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 as Chair led the introductions and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
No Declarations were made.
Apologies were received from Sergeant Spencer Dyer of Leicestershire Police.
The Action Log of the meeting held on 15 January 2019 is attached for information and discussion.
The action log of the previous meeting held 15 January 2019 was confirmed as correct.
All to note:
Item 12: “Ward Councillors’ Feedback”: The new CCTV camera to monitor fly-tipping hotspots would be operational in the following weeks.
Item 14 “Bede Park Update”: An additional bin in the barbecue area of Bede Park had been funded from the Ward Community Budget.
Item 15 “Planning and Development Update”: The extension of to a property on Daneshill Road had been approved.
Item 16 “City Warden”: The waste outside the Scotia Hotel on Westcotes Drive had been removed along with the skip.
Item 19 “Any Other Business” (a) Former Kenning Site: Removal of hoardings remained a priority. Options included getting them painted or using them for murals or pictures. So far, no planning applications had been received for the site.
Concern was raised about a hole left where a tree had been removed outside a property on Fosse Road South. Action: Councillor Russell to investigate.
PLANNING AND LICENSING UPDATE
There will be an update on Planning and Licensing matters not covered elsewhere on the Agenda.
Councillor Russell gave an update on planning and licensing issues in the Ward. Points included:
· The plans for Freemens Meadow had been withdrawn.
· The site of the former Mobius Bar was to be student accommodation.
· A consultation on selective licensing for houses of multiple occupation would begin soon. The aim of the scheme was to manage space, waste and antisocial behaviour and to make it the landlord’s responsibility to clear waste, enforceable by the council.
· Some former council properties in the ward that had been purchased under the Right to Buy scheme were being bought back by the council. Councillor Connelly commented that the council aimed to increase family council housing and prevent private landlord evictions to create flats.
BRAUNSTONE GATE UPDATE
There will be an update on issues concerning Braunstone Gate.
Daryl Coulborn, project co-ordinator at Sustrans, and Corinne Evert, Treasurer of the Braunstone Gate Community Project, gave an update on the work they had been doing in the Braunstone Gate area. Points included:
· Land had been acquired for a community garden on Bede Street, planters had been made for the garden out of bathtubs and pallets. The garden was open to the public between 10am and 2pm on the last Saturday of each month.
· Seasonally decorative knitting was on display around Tesco car park and outside the Ninety-Six Degrees Café on Braunstone Gate. The knitting group met alternate Tuesdays in The Black Horse Pub.
· A free comedy festival fringe focussed on Braunstone Gate had taken place in Ninety-Six Degrees, The Dog House (formerly Loaf) and The Black Horse.
· Solar lights for the trees outside Ninety-Six Degrees had been purchased.
· Litter picking had been carried out on the Thorpe Street garden.
· The mural on Thorpe Street was being considered for replacement as the paint was flaking and bubbling.
· A mural had been painted on the back wall of the archway on Bede Street.
Councillor Russell reported the following on the Braunstone Gate area:
· After the ‘Bring the Paint’ festival a brochure had been produced with a trail of the city murals and street art, including those on Braunstone Gate and Bede Street.
· A visit had taken place with the Highways and Regeneration teams to look at proposals and issues including paving and traffic flow.
· Some of the national and European funding that had been obtained would be going to the Braunstone Gate area.
A query was raised about the community use of Tesco car park. Daryl Coulborn commented that a section of the Tesco car park was sometimes used as a community space. Action: Councillors to work with officers to explore options.
The City Warden will give an update on enforcement activities in the Ward.
City Warden Richard Sutton gave an update on issues across the Ward.
· Local businesses had been spoken to about their duty of care for waste.
· Two fixed-penalty notices were to be issued to businesses on 6 March 2019.
· Waste and black bags that had been left around Stuart Street and Thorpe Street were now being collected by Biffa.
· Neighbour complaints about back garden waste issues had been received. Notices had been given to occupants and landlords to clear.
A patch-walk with the Director of Highways around Narborough Road had identified an unacceptable amount of cigarette ends on the pavement outside bars. Street-sweepers had been used to address this. Action: Councillor Russell to explore options of installing cigarette disposal facilities outside bars.
Concern was raised about the build-up of waste around the bins on Bede Street by the former Kenning site. The Yum Chi take-away owned many of the bins and had been served notices, however there was a lack of space at the back of the premises to store waste. Action: City Warden to explore options.
Councillor Russell commented that a request to fence off the bins outside the Istanbul Restaurant had not been acted on in three years. Efes Mangal Restaurant also disposed of waste in the bins on Bede Street. Action: City Warden to talk to the manager of the restaurants.
A report was made of fly-tipping by railings on the corner of Westcotes Drive and Fosse Road South. Councillor Russell indicated that fly-tipping at this spot was not regular enough to justify installing a camera. Action: City Warden to monitor the situation.
