Venue: The Quaker Meeting House, 16 Queens Road, Leicester, LE2 1WP
Contact: Angela Martin, Community Engagement Office,r (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.
Cllr Kitterick (in the Chair) led introductions.
There were no Declarations of Interest made.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Councillor Sangster, who was delayed due to traffic and would arrive late to the meeting.
The Chair informed the meeting that the agenda items would be heard out of the order published.
UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER - UPDATE AND FEEDBACK
There will be an update on the development plans at the University of Leicester
Brita Sread (University of Leicester) was present and provided the following information to the meeting:
· Community liaison meetings had been well attended and had provided an insight into local issues.
· The University was working with local PCSOs to discuss student activities and problems.
· The development on Freemens Common had halted. The development planned consisted of student accommodation, car park, teaching and development centre and social space. The preferred bidder Kier had withdrawn from the project, which had suspended activity as they were responsible for the design. Another partner had resurrected planning documents. There were some amendments to the planning application, and consultation had now reopened, and all residents would be written to. A new planning date had been set for early 2019.
· The Percy G extension was progressing and would be open in 2019.
· Brookfield, the new school of business had opened.
· The University was working with the Council and designers on the joint funded University Road scheme, linking into other traffic schemes, such as calming and pedestrianised areas.
· Residents and Councillors expressed their preference to be involved with the early stages of design.
· The Mary G development was at the preferred bidder stage, the University were working closely with the Council on the pre-application.
· Freshers Week was reported to be quieter than in other years. The police worked with residents, and any issues were phoned through to the control team, and there was no negative feedback.
· Student properties in the area were relatively empty and quieter compared to 10 years ago.
· The fruit stall on the campus would become a permanent feature.
· It was noted that bins were usually an issue, with students coming from different parts of the country with different systems – a project with the City Warden was ongoing.
The Chair thanked Brita for the update.
COMMUNITY MEETING BUDGET - STATEMENT
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.
Applications reported were put forward for the round ending 30th September 2018.
· Launchpad fast track application – Minecraft for £495 – supported in full.
· Excellent – Afcab Centre working group – application in Wycliffe ward.
· Leicestershire MS – joint with Saffron £480 – supported.
· Friends of Queens Road Allotments – joint with Knighton. Castle Members were minded to support for £2,615.83 in part.
· Heartbeat festival - £2,500 – supported in Full.
· Art House – not yet processed. £1,000 joint with Knighton (£500) for a security gate. A decision would be made outside of the meeting, though Members indicated they were in support of the application.
Total spend to date - £7,190.31
Remainder - £11,064.69
The balance needed to be spent by March 2019, as no carry forward was permitted due to the local elections in May 2019.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 14 August 2018 is attached for information and discussion.
The Action log of the meeting held on 14 August 2018 was agreed as a correct record.
Minute Item 7 – to be amended to read “the Knighton Fields Road railway bridge…”
WARD COUNCILLORS FEEDBACK
The Councillors for the Castle Ward shall provide an update on their recent activities.
Councillors referred to recent activities in the Ward including:
· There had been a recent spate of crime in the Cultural Quarter. Councillors had met with businesses, and recent crime rates had reduced, which was encouraging.
· Also looked at was rough sleeping in the city – people faced complex issues, and the package of support for recovery could be equally complex. The Council was working with community groups to work out the best offer of support for the future.
· On 7 November 2018, a community walkabout would take place around the Belmont Hotel to look at lighting issues, and some of the gating to see if De Montfort Square could benefit from lighting to improve safety without floodlighting it.
· Councillors also welcomed peoples’ thoughts on the large increase of the student population in New Walk, and how it affected the balance of residential and office accommodation.
Residents drew Members’ attention to cycling on New Walk. Councillors reported on plans for more sensitive signage, and street scaping designs without undermining the conservation area, to make it obvious New Walk was not a cycling space. It was noted that once the cycle lane was complete on London Road, the reason for cyclists to go down New Walk would be reduced and would be the best time to approach the issue following construction.
NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING - UPDATE
The Police will provide an update on activities in the Ward.
Inspector Atwal provided an update on police activities in the Ward.
The following key points were noted:
· Priorities were looked at monthly, and were inclusive of what people had reported in.
· There was a good team in Castle with a number of PCSOs.
