Agenda and minutes

Westcotes Community Meeting - Tuesday, 9 September 2014 7:00 pm

Venue: East West Community Project, Wilberforce Road

Contact: Elaine Baker, tel: 0116 454 6355 (ext 37 6355) 

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 Russell chaired the meeting. Councillor Connelly was also present.


Prior to the commencement of the meeting Mr Adrian Ablett (The Can Man) was recognised for his efforts in collecting over 150,000 cans for recycling in and around the Ward.


ACTION LOG pdf icon PDF 278 KB

The Action Log from the meeting held on 17 June 2014 is attached for information and discussion


The Action Log of the meeting held on 17 June was confirmed as a correct record.


Matters Arising:

a)            Castle Classic and Sky Ride Cycling Events


Castle Classic:

The event was held on Sunday 17 August 2014 and had been well attended with positive feedback having been received.



The event had been held on Sunday 24 August and had been very successful with a significant number of participants, estimated at 14,000 people of all ages and abilities. 


It was noted that that the success of SkyRide relied on continuing improved organisation from the experiences of each event year on year.  In this respect, it was confirmed that for next year’s event, consideration would be given to revisions to the route where some motorists had been unwilling to cooperate with the organisers and had been reluctant to move vehicles, including vehicles on the route that had been parked overnight.


The meeting noted the improved arrangements for this year’s event with a greater number of cyclists taking part and using Bede Park as a congregation point.  It was considered that the initiative to make water available to participants at the park had been well received.


In respect of accessibility the meeting welcomed the report that the availability of ‘adaptabikes’ had meant that the SkyRide event had been enjoyed by an increased number of less abled participants.


b)           Leicester Centre for Integrated Living (LCIL)


It was reported that LCIL were continuing to work effectively in managing the West End Neighbourhood Centre.  The suggestion made at the previous meeting for the Centre to work with representatives of ‘Upstairs at the Western’ had been taken up and positive feedback had been received.


c)            Bede Park



Councillor Russell referred to the recent installation of the CCTV system in Bede Park, which was now fully operational.  The meeting welcomed the announcement and improved security and security to park users.


Extension of the Park:

It was reported that since the Council had acquired the land neighbouring the Tesco store adjacent to the park, work would be commencing shortly to tidy, level and seed the area concerned.


Development Plan:

It was reported that plans for the long-term development of the park were being developed in consultation with residents and the university.  It was noted that the Landscape Development Officer would be attending the next meeting to discuss the draft layout of the park.


It was requested that the availability of S.106 planning contributions associated with the development of the park be clarified in time for the next meeting.


d)            Planning and Development Control


It was reported that the objections to the application at Freeman’s Meadow had been submitted and that the application had been refused outline consent.


An amendment to the application at the former railway building on Upperton Road had been approved allowing for a minor reconfiguration of the building and for leisure and recreational use.  The use would be in operation for the benefit of students who were resident in other  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.



An update will be given on progress with the Council’s Transforming Neighbourhood Services initiative


Councillor Russell referred to the continued progress with the Transforming Neighbourhoods Review which had been debated at the meeting of the Neighbourhood Services and Community Involvement Scrutiny Commission on 8 September 2014.


It was reported that some amendments had been proposed by the Scrutiny Commission, principally relating the maintained provision of services in Braunstone.  It was noted that services in the Ward, including the future operation of Westcotes Library had remained unaffected by the review.


Posters and other publicity to confirm the outcomes would follow the formal decision notice process.



An update from patch walks will be discussed


Three patchwalks had been held since the previous meeting, covering 32 streets in the Ward.  Issues noted were as follows:


Bins on streets -

Commercial paladin bins on street

Bins with missing lids

Bulky items collection


Alley gates -

Installation of new gates and ensuring that those already fitted are locked

Some alley gates had missing locks


Other matters -

Hedges and walls, untidy and broken

Rubbish clearance

Abandoned road signs

Fly tips

Derelict buildings and security of empty properties

Loose Guttering


The success of the patchwalks in identifying issues for action by various agencies was noted and further patchwalks were suggested to cover other areas in the ward.  It had been suggested that a ‘patch-cycle’ be undertaken to consider environment al issues along the Great Central Way.


Bede Park would also be considered separately and a patchwalk would be convened in conjunction with representatives of the various Housing Associations concerned with the properties adjacent to the park.



An update on planning and development issues in the Westcotes Ward not covered elsewhere on the agenda will be given at the meeting.


The following issues were reported and noted:


a)         Beaconsfield Road – Off licence


A representation had been submitted objecting to the proposal.  The application related to the sale of alcohol from 8.00 am until midnight.  Councillors confirmed their intention to attend the hearing.


b)         Braunstone Gate cafes


Applications to extend cafes to include pavement licences had been received and it was proposed that no objections be raised.


c)         Braunstone Gate Cycle-friendly scheme


Initial stages of consultation had begun with businesses in Braunstone Gate on a proposal to extend pavements to allow safer cycling, and to improve secure cycle parking areas.


d)         Flat conversion at Westerby road


It was noted that the Planning and Development Control Committee had considered the above application.  The Committee’s view was that the proposal formed an acceptable development and consent had been granted.


e)         Eastleigh Road Pocket Park


Problems had been reported concerning the above area of land that had been developed initially as part of the City Challenge initiative.  The area had become untidy and was suffering from anti-social behaviour.  It was suggested that development of the land, which was in the Council’s ownership, would be suitable as it was not being used for its originally intended purpose.  An application to develop the land would therefore be submitted in due course.


f)          Narborough Road Railway Bridge


It was reported that the re-painting of the bridge was a specialised operation and options were being considered.  One option, which had been strongly resisted, involved a fifteen week road closure and other investigation work was being undertaken to determine a solution.  The work would not commence until the Spring due to the requirement for the re-painting to be undertaken in mild weather.


g)         Shopfront improvements


It was noted that an historical shopfront (H North & Worthingtons) in Hinckley Road required attention and it was agreed to follow up the matter.