Concern was raised about waste dumped in a recess opposite the Sainsbury’s on Walton Street. The City Warden noted that he had spoken to businesses in the area to ensure they had the correct waste-disposal facilities and were disposing of waste correctly. Action: City Warden to monitor the situation.
Councillor Russell reported that fencing had been installed along the Stuart Street side of the Sainsbury’s, as well as on the Roman Street side of Westcotes Library in order to prevent fly-tipping.
Concern was raised about fly-tipping being done from vehicles. The City Warden informed that if this was reported by residents then cameras can be installed. However, it was noted that if fly-tipping was done from flats then it can be difficult to prove who was responsible.
Officers from Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an update on activities in the Ward.
PC Tam Singh Bains and PCSO Chris Dyson gave an update on Police issues in the Ward. Points included:
· There had been 11 burglaries since January although burglaries were at their lowest rate in three years. Of these, two were forced entry and the others were due to insecure properties. PC Singh Bains urged those present to make sure doors and windows were secure.
· There had been five robberies on Bede Park in the last month. Arrests had been made and investigations were ongoing.
· Work to cut back trees on Bede Park in order to help identify suspects was ongoing. Councillor Russell added that one more tree might need to come down.
· Camera positions on Bede Park were being considered for upgrading and potentially relocating to the raised circle platform area in order to increase the area in view.
· Additional police patrols were being made, sometimes in plain clothes, especially at night.
· Most of the robberies on Bede Park were happening at night to lone people walking towards the bridge. People were advised to avoid cutting through the park at night and to take better-lit routes. Lights were now being kept on high brightness all night.
· Cycle theft: 24 bicycles had been checked in the last month, but only one had been property marked. PC Singh Bains urged cyclists to get their bikes property marked. Councillor Russell added that this could be done with glass pens, nail polish or by scratching into the frame. PCSO Dyson urged people to record the serial numbers of their bikes.
· D-locks ordered had now arrived. Action: Police to look in to how best to distribute locks.
· Second-hand shops were being regularly checked for stolen bicycles. However, success was dependent on the bikes being property marked.
Councillor Russell urged those present to keep bikes locked, even if they were behind a locked door.
Police expressed hope that the measures taken on Bede Park would reduce incidences of robbery. Councillor Russell expressed particular hope for the effectiveness of signs publicising the use of CCTV.
Daryl Coulborn stated that he had kits for security marking bikes and held sessions to mark them on a Wednesday on Bede Street. Action: Daryl Coulborn to liaise with Police.
LEICESTER ADULT SKILLS AND LEARNING SERVICE
An officer will be present to provide information on the Adult Skills and Learning
Anna Parr of Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service gave a presentation on courses and programmes that they offered. Including:
· Employability, English and Maths, free for anybody who had been living in the UK or EU for the last three years.
· Level 1 and 2 courses, free to people on benefits or earning less than £15736.50 p/a.
· ESOL courses, including ‘English for Work’ in which LASALS worked with employers on issues such as Health and Safety and Staff Support. Free opportunities for employers were noted.
· Universal Credit digital support courses.
· Sessions at York House to support Leicester City Council online portal use.
· Access courses for those wishing to go to, or return to, university. A business course was being run this year and it was hoped that a Social Science course would be run next year.
· Leisure and wellbeing courses in arts, cooking and languages were being run at £1.80 p/h.
· A weekly advice session was being held on Thursdays in the old library on Belvoir Street.
A brochure was circulated with contact details included within it.
It was asked whether there was a course about using mobile phones and tablets. Anna Parr recommended the digital skills two-day course.
WARD COMMUNITY BUDGET
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.
Since the last Ward meeting, seven applications totalling 5,368.00 had been supported, which left a balance for this year of 26p.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
An update on the development of Bradgate House was requested. Councillor Russell stated that planning permission was granted 3-4 years ago, 5 years were given to develop, after that they would have to re-apply. The finances were reportedly in place, but the developers were waiting for architects’ drawings.
With regards to the security of the Bradgate House site it was noted that whenever an issue was reported the owners had secured the site. The council had offered to secure the site to a better standard, but the owners had refused.
It was noted that a compulsory purchase order could not be made as it was a commercial property.
Richard Attenborough Donation:
It was noted that £1000 had been donated by Richard Attenborough, a trustee of the Bede Island Association, to be spent on Bede Park. It was noted that this money was still available, but everyone involved in the five-year project had moved. It was also noted that £400 in a Cooperative Bank account was thought to have been held back, but this had not happened, and this money was now dormant. It was asked whether this money could be spent on Bede Park. Councillor Russell was unable to confirm if this money could be accessed. Action: Community Engagement Officer to pursue.
It was asked whether something could be done about trees in Westcotes Drive as dead wood was coming down in the wind. Action: Councillor Russell to ask Trees and Woodlands to inspect.
The meeting closed at 8:22PM.