Venue: Quaker Meeting House, 16 Queen's Road, Leicester, LE2 1WP
Contact: Punum Patel, Community Engagement Officer (Tel: 0116 454 6575) (Email: Punum.Patel@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 Myers (in the Chair) led introductions.
There were no Declarations of Interest.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
There were no apologies for absence.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 25 July 2019 is attached for information and discussion.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 25 July 2019 was confirmed as a correct record.
POLICE UPDATE AND WYGGESTON AND QUEEN ELIZABETH COLLEGE UPDATE
A representative of the Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College will be present to provide an update on developments at the College.
Insp Adam Archer (Police Commander for the City Centre) was invited to introduce the item.
Insp Adam Archer referred to liaison with licensees and student groups, in view of the increased numbers of students returning to the city’s universities and colleges.
In respect of current operations, it was noted that enhanced patrols and visibility of officers had been undertaken due to an increased level of reports of robbery.
Additional patrols had also been undertaken due to increased reports of burglary, including targeted work in the Clarendon Park and Riverside areas. The recently promoted ‘darker nights’ campaign was discussed and noted.
Donna Trussler (Associate Principal - WQE) reported on the College’s response to a recent incident and on the resultant street safety initiatives and modules undertaken by the College.
It was noted that the heightened safeguarding work of the College included an online module and Safety Officers were supporting students and working to ensure the security of the campus. The challenges of the arrangement of the site with public walkways through the campus were recognised in this regard.
The importance to identify those responsible and clarify that not all perpetrators were students at the College was stressed. Advice provided to students on their expected behaviour off-site was also noted and it was reported that increased student numbers due to previous good results had exacerbated the issues concerning safeguarding and security. Proposals to work with the community were restated as the College did not want to aggravate or frustrate its neighbours.
Insp Adam Archer and Donna Trussler were thanked for their report and update.
Residents were invited to comment.
Concerns were expressed relating to the increase in anti-social behaviour and more serious incidents. Key issues raised by residents included the threat to the security of local shopkeepers, drug use, and problems with students parking in streets adjacent to the College using laptops to complete work, often with engines idling.
The Police clarified that the enforcement of the on-street parking issue would not be considered a priority in view of the allocation of resources in the city.
The requirement for the College and its Governors to act in the interests of the community was highlighted. It was considered that improved financial management and planning to alleviate problems was considered necessary, in view of the increased numbers of students and need for improved facilities at the campus. A suggestion that the College produce a regular newsletter to explain activities and promote work undertaken in this regard was welcomed and supported.
In conclusion, the Chair invited those persons expressing concerns relating to individual incidents and/or ongoing problems to report them separately.
Information on how to contact officers of relevant organisations was provided and officers agreed to compile a register of interested persons with a view to convening a separate consultation meeting in due course.
Highways Officers will be present to provide an update on highways and transport issues in the Ward, including cycle lanes, the Clarendon Park West 20mph zone, and a London Road scheme update.
Robert Bateman (Highways Senior Project Manager) provided an update on current highways issues in the Ward, including:
· The construction of the Victoria Park Cycle Path had paused as proposals for a revised route were being considered. It was expected that works would continue once the details of the revised arrangements were agreed. Further works to encourage cycling as part of the wider scheme were expected in Victoria Park Road and Queens Road.
It was confirmed that the Ward received an appropriate share of the annual highways maintenance budget.
In response to questions from residents it was recognised that changed lane priorities had caused problems to drivers in London Road. It was noted that the delayed enforcement of the new design was intentional to allow motorists to become familiar with the arrangements. Delays to the resurfacing works were discussed and it was reported that this had been due to wet weather conditions preventing lining works to proceed.
Issues concerning the hazardous use of the new cycle paths through Victoria Park by pedestrians were noted. It was anticipated that this problem would be reduced once the cycle paths were fully constructed and in use. Works to alleviate the flooding of footpaths in the park were also due to commence and it was considered that this would lessen the need for pedestrians to use the cycle paths.
Further issues raised by residents included rat-running problems in the Greenhill Road area and concerns at a trend of highways signs being removed by students. It was confirmed that individual issues could be reported to Ward Councillors for consideration separately at any time.
At this point, the Chair read a statement from Parks Services concerning proposed improvements at Victoria Park. It was reported that a new outdoor activity space and replacement play equipment were planned, together with the installation of a bandstand.
The update was noted and welcomed, however concerns were expressed by residents at the high levels of littering and a suggestion for larger bins was noted and supported.
CITY WARDEN UPDATE
The City Warden will be present to provide an update on environmental and enforcement issues in the Ward.
Chris Bramley-Brown (City Warden) provided an update on environmental and enforcement issues in the Ward.
He referred to ongoing liaison work with student groups and other parties concerning waste management and the disposal of white goods and large furniture items. An enhanced initiative involving a significant amount of correspondence had been undertaken to improve the situation.
Continued education and enforcement of the ‘bins on streets’ initiative was also noted.
Concerns were expressed by residents regarding fly-tipping in alleyways at the rear of terraced housing and the perception that there were lower levels of street cleaning generally . The Street Cleansing Team would be advised of the concerns raised. In respect of alleyways, it was clarified that gates could be installed with the agreement of residents, as the alleyways were usually private property.
CLIMATE EMERGENCY CONVERSATION
The Project Manager will be in attendance to give a presentation concerning the conversation on the Climate Change Emergency.
Aidan Davis (Sustainability Officer) circulated presentation slides concerning the Climate Change Conversation consultation.
It was noted that consultation was ongoing and would conclude on 9 February 2020. The timetable for the was noted as follows:
• Online questionnaire on Consultation Hub
• Conversation pack for Community Discussions
• Dialogue forum – from 16 December 2019
• Presentations at Ward meetings – ongoing
• Leicester’s Climate Assembly – 18 January 2020
• Young Peoples’ Climate Assembly – 27 January 2020
Following this part of the process, the conversation would continue, taking account of the comments received.
The requirement for support from Government, business and other public sector partners to achieve the Council’s climate change ambitions was highlighted.
In respect of the forthcoming ‘Climate Assembly’ on 18 January 2020 advice was provided on the availability of places to ensure a varied attendance of interested groups and individuals.
The position and update was noted.
COMMUNITY MEETING BUDGET
The Community Engagement Officer will provide an update on the Ward Community budget.
The Chair referred to the availability of funds and
reiterated previous comments that applications in the Castle Ward should show a specific benefit to the Ward and its residents, and not be related to an event or project held centrally for the wider benefit.
The position concerning the determination of applications and allocation of the Ward Community Fund was noted and accepted.
The Community Engagement Officer reported that 7 applications had been supported since the last meeting.
The balance remaining was confirmed as £5,267.00 and further applications were encouraged.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
A resident referred to correspondence recently sent to local MPs and the City Mayor concerning the city’s rail services and the current operating company arrangements .
It had been proposed that a Rail Users Group be established to collectively discuss issues (excluding fares) and it was hoped that a meeting could be convened in the new year.
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 8.45 pm.