Venue: Thurnby Lodge Youth and Community Centre, Thurncourt Road, Leicester LE5 2NG
Contact: Angela Martin Ward Community Engagement Officer (tel: 0116 454 6571) (email: email@example.com) Julie Harget, Democratic Support Officer (tel: (0116 454 6357) (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 Aldred, Chair of the meeting welcomed those present and led introductions.
There were no declarations of interest.
Apologies for absence were received from Nicole Powell, City Warden.
Attached for information and discussion.
The action log of the previous meeting held 4 February 2019 were agreed.
WARD COUNCILLOR FEEDBACK AND UPDATES
Ward Councillors will feed back on activities in the ward.
The Chair, Councillor Aldred, reported that she had been dealing with a large amount of constituency work covering a range of matters from housing to highways and social services. The Chair was also in regular contact with the police on local issues and Councillor surgeries continued to be held weekly on Tuesdays.
Councillor Gee reported that he was also heavily involved in constituency work with recent cases covering housing, universal credit and green spaces queries as well as meetings with housing and highways officers. He had also spoken on behalf of residents at the recent Planning & Development Control Committee meeting concerning Rosshill Crescent development.
The Chair reported that the vandalised street lights had been replaced near the Boys Club.
TRAFFIC & HIGHWAYS PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT UPDATES
Officers will give an update on highways issues in the Ward.
Rupert Bedder, from the Highways team gave an update on traffic and highways related matters across the ward which included the following points:
· Options for traffic calming along Thurncourt Road up to Nursery Road were being explored, street surveys taken over the past few years had been considered and it was noted that average speeds recorded during those surveys were 29mph. It was hoped that proposals would be available for public consultation later in the year. ACTION: Officers agreed to survey roads at school drop off/pick up times and to take into consideration effect of parking too.
· The next section of Thurncourt Road beyond Nursery Road had some traffic calming features, but officers were aware of concerns about crossing safety and would also be looking at suitable options for a longer term solution.
· Surface patching and knee high railings had been introduced around Uppingham Road area, and there were further plans to install bollards and knee high railings to deal with parking and anti-social behaviour issues around the junction area with Colchester Road and around Kirkwall Crescent.
· A vehicle activation speed sign had been installed at the junction of Compass Road/Scraptoft Lane.
· Work was being done around local primary schools to tackle nuisance parking by improving signage and renewing street paint such as school keep clear markings. A camera enforcement vehicle would be available on a rotational basis to monitor parking outside schools and there would be powers to enforce with fixed penalty notices once all necessary signage was in place.
· In relation to major resurfacing works that were needed on Scraptoft Lane a scoping exercise for the whole stretch of road was being undertaken to look at options, this was likely to take some time and would depend on development plans in the area however the council would look to secure some section 106 funding from the developers to deal with infrastructure including Scraptoft Lane.
In response to comments from residents it was noted that:
Concerns were expressed about speeding vehicles and lack of action to address that. Officers were aware of speeding vehicles being an issue and were looking to address that where possible with traffic calming measures etc but could only deal one area at a time and accident data did have to be taken into consideration when prioritising and determining what work was done. It was explained that speed cameras could be deployed but were not available to be on Scraptoft Lane all the time.
Proposals for a 20mph zone for Thurnby Lodge School Area on Elmcroft Avenue, Ocean Road, Dudley Avenue and Dakyn Road had begun in August with results expected 11 November 2019. Responses to the consultation would form the basis on which the City Mayor will make the decision to implement the scheme or not.
The Chair thanked the officer for the update.
HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS AND UPDATES
Housing officers will give an update on housing matters in the Ward.
Andy East, Area Housing Manager provided an update on housing related matters affecting the ward including an overview of the Environmental budget schemes to benefit tenants and resident across the ward.
It was noted that:
· new knee high rail fencing to stop cars crossing where they shouldn’t had been introduced in several areas,
· parking bays were being created on Sunbury green,
· a drop kerb scheme had been explored in areas where there were no green verges, despite a lot of interest most had not met the criteria and so only a few drop kerbs would be taken forward. As this process had taken a lot of time and resources it was not intended to repeat next year.
· Steps were being taken to explore schemes for 2020 and Councillors would be engaged in that process, this would include options for additional parking schemes across the ward.
· Other schemes proposed included redecorating the internal blocks and looking at bin storage solutions around the blocks of flats that would only be accessible by tenants/residents.
The ensuing discussion included the following comments:
· The council were not currently looking to specifically retro fit council properties given the climate emergency declaration in February 2019. The council had over many years done a lot of work on energy efficiencies across the city such as introducing central heating, cavity wall insulation and double glazing and would continue to look at such schemes. However, there were considerable constraints on resources and what could be done each year but the council were trying to address climate issues.
· In relation to solar panelling there had been some schemes previously that tenants had benefitted from
· There was discussion around the introduction of knee high railings with mixed feelings from residents as to their success in deterring parking in certain areas.
