Venue: Eyres Monsell Community Centre, Hillsborough Road, Leicester, LE2 9PQ
Contact: Angela Martin, Community Engagement Officer, Tel. (0116) 454 6571, (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) Angie Smith, Democratic Support Officer (Tel: (0116) 454 6354) (Email: Angie.Smith@leicester.gov.uk)
INTRODUCTION AND WELCOME
Councillor Pantling in the Chair.
The Chair welcome everyone to the meeting and, at her invitation, all present introduced themselves.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Cleaver and Sue Green.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members are asked to declare any interests they may have in the business to be discussed.
No interests were declared.
An update and feedback will be given to the meeting.
Martin Fletcher (City Highways Director), Janet Dyer (road safety, 20mph, etc.) and Jamie Long (laybys) were present at the meeting, and the attached presentation was delivered. Officers gave information on work undertaken in the area over the last few years.
The following additional information was provided:
· Highways work was prioritised with ward councillors to include issues raised, for example, parking concerns. Each workstream had budget assigned to it.
· The City Council had significant capital programmes across the city not just the centre, for example, road maintenance works at the Pork Pie Island at £170k.
· Discussions at drop in sessions prior to layby works consultation had changed priorities for residents.
· School run parking was a national issue, and a serious problem across the city. A programme around priorities due to resources would focus on risk assessed schools across the city for 2019/20, for example, Rolleston Primary School.
· Physical and enforcement measures could include bollards, targeted activities involving police, and warnings to parents. Work would continue to create behaviour change amongst parents.
· Time was spent in schools training students how to ride bikes, walk to school as a healthy alternative.
· 20mph schemes had been introduced e.g. Stonesby Avenue, and more were planned, along with traffic calming measures. Eventually the scheme would make the whole estate 20mph. Schemes were developed with the police.
· The scheme would be policed and sampled to see if it was working. It would encourage more people to drive slowly. It was up to drivers to adhere to the limit of the road.
· Bollards and railings would be installed to try to stop inconsiderate parking.
· People bollards were more expensive than pencil bollards, and had been well received. A resident reported those on Stonesby Avenue were very effective.
· Bollards needed to be used in the right location, for example, on the approach to an entrance. Using closely placed pencil bollards were suitable, for example, school entrances.
· There was a long term problem of queuing traffic at peak time at the Saffron Lane / Sturdee Road junction, which might be resolved with a mini-roundabout. A resident noted the issue had been raised back in 2005, and Samworths had paid towards the cost in 2006. Installation of a roundabout would be costly as Telecom Cables were in the way – approximately £200k. A solution was needed that didn’t cost the earth.
Residents raised the following issues:
· It was difficult to get out of the drive some mornings. The problem was the turn on Hillsborough Road near to Featherstone Drive.
· Residents believed that modern cushions caused undercarriage damage to cars.
· Residents stated signage for speed limits was poor and small. It was explained that traffic officers were restricted to work within statutory sign laws. At an entrance to a speed restriction, big round signs were visible – beyond that only small, repeater signs were used.
· The government should intervene with manufacturers to restrict the speed of cars.
Officers were thanked for the presentation. Residents were asked to speak to the traffic officers ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
HOUSING MANAGEMENT AND REPAIRS
An officer will be present to provide an update to the meeting.
Suki Supria (Head of Service for tenancy management), Ian Craig (Head of Service, repairs function) and Kamina Rughani (Neighbourhood Housing Team Leader for Eyres Monsell)
The following points were made:
· Officers present dealt with all aspects of tenancy as a landlord function.
· There were 21,000 properties, with nearly 90,000 repairs undertaken each year. Not an exhaustive list, repairs included fixtures, structures, internal, external, and empty properties being brought to an acceptable standard for people to move into.
· Work also included installations, for example, boilers, kitchens, smoke alarms, work on communal areas, for example, corridors, waste chutes. Special arrangements were in place for lifts, alarms and security doors.
· Houses were not decorated, but a new tenant would be given money to purchase decorating materials.
· Deliberate damage was not repaired, and the tenant would be recharged.
· Breaches conditions of tenancy would be dealt with within the definition of the conditions.
· The service also covered rental income and arrears action, though support for tenants to maintain a tenancy was offered, and evictions were a last resort.
· Tenancy fraud was also covered. A tenant had the right sub-let but permission was needed.
