Agenda and minutes

Westcotes Community Meeting - Tuesday, 13 August 2019 7:00 pm

Venue: East West Community Project, Wilberforce Road

Contact: Angela Martin, Community Engagement Officer, (Tel: 0116 454 6571) (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 as Chair led the introductions and welcomed everyone to the meeting.


No declarations were made.


No apologies for absence were received.


ACTION LOG pdf icon PDF 87 KB

The Action Log of the meeting held on 5 March 2019 is attached for information and discussion.


The action log of the previous meeting held 5 March 2019 was confirmed as correct.


All to note:


Item 23: “Planning and Licensing Update”: Councillor Russell had objected (on the basis of space standards) to an application for six houses on Freemens Meadow to be converted to each contain six to eight small flats.


Item 26: “Police Update”: PC Singh-Bains had a supply of D-locks at the Police Station and would distribute some of them to Westcotes Library.


Councillor Russell had contacted Trees and Woodlands about raising the canopy around the Church of the Martyrs on Westcotes Drive and, following a patch walk with Police Community Support Officers, had arranged for trees to be cut back and lights brightened around the Care Home and Conservative Club also on Westcotes Drive.


Item 29: “Any Other Business” Richard Attenborough Donation:  The money was to be temporarily transferred into the account of a member of the Bede Island Association whilst it was determined which Leicester City Council account it was to be paid into.  Action: Community Engagement Officer to follow up.





An update will be given on any planning and licensing issues in the Ward.



Councillor Russell gave an update on planning and licensing issues in the Ward.  Points included:


·         Objections based on space standards had been made to applications to convert properties on Stretton Road and Dulverton Road into Houses of Multiple Occupation.


·         The issue of people drinking directly outside Off-Licences had been raised with the Licensing team.  Conditions were being sought for existing licences, such as the licence being dependent on the premises having CCTV and/or dealing with litter issues.  The hours of the licence at the Sainsburys on Narborough Road were being re-considered in order to tackle early-morning drinking.


·         The owners of a strip of land by the river had asked for it to be added to the local plan so that it could be considered for development.


A resident informed councillors that he had attempted to contact the Planning team over a planning notice on Western Road, but had not had a response.  Action: Councillors to follow up.


With regard to planning applications for student accommodation in the area, Councillor Russell assured that there was a commitment within the council to object, but acknowledged that the system was in favour of the developer.



The City Warden will give an update on environmental and enforcement issues in the Ward.


City Warden Richard Sutton gave an update on issues across the Ward.  Points included:


·         Mattresses and sofas dumped outside houses had been an issue.  This had particularly been a problem when students were moving out.  The City Warden expressed the need to get instructions to students on how to dispose of bulky waste.


·         Extra staff had been brought in to deal with waste left by students.


·         Residents were encouraged not to leave refuse bags on highways as people searching them for food or valuables created mess.


·         Notices had been served to people to clear their gardens.


·         The City Cleansing team along with the Fire Service had been clearing dumped mattresses as they were a fire risk.


Residents were encouraged to contact the City Warden with any waste issues.  A resident further recommended the Love Leicester app for reporting such issues.


A resident reported a fridge dumped beside the Church on Fosse Road South.  The City Warden acknowledged that sometimes fridges were left by people thinking that scrap collectors would collect them, but this was often not the case as scrap merchants were often only took the fridge motors.  It was reported that Leicester City Council were looking to enforce scrap licences more vigorously and the Environmental team were often liaising with scrap merchants.  The City Warden welcomed any information on rogue scrap collectors.


A mobile camera to help tackle anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping had been purchased with Ward funding.  A resident asked where this camera was.  Action: Community Engagement Officer to find out who has the Westcotes camera.





Officers from Leicestershire Police will give an update on issues in the Ward.


PC Tam Singh Bains gave an update on Police Issues in the Ward.  Points Included:


·         There had been eight break-ins in the last four weeks.  Three people had been arrested in connection with this.


·         There had been two robberies this year (compared with five in the same period last year).  No weapons had been used in these robberies.


·         There had been 14 motor crimes this year compared to 16 in the same period last year.  Three of these had been due to insecure vehicles, one was a number plate theft, two were car thefts and one was a moped theft.  A person had been arrested in connection with the number plate theft.


In response to a query from Councillor Russell about cannabis factories, PC Singh Bains reported that cannabis factories had been identified and shut down on Luther Street and Celt Street and that two people had been arrested and remanded in each case.  He also reported that another factory on Westcotes Drive had been identified.


Councillor Russell further reported a cannabis factory on Harrow Road and Councillor Nangreave reported one identified on Briton Street.


PC Singh Bains informed those present that signs that a house was being used as a cannabis factory included: Banging (whilst it was being constructed), curtains always closed, condensation on windows, bins not used often and an unkempt garden.


Councillor Russell encouraged residents to report anything suspicious to the Police, or Crimestoppers if they wished to remain anonymous.


In response to a query as to why cannabis factories were so prevalent in the Ward, PC Singh-Bains suggested that due to the high turnover of residents people were less likely to spot the signs.  As such residents were encouraged to be vigilant, especially since such factories were a fire risk.





Councillors are reminded that under the Council’s Code of Conduct they should declare any interest they may have in budget applications


An update will be given on the Ward Community Budget.


From an opening balance of £18,000 at the beginning of the municipal year two applications had been supported:


·         Wheels for All- Providing bicycles for people with disability- £500

·         Westcotes Library- Reading workshop- £570


A bid from the Nigerian Festival has initially been turned down as the event involved alcohol, however, an amended re-submission may be considered.


There was £16,930 left in the budget for the municipal year.  Councillor Russell welcomed applications from community projects.


A resident asked if Ward funding could be used to stop noise coming from the East-West Centre during unlicensed events.  Councillor Russell responded that in the context of Ward funding, the centre could apply for better sound proofing, however this was really an issue for the Noise team and Licensing team.  Action Councillors to consider options on how to stop unlicensed events.


A representative from Sustrans reported that with the help of Ward funding they had managed to slow traffic on Braunstone Gate with bollards through a trial street plan.  They had also created a community garden on Bede Street which was open 10AM-2PM on Wednesdays and the last Saturday of each month.  Sustrans had also used Ward funding to place hanging baskets around Braunstone Gate and Bede Street.


Sustrans would host a film event on bank holiday Monday (26th August) at 4pm in the arch on Bede Street.





Councillor Russell read out a written update from Highways (attached).


Councillor Russell reported on other highways issues, including:


·         An Experimental Traffic Regulation Order to make Braunstone Gate one way was being planned.

o   It was to begin this Autumn lasting 9-12 months.

o   Objections would be allowed, and the scheme was flexible to change if it did not work.

o   Busses would be exempt and able to travel in the opposite direction with aid of passing-bays.

o   It was hoped that the scheme would make cycling safer.

·         Plans were being made to re-surface Western Road.

·         Following a walk with the director of Highways problems with paving were identified on Narborough Road.  It was planned to re-pave the road section-by-section, to avoid disruption to business, over the next three years, beginning this financial year.


In response to a question raised about the boards on the former Kenning site it was reported that officers were trying to contact the owner of the site, Jamie Lewis, for information.


A resident reported a constant strong smell of cannabis in an area of the Ward.  Action: Police to investigate.


Councillor Nangreave reported that empty properties as looked at by Housing Scrutiny would now include housing above shops such as that on Braunstone Gate.   She called on residents to let her know about any such empty properties that they knew of.


Councillor Russell recommended Tweeting Tesco about waste left in their car park as they responded to public Tweets more quickly than other methods of communication.


There being no other business, the meeting closed at 8:15pm