· Working with the University of Leicester, students had been visited. Some funding had been received, and police had looked at what would attract students to think about their anti-social behaviour (ASB). A company had supported the police, and with the Safer Leicester Partnership had provided messages on pizza cutters and bottle openers.
· On New Walk last year there were lots of ASB incidents. In 2018 police had worked with Survey Monkey and designed patrol plans around that. The University had given contact details to residents, rather than them contacting the police with reported issues.
· A priority for the following month was to target ASB due to Halloween and fireworks – high visibility patrols from 8.00pm to early morning.
· There were eight burglaries in the Clarendon Park area, which was down from the same period in 2017.
· Police in Oadby ad Wigston were running a burglary patrol operation which might be pushing people into the area. More stop and searches and continued high visibility patrols would take place.
· There had been a reduction in student burglaries, with two reported. Students were generally targeted as they usually had new equipment, such as tv’s, laptops, etc.
· A patchwalk would be held near De Montfort Street and Belmont Hotel the week following the meeting.
In response to questions, the following information was provided:
· It was believed a number of factors had resulted in the reduction of student burglaries. The Police had worked earlier in the year with the two universities, student unions and City Wardens. It was also thought the reduction in ‘To Let’ boards had assisted. It was suggested the pattern in the reduction of burglaries could be a project for students in the Criminology Department at the University.
· Two students had looked at the homeless and working girls, and the impact it had on the city. It was found that issues around drugs was linked to anti-social behaviour, which for certain groups in the city was blatant. A lot of work was being done to build intelligence.
· The was a good seize of cannabis plants at a property in Clarendon. It was noted that cannabis growing in properties was a huge fire risk.
· People had spotted drug dealing taking place outside Sainsbury’s, involving young children. It was reported that complex work around the issue and warrants were ongoing for the addresses feeding the drugs to the community. It took a lot to build up intelligence, and the police relied on information from the public. A good indicator was the curtains were always shut, condensation on the windows, plastic sheets across windows, and people not living there and rarely visiting.
· Drones were also used to inspect houses where it was suspected cannabis was being grown. If the landlord was aware, ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
CITY WARDEN - UPDATE
The City Warden will provide an update on enforcement and environmental activities in the Ward.
Harvey Roberts (City Warden – Castle and Knighton) provided an update on environmental and enforcement activities in the Ward.
· Priorities in the city centre – untidy land, students moving in.
· Prosecution of companies not managing tenants as they should be.
· Grafitti in the city centre passed to other services.
· Fly posting in the past few months with people promoting events – trying to cut that down and deal with promoters.
· Still continuing duty of care project – educating businesses in the centre to ensure people were educated to use the right means to dispose of waste.
· Bins on streets – people not using bin storage areas – working with landlords and management companies. For Clarendon Park, will start bins on streets projects in the next couple of weeks.
· Working with Rob Perrin to educate students when they move in not to leave bins on streets – a letter would go out in advance. A resident reported problems on Orlando Road.
· Anna Parr from Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service (LASALS) distributed information on advice, enrolment and open mornings (leaflet attached for information). A range of courses were offered, including employability courses, work skills programmes and qualification courses that people can half fee pay – large range of out of work benefits can get them free. Digital assistance was also offered for people moving onto Universal Credit, and there were outreach sessions across the city.
· Park Lodge Central Avenue – looking for volunteer board members. Would be greatly appreciated. Meetings of the management committee were held every six weeks. People from a legal background and business development were encouraged to volunteer.
· Putney Road link road – the decision had been called in and subsequently withdrawn at the Council’s Economic Development, Transport and Tourism Scrutiny Commission on 25 October 2018. The Chair said there were arguments on both sides of the scheme. A representation was made at the meeting by the protest group Putney Road Say No.
· Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) would be advertised at various points of the Putney Road scheme’s development, and if anyone had any concerns people would be able to submit their comments / objections in writing to traffic officers. If objections were not withdrawn, they might go to Planning Committee. The Chair added that often during projects circumstances changed, for example, there may be concerns raised for disabled users. A minute extract from the Scrutiny Commission meeting on the development would be forwarded to the representative of the protest group.
· It was not yet known when the development would start. Bus companies were yet to decide whether a bus route would operate on the link road.
There being no other items of business, the meeting closed at 7.23pm.