Venue: New Parks Library, Aikman Avenue, Leicester LE3 9PW
Contact: Punum Patel, Community Engagement Officer: Tel 0116 454 6575. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Julie Harget, Democratic Support Officer: Tel: 0116 4546357. Email; email@example.com
INTRODUCTIONS AND APOLOGIES
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 Unsworth, Chair for the meeting led introductions and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies were received from Peter Thorne.
There were no declarations of interest.
The Action Log from the meeting held on 11 April 2017 is attached for information and discussion.
The action log of the meeting held on 11 April 2017 was agreed as an accurate record.
Progress on actions of previous meeting:
Item 28 –
· Neighbourhood Watch: suggested that a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in the Braunstone Frith area would be helpful.
· Defibrillators: noted there were defibrillators at the Co-Op on Aikman Avenue and also in the Fire Station. Councillors suggested it would be useful to have one in the Co-Op in Braunstone Frith.
Action: CEO to make enquiries.
Item 31 –
· Confirmed the formation of a new parking area on Blissett Road would be completed by end of this financial year.
WARD COUNCILLORS' FEEDBACK
Councillors reported that:
· Several community events that had received funding from the community budget had taken place including the New Parks Extravaganza, the Western Park Festival, the Open Gardens in Western Park.
· Councillor’s surgeries would restart at the St Anne’s Church Hall from September 2017.
· Lord Bach, Police & Crime Commissioner would be invited to visit in spring.
· Speed humps had been put in around Forest Lodge.
· A relief fund was being set up for those affected by the devastating hurricanes and donations could be made to the African Caribbean Centre on Maidstone Road.
· There were proposals to relating to community building that would see 4 sports centres receiving investment whilst 5 sports centres would see reductions. There were plans to reduce the hours that public swimming was available at the New Parks Swimming baths.
Residents expressed several concerns that included: cuts to services were affecting the wards that were also worst affected by poverty, more vulnerable people lived in the wards where services were being reduced. Residents felt that there was no infrastructure from the council that they could work with.
Councillor Cole indicated that Councillor could support any group with a sustained approach to address their concerns for the area.
There will be an update on local highways issues.
Robert Bateman from the Highways team gave a brief update on matters related to the Western Ward which included:
· 20mph zones – there had been some lobbying to bring forward proposals to introduce these zones in a number of areas such as around Dovelands and the Christ the King School. There were indications that installation should begin early in the new financial year.
· Parking outside schools – work was being carried out to encourage behaviour change of those who were parking inconsiderately in school areas, this would include a focus on increasing walk to school rates and more signage,
· New College had made available an area of land for parking however people were still not using that area to park and the school was receptive to proposals being put forward that might encourage more people to park in the designated area.
Residents raised a number of issues that included:
· the signage at the junction of Aikman Avenue and New Parks Way and the dangerous positioning of the cycle track needed to be reviewed,
· cars were continue to speed excessively despite 20mph along Sandhurst Road/Aikman Avenue
· Liberty Road road markings and zebra crossing needed to be re-painted
· Utility companies were digging up roads again on Aikman Avenue.
ACTION: Highways to investigate and report back to next meeting on the above issues.
LOCAL POLICING UPDATE
An officer from the Local Policing Unit will provide an update on policing issues in the Western Ward.
The Police reported that:
· Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland had seen a sharp increase in knife crime, on the operational front during September extra officers had been on duty in the evenings and there was an increase in officer visibility to provide reassurance to local residents across the city.
· Police were working with Schools and ex-offenders to educate young people of the dangers of being in gangs and carrying knives.
· Residents were being encouraged to be aware of a fraudulent window cleaner that was targeting elderly and vulnerable people over charging for window cleaning and trying to charge when work had not been done.
· 3 substantive drug raids had been carried out within 3 weeks across the ward – Bonney Road £1230 drugs seized, Glazebrook Road £1350 Class A drugs seized, Samson Road £774 cash and £150 drugs seized.
