Agenda and minutes

Westcotes Community Meeting - Tuesday, 18 September 2018 7:00 pm

Venue: East West Community Project, Wilberforce Road

Contact: Anita Clarke, Community Engagement Officer, (Tel: 0116 454 6576) (Email:  Jason Tyler, Democratic Support Officer, (Tel: 0116 454 6359) (Email:

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, Chair for the meeting led introductions and welcomed everyone to the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest or apologies for absence.


ACTION LOG pdf icon PDF 146 KB

The Action Log of the meeting held on 1 May 2018 is attached for information and discussion.



The action log of the meeting held on Tuesday 1 May 2018 was agreed as a correct record.


As an update concerning the item on Bede Park the following issues were reported and noted:


  • The repaired slide was in use.
  • Some S.106 planning monies had been made available and it has been suggested that distance markers be installed to aid runners and walkers.  It was also recognised that the S106 monies could be used elsewhere in the ward, such as the Upton Road grassed bank area, which was regularly used as a play area by children.
  • Ongoing problems of littering continued despite extra bins being installed in the summer months.
  • Meetings had been arranged with the DMU students’ union and their clubs and societies, together with partner agencies including the Police and the Events Team at the City Council concerning organised events on Bede Park.  An application form had been established and social media was being monitored in respect of event promotions.




The ward Councillors will provide an update on recent activities.


Councillors Russell and Connelly reported on the following:


  • Confirmation had been received from Government to introduce Article 4 Regulations on to-let boards from 1 October 2018.  This meant that boards must be installed ‘flush’ on any to-let property, reducing the problems of cluttered boards and reducing the risk of burglary.  It was also noted that as most letting enquiries were now made on-line the need for to-let boards was considered less necessary.


  • HiMOs would also need to be licensed from 1 October 2018, whereby 3-bed property conversions would require assessment.  It was noted that landlords would need to pay a fee for the licence and demonstrate adequate room sizes. It was recognised that enforcement would remain an issue, but there would be a positive effect in the Ward as more control on converted properties would now be allowed.


It was also noted that conversions to self-contained flats were not included in the HiMO regulations. 


The issue of protecting family housing in the ward had been raised in the new Local Plan.  Problems with contacting absentee landlords remained a significant issue.


In response to a question it was reported that each licence fee was approximately £900 for a 5-year period.



There will be a presentation to provide an overview of Healthwatch Leicester.



Attendees were asked to note an update from Gillian Jillett, Healthwatch Leicester and Leicestershire.


Points made during Gillian’s update included the following:


  • Healthwatch arose out of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and whilst there had been some changes to the format, the Healthwatch team aimed to attend meetings such as this to capture people’s views and experiences of the health care system.


  • Healthwatch also attended meetings including scrutiny commissions and could help to influence decision making.


  • As an example, as to what they could achieve, Healthwatch had helped to introduce two new dental emergency services in Leicester which were open 365 days per year.


  • Attendees were asked not to be offended if they were unable to see their doctor, as General Practitioners needed to prioritise their workload. Patients might be offered an appointment with a different health professional rather than a doctor.


Anyone interested in volunteering was asked to speak to Gillian or to contact Healthwatch.  Leaflets promoting the organisation’s activities were circulated for information.


In discussing the information, reference was made to the improved A&E department and reduced waiting times.  The use of the 111-phone number was also advocated.


In terms of individual experiences and feedback, attendees commented that enhanced training of reception staff was considered necessary as some patients felt uncomfortable with customer service issues, particularly in busy waiting rooms.




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


Richard Sutton (City Warden) reported on his environmental and enforcement activities.


The following key points were noted:

  • The revised landlord licensing regulations had been welcomed as it was expected that this would have a positive effect for the City Warden service
  • Bins on streets continued to be a problem due to the high rate of tenant ‘turnaround’.  Notices and warnings had been issued.  It was recognised that in some streets blocked alleyways led to problems for residents.
  • Issues concerning bin sizes and the need to promote recycling were raised.  It was noted that obtaining recycling bags was not always easy.  It was reported that the City Council had indicated a preference to continue with a weekly collection, it being noted that many other comparable authorities had moved to two-weekly collection services to reduce costs.
  • The Duty of Care on businesses in terms of their waste management had also been promoted.
  • Issues of untidy land and front gardens had been dealt with and photos of cases were circulated to show results.
  • Fly-tips had also increased, and photos were also circulated to show the extent of the problem.  Mobile cameras had been introduced to identify offenders.


In response to a query regarding cleansing services and waste management in the city, concern was expressed at the negative publicity and photos on social media on the day of the England football fixture at the King Power Stadium.  It was accepted that reports on the LoveLeicester app and other methods of reporting required a lead-in time before being dealt with, although prompt attention was always the intention.


It was also noted that the cleaning and bin-emptying of Bede park had reduced in frequency recently.


The report and update was noted.



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


Police Sgt Spencer Dyer reported on recent activities in the Ward.


The following key points were reported:

  • The revised landlord licensing regulations had been welcomed by the Police.
  • Increased patrols had been made by PCs and PCSOs during the summer at Bede Park and work with the university and partners continued, as reported earlier by Councillors.
  • An initiative to reduce knife crime nationally had been supported and was being actively promoted in the city, involving liaison with youth groups.
  • Recent ‘test purchases’ in the Ward had shown that shops that failed previously had passed, indicating that the educational work had been successful.
  • Reductions in burglaries continued to be one of the priority areas, with the revised ‘to-let’ board Article 4 regulations being welcomed.
  • Statistics showed that on the electoral register for the ward. Approximately 50% of residents had changed within the 4 years between elections.  This demonstrated the need for continued and repeated educational and awareness work.
  • Residents were reminded to keep all valuables secure in outside areas and sheds, as an increase in thefts of cycles, garden tools and machinery had been noted recently.  Police liaison and links to shops and stores such as Cash Converters and Cex were reported and noted.
  • Drug prevention work continued, with houses being raided where ‘cannabis factories’ were operating.  The fire risk of heat lamps used to grow cannabis was also reported and noted.
  • Street begging and rough sleeping continued to be a concern and an action plan had been established to increase liaison with the Council, outreach teams and other partners.


The update was noted.



There will be an update on the 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.



The Community Engagement Officer provided an update on the Ward Community Budget. 


It was noted that 6 applications had been received for consideration.


Approximately £11,000 remained to fund projects.

Information on how to apply could be found at the following link:




Braunstone Gate Archway


It was reported that on 29 September 2018 a community temporary residence would be undertaken in a disused Archway to help to decide on its future use.  Attendance was encouraged, and the event had been promoted on social media.


Shopping Trolleys.


It was noted that students had been using shopping trolleys to transport luggage as the £1 fee for use was not a deterrent. 


The abandoned trolleys were causing a problem and links to ‘Trolley Watch’ and supermarkets were being enhanced.


East West Community Centre


Reference was made to a recent noise compliant from a party held at the community centre.


A trustee provided further information on the problems caused and apologised to residents.  It was confirmed that the issue was being considered by the Management Committee.


Briton Street - Cycling,


A concern was raised by a cyclist regarding lorries and other vehicles misunderstanding of the one-way at Briton Street.


Westcotes Drive


A resident raised concerns at alleged unauthorised development and the associated problems of poor respect for planning and health and safety legislation in the Ward.  He suggested that enforcement action should be enhanced.





The meeting closed at 8.50 pm.