Venue: East West Community Project, Wilberforce Road
Contact: Anita Clarke, Community Engagement Officer, (Tel: 0116 454 6576) (Email: Anita.Clarke@leicester.gov.uk) Jason Tyler, Democratic Support Officer, (Tel: 0116 454 6359) (Email: Jason.Tyler@leicester.gov.uk)
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 as required by the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.
Councillor Russell took the Chair and welcomed those present.
There were no apologies for absence.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 9 February 2016 is attached for information and discussion.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 9 February 2016 was agreed and noted.
Action Log Updates:
a) City Warden’s Report – Used and Abandoned Needles
It was reported that since the increased instances of used needles being abandoned, multi-agency work had commenced to identify key problem areas and work with site owners to clear derelict areas was ongoing.
b) Planning and Development Matters - CODE Proposals
It was reported that the Planning Inspectors Hearing of the appeal against refusal was to be held on 23 June 2016 at which Ward Councillors would give evidence. Evidence concerning the cumulative impact would be submitted before 24 May 2016. The evidence to be submitted would also include details of the green space issues concerning shared use, and the provisions strategy arising from the Supplementary Planning Guidance.
With regard to the use of S.106 contributions, and the proposed Community Infrastructure Levy, it was reported that the Council’s policy had been challenged separately by Jamie Lewis Residential, and that the Inspector had upheld that appeal. Therefore any new student accommodation would not be subject to the levy and no contributions would be received.
PARKS SERVICES - UPDATES
a) Bede Park area – Outdoor Gym, Play and BBQ area
Ade Edge (Parks Services) provided an update on the progress with the area adjacent to Bede Park, which had been purchased by the Council to provide outdoor play areas, a BBQ area, and an outdoor gym.
He advised that the procurement process was underway and options for the outdoor gym were being considered. Images and design details of the two options were displayed and explained, together with their intended use and instructions, colour options and maintenance arrangements.
Councillors asked for residents to express their views and ‘option one’ was identified as the preference (Wicksteed Leisure - actual equipment to be determined) and that the equipment to be coloured blue.
b) Railings and Seats External Painting - Riverside Team
Vicky Salloway and Peter Flavel (Parks Services) reported on works undertaken to refurbish the seating and railings adjacent to the riverside from Mill Lane to Western Boulevard and displayed images detailing the works.
It was noted that the preparation and repainting had been undertaken by students at South Leicester College who required external metalwork refurbishment works as part of their studies.
The City Warden will give an update on issues in the Westcotes Ward.
Alex Kazmierz (City Warden) reported on his environmental and enforcement activities in the Ward, commenting on the following key issues:
· Trade waste disposal was causing concern, with one site owner to be interviewed under caution
· Advertising hoardings were required repair and refurbishment, particularly those at Braunstone Gate. A suggestion for a community mural was being considered.
· An increase in Graffiti had led to a number of recent complaints, particularly where the graffiti had been painted on shutters of business premises. Liaison with the local Police Team and Cleansing Services was ongoing. It was noted that graffiti kits could be offered to businesses to assist the cleansing process.
· Alley gates purchased and installed to improve security were being left open by some residents. It was also reported that some alleyways cleared before the installation of gates were now being blocked by rubbish and bulky items where tenancies had changed.
· Bins on streets continued to be a problem, some fixed penalty notices had been issued in one street and the lengthy compliance process was noted in this respect.
Alex was thanked for his report and update.
In respect of graffiti the Police urged residents to report any instances witnessed by using the 101 phone number. The difficulties in convicting offenders was expressed and noted.
POLICE ISSUES UPDATE
Officers from Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an update on police issues in Westcotes Ward.
The local Police Team Steve updated the meeting in respect of their recent activities, making particular reference to the following issues:
· Increased reports and problems arising from of Street drinking were being experienced and increased patrols were being made to tackle the issue. It was reported that it was not an offence for people to congregate and that the issue was therefore difficult to enforce.
· Music Equipment and amplifiers had been seized from a household in the ward, and the evidence of anti-social behaviour had led to an eviction
· Increased patrols were to be undertaken at Bede Park, having regard to the summer weather and increased use. Previous problems of alcohol and drug misuse were noted.
· Reports of a quadbike being ridden in the park were also reported a dn residents were asked to notify the Police of instances by using the 101 number.
· Recent arrests and convictions of known motorbike and moped thieves had led to a reduction in problems.
· Arrests had been made at premises with connections to drug use and criminality.
· ‘Thefts from person’ offences had increased, particularly where offenders had approached people from behind to take mobile phones. The public were reminded that they should be aware of their surroundings when using phones, particularly after dusk. Educational work with student groups was ongoing.
In response to questions and queries it was noted that the Lidl management had been asked to consider improving the cycle bay facilities, as these prevented use of high security D-Locks.
Concerns were expressed at the apparent lack of contact by Police and consultation following a recent break-in at a local business. The local Police Team agreed to look into the issue and ensure that contact was made with the business concerned.
In conclusion, the local Police Team took note of a report of cold calling and suspected impersonation/deception by bogus charity workers that had been reported by a resident using the 101 number.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT MATTERS
An update on planning and development issues in the Westcotes Ward not covered elsewhere on the agenda will be given at the meeting.
a) Planning Issues
It was reported that an application had been submitted to convert the former Huntsman PH to residential accommodation.
Charlotte Jones (Sustrans Project Co-ordinator) provided an update on the project and the formation and membership of a Community Forum.
A list of project priorities was being developed and ideas and initiatives that could be considered by the project were welcomed.
ward community budget
Councillors are reminded that under the Council’s Code of Conduct they should declare any interest they may have in budget applications
It was confirmed that ward community funding would be available for 2016/17 and applications were encouraged.
It was reported that following a review of procedures, applications could only be made on-line at www.leicster.gov.uk/community.meetings
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 9.15 pm.