice on transport matters when planning applications were being considered. She advised that she, therefore, would not comment on any such application if they were discussed.
Attached for information and discussion.
The Action Log from the Castle Community Meeting held on 12 January 2015 was noted.
The Chair informed those present he had agreed to the following items of business being taken in addition to the agenda:
· New Walk Centre Demolition Project
· Walnut Street Mural
NEW WALK CENTRE DEMOLITION PROJECT
Matthew Wallace, Programme Director for the demolition of New Walk Centre on 22nd February 2015, gave the following update:
· Demolition was a huge success due to planning and coordination.
· Vibration monitors were placed around site. All bar one recorded 50% under the maximum tolerance tolerance and air over pressure monitoring.
· Dust blew into the town. Road sweepers were used to get the roads open, and deep cleaning would occur for several weeks afterwards.
· People in the exclusion zone who require property cleaning should contact DSM.
· The site would be completely finished by the end of May 2015.
· Approximately 95% of the building waste will be recycled.
· The preferred development partner for the site had not yet been selected.
Thanks were given to everyone who helped to manage the process.
WALNUT STREET MURAL
Chryse Tinsley, Landscape Planner was present to discuss proposals for the Walnut Street mural. The following points were made:
· Proposal 1 – using Section 106 money, clear out the ever-green shrubs, but keep the cherry tree, to reduce clutter. Renovate the sculpture. This was a relatively low cost proposal based on keeping the mural, created in the 1990’s by local artists. The mural contained a tiger’s face facing the rugby ground to give it local context.
· Proposal 2 – Repair the render and repaint the walls with masonry paint dark green or blue. Retain the mosaics. Restore the seat.
Residents said it was an opportunity to install an information board. Residents were also concerned that large, plain colour would be vandalised. A suggestion was welcomed to create another mural that looked at the historical history of the Tigers, and another to extend the mosaic work. The Chair asked that the different options be explored, and thanked the officer for the update.
COMMUNITY SAFETY IN CLARENDON PARK
There will be an update and information provided on the Community Safety of Clarendon Park.
Agenda items 4 and 6 were taken together.
PC Matt Linnett and Inspector Simon Preston were present at the meeting to provide an overview of changes to local policing. The meeting was asked to note the following:
· The number of officers dedicated to neighbourhood policing had been increased. Sergeant Gareth John was temporarily covering Clarendon Park area.
· 3 x Police Officers and 4 x Community Support Officers were dedicated to the University, Victoria Park, Leicester College and Freemans Park areas.
· The same number were dedicated to Riverside and Leicester Royal Infirmary areas, and the same number dedicated to the City Centre, Cultural Quarter, London Road, and the east side of the city near Athena.
· The Police also walked the area at night, usually 8.00pm – 11.00pm, or up to 2.00am weekends, or later in darker areas.
· Current focus of work was on begging drifting from the city centre, trouble with Somalian youths in the cultural quarter, cycle crime and violent crime around the night time economy.
· The Police were also visible at local schools during drop-off and pick-up times to monitor illegal and irresponsible parking and driving.
· Each area would have a dedicated officer who could be contacted for one-to-one meetings with residents.
· More meetings would be arranged in each area, including the city centre, and information would be available on the website.
· Members asked for a breakdown of burglary numbers in each area. Targeted patrols in residential areas had seen a reduction in burglary numbers, and Police has not seen a surge in the area compared to previous years, though there was usually a slight rise when students first arrived and were settling in. Funding was available for alley gates but needed buy-in from the community.
· Residents should report any suspicious characters.
· The police were informed of a specific problem with the loading bay in Yeoman Lane at the British Heart Foundation. Over the next 3-4 weeks, they were intending to authorise dispersal zones. There was some level of criminality with drug use which was spreading to nearby car parks.
· The Police did not respond directly to the Clarendon Park online community group on Facebook, but could get corporate communications to put out information. Members asked that the Police contact the Facebook as a useful means of communication in the area.
· Crime figures were dropping nationally, with car crime dropping, though petty theft figures, for example, cycle crime and robbery, were going up.
· The meeting was asked to note the increase in cybercrime. Fraud was more targeted, through phishing with realistic emails and websites. People needed to be more vigilant, and were reminded that genuine companies would not ask for personal information. The Action Fraud Department looked at criminality across the country on a larger scale.
The Chair thanked the Police for the update.
CLARENDON PARK COMMUNITY GARDEN (BULWER ROAD) UPDATE
There will be an update given on the development of Clarendon Park Community Garden.
Heather Cross, Clarendon Park Community Garden (Bulwer Road), provided information on work undertaken on land leased on Bulwer Road:
· 10 months ago work started on the small area of land and emphasis was placed on ecology and sustainability.
· Work included soil improvement, the removal of dozens of shrubs, water collection, the installation of compost, leaf mould bins and feeding stations, and bulb and perennial planting.
· Raised beds have been built to allow people with disability problems to get involved.
· Access is membership only and costs £5 to join and £5 deposit for a key and allows attendance at social events which is currently free.
· Social events held in the park included:
1/ pumpkin carving
2/ music event – jazz
3/ carols in the park – 60 people attended.
4/ egg painting and hunt
· ‘Dig-in’ sessions are held at weekends.
· Knightsbridge donated a shed, and support is also received from local gardeners.
· Donations of flowers could be held at 134 Clarendon Park Road, preferably sweet pea plants which provided easy coverage.
Councillors were thanked for their support, and the grant money which made the project possible.
Councillors informed those present that other areas could be nominated to receive funding for similar projects.
There will be an update on policing issues in Castle Ward.
Taken with agenda item 4.
CITY WARDEN UPDATE
The local City Warden will provide an update on work within the Castle Ward.
Chris Bramley-Brown, City Warden, was present. All were asked to note the following:
· Increase in dog fouling, particularly around Avenue Primary School area. Increased patrols and a leaflet drop are in place. One potential culprit has been identified.
· There is a bins on streets project in place near to De Montfort University. A number of bins have been removed. The enforcement stage has been reached in some locations. FPN’s have been issued.
· Various people have been interviewed under caution, for example, fly posting, fly tipping, scaffolding without a licence. One will end up in a prosecution.
· An Abatement Notice for an alley way in the city centre – further enforcement action will occur.
· City Wardens will assist with KRIII events in the city centre. Working with businesses to raise awareness of potential disruptions.
· City Wardens assisted with the evacuation of the exclusion zone prior to the New Walk Centre demolition.
· The Love Leicester App is available from all major App stores.
· Residents asked that bins on streets in Clarendon Park be looked into again. They asked for a reminder mailshot to houses in the area as a reminder of what was required of them. The Corporate Communications Team would have to agree authorisation of a mailshot.
COMMUNITY MEETING BUDGET
Councillors are reminded that they will need to declare any interest they may have in budget applications.
An update will be given on the Ward Community budget; and any applications received for consideration at the meeting.
Applications Considered at the Meeting
Gwenneth Carter – Clarendon Park Community Garden – (ref 1248). Application amount £1,000. The application was SUPPORTED IN PART to the value of £500.
Eric Waweru – The Centre Project (ref 1285). Application amount £1,196. The application was SUPPORTED IN PART to the value of £600 to fund two laptops.
Friends of New Walk Charitable Trust – Production / design of a DVD and App to promote New Walk (ref 1293). Application amount £1,000. The application was DEFERRED into the next financial year for future consideration.
Highfields Community Association – Highfields Festival (ref 5069 – joint bid). Application amount £2,000 per ward, £6,000 in total. The application was DEFERRED into the next financial year for future consideration.
Stephen Ashley, Leicester Play Fair – Playfair Lame Duck Summer PGL Activity Camp, Shropshire (ref 1317). Application amount £1,000. The application was SUPPORTED IN PART to the value of £700.
Cathy Brown – Woodcraft Folk, Enabling Outdoor Learning (ref 1326). Application amount £500. The application was SUPPORTED IN PART to the value of £400.
FOCUS Charity with Friends of Victoria Park – Our Park – Victoria Park (ref 1332). Application amount £1,956. The application was SUPPORTED IN PART to the value of £1,000. The remainder of the application balance was deferred until the next Municipal Year when future consideration.
John Woolman House Tenants Association – Bus Trip May 2015 (ref 1345). Application amount £600. The application was SUPPORTED IN PART to the value of £500.
Ruth Coventry, Community Safety Team – Clarendon Park Crime Reduction Initiative (gating) (ref 1347). Application amount £500. The application was SUPPORTED IN FULL to the value of £500.
Su Tucker, Stars Performing Arts School – Community Easter Workshop (ref 1349). Application amount £1,400. The application was SUPPORTED IN PART to the value of £750.
Phoenix Square Residents Association – the installation of anti-skate boarding studs to an element of Phoenix Square (ref 1358). Application amount £1,000. The application was DEFERRED into the next financial year pending further quotations.
Applications Not Supported
Radhika Patel – International Women’s Day – Application amount £250.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
1. A resident reported a squirrel problem on New Walk, and were also an issue around Museum Square. They were also reported as being in the roof space of some flats. The meeting was informed there was some information on the Leicester City Council Website under pest control for the removal of squirrels from Council properties, which had to be undertaken using humane traps. The City Warden was asked to research the process for the removal of squirrels from private domestic properties and to bring a response back to the next Castle meeting.
2. Residents and councillors queried the use of permanent fixed advertising boards on buildings for lettings. Councillors were awaiting a response from planning enforcement. Residents were asked to let Councillors know of any breach of planning control.
3. A member of Leicester University would be given a permanent invite to Castle meetings.
4. Residents were informed the ‘Nut’ streets would move to Saffron ward, and part of Highfields would move to Stoneygate ward as part of the Boundary Commission changes.
5. Residents complained that cyclists were ignoring signs on Victoria Park. Residents were informed the park was covered by a City Council bylaw. Members informed the meeting that the City Cycle strategy covered the London Road / Regent Road corridor, which needed a segregated cycle lane. Members asked that Andy Salkeld, Transport Development Officer be invited to the next meeting to discuss the new strategy.
6. Councillors Kitterick and Senior thanked Councillor Clayton for his work in the ward during his time as Councillor, and wished him all the best for the future. Councillor Clayton said it had been a hard decision to make to step down, and he had enjoyed his time working with fellow ward councillors, officers, the police and wardens, and thanked everyone at the meeting.
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 8.00pm.