· There were plans for 2 officers in the beat area to be armed with tazers
· Street drinking around Hinckley Road continued to be an issue – the Westcotes police team had an ongoing programme and there was a PSPO in place.
Councillors asked for a comparison of crime figures from across the city to be shared at future meetings.
LEICESTERSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE UPDATE
Wayne Gale, Station Manager, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue will provide an update on issues pertaining to the service.
No-one was available to provide an update.
Councillors asked that an update be provided to the next meeting.
Officers from Leicester City Council’s Planning Service will give a presentation on the consultation for the new Local Plan.
Senior Planners from Planning, Development and Transportation gave a presentation on the Leicester Local Plan.
Points made included the following:
· The consultation on the new local plan had started on 26 July 2017 and would continue to the end of October 2017.
· The Local Plan set out the Council’s planning framework up to 2031 and sought to meet the needs for homes, jobs, shopping, leisure and open space. It also set out policies to determine planning applications.
· The next stage would be to formulate a draft local plan after taking into account the comments and views expressed in the consultation, a revised Draft Local Plan would then be drawn up - expected to be available Winter – Spring 2018.There would then be a further period of public consultation.
· The finalised plan would need to be approved by the Planning Inspectorate and by full council before it was adopted. It was anticipated that this would be by the end of 2018.
· There was limited open space in Leicester for new housing and employment opportunities. A list of all potential development sites had been drawn up and views were being sought from residents as to what sites should be developed and what should be protected.
As well as seeking views on general issues in the city, feedback was requested on local issues and officers were attending community meetings to seek residents’ views. Officers were therefore keen to hear from residents in the Ward.
During discussion the following points were made:
· It was a concern that the focus was on people to respond electronically when not everyone had access to a computer.
· The consultation was very long and not user friendly – most people would not be dedicated enough to respond.
· What provision would be made for small start-up business – there needed to be a range of land for employment use including smaller business units.
Attendees were encouraged to respond to this phase of the consultation, paper copies were available in libraries and customer service centres and comments needed to be received by end of October.
Marie Murray, Housing District Manager will be present to provide an update on housing issues.
Marie Murray Area Housing Manager provided an update on housing matters affecting the ward which included:
· The New Parks community office had re-opened and was working well,
· Tenancy management – no-longer EMO’s and there were a reduced number of staff. Now referred to as Housing Officers.
· Responsive repairs now came under the Repairs Service.
· Housing Officers would be conducting regular fire inspection and communal cleaning checks in all flats.
· Consideration was being given to increasing the parking areas or improving parking areas around Blissett Road, Hassall Road and Beers Road.
· There was a small pot of funds to tackle dangerous trees and residents were invited to report any dangerous trees to housing officers to tackle.
Concerns were raised that the disable parking spaces in the car park outside the library were being blocked by council vans.
ACTION: CEO to raise with library staff.
CITY WARDEN UPDATE
Matthew Davinson, the local City Warden will provide an update on local environmental and enforcement issues.
City Warden provided an update on matters related to the ward which included:
· 84 complaints had been dealt with since the last meeting,
· There had been no recent complaints relating to dog fouling,
· Community protection notices were now being put to good effect and warning letters were making an impact,
A resident raised concerns that tenants were using council properties for drug abuse – resident were encouraged to report such concerns to the Police or Crimestoppers.
WARD COMMUNITY MEETING BUDGET
Councillors are reminded that under the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, they should declare any interest they may have in the budget applications.
An update on the Ward Community Budget will be provided at the meeting.
An update on the ward community budget to be provided to the next meeting.
DATE OF FUTURE MEETINGS
Further Western Ward Community Meetings have been arranged as follows:
Tuesday 16 January 2018 at 7.00pm. St Anne’s Church, Letchworth Road.
Tuesday 10 April 2018 at 7.00 pm. Venue to be confirmed.
Tues 16 Jan 2018 at 7pm at St Anne’s Church, Letchworth Road.
Tues 10 April 2018 at 7pm at a venue to be confirmed.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.20pm