Venue: Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, Rothley Street, Leicester, LE4 6LF
Contact: Randeep Singh Mattu, Ward Community & Engagement Officer, (tel: 0116 454 1835, e-mail: email@example.com Elaine Baker, Democratic Support Officer,(tel: 0116 454 6355), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Councillor Chamund in the Chair.
The Chair welcomed all present and introduced herself and the other Ward Councillors.
No declarations of interest were made.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Kim Venables (Environmental Ranger) and Mrs Julie Walker.
The Action Log for the last meeting, held on 13 August 2019, is attached for information and discussion
The Action Log of the Belgrave Community Meeting held on 13 August 2019 was agreed as a correct record.
WARD COUNCILLORS' FEEDBACK
The Ward Councillors will provide an update on local ward issues
All to note:
· Claudia Webb has been elected as the new MP for the constituency. Thanks are extended to Keith Vaz for his work as the former constituency MP;
· Ward surgeries are held at the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre on Saturdays between 9.00 and 11.00 am. Two of the three Ward Councillors attend, on rotation;
· The main issue being raised at ward surgeries is housing. Other issues being raised include housing repairs, education (including school places), benefits, adult social care, mental health, highways and planning;
· The Ward Councillors have done a number of patch walks with the Housing team covering the Ward. An issue with anti-social behaviour identified in the St Marks area has been addressed through the removal of some benches and the trimming of some hedges and shrubs;
· Work on educating people not to feed birds or drop other litter is ongoing;
· The Ward has one of the highest levels of fly tipping in the city, so further work on educating people about this is needed;
· A patch walk has been undertaken with Council parking control officers and a response made to consultation on the introduction of a controlled parking zone;
· Parking spaces at the doctor’s surgery that were reserved for people no longer working there have been released for general use, so no further fines for using those spaces will be issued;
· Work on community safety with the Police is ongoing and includes a patch walk around the Garfield Street area. A mobile CCTV camera currently is in use there;
· Cossington Sports Centre has closed for refurbishment and consultation is being held with the Deputy City Mayor with responsibility for Culture, Leisure and Sports about possible improvements to Cossington Park;
· The young person affected by the fire in Kensington Street has been nominated for the Lord Mayor’s Honoured Citizen award;
· Work has been done with Catherine Street Junior School in respect of its Eco Warrior scheme, as part of which two rubbish bins have been adopted by the school; and
· It is hoped that, in addition to continuing the work outlined above, parking for people using the lunch club, anti-social behaviour in the Doncaster Road area, and work with the Police on methods of future community engagement will be undertaken over the coming months.
LEICESTERSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE
The local Fire and Rescue Team will be present to provide an update
All to note:
· The number of incidents attended by the Fire and Rescue Service had reduced. Encouraging people to use electric diva lights had helped with this;
· The service has attended 65 special services incidents (for example, breaking in to property to help vulnerable people), 61 false alarms and 16 accidental fires; and
· Inappropriate parking causes major problems when trying to get appliances to incidents in time. A YouTube video has been produced about this.
All residents urged to watch the YouTube video produced by the Fire & Rescue Service about problems caused by inappropriate parking.
An update on Housing works in the Ward will be given
All to note:
· Work with Councillors and the Police is ongoing to address anti-social behaviour on Council-managed estates;
· A decision is needed on whether a system such as permit parking should be introduced to manage parking on Council-owned parking areas;
· The feeding of birds causes pest infestations, so work to address this is being undertaken in conjunction with pest control officers;
· A questionnaire is to be trialled to identify what Council tenants’ priorities are in the area and to help funding to be focussed most usefully. Liaison on this also will be undertaken with the Ward Councillors;
· The Supporting Tenants and Residents (STAR) service provides housing-related support to reduce homelessness and increase independence. This includes work with Housing services to help tenants sustain their tenancies, or settle in to a property following a period of homelessness;
· STAR service users must be over the age of 16, not need 24-hour care, be vulnerable and be Leicester residents (or moving in to Council accommodation in the city);
· Referrals to STAR can be made by telephone (0116 454 6000) or via the Council’s website;
· There is a waiting list for STAR’s services, as demand is greater than the resources available. Requests for support therefore are categorised;
· Support provided by STAR is tailored to individual needs, through the creation of action plans;
· Even though STAR is a Housing service, help can be provided with things such as acquiring furniture, liaising with utility companies and establishing social networks; and
· STAR also supports people at risk of losing their tenancy.
