Venue: Zoom Virtual Meeting
Contact: Punum Patel, Ward Community Engagement Officer (tel: 0116 454 6575 email: Punum.Patel@leicester.gov.uk) Jacob Mann, Democratic Support Officer (tel: 0116 454 5843 e-mail: Jacob.Mann@leicester.gov.uk )
INTRODUCTIONS, APOLOGIES, AND DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
The Chair will introduce those present and make any announcements.
The Chair and other Councillors who are present will make any declarations as required by the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.
Councillor Master as Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and led on introductions.
There were no apologies for absence.
There were no declarations of interest.
The action log of the previous meeting held on 5 March 2020 is attached for information and discussion.
The action log of the previous meeting held on 5 March 2020 was confirmed as a correct record.
It was noted that the action relating to feedback from speed surveys was the only pending action.
WARD COUNCILLORS FEEDBACK
Councillors will provide an update on ward related matters.
Councillor Rahman reported that work had been done during the Covid lockdown to support residents, including posting informational leaflets and supporting mutual aid groups. She also reported that case work was ongoing regarding housing and small business fund applications.
Councillor Thalukdar reported that ward councillors had been meeting throughout the lockdown to ensure that they were keeping in touch with the community. He also reported that ward councillors had been attending public health briefings. He gave his thanks to community groups and frontline workers.
Residents noted that Stoneygate had some of the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the city and asked what work had been done to mitigate the spread of the virus. Councillors reported that work was ongoing with particular communities. Council staff had gone door-to-door providing testing kits and information. Businesses in the ward had been encouraged to follow guidelines. It was noted that a large number of residents in the ward were frontline staff, which might contribute to the figures for the ward.
Officers will be present to give an update on the Local Plan.
Grant Butterworth, Head of Planning, gave a presentation on the Local Plan and its impact on Stoneygate ward (attached). It was noted that:
· The Local Plan covered the period from 2020-2036 and sought to meet the housing and employment need for the city.
· There were no proposed development sites in Stoneygate ward, but some sites proposed were near to the ward boundary, as follows:
o A large housing development at the site of Leicester General Hospital.
o Two sites for office use near to the train station and Curve.
o Housing at Linden Street and the former Dunlop Works building.
· Several other smaller sites were noted.
· Public consultation for the Plan closed on 7 December.
Residents asked if the Government White Paper on Planning would force the Local Plan to change. Grant Butterworth reported that changes from the White Paper would not come into effect for a few years and that it was hoped that the Plan could be brought to a submission stage as quickly as possible in order to avoid any changes.
Residents asked why the consultation process was going ahead when Covid restrictions were in place. Grant Butterworth reported that consultation was due to take place in March 2020, but had to be delayed, and that the Government had advised that planning processes should continue. He noted that physical copies of the consultation forms had been distributed to residents.
Residents asked why the Local Plan did not ensure more diversity in shopping areas such as Evington Road. Grant Butterworth reported that the Council was less able to set prescriptive policies on shopping areas due to Government policy.
Residents asked if empty houses and large homes with few residents were considered in the Local Plan. Grant Butterworth reported that vacant houses were already part of the existing stock and therefore not included in the Plan, and that the number of residents in a house was not considered.
Residents expressed concern that the loss of land for General Hospital services would cause issues for health care in the city. Grant Butterworth noted that that issue raised was covered by the UHL Reconfiguration consultation, which was also in progress. Councillor Master noted that he had asked for consultation on the UHL Reconfiguration to be sent to Stoneygate residents.
Residents asked if social housing would be provided at the General Hospital site. Grant Butterworth reported that a certain amount of affordable housing was required but that the Government definition of affordable housing had changed.
Residents asked if the proposed housing developments would have provisions for allotment space. Grant Butterworth reported that there was evidence on the Local Plan website about the supply of allotments.
Residents asked what provisions there were in the Local Plan regarding climate change. Grant Butterworth reported that the Government had not made it clear to what extent Councils could set their own local energy policies and that the Council would go as far as the Government allowed them to.