· Garage/Parking sites were still available for rent although most people were deterred as visibility not always good. Ocean Road was cited as an example that had a lot of parking areas. In terms of new parking schemes officers would take account of parking density and would try to focus in areas where there were lots of tenants and green spaces.
· The proposed development on Rosshill Crescent would include parking spaces for each property.
The Chair thanked the officer for the update.
LOCAL POLICING MATTERS AND UPDATES
Officers from Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an update on police issues in Thurncourt Ward.
Sgt Mistry gave an update on local policing matters which included an overview of policing priorities over the last 6 months.
Local crime statistics for the period February 2019 to end August 2019 were noted as follows:
· 34 Burglary’s - this included commercial properties, residential and burglary other than dwelling e.g. outbuildings and included attempts.
· 9 Taking vehicle without consent.
· 27 Theft from motor vehicles.
Residents were reminded of local initiatives to reduce theft of/and from vehicles including enforcement days at the local Lidl and screw fit events for vehicle registration plates which were both well attended.
It was also noted that:
· Speeding issues were being addressed – from 31 August to 13 September 2019 the Community Speed Watch would take place on Scraptoft Lane.
· Details of date/location of speed camera vehicle were published on the Police website as well as the Leicester Mercury website.
· It was explained that “pod cams” or static police cameras were being used to target and gather intelligence about specific issues, pod cams were installed as a temporary measure on lampposts to record images. Due to the nature of their use locations could not be disclosed for operational reasons. The pod cams were prioritised across the city to tackle significant issues.
· A Police monthly newsletter was available, hard copies would be left in libraries and community centres. People were encouraged to sign up on “neighbourhood alert” for regular updates.
Residents reported concerns about a large motorcycle in the area regularly making a lot of noise going up and down Scraptoft Lane and Thurncourt Road. Residents were encouraged to report such instances to the police and to give as much information as possible.
CITY WARDEN FEEDBACK
The City Warden will give an update on issues in the Thurncourt Ward.
Having given apologies, the City Warden submitted a written update on environmental works carried out in the ward for noting (as attached).
Residents reported the following issues:
· There had been 2 instances of someone defecating on Nursery Road and in the grounds of Christ Church. ACTION: City Warden to investigate.
· Several areas of the ward were suffering from dog fouling in particular Cross Keys Green, Stornoway Road. ACTION: City Warden to investigate and arrange stencilling as a deterrent in problem areas.
· Footbridges on Ocean Road Open Space/Gervas Road had been vandalised with some wooden supports removed making the bridge unsafe: ACTION: Councillor Aldred to report vandalism to Parks/Highways officers to investigate and repair.
WARD COMMUNITY BUDGET SUMMARY
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. A summary of grant applications submitted for consideration since the last meeting is attached.
The Community Engagement Officer gave a summary overview of the ward community budget.
It was noted that since April 2019,11 Applications had been received for funding from the ward community budget, of those 1 had been refused, 4 were supported and 6 were waiting to be further assessed.
The 4 applications supported were:
The balance remaining was £16775 to be spent before the end of the financial year.
Reminder that all applications for funding should be made online, details available on the council’s website at the following link: https://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council/decisions-meetings-and-minutes/community-meetings/
Residents raise concerns that the ward community budget system was not how it used to be, officers confirmed that the process was now more robust process and fully audited. It was noted that evaluation of events was carried out after the event to show the committed spend and any monies not spent were clawed back.
ACTION: Councillor Aldred to feedback to next meeting cost benefit analysis of the recent fete.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
AOB 1 Residents referred to recent meetings in other wards that had been attended by City Mayor and asked that he be invited to the next Thurncourt Ward Meeting. It was also suggested that the Police and Crime Commissioner should be invited to a future meeting.
Councillor Gee reported that he had sent a personal email inviting the City Mayor to the next meeting.
ACTION: Community Engagement Officer to follow up invitation to City Mayor to next ward meeting.
ACTION: Community Engagement Officer to invite the Police & Crime Commissioner to the last ward meeting of this municipal year.
AOB 2 There was a brief discussion around the lack of diversity of attendance at the ward meeting. It was explained that meetings were publicised where possible and details of all meetings were updated to the council’s website.
AOB 3 It was reported that following the May elections a table had been mistakenly removed from Christ Church when the polling station was dismantled.
ACTION: Democratic Support Officer to liaise with elections team to locate and return table.
AOB 4 The fallen tree at Willowbrook Schools had been reported to officers to deal with but still required action.
ACTION: Councillor Aldred to chase a response from the officer in the tree department
AOB 5 thanks were extended to the community centre for their involvement in the Holiday Hunger programme which served over 200 lunches during the summer period. The Chair explained that talks were ongoing to try and continue the scheme and if successful that would be co-ordinated sooner.
Both Councillors thanked volunteers that gave up their time to serve the children and families of the ward.
Meeting closed 20.18pm