Venue: The Tudor Centre, Bewcastle Grove, Mowmacre Hill, Leicester
Contact: Punum Patel, Community Engagement Officer Tel: 0116 4546575 (Email: Punum.Patel@leicester.gov.uk) Anita James, Democratic Support Officer Tel: 0116 454 6358 (Email: Anita.James2@leicester.gov.uk)
WELCOME AND DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillors will elect a Chair for the meeting.
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.
The Chair, Councillor Byrne welcomed those present and led introductions.
There were no declarations of interest.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
The Action Log of the meeting held on 15th October 2018, is attached and Members will be asked to confirm it as an accurate record.
The action log of the meeting held on 15th October 2018 was agreed as an accurate record.
LOCAL POLICING UPDATE
An Officer from Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an update on local policing issues in the Ward.
Sgt Matt Blackburn provided an update on local policing matters which included the following points:
· There were increased reports of abandoned vehicles however police had no powers to deal with that and advised residents to notify the council of such issues.
· December had seen a large number of burglaries in the ward. Police would continue to patrol vulnerable areas and residents were encouraged to use deterrents such as sensor lights, CCTV, alarms.
· Motor vehicles in the ward were being targeted for valuable items and tools. Residents reminded not to leave valuables such as laptops, bags or tools visible in cars.
· Police had made a bid for a CCTV camera to be installed in Wembury Gardens to target ASB and help identify individuals entering flats in the area.
· Police were developing plans to prevent a recurrence of issues with youths at the Stocking Farm Community Centre.
· An individual had been arrested and was currently on remand awaiting trial in connection with several crimes across the ward.
· Police were continuing focus campaigns on tackling knife crime and were working in schools to protect younger people from becoming involved in knife crime.
Concerns were raised about youths on bikes riding around Border Drive and obstructing the highway. The police were aware of this and were pursuing lines of enquiry.
Councillors offered their support to the Police bid for CCTV at Wembury Gardens.
The Chair agreed to a change in the running order of the agenda.
An officer from the Council will be present to give an overview of the Crowdfund Leicester initiative.
Georgia Humby, Graduate Project Officer presented details about Crowdfund Leicester, a new initiative to encourage communities to create and fund their own projects.
It was noted that there had been several successful projects so far with just under £150,000 raised and more than 500 people backing projects.
Successful projects included:
· Phoenix Theatre improving accessibility for hearing impaired by purchasing headsets,
· The Urban Equestrian Centre which organises horse riding for inner-city children.
Current Live Projects included:
· The “Stop Fighting and Unite” project working with young people to avoid them becoming involved in violent crime,
· The Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre project for a new Kayak launch.
Attendees were informed that more information was available on the Crowdfund Leicester page of the council’s website. CrowdfundLeicester@Leicester.gov.uk
Councillor Riyait referred to the Big Difference Company that worked with deprived children in the city and an idea for comedy events/workshops in conjunction with the adventure playgrounds across the city. ACTION: Georgia to liaise with Councillor Riyait outside this meeting.
Councillor Byrne suggested a piece of land on Bedale Drive could be cleared to create a children’s play area or football pitch as a Crowdfund project. ACTION: Georgia to liaise with Councillor Byrne outside this meeting.
CITY WARDEN UPDATE
The City Warden will give an update on issues in the Ward.
Charlotte Glover, City Warden gave a brief update on matters dealt with across the ward since the last meeting which included:
· Front gardens of properties on Bristol Avenue cleared of rubbish
· Sofa removed from grass area of John o Gaund pub and notices sent to landowner
· Rubbish in back garden of St Helens Drive investigated and advice letters sent to properties on Anstey Lane
· Flytipping on Thames Street and Englewood addressed
· Investigations were continuing to tackle rubbish being thrown over fencing to Jewry Wall, clearing this had been more difficult as access was restricted due to Jewry Wall being closed currently.
Concerns were expressed about alleged work on cars on Exmoor Avenue being for monetary gain. The City Warden confirmed that the owner had been spoken to but investigations did not correlate to the allegation and unless there was specific evidence action could not be taken.
NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSING UPDATE
A local Housing Officer will provide an update on housing issues in the Ward.
Marie Murray, District Manager Housing, provided an update on housing matters across the ward which included the following comments:
· The Environment and Community Budget for 2019/20 had been awarded just over £60,000 for projects in the ward, this would mostly be spent on internal painting of flats, bird spikes to address problems with pigeons and new fencing.