LOCAL POLICING UPDATE
Officers from the Local Policing Unit will be at the meeting to provide an update on police issues in the Stoneygate Ward.
Sgt Pete Colgate gave an update on policing issues in the ward. It was noted that:
· There had been a decrease in reported crime compared to the same period last year, possibly due to the Covid lockdown.
· Local issues such as anti-social behaviour and drug use had been raised through the Neighbourhood Link app.
· The majority of Police time had been taken up with enforcing Covid rules. With reported breaches of the guidelines increasing since the November lockdown began.
Residents were encouraged to work together as a community to keep abiding by the Covid rules. Residents were also encouraged to use the Neighbourhood Link app to report local issues.
CITY WARDEN UPDATE
The City Warden will give an update on issues in the Stoneygate Ward.
Darren Evans, City Warden, was not present at the meeting although written update was presented by the Ward Community Engagement Officer. It was noted that:
· Darren Evans had been relocated to Victoria Park, allowing for close access to the ward.
· All fly tip cases had been resolved; although fly tipping was still occurring with mostly large items.
· Some fixed penalty notices had been issued to business owners not complying with Covid rules.
· The Bins on Streets project would have to be restarted at the new year due to attention being focused in other places.
Highways Officers will be present to give an update on Highways issues in the ward.
Mark Govan, Highways Officer, gave an update on highways issues in the ward. It was noted that:
· The consultation on the Evington Valley Road 20mph scheme to introduce 20mph zones would soon end.
· A 20mph scheme was being looked at for several roads in the area of Osmaston Road.
· A one way scheme was being looked at in the Linton Road area.
· There were reports of speeding issues on Holmfield Road, speed surveys would be carried out in spring 2021.
· A pavement parking scheme was being looked at for Evington Road between the junctions of Cromer Street and Draper Street.
· Standard Highways services were ongoing.
Residents praised the pop-up cycle lanes which had been placed around the city during the lockdown.
Residents asked if the pavement parking scheme on Evington Road would reduce the width of the pavement. Mark Govan reported that any changes wouldn’t bring pavement width below minimum standards, and that the pavement would still be usable for people with mobility scooters or pushchairs.
Residents asked why the Santander bike hire racks near Medway School had been removed. Councillors reported that the racks had been placed there without consultation with Councillors or residents, and that the racks had been removed so that discussions could begin about where to put them.
The Ward Community Engagement Officer noted that information requested at the last meeting relating to parking enforcement had been received. It was noted that 555 PCNs were issued between April and November 2020. A breakdown of PCNs follows:
Evington Rd: 203
Osmaston Rd, 20
Glossop St, 23
Linton St, 28
Rowsley St, 26
Sawley St, 23
Kedleston Rd, 19
Staveley Rd, 2
Draper St, 19
Lyme Rd, 52
Cromer St, 19
Chepstow Rd, 17
Kingston Rd, 52
Halsbury St, 14
Conway Rd, 8
WARD COMMUNITY BUDGET
Councillors are reminded that they will need to declare any interest they may have in budget applications, and/or indicate that Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.
The Ward Community Engagement Officer provided an update on applications submitted for support from the Ward Community Budget.
· Bangladesh Youth and Cultural Shomiti - £900 for renewal of CCT
· Muslim Community Association Leicester - £700 for Covid 19 support
· The Urban Equestrian Academy - £500 for UAE Advanced 16 program
· MBCOL Ltd - £450 for an Apple Macbook
· Mindful Warriors Digital Classroom - £500 for online yoga and mindfulness video
· Swar Music and Event Promotion - £500 for euphonious music healing therapy
· City Warden Service - £2000 for clean up of waste and fly tipping
The remaining balance of £13,815 was noted. The deadline for applications over £500 was the end of January 2021.
Councillors reported on ongoing discussions around the carry forward of a greater amount of the ward budget to 2021 due to support for certain events not being possible during 2020.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Residents noted that the South Highfields Neighbourhood Association was currently looking at installing a friendly bench for the community in the Onslow Street Play Area. The email address for South Highfields Neighbourhood Association was noted as being email@example.com.
There being no other business, the meeting closed at 6.36pm.