Venue: The Quaker Meeting House, 16 Queens Road, Leicester, LE2 1WP
Contact: Angela Martin, Community Engagement Officer (Tel: 0116 454 6571) (Email: Angela.Martin@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 took the Chair and welcomed everyone present.
In regard to the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, Councillor Senior declared an ‘Other Disclosable Interest’ in that she lived in Clarendon Park adjacent to the Avenues area being considered for a 20 mph zone.
It was not considered that the above interest was so significant that Councillor Senior should withdraw from discussion on the item concerned.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
An apology was received from Police Inspector Simon Preston. Police Sgt Jodie White and PCSO Emma Jayne were welcomed.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 15 November 2016 is attached for information and discussion.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 15 November 2016 was submitted for information and comment.
THE AVENUES AREA, PROPOSED 20 MPH ZONE - CONSULTATION
Officers will be present to discuss the ‘Avenues Area, Proposed 20 mph zone - Consultation.
Residents are encouraged to engage with the consultation process.
Graham Seaton (Transport Development Officer) provided an update on the progress of the Avenues Area 20mph zone.
He commented that the matter was subject to a public consultation exercise that would expire on 24 March 2017.
Following the conclusion of the consultation officers would analyse the results and prepare any proposals for further discussion.
In terms of the likely timescale it was noted that should a scheme be approved, works were likely to commence in July 2017 to coincide with the schools summer break.
It was confirmed that the proposals had arisen due to reports of the numbers of vehicles travelling at speed in the area. The additional benefits of a 20mph zone to allow safer cycling and improved pedestrian facilities, including better crossing points, were noted.
In reply to a question it was reported that the initial response rate tot eh consultation was not at a significantly high level and residents were encouraged to take part in the online consultation. The possibility of additional plans and information being placed at Knighton Library were suggested and would be followed up by officers.
The position was noted.
VICTORIA PARK (LOWER END) - UPDATE.
Suggestions will be sought on the use of Section 106 planning contributions.
Councillor Senior reported that S.106 planning contributions, which were received from developers on the approval of applications, often included funding of public open space provision or improvement.
It was suggested that a list of preferred projects be established to identify particular open space projects that such contributions could go towards. It was considered that a defined list would ensure greater transparency in the use of S.106 funds.
Current options included the fencing of the new play area at Victoria Park as reported to the previous meeting. Any options would be referred to the Parks Department for their consideration of suitability and ease of introduction.
The matter was opened to the meeting for discussion and the following issues were suggested where it was considered that developer contributions could help to improve the ward:
· Victoria Park old playground (at SW corner) – wood chipped surface in need of refurbishment or replacement with an alternative modern surface
· Museum Square – state of benches and tarmacked paths that had not been refurbished or resurfaced for some time. Improved lighting was also required to prevent anti-social behaviour
· De Montfort Square – in need of refurbishment following the recent adjacent student accommodation development. Improved lighting was also required to prevent anti-social behaviour
· Temporary increased feature lighting of New Walk to coincide with specific festival and events
· Lighting of the tennis courts and skate park area at Victoria Park, following completion of the current works
Residents were thanked for their imput and it was noted that the list would be referred to partner organisations for further comments. The Police commented on the list of schemes and advised that they would promote any that reduced anti-social behaviour and crime.
TRANSFORMING NEIGHBOURHOODS (TNS) - OUTLINE & UPDATE
An update will be given on the Transforming Neighbourhood Services (TNS) proposals.
Shilen Pattni (Neighbourhood Services) provided an update on the Transforming Neighbourhoods consultation.
He thanked residents for the significant response, commenting that over 2000 replies had been received.
It was noted that outline proposals would be considered during April and May 2016 and initial recommendations for the future use of the Council’s community facilities and buildings including Knighton Library would be made at that stage, following full analysis of the consultation results.
The update was noted.
POLICE - UPDATE
Representatives of Leicestershire Police will give an update on activities in the Ward.
Police Sgt. Jodie White and PCSO Emma Jayne were welcomed to the meeting.
Crime statistics for the period were reported and the following key aspects were noted:
· A large rise in thefts from commercial premises and shops had been experienced, including a high profile theft in Queens Park Road. It was noted that arrests had been made. Security information had been offered to the shopkeepers in the area due to the rise in incidents.
· An individual known to the Police and who had previously been charged for distributing ‘hate’ literature had returned to the city centre. Partnership work with the LGBT community was ongoing in this regard.
· Operations to reduce prostitution and kerb-crawling in the DeMontfort Square area were ongoing.
The Police were thanked for their update and residents reported on meetings held with the Universities and the Police where revised initiatives to prevent anti-social behaviour and nuisance crimes were being considered. In this regard it was noted that students were also the victims of crime and comment was made on the universities’ increasing assistance to Police operations.
Police Sgt. White & PCSO Jayne were thanked for their attendance and the update was noted.
CITY WARDEN - UPDATE
The City Warden will give an update on environmental and enforcement activities in the Ward.
Chris Bramley-Brown (City Warden) provided an update on his environmental and enforcement activities in the Ward.
He made the following comments which were noted:
· Commercial waste disposal in the city centre had become an issue with a number of businesses attempting to dispose of waste in public waste bins. Work to ensure the removal of commercial bins from streets to storage areas was also increasing.
· An initiative to remove residential bins from streets, particularly in the student areas in Clarendon Park had commenced.
· Unlicensed scaffolding had been identified and Court action was being pursued against one company.
· Gates had been installed at the Angel Gateway/Parade adjacent to Leicester Market to ensure its security and avoid misuse at night. It was noted that volunteer projects to refurbish the area could be considered.
· Shuttering had been installed at the rear of the Age Concern premises on Charles Street to avoid misuse.
· The use of the LoveLeicester app was promoted as an effective mechanism should residents need to report any issues.
The City Warden was thanked for his update.
The reduction in the Street Cleansing Team’s budget was raised by residents and examples of the worsening situation were reported. It was noted that at one location the refuse vehicle operatives had refused to remove waste from a street. The position was noted and Councillors agreed to investigate the matter.
COMMUNITY MEETING BUDGET - YEAR END
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 at year end.
The Community Engagement Officer reported that 8 applications had been received and considered by Councillors.
3 had been supported, 4 not supported and 1 withdrawn.
At year end, a remaining balance could be carried forward to the 2017-18 financial year.
In response to a question it was confirmed that the first round of applications for the new financial year would open on 10 April 2017 and close on 31 May 2017 and applications were welcomed.
In conclusion, a representative of ArtBeat expressed thanks for previous funding and gave an update on the event held.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
It was confirmed that the Summer Fair would be held on Sunday 18 June 2017 and that applications for stalls would be received from 17 March 2017.
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 7.30 pm.