Agenda and minutes

Western Community Meeting - Monday, 11 March 2019 7:00 pm

Venue: New Parks Hub, St Oswalds Rd, Leicester LE3 6RJ

Contact: Punum Patel, Community Engagement Officer: Tel 0116 454 6575. Email  Ed Brown, Democratic Support Officer: Tel: 0116 454 3833. Email;

No. Item



Councillors will elect a Chair for the meeting.


The Chair will introduce those present and make any necessary



The Chair and any other Councillors who are present will make any

declarations as required by the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.


Councillor Unsworth as chair led the introductions and welcomed everyone to the meeting.





Apologies were received from Joe Carroll of Braunstone Frith and Mr and Mrs Walker of Eastfield Road.



The Action Log from the meeting held on 16 January 2019 is attached.  Members will be asked to confirm it as an accurate record.


The Action Log of the previous meeting held 16 January 2019 was confirmed as correct. 


An update about raids on drugs-hotspots was desired from police.  Action: Police to be invited to the next meeting.



Councillors will provide an update on ward information.


Councillor Dr Barton reported on ongoing issues in the ward, including:


·         The New Parks Panel was being supported, and the Lunch Club was successful.

·         Project Hive was working to bring empty buildings in the Ward into community use.  Two events were taking place to raise funds for this: A pop-up pub on Friday 15 March and a pop-up tea room on Saturday 16 March at St Anne’s Church Hall.

·         A meeting was to be held with Highways about possible traffic calming measures in the Ward, including a 20mph zone.

·         The councillors were working with residents to restore confidence in the Hinckley Road area following the explosion the previous year and the subsequent trial.  There would be an information session at The Charles Napier pub form 3-6pm on 19 March.

·         The importance of the People Zone initiative working to reduce crime in the area was stressed in light of recent a stabbing and a murder in the Ward.  Councillor Unsworth suggested that anybody who knew anyone with a knife, but felt unable to inform the police, should dissuade them from using it.

·         Knee-rails had been placed along Letchworth Road and Glenfield Road around the football centre to prevent cars from mounting the pavement.


Councillor Cole reported issues including:


·         An appeal for funds and custom for the Allexton Centre in Braunstone Frith was made as it was on the verge of closing.  Action: New Parks Hub to liaise with Councillors to try to get groups to Allexton Centre.

·         Steps had been taken to ensure the continuation of the food bank in Braunstone Frith.  A city-wide arrangement for food bank provision was now being explored.


Councillor Unsworth reported issues including:


·         There were currently no representatives from Western Ward on the Forum for Older People.  Councillor Unsworth recounted some of the ways in which the forum had influenced the city and expressed hope that more people from the Ward would join.


In response to a question about tree-removal on New Parks Boulevard it was explained that some of the trees had become diseased, or dangerous due to wind-damage.  Councillor Dr Barton assured that some of these trees would be replaced.


Councillor Cole, referring to the food bank, explained that it required minimal staffing, however, if demand increased then the foodbank would put out a request for volunteers, the foodbank was available to all who needed it, including those who were in need due to issues with Universal Credit.


Councillor Unsworth suggested that the ‘What’s on in New Parks’ leaflet could contain information about the food bank.



An officer from Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an update on police issues in Western Ward.


Representatives from the police were not present as expected.  Community Engagement Officer Punum Patel offered to take questions and feed them back to the police.


Councillor Unsworth confirmed that he would attend a meeting with Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach on 26th March at New Parks Library.


Concern was raised about knife-crime in the Ward.  A stabbing incident and an incident in which a young person had been chased with a knife, that Councillors were not aware of, were raised.  Action: Councillor Unsworth to inform police of concern over knife crime.


Concern was raised about the People Zone Initiative that police were not answering people’s questions and engaging with agencies rather than the people in the Ward.  Councillors expressed that they shared these concerns.  Action: Councillor Dr Barton to feed-back concerns to Police and Crime Commissioner.



A highways officer will give an update on traffic and highways issues in the ward.


A written update from Robert Bateman of Highways was read out by the Community Engagement Officer.  Points included:


·         The 20mph zone around Letchworth Road and Dovelands was being revised in the light of vehicle speeds recorded.  Councillors and some residents would be met with on 22nd March to discuss the issue.  An area-wide consultation would take place after the election.

·         The conversion of Glengarry Way to a one-way street was complete.

·         Lengths of Glenfield Road were to be designated ‘No Waiting at any Time’.

·         Sustrans Big Pedal event would be taking place with local schools, encouraging pupils, staff and parents to walk, scoot or cycle to school.


Discussion around a request for bollards outside Forrest Lodge School included ways to garner support, including campaigning by school governors and head-teachers, writing letters to the school, presenting a petition at a full council meeting, and campaigning through the Leicester Mercury.




A local housing officer will be present to provide an update on housing related issues in Western ward.


Neighbourhood Housing Team Leader Mandy Smith gave an update on housing issues in the Ward.  Points included:


·         Of the projects undertaken this financial year, only one project, on Whitley Close, was yet to be finished.

·         The funding for projects in the 2019/20 financial year would be shared between Western, Fosse and Westcotes Wards.

·         Painting had taken place in areas around Braunstone Frith.

·         Shrubs and brambles had been cleared on Perth Avenue.

·         Approval had been given for an improvement project on Tatlow House.

·         A closure order was being sought following a report of drugs and anti-social behaviour in New Parks.  Residents were reminded of the importance of reporting such issues to the police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers.


A report of vandalism on a property on Aikman Avenue was made and it was asked whether any development was happening to the building.  Action: Mandy Smith and City Warden to investigate.


An enquiry was made about what was to happen to the site of the former housing office gardens on Caledine Road.  People were directed to the planning department on the Council website where information about cases can be accessed.



The City Warden will give an update on issues in Western ward.


City Warden Matthew Davinson gave an update on issues across the Ward.  Points included:


·         Two reports of dog fouling had been received. Action: City Warden to explore options.

·         Seven reports of fly-tipping had been received.  Cuffling drive had previously been badly affected, but this was now less of a problem.

·         Waste management was now being used more.

·         Those present were directed to the Council website to complain about waste management issues, adding that that they could access the internet at Council libraries or they could make complaints at the Customer Service Centre at York House, Granby Street.




An officer will be present to provide information on the Adult Skills and Learning Service.


Anna Parr gave