The City Warden will give an update on issues in the Westcotes Ward.


Jamie Stubbs, City Warden, updated the meeting on enforcement and environmental activities in the Ward.


An information leaflet was circulated, which described the following activities:


·                The ‘Love Where You Live’ project had continued in the Western Road area, working with residents and landlords to reduce fly-tips, remove bins from the streets and to clear gardens and alleyways.


·                Fly tips had been reported and followed up.  Investigations were being carried out on the individuals responsible and publicity information on the bulk collection scheme had been distributed to residents.


·                Details of unlicensed scaffolding and skips also dealt with since the previous Ward meeting were submitted.


In discussing the report, Jamie was congratulated by Councillors and residents on her work in a particular location in the Ward in ensuring that bins on streets were removed.  It was noted that since her work, the reported incidents of drinkers congregating and causing anti-social behaviour had greatly reduced.


Reports of graffiti on shutters and shopfronts, and on parking meters were noted for future action.  It was reported that graffiti could be easily removed but that identifying perpetrators remained a problem.


In conclusion, it was reported that there was a need to ensure that goods and produce for sale displayed on the street was not allowed to cause obstruction to the public, particularly to people with disabilities, the visually impaired or people pushing prams and buggies.



Officers from Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an update on police issues in Westcotes Ward.


The following matters were reported and noted:


·                Anti-social behaviour caused by street drinking remained a priority and the public were encouraged to report any incidents.  It was considered that many instances were not reported and that evidence of the problem would be required to support the extension of the city’s proposed street drinking ban.  The use of the Sentinel system to record anti-social behaviour crimes was explained.


·                Security of derelict and abandoned buildings was causing concern, particularly as youngsters were entering buildings and putting themselves into danger. Multi-Agency work was continuing to address the problem, including links to StreetVibe.


·                Cycling on pavements was being tackled as an increasing problem in the Ward, with instances of collision and injury being reported.  A multi-lingual advice leaflet was being distributed to prevent the problem of pavement cycling.  It was confirmed that spot-fines could be issued by the police.


·                Crime statistics were reported and increases in theft of cycles, theft from person and theft from motor vehicles had increased. 


In respect of theft from persons it was noted that criminals were targeting people using hand held devices and the public were reminded to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings when using mobile phones and other devices.  The liaison with the Universities to inform and educate students of the problem was continuing.  It was reported that an ‘Immobilise’ initiative allowed for serial numbers of products to be recorded to disable their use if stolen, and aid their return to owners.  Details of the initiative would be issued with the documentation for the next Ward meeting.  In respect of theft of cycles it was noted that locks were available from the Police and ongoing educational and prevention based activities were explained.


·                Burglaries had greatly reduced, the public had been reminded to keep properties, sheds and outbuildings secure, to prevent opportunist crime.


·                Attendance at the recent patchwalks had been of great benefit to the Police and increased multi-agency work had resulted.  Separate patchwalks with Parks officers were being arranged.


Councillor Russell welcomed the encouragement to ensure that incidents of street drinking were reported.  She updated the meeting on the consultation on a proposed street drinking ban across the city advising that the proposal would prevent problems of displacement of the problem, where previous designated zonal bans had been introduced.  The recent need for the consultation exercise to be reopened, due to a recent change in legislation, was explained.  It was agreed that an update be submitted to the next Ward meeting.


In respect of the reports on cycling it was considered that some pavement cycling was due to there being an unsuitable cycle lane network and a lack of safe routes on-street.  It was reported that the Council were currently considering a Cycle City Action Plan and it was hoped that improved arrangements for cyclists would be delivered, including improved links to the Great Central Way.



Councillors are reminded that under the Council’s Code of Conduct they should declare any interest they may have in budget applications


a)         An update will be given on the Ward Community budget; and


b)    A list of grant applications submitted for consideration at this meeting is attached.


The following applications had been determined since the previous Ward meeting (fast-track):


·                Open Day

East West Centre



·                Creative Gardening Harvest Day

Polish Mums and Children Centre

£500 – SUPPORTED on condition that the event can be linked to a separate similar event previously funded


·                Flower Beds

Parks Services



Applications considered at the meeting:


·                Training for restorative justice programme

Restorative Justice

£1,942 (Joint bid)

PART SUPPORTED in sum of £971 on condition that funding is jointly offered by Fosse Ward and that it can be evidenced that recruitment of trainers will be of benefit to the Westcotes Ward.


·                Fencing of property

Coping with Cancer




·                Chair Based Exercises

Guru Nanak Day Centre


NOT SUPPORTED. Assistance to be given separately through the Community First programme.


·                Wild Flower Creation

Parks Services


NOT SUPPORTED.  Use of S.106 planning contributions be considered.


·                Seniors and Elders Day

Manor House Committee




·                Neighbourhood Watch

Westleigh Road NW Scheme




·                Poetry Booklets

Library Group






a)         Narborough Road Bridge and Westcotes Library - Lighting


The proposed architectural public lighting of the bridge and the improved lighting of the library were reported.


b)         One Clean Leicester


Details of the scheme, including an ‘app’ to report/photograph issues, were reported.


c)         Westwords Festival


Details of the festival and forthcoming launch would be circulated to all those on the Ward meeting database.




The meeting closed at 8.40 pm.