Venue: East West Community Project, Wilberforce Road
Contact: Jason Tyler, tel: 0116 454 6359 (ext 37 6359)
INTRODUCTIONS & APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
The Chair will introduce those present and make any necessary announcements.
The Chair and any other Councillors who are present will make any Declarations of Interest as required by the Council’s Code of Conduct.
Councillors Russell and Connelly welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the new Ward Police Inspector Chris Brown. It was noted that Insp Brown would be taking on the responsibilities previously undertaken by Insp Rod Smart.
The Action Log of the previous meeting held on 16 December 2014 is attached for information and comment.
The Action log of the previous meeting held on 16 December 2014 was agreed as a correct record.
a) Bede Park Development Plan
The consultation was ongoing and engagement in the project and options was encouraged.
b) Get Growing Grant
It was reported that one community group had applied for a grant under the scheme.
c) Parking Enforcement
It was noted that the Council were to employ a number of additional Enforcement Officers to deal with the problems of illegal parking. In response to a question it was clarified that income used for the appointments and for the financing of the service generally was gained from the fees received from parking permits and not from fines.
d) Westcotes Library and the Watershed
In response to a question the issues concerning the future continued use of the library and community facilities in the ward were discussed. It was noted that investment would be made through the transforming neighbourhoods review. In respect of the Watershed it was reported that negotiations were continuing with De Montfort University with a view to them assuming responsibility for the centre. It was noted that shared community use would be maintained.
e) Great Central Way - Litter
It was reported that recent flood risk works to Great Central Way had been undertaken and that litter had become exposed as trees and shrubs were cut back. It was suggested that through partnership working, the Environment Agency could be contacted to ensure that they inform the City Cleansing Teams when such works were due.
Details of a graffiti ‘tag’ that had appeared at a number of sites in the Ward were noted by the Councillors and Police.
Andy Salkeld, Cycling Coordinator, updated the meeting in respect of ongoing cycling initiatives in the Ward.
He referred in particular to the partnership with Sustrans to improve the Braunstone Lane shopping area, which would be a significant project over the next two years and would change the street scene in the area. The funding of the project through the people’s health trust was clarified and the public engagement initiatives were noted.
Andy was thanked for his update.
In reply to a question concerning the design of the scheme and the public consultation, it was confirmed that the plans would be part of a wider discussion involving many interested parties to ensure that the design of the scheme met the needs of all concerned.
Concerns were expressed regarding the safety of a junction at Narborough Road and Andy agreed to take away the details with a view to a cycling improvement scheme being put forward in the next tranche of design schemes.
To receive an update on issues identified on patch walks around the Ward.
Items of concern noted on the recent patchwalks were reported in the form of a pie-chart showing the principal areas of concern. It was noted that a full list of items was available but it was not considered appropriate to report specific addresses or sites where problems had been recorded.
It was noted that complaints concerning commercial waste collection were regularly received. Although work to tidy bin areas was undertaken, concerns that litter problems soon returned were exporessed.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT/LICENSING MATTERS
An update on planning, development and licensing issues in the Ward will be provided.
a) To-Let Boards
It was reported that the code of conduct which letting agents had agreed to around two years ago, which intended to ensure that to-let boards would be removed, had been generally unsuccessful. It was considered that some boards were displayed permanently as advertisement fixtures. A consultation on a revised initiative was ongoing with a view to boards being removed once properties were let and participation was encouraged.
b) 10 Westcotes Drive
Objections had been submitted to the proposal to convert the above house to eight student flats.
c) The Huntsman
It was reported that an application for residential use had been approved and works had commenced.
d) The Black Horse
An external terraced area had been approved and was now installed.
e) 48 Westcotes Drive
Concerns had been raised concerning the works to extend the above property, as neighbours were affected by building materials being delivered on-street and pavements had been obstructed. Councillors were dealing with the reported complaints with the appropriate departments.
The City Warden will give an update on environmental and enforcement issues in the Ward.
Alexander Kazimierz, The City Warden reported on his recent environmental and enforcement activities in the Ward.
He made particular comment on the following:
· Liaison was ongoing with G4S securities concerning short term accommodation offered to offenders in rehabilitation programmes.
· Bins on streets were being dealt with by negotiation and information packs were distributed. If problems persisted, it was reported that FPNs would be issued to individual properties.
· Duty of care issues and problems in contacting private landlords were continuing. It was reported that problems with absent landlords or landlords that were living away from the city and country had led to safety concerns at properties.
The report was received and thanks were expressed to Alex for the improvements in the Ward that had been noted due to his efforts.
POLICE ISSUES UPDATE
The Police will provide an update on their activities in the Ward.
Inspector Chris Brown reported on the following:
· A review of the neighbourhood policing teams had led to increased capacity, which had assisted improvements in dealing with anti-social behaviour reports.
· Crime statistics for the Ward since the previous meeting were reported.
· Liaison with the universities and student organisations to promote the ‘immobilise’ initiative were ongoing. Many students followed the Police on twitter. It was reported that immobiliser.com could be accessed by anyone who wished to register belongings.
· Stop-checks of cyclists using the pavement were reported and the meeting noted the need to ensure appropriate levels of consistent enforcement. It was considered that a further report on the issues concerning cycling in the Ward should form part of a future report.
· The use of the 101 phone number to report incidents was encouraged.
· The boxing club continued to be well attended and it was considered that this had led to a reduction in reports anti-social behaviour.
· Two groups were being assisted with the establishment of Neighbourhood Watch areas in the Ward.
· An operation to remove illegally ridden motorbikes and mini-bikes was ongoing. It was noted that areas of Great Central Way were popular for this illegal activity and that motorbikes used were often stolen.
· A Street Begging Action Group was being established to tackle concerns raised ate numbers of on-street beggars.
· The Canal and River Trust Volunteers were working in partnership to ensure the success of the forthcoming Riverside Festival.
· A cannabis factory had been discovered in a house in the ward and it was clarified that officers attending the crime had been called from Loughborough as they were the nearest suitable resource.
· A request for funding had been submitted and would be considered as part of the following Ward Community Budget item.
Inspector Brown was thanked for his update.
Councillors are reminded that under the Council’s Code of Conduct they should declare any interest they may have in budget applications.
The budget summary is attached.
The following applications were received and determined as indicated:
· Literacy Language Performance
Mr David Parkin
· Social Inclusion Group – Friday Coffee Mornings
PCSO Maggie Hill
· Floodlit Street Briefings
P. Insp. Chris Brown
(pending further information on cost and benefit to the Ward)
b) Community Newsletter
It was reported that the Community Newsletter funded by the Ward Community Budget had not been produced to date and an update was requested. It was suggested that if the newsletter was not in production the applicant should be requested to return the grant.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
a) Wheels for All
The success of the above cycling event, which provided cycles for the elderly and less abled, was reported and noted. Organisers were congratulated and thanked for their efforts.
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 9.00 pm.