Agenda and minutes

Castle Community Meeting - Tuesday, 15 November 2016 6:00 pm

Venue: Presentation Suite, Ground Floor, City Hall, 115 Charles Street, Leicester, LE1 1FZ

Contact: Angela Martin, Community Engagement Officer (Tel: 0116 454 6571) (Email:  Jason Tyler, Democratic Support Officer, (Tel: 0116 454 6359) (Email:

No. Item



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 Senior took the Chair and welcomed everyone present.


In regard to the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, Councillor Senior declared ‘Other Disclosable Interests’ in that:

·         she lived in Knighton Park Road which was within an area under consideration for a 20 mph zone; and

·         she knew members of the Allotment Society that had applied for ward community funding.


It was not considered that the above interests were so significant that Councillor Senior should withdraw from discussion on the items concerned.





There were no apologies for absence.


Councillor Kitterick informed the meeting that he would be absent for the latter items as he was required on other Council business, to make a representation at the Housing Scrutiny Commission.



ACTION LOG pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Attached for information and discussion.


The Action Log of the meeting held on 12 July 2016 was agreed and noted.




Representatives from De Montfort University and Leicester University will provide details of their community liaison activities


The Chair reported that despite efforts of the Community Engagement Officer to ensure attendance at the meeting by University representatives, apologies for non-attendance had been received.


Concern was expressed at the lack of attendance and the meeting was reassured that representatives had been asked to attend to discuss issues affecting the Ward in a positive and collaborative manner.


It was noted that some correspondence had been received that suggested that representatives of the Universities and the Students Unions could meet separately with the authorities and/or community groups.


In terms of the experiences of other groups and organisations, it was reported by members of the public present that similar responses had been received and the frustrations of those continuing problems of a lack of access to University representatives were explained and noted.  Similar experiences of the neighbouring Knighton Ward were also noted.


The matter was particularly disappointing given the previous good relationships that had been built up over time and that the problems had escalated since the Universities’ decisions to cut back on community liaison activities.


It was confirmed that literature was made available, including advice to victims, which included telephone numbers to call in respect of anti-social behaviour.


Inspector Simon Preston (Leics Police) commented that the night time economy and licensing laws had led to pressures being put on police resources, with more bars being opened in the city centre and fewer officers.  The problems arising from the changing culture of young people to go out later, and stay out later, were also noted.  Insp Preston also confirmed that he held meetings with the Universities to discuss the issues being raised by residents.


It was suggested by the Chair that due to the non-attendance of representatives, a list of significant issues be collated and referred to the Universities by the Community Engagement Officer.  The following list of issues was subsequently noted for referral:


   It was regretful that voluntary community projects had not been supported including Fire and Police projects.  Some 450 houses in the Ward had been visited but the support to the initiative had been withdrawn by the Universities’ community liaison officers. Welfare officers had indicated that they were unable to pick up this valuable community work.


   It was noted that a new President was expected in in April, and that pressure the Universities should be reminded of their responsibilities to help to reduce Anti-social noise and activities, and unacceptable behaviour.


   Incidents of anti-social and disrespectful behaviour were reported, including climbing on the Christmas crib situated at the Holy Cross Church in New Walk, urinating, and screaming and shouting in the New Walk area when leaving bars and making way back to accommodation.  Some liaison with the bar owners in the area had taken place and it was accepted that the problems were largely due to the late night licensing hours.  Former NUS initiatives to have stewards accompany students had been withdrawn.


   A scheme introduced at Loughborough University was cited as an example of good  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.



An update will be provided on the 20 miles per hour zone in the Clarendon Park Road and Knighton Fields Road area


Councillor Kitterick was invited to introduce the item.


He referred to plans displayed showing the initial areas being considered for 20mph zones and commented on the need to calm traffic in certain roads, including those between Welford Road and Saffron Lane.


It was confirmed that traffic surveys were being undertaken to record the number of vehicles and their speed to properly assess the extent of the problems.  It was reported that physical traffic calming measures that would assist the reduction in traffic speeds were also being considered.  The suitability, design and relative effect of traffic cushions and speed ramps were debated.


In regard to the future timetable of the initiative, it was reported that a two stage consultation exercise would begin, initially involving discussion with schools in the area and the Emergency Services.  It was also noted that a petition had been received by Ward Councillors concerning the speed of traffic in the area and the need for a scheme and increased enforcement to be introduced.


Following the consultation period, and if a scheme was desired, a legal process including the making of Traffic Regulation Orders would ensue.  Opportunities for residents to object to any proposals would be raised at this stage.


In respect of the consultation process it was suggested that an exhibition showing the extent of any proposed schemes should be advertised and displayed at the Library on Clarendon Park Road.