LOCAL HIGHWAYS UPDATE
An update on Highways works in the Ward will be given
All to note:
· Bollards have been installed at the Belgrave Road/Brendon Street junction;
· Joint sealing and patching have been undertaken on roads throughout the Ward;
· In total, highways inspectors have ordered over 150 carriageway repairs and over 160 footway repairs;
· Highways officers have been involved in the work to remove the no parking signs from parking spaces at the doctor’s surgery that were reserved for people no longer working there. These spaces will now be removed from the traffic regulation order;
· It is expected that the extension of the Belgrave West 20 miles per hour zone will be done during the 2020/21 financial year;
· Consultation will be undertaken on traffic calming proposals for the Ross Walk area, but it is likely to be Christmas 2020 – March 2021 before a scheme can be put in place;
· The Council’s walking and cycling team have produced draft travel plans for schools, showing different radiuses for how long each way of travelling will take. This will be distributed soon;
· Following a patch walk in November 2019, light levels are to be increased in the Garfield Street play area, to try to reduce anti-social behaviour there;
· It has been decided that the traffic calming road hump in Donaldson Road will remain in place;
· Efforts are being made to contact the company responsible for putting signs up on lampposts in the Ward;
· An old lamp column in Munnings Close was obscured, but this had been rectified; and
· In December 2019 a meeting was held on-site in the Doncaster Road area between Ward Councillors, Highways officers and businesses to try to identify issues of concern there, (for example, whether a residents’ parking scheme would be welcomed). Over 5,000 questionnaires were distributed, but this was not an official consultation. 204 questionnaires were returned, which although a good result did not represent a majority of residents. Approximately 75% of responders felt that a residents’ parking scheme was a good idea for the area, but concerns remain that this does not reflect all residents’ views. Highways officers are happy to support Ward Councillors if they wish to do further work on this.
The local City Warden will present an update on environmental works within the Ward
All to note:
· The update report attached at the end of the Action Log;
· The Belgrave Project was launched on 27 February 2020. As part of this, a booklet on how to dispose of waste has been produced in four languages, copies of which will be available at the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre. Posters also will be put up in the area to try to reduce paan spitting; and
· Dog fouling is a criminal offence, so a signed witness statement is needed in order for the matter to be processed through the courts.
The City Warden was thanked for his work in the Ward and for his quick responses.
LOCAL POLICING UPDATE
Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an udpate
Inspector Kam Mistry, Policing Commander for East Leicester, introduced himself to the meeting. He acknowledged the diverse communities in the Ward, expressing the hope that trust and support could be built between these and the Police, and inviting them to let him know their concerns.
All to note:
· The murder on 2 March was an isolated domestic incident. The person responsible was arrested immediately and has been charged with murder;
· Following attacks on three people by a man with a knife, the Police have worked hard with the community to reassure people. The attacker was caught very quickly;
· There has not been an increase in usual acquisitive crime;
· A gang was caught doing distraction crimes at ATMs. The people concerned were not from Leicester, but it is thought they may have returned to the city;
· A lot of work has been done in relation to problems at the car park on the site of the former Sainsbury’s store. Papers have been served to require it to be cleaned, but other issues, (for example, street drinking and littering), may not stop until the site is developed;
· A Public Space Protection Order has been made for Leicester and Leicestershire, to stop street drinking. However, some of these drinkers meet others on a social basis and are not drunk;
· Anti-social behaviour around the toilets on Cossington Park and Dorset Street has been tackled. Work with the Council to ensure that the toilets were closed when they should be was ongoing and Police officers were patrolling in the area;
· Knife crime is not a major issue in relation to people living in the Ward, but some people coming in to the area are prepared to carry weapons. Work therefore is being done to educate young people not to have expensive items on show;
· The “cover up” campaign is still being run and to date there has not been any jewellery snatched this year. However, the Police are not complacent about this and continuously monitor the situation;
· The Police would like to see improvements made to cycle paths, as some chain snatches have been done by people on bikes and there are community concerns about people cycling on pavements. At present, the Police do not move cyclists off the pavement, as some roads are dangerous for cyclists;
· Anti-social behaviour has been experienced at Munnings Close and Southhay Close and has now also moved to Doncaster Road and Garfield Street. Some arrests had been made in connection with that in Garfield Street and the Police are still actively dealing with the group responsible;
· People using the takeaway food shops on Melton Road, near the NatWest bank, are parking by the barriers there. This is where two lanes merge to become one, so is a dangerous place to park. Food outlets there support the suggestion that this become a no-stopping zone; and
· Highways officers are considering introducing “red routes” in the city, where no stopping would be allowed. This could include the area of Melton Road referred ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
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.
An update will be given on the Ward Community Budget
All to note that 23 applications for funding have been received since the last meeting, of which 19 have been supported and one remains to be assessed. A balance of £14.50 remains for the current financial year and will be carried forward to 2020/21.
All invited to contact the Ward and Community Engagement Officer if assistance with a grant application is needed.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
a) Planning Application Notification/Consultation
All to note that, when a planning application is received, letters are sent to people with an adjoining boundary notifying them of the application. The scale of the development is one factor in determining who is contacted.
All to note that, if the planning application is for a major development, or the adjoining property cannot be identified, a site notice is put up. Site notices also are put up in relation to applications for signage in a conservation area. If officers notice that a sign is missing, they will replace it, but as they cannot visit all sites on a regular basis they rely on neighbours telling them of problems.
b) Conditions on Planning Applications
All to note that, if conditions attached to a planning application are breached, the Council’s Planning Enforcement team decide whether to take action or require the applicant to rectify the matter.
All invited to let the Planning service know if breaches of conditions on planning applications are identified.
c) Cossington Street Football Pitch
All to note that Ward Councillors have asked officers for information about the closure of the football pitch on the Cossington Street recreation ground and are waiting for a reply.
d) Parking in Epsom Road/Ascot Road
Residents report that large vehicles, such as refuse collection vehicles, are unable to access the Epsom Road/Ascot Road junction due to badly parked vehicles, and that anti-social behaviour is happening in these areas.
e) Abbey Pumping Station
All to note that leaflets are available setting out events at Abbey Pumping Station until February 2021.
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 8.04 pm