· People that wanted to move were given assistance. Priority Band One was the highest, and there were 13,000 allocations per year. There was also a waiting list for garages and garage spaces. It was noted some garages were vacant as they were not accessible, for example, due to asbestos.
· Tenants were also helped with pest control.
· Officers worked with the police and other partner agencies to tackle harassment, domestic violence and anti-social behaviour. There was a list of vulnerable tenants, and routine visits were made to ensure they were ok and well supported in their tenancy, with assistance from Adult Social Care and Star.
· The department covered emergency situations such as gas safety checks, fire safety inspections. Temporary accommodation would also be provided on occasion, for example, whilst repairs were being undertaken.
· There were mandatory grounds in conditions of tenancy. If the council went to court, the judge would grant the council repossession if there was criminal activity. Acceptable behaviour contracts and injunctions could also be used.
· The department also dealt with tenancy abandonments, and mutual exchanges, succession rights to a tenancy, right to buy, altering dwellings, and references for banks and building societies.
· The environmental budget was predominantly used for parking and laybys in the area, and improvements in bin areas.
· There were different types of housing stock, which included warden assisted accommodation.
· There were also specialist arrangements with contractors, for example, grounds maintenance. Major refurbishments were also undertaken.
· Disability facility grants were provided to those eligible for adaptations in homes.
Officers were thanked for the information. Residents were invited to speak with the housing officers after the meeting.
NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING AND ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN EYRES MONSELL
Officers from Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an update on policing in Eyres Monsell.
Sgt. Steve Power, Leicestershire Police, was present, and provided the following information:
· Crime statistics for Eyres Monsell were good and had not significantly risen over the past year, and in some areas had gone down.
· There had been though a couple of significant incidents involving knives. An anti-knife operation had been introduced at the start of November 2018. So far there had been 15 stop searches targeting knife crime (the second highest in the force) and as a result there were several significant arrests.
· There were a few amnesty bins, one of which was located in the Eyres Monsell centre. A knife arch was in place in the Co-op on Hillsborough Road, and its use would be reviewed by the Inspector and might be extended.
· There were no other particular areas of concern to report.
Residents queried why the knife arch had been publicised. It was reported the police wanted people to know they were working on knife crime, and was more about advertising and public relations. Residents asked that police be more visible on the estate to reassure residents, particularly older members of the community. It was noted that there were also several officers working in plain clothes during operations, but the need for visible police presence was understood.
The Chair thanked Sgt. Power for the information.
The City Warden will give an update on issues in Eyres Monsell Ward.
Noel Cazley, City Warden for Saffron, Aylestone and Eyres Monsell was present. The following information was noted:
· Offences dealt with included littering, messy gardens (council and private properties, the main worry for which was vermin and infestation.
· Residents were warned to be careful when using ‘Man and Van’, and to ensure the drive had a waste carriers licence, with a reference number – these can be checked online. If residents did not check a licence, they too could be prosecuted for fly tipping.
· The Council could collect items free of charge, or residents could use the recycling centre at Gypsum Close. The centre also had an area that took items in good condition.
· Using the council’s Love Leicester smart phone app, they could report issues with pictures, for example, trip hazard, dog fouling. A GPS signal of the location would be sent to the relevant department. Residents were urged not to take close-ups of the problem, and to ensure the picture was fully uploaded before moving on so a correct GPS was given.
· It was noted that dog fouling metal bins were taken for scrap, but that any bin could receive dog fouling, even home bins on the public highway.
The officer was thanked for the information.
WARD COMMUNITY BUDGET
Councillors are reminded that they will need to declare any interest they may have in budget applications, and/or indicate that Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.
The Community Engagement Officers reported that applications for ward funding could be found online. Councillors for each ward were allocated a budget of £18,000 each year to spend in the ward.
It was noted that the current amount agreed for applications for the financial year 2018/19 was £11,805. The remaining balance was £8,090, though some had been prioritised.
A resident requested using some money for fences on parks.
· A section on children and young people to be included on the next agenda.
· The next meeting to be held at a later time, with additional publicity in the post office and portacabin.
· Colin Wood, Adaptive Boxing Organisation, gave information and is attached for information. The organisation dealt with people experiencing suicide, depression, physical disability.
· A boys club was open every night in the ward for 8-12 year-olds.
· Streetvibe were present. The Chair suggested all groups got together.
· A discussion would take place with officers with regards to the Magpie Centre and future use.
There being no other items of urgent business the meeting closed at 3.10pm and moved into Part 2 – information session.