The position and update was noted.




An update will be given on proposed options for fencing at the Victoria Park Playground


The Chair referred to a recent site meeting with Parks Services, following the issue and concerns being raised at the previous meeting.


It was noted that three options existed for fencing or part fencing of the newly installed children’s play area in the park and that a user survey/consultation process would commence, to involve user groups including the Friends of the Park.


Following the expiry of the survey/consultation and consideration of the results, Councillors would discuss the design of any appropriate measures to alleviate concerns.


A comment concerning the development of the park was raised, it being noted that the historic ‘open’ nature and aspect of Victoria Park was becoming endangered by the amount of recent installations of playgrounds and outdoor gym equipment.  This representation was noted.





An update will be provided on the ‘To-Let’ / ‘For Sale’ board policy consultation


It was noted that the consultation on the ‘To-Let / For Sale’ proposed policy had ended and results were being collated and assessed.


The result of the consultation would be considered by Government and an update would be submitted to the next ward meeting in March 2017.


Residents commented on the continuing problems being experienced by the permanent display of ‘To-Let’ signs in the Ward and concern was reiterated that many vacant properties had become targeted for vandalism and burglary.


The position and update was noted.




The Police will provide an update on their activities in the Ward


Inspector Simon Preston (Leics Police) updated the meeting on police activities in the ward.


He made particular comment on major incidents in the previous two months, including those serious crimes at Charter Street and King Street involving knife attacks, together with the traffic incident at Humberstone Gate. Progress on those cases and arrests were reported and noted.


It was accepted that the concentration of officers’ time in dealing with these serious crimes had impacted on neighbourhood policing matters.


In terms of community issues it was reported that an individual had returned to the area, who had previously been convicted of harassment charges under community behaviour laws, relating to the circulation of homophobic and other literature.  Liaison with the LGBT community was ongoing to ensure awareness of the situation.


An initiative had been undertaken to reduce prostitution and kerb crawling in the De Montfort Street area leading to a reduction in problems.  Legislative changes to decriminalise the ‘selling of sex’ had been mooted in discussions by the Government’s Home Affairs Select Committee and the ongoing debate was being observed.


Liaison with Car Parks operators including NCP was ongoing to reduce anti-social behaviour.  It was noted that increased incidents of rough sleeping and nuisance by youths in the early evenings had been reported to the police.


In terms of crime statistics it was reported that during the current reporting period there had been:

·         10 burglaries

·         4 burglaries (other than dwellings)

·         11 thefts from motor vehicles

·         10 cycle thefts

·         7 theft from person.


In response to questions, Inspector Preston agreed that there had been an increase in street drinking and begging.  It was noted that the police were reminding people not to give money to beggars and commented on the support offered to those suffering from alcohol and drug addiction through a number of agencies and charities.  The multi-agency approach and regular consultation meetings were noted in this respect.


In conclusion, it was noted that an increase in community work had begun in the east of the city centre, particularly around the St. Matthews area, where a large number of young males had caused a number of recent low-level anti-social and nuisance crimes.  It was considered that the community work was necessary to prevent any major crimes developing in the area.  Liaison with the Fire Service and further education institutions were noted.




The City Warden will provide an update on environmental and enforcement activities in the Ward



Chris Bramley-Brown (City Warden) updated the meeting on environmental and enforcement activities in the ward.


He made particular reference to the policies and practices concerning the removal of commercial and domestic waste in response to residents’ concerns.  He advised that in some situations there could be a number of reasons for waste to be left on street awaiting collection, but also commented on the investigations and enforcement undertaken where households and businesses had ignored the correct methods of waste disposal.


Areas where bins and refuse bags were left on streets were reported by residents and noted for monitoring and action.


Chris also reported on an increase in fly-posting in the city centre and distribution of printed materials, where companies required to be licenced before distribution.  These guidelines were intended to reduce the numbers of littering incidents in the city.


It was noted that information on the Christmas Lights Switch-on Event had been posted on the Council’s website.


In conclusion, it was noted that the City Wardens Service had taken part in the local government Twitter initiative, where tweets were posted throughout the day to promote the Council’s activities.




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


The Community Engagement Officer reported that Councillors had considered 8 applications for Ward Community Funding.


It was reported that £3,527 remained in the 2016/17 financial year for projects and proposals that could show benefit to the Ward.





The Chair allowed a member of the public to address the meeting concerning the future of the NHS.  Concern was expressed at the lack of public scrutiny concerning the future proposals and likely cuts to services as part of the Sustainability and Transformational Plan (STP).


Residents were advised and encouraged to take part in any consultation that was available before consideration by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in 2017.





The meeting closed at 8.00 pm.