· Tenants were reminded that there was a zero-tolerance policy in communal areas for tenants storing items. These spaces were not to be used for personal storage as it presented a fire risk and the council would remove and dispose of items being left there.
· The Leicester into Work scheme aimed at long-term unemployed people were working in conjunction with the Housing team to address untidy areas that fell outside remit of specific service areas. A programme of works had been devised to tackle issues such as grass growing between pathways and untidy garage areas across Stocking Farm and Mowmacre Hill and the wider city.
· The Community Payback scheme had undertaken similar tidy up work and would continue to do so but the Leicester into Work Scheme would be more co-ordinated.
Councillor Riyait referred to previous concerns raised about dogs being kept in Thurcaston Road flats and fencing being put up without permission. Marie confirmed that Housing Officers were aware and dealing with this issue, the fencing would have to come down, there was also a pet ban at these flats and so legal advice was being sought to address the breach of terms of tenancy.
ACTION: Housing Officers to feedback to Councillors progress on this issue.
An officer from the Highways Team will provide an update on traffic issues across the ward.
Mark Govan, Highways team provided an update on highways and traffic schemes in the ward including:
· Works on Loughborough Road now completed and reopened to traffic,
· Landscaping and planting would begin shortly on Loughborough Road but there were no road closures planned
· Various TRO’s were planned to introduce yellow lines and other traffic calming measures such as bollards on corners
· Work ongoing around Alderman Richard Hallam school and nearby junctions to restrict parking
· School run parking projects were continuing and officers were discussing options with local schools such as bollards, in relation to Belgrave St Peters school a more holistic approach was being considered to introduce traffic calming measures in that area.
Concerns were discussed about plans to relocate the bus stop near Byford Road, Abbey Lane. Councillors indicated that they were opposed to the proposals and that residents in the area had strongly objected also.
ACTION: Highways officers to enquire as to progression of the proposals and feedback to Councillors.
In relation to concerns raised at the last meeting about the Abbey Lane layby for access to shops being used as all day parking it was confirmed that this would be addressed with a proposal to introduce a limited waiting restriction of 30 minutes and to remark the yellow lines.
LEICESTER ADULT SKILLS AND LEARNING SERVICE
An officer from the Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service will present an overview of the service.
Anna Parr from Adult Skills and Learning gave an overview of courses and programmes currently on offer including:
· A full range of employability and development courses were available.
· A number of level 1 and 2 qualifications free to people on various benefits or earning less than £15736.50p/a.
· Core subjects in English, Maths and English as a Second Language (ESOL).
· A range of community arts and leisure courses at £1.80 per hour.
· Universal Credit and digital support sessions across the city.
A full brochure was circulated to those present and further information was available at www.leicester.gov.uk/adulteducation
COMMUNITY MEETING BUDGET
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 including a summary of grant applications submitted for consideration since the last meeting.
The community engagement officer gave an update on the ward community budget and informed those present of the applications supported since the last meeting as follows:
· Mowmacre Playground - £1463 supported towards Summer half term playscheme
· Mowmacre Playground - £1869 supported towards February half term playscheme
· African Network - £475 supported towards community networking
· Little Tykes - £1500 supported towards room hire and summer coach trip
· Abbey Park Bowling Club - £950 supported towards a ladies changing room
· Leicester Holi - £750 supported towards Holi event
· Sanatan Holi Community Group - £1500 supported towards Colour Festival
· Stocking Farm & Beaumont Leys PCC - £1000 supported towards Reality Youth bus at Tudor Centre
· Belgrave Rugby Football Club - £350 supported towards training kit for mini and junior sections of club
· Standards & Development, LCC - £1900 supported towards Ingold Avenue play area
· Leicester Outdoor Pursuit Centre – Joint bid for £7500 (£2500 from Abbey) carried forward to next financial year.
It was noted that all future applications must be made online at the council’s website.
New applications would not be considered until after the local elections in May.
A representative of the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre gave a brief outline of the projects that they were currently working on. This included a crowdfund project for a new kayak launch which had just 35 days left to achieve its target, or the project would not receive any of the monies pledged.
Another project was to replace paving and improve accessibility which would benefit MOSAIC users and others with mobility issues.
It was noted that volunteers from the centre had also taken part in litter picks along the river and over the course of 5 years had removed 1997 bags of rubbish including fridges, road cones and bicycles.
Councillors commended the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre for their positive contribution to clearing the waterway.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
CLOSE OF MEETING
Ward Councillors will provide an update on local ward issues