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, Chair for the meeting led introductions and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest or apologies for absence.
The Chair agreed to a change in the running order of the agenda to take the Police Issues update first.
POLICE ISSUES UPDATE
Officers from Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an update on police issues in Westcotes Ward.
PC Tam Bains provided an update on Policing issues in the ward with a year on year comparison of reported crime statistics for a 6 week period covering Dec/Jan from 2016/17 and 2017/18:
Burglaries (dwelling) 19 21
Theft of Vehicles 3 3
Theft from Vehicles 33 40
Robbery 7 3
It was noted that:
· Although burglary showed only a small drop overall year on year there had been a 20% reduction.
· Most vehicles stolen had been recovered close by.
· Over the year there had been an increase in theft of vehicle registration plates. A supply of tamper proof screws for reg’plates were made available for those present at the meeting.
Of the 7 robberies, 3 of those had seen suspects arrested, 3 offences related to people selling items online and agreeing to meet up in secluded location then being robbed – this was an emerging type of crime and everyone should be particularly careful when selling items online to avoid putting themselves in vulnerable situation, 1 instance where somebody had procured a professional service and on arrival at property other males turned up and stole equipment.
The local policing unit were focusing on Knife Crime in the area and had carried out a series of test purchases at shops in Narborough Road. 4 shops had failed those test purchases and advice had been given. Further licence visits and ongoing trading standards work would continue.
The police were also engaging with educational work on knife crime with younger people.
It was reported that 2 addresses had been identified involving criminality and the police were working with the landlord to evict those involved and return the properties to residential family use.
Following reports of distraction burglaries around Norfolk Street the police had done a series of leaflet drops and council workers had been advised to show their ID and there had not been any recent reports of this type of burglary in the area.
ACTION: Councillor Russell to feedback to Service Managers in Council to ensure their staff are wearing council ID and showing this when they are dealing with residents.
It was noted that the removal of trees near the Merry Monarch had significantly improved the area and reduced ASB.
Residents raised concerns of ASB on Gaul Street with people drinking in the street and urinating. Police confirmed that they had powers to act on the PSPO covering this area and were monitoring the situation.
The police advised that licensing checks were being carried out in the area and premises selling alcohol were being reminded of their licence terms and conditions.
Residents raised concerns about unusual activity, drug use and fighting in the alleyway near the Vision Pharmacy. Councillor Russell suggested if this was not a public right of way that alley gates could be installed.
ACTION: City Warden to investigate possibility of installing alley gates.
It was noted that September had seen a spike in burglaries affecting students new to the area. Police confirmed that they did work ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 12 September 2017 is attached for information and discussion.
The action log of the Westcotes Community meeting held on Tuesday 12 September 2017 was agreed as an accurate record.
· Issues with water pressure in the area had been reported to Severn Trent who were investigating and would hopefully provide an update to the next meeting.
· Issues Re: site on Braunstone Gate owned by Jamie Lewis being used as a waste transfer site had been reported to Planning Officers who were considering what action could be taken under s215 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.
BEDE PARK UPDATE
An update will be given on issues concerning Bede Park.
Councillor Russell provided an update on plans regarding Bede Park.
· In relation to the broken slide, costings had now been provided to repair the slide which amounted to a third of the price it would be to replace the slide.
· A work programme had been agreed and works to repair the slide would begin on 9 April 2018, this would avoid impact on use of the park during the Easter Holidays. The installation period would be 3 weeks.
· A banner had been obtained that would be put up around the slide area notifying the public that safety works were being undertaken and when the slide would re-open.
· A programme of other events and activities on the park was being explored.
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.
It was noted that:
· A meeting had been arranged with Planning Officers and residents to discuss concerns over ASB issues at the Garage on Westcotes Drive.
· 25 Cambridge Street had been unoccupied for several years and the council had used Compulsory Purchase powers. The owners were appealing the CPO, they had also added an extension and converted the property into flats and were seeking retrospective planning permission. The council would continue to pursue the CPO.
· An application to convert 22 Daneshill Road to 6 flats had been approved by the Planning Development Control Committee.
· Rumours that a road would be created through the Meadows area were quashed. Councillors clarified that the local plan was currently being revised and this included “potential” future areas of development, the “road” had been suggested on previous local plans as a possibility but there were no confirmed plans to implement that suggestion.
CITY WARDEN UPDATE
The City Warden will give an update on environmental and enforcement issues in the Ward.
Richard Sutton, City Warden for the Westcotes Ward provided an update on environmental and enforcement across the Ward and circulated an information leaflet which contained details of the service provided and contact details.
It was noted that:
· Work was ongoing to tackle flytipping and untidy gardens – this involved tackling landlords who were often responsible for clearing properties and leaving items including bulky waste such as mattresses in gardens/alleyways. Legal notices were being issued were possible to enforce compliance.
· During last 6 months efforts had been made to address issues with bins on streets. Since December 2017 476 properties between Sheffield Street and Ivy Road had been issued a notice to take their bins in.
· Tesco trolleys continued to be an issue across the area. Residents were advised that they should report issues to Tesco Superstore, 100 New Park Street, Leicester. Tel: 0345 610 2897 – calls charged at local rate. Residents were also informed that a free & easy to use app could be downloaded to smartphones called the Trolleywise App, available from Apple iTunes or Google Android play store. Trolleywise aimed to collect trolleys within 24hrs of it being reported.
· There were still mattresses waiting to be removed on Linden Street. City Warden Service was aware there had been an issue with Biffa not removing them because they were wet. City Warden had checked and found the mattresses were covered so would be contacting the cleansing team to remove them again.
· Corner of Westcotes Drive was referred to as a persistent area for flytipping/rubbish – City Warden to investigate.
· Concerns were raised that the breakdown truck was not properly permitted to park on Westcotes Drive. The Highways Parking team were away of this concern and work was ongoing to investigate and track permits for vehicles being parked by the garage on Westcotes Drive.
Residents were reminded to report any issues to the City Warden Service as detailed on the information leaflet (attached) or to use the LoveLeicester app.
Councillors are reminded that under the Council’s Code of Conduct they should declare any interest they may have in budget applications.
There will be an update on the Ward Community Budget.
Councillor Russell informed the meeting that 2 applications had been received since the last meeting and approved as follows:
· £1750 Supported for installation of Bollards and Cycle racks to protect corner area Narborough Road/Shaftesbury Avenue.
· £500 Supported to continue Monday Arts Club at the Westcotes library for 8 weeks over the period 5th February – 9th April 2018.
The balance for the next cycle of bids was £9530 and potential applicants were encouraged to make an application for funding to support groups/societies and activities in the ward or of benefit to Westcotes residents.
The date of the next meeting was noted: Tuesday 1st May 2018 at 7pm.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.15pm.