Venue: St John the Baptist Church, Clarendon Park Road, Leicester LE2 3AD
Contact: Laura Burt, Community Engagement Office,r (Tel: 0116 454 1876) (Email: Laura.Burt@leicester.gov.uk) Jason Tyler, Democratic Support Officer, (Tel: 0116 454 6359) (Email: Jason.Tyler@leicester.gov.uk)
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 was invited to take the Chair and welcomed everyone present.
In respect of the Councillors Code of Conduct, Councillor Senior declared an interest that she was a resident of Clarendon Park.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
An apology for absence was received from Councillor Sangster.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 22 September 2015, is attached and Members will be asked to confirm it as an accurate record.
The Action Log of the Castle Community Meeting held on 22 September 2015 was agreed and noted.
TRAFFIC UPDATE AND HIGHWAY INFORMATION
An officer will be present to provide information and take any questions on the traffic calming scheme in Clarendon Park.
There will be an update on the Residents Parking Scheme in Clarendon Park.
a) 20 mph zones
Steve Warrington (Highway Services) reported on the Council’s proposals to bring forward 20mph schemes at various locations in the city, principally at school sites. It was noted that the schemes involved the installation of traffic calming measures.
He updated the meeting with details of the traffic calming scheme and 20 mph zone in the roads adjacent to the Wheatsheaf Works (Wheatsheaf Way, Wordsworth Road, Lord Byron Street and Knighton Fields Road East). Those proposals had been subject to a public consultation period which had expired on 1 October 2015. It was confirmed that the plans had received support.
A further scheme in the Clarendon Park area had been suggested by residents and a consultation would begin. The roads suggested were located in the vicinity of the St John’s school.
The importance of public opinion and imput to proposed future schemes was stressed by Councillors, whether they were in favour or against proposed schemes, residents were encouraged to take part in the consultation.
In conclusion, and in response to questions, Steve referred to the different design types of traffic calming measures and indicated that various options were possible.
b) Residents Parking Consultation
Ed Kocik (Highway Services) reported on the residents parking scheme that had been the subject of recent consultation.
He commented that an exhibition had been held where outline proposals had been displayed. The exhibition had been well attended by residents and business representatives.
The consultation process had involved the distribution of consultation material regarding the outline proposals to residents and businesses within the area. It was reported that the department were not confident that these leaflets and letters had been delivered to all properties concerned.
A further distribution was therefore being arranged, having regard to the need to ensure that the public preference was properly obtained.
A further exhibition had also been arranged, and information on the outline proposals had been placed on the ‘current consultations’ area of the Council’s website.
It was suggested that consultation on the outline proposals with the universities be enhanced. It was also considered necessary to obtain their view on any future proposals for University Road in this respect.
In response to questions, Ed commented on established enforcement practices and noted that current hours of enforcement may need to be extended to ensure the success of any schemes in the area.
Ed also advised that residents parking schemes could be extended to include other streets, if there was a demonstrated desire from a majority of residents.
In conclusion, Ed confirmed the methods of issuing permits to residents and business, including carers, and the likely periods for free visitor parking spaces.
FIRE STATION CLOSURE
A representative from Leicestershire Fire Service will be present to provide an update on the current proposals and to answer any questions.
Alan Fawkner (Leics. Fire and Rescuer Service) was welcomed to the meeting to update residents on the proposed closure of the Central Fire Station.
He referred to the ongoing consultation on the closure, which had been proposed due to the cuts imposed on the service. The current proposals were intended to reduce redundancies and provide a balanced budget without substantial reductions to service.
Reference was made to the other fire stations that were located on the city centre boundary and the proposal to utilise these stations for city centre incidents. Levels of proportionate risk had been assessed prior to the consultation on the closure, including an evaluation of the timings of vehicle movements from non-central stations.
The forthcoming deliberations of the Combined Fire Authority were confirmed and it was noted that a final decision on the proposals would be made by that authority in due course, following closure of the consultation period.
Mr Fawkner answered questions from residents who expressed concern with the proposed closure, particularly regarding vehicle movements and time estimates to reach the city centre from non-central stations. The proportionate risk assessments as reported were not accepted by residents present, and the effect on public safety was expressed as the principal concern. Further concerns related to the apparent lack of options being considered by the service to reduce costs without the need to close the central fire station.
Mr Fawkner was thanked for his attendance and for the information provided. He confirmed that the consultation period would close on 4 December 2015 and encouraged the publics imput to the process.
Leicestershire Police will be present to provide an update on policing issues in Castle Ward including an update on the crime within the Holy Trinity area.
Police Insp Simon Preston reported on Police activities in the ward.
He reported as an update that there had been a significant decrease in problems reported with anti-social behaviour in the New Walk area, due to increased patrols by officers.
It was also reported that officers were liaising with Regent college concerning reports of concerning behaviour at college gates, and that officers continued to monitor the position.
Anti-burglary schemes, including the installation of alley gates, were being heightened due to an increase in reported incidents.
The ‘celebrate safely’ campaign had been successful at recent Diwali and firework events. The campaign would be enhanced to include Christmas celebrations.
In response to a question, reference was made to the increased numbers of ‘beggars’ in and around the city centre, including Clarendon Park. Members of the public were encouraged to support homelessness charities rather than to give cash to street beggars.
In conclusion, Insp Preston updated the meeting with crime statistics for the period.
The meeting thanked Insp Preston for his attendance and report, and thanks were expressed in particular to those officers concerned with the reduction in incidents of anti-social behaviour in the New Walk area.
CITY WARDEN UPDATE
The local City Warden will provide an update on work within the Castle Ward.
Chris Bramley-Brown (City Warden) updated the meeting with environmental and enforcement activities in the Ward.
He reported specifically on the success of the Rugby World Cup, and made reference to enforcement activities undertaken to stop illegal street trading, including ticket touting.
Other issues including business waste collection and storage, clearance of bulky items in front gardens and adjacent to student accommodation, and clearance of vacant sites were noted.
In conclusion, Chris promoted use of the ‘LoveLeicester’ app and encouraged its use to report problems.
Chris was thanked for his attendance and update.
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 together with details of applications submitted for consideration by members.
Councillors referred to the purpose of the ward Community Budget and advised that six local projects had been awarded funds.
The criteria for applications were explained, and further bids for suitable community projects and events were welcomed.
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 8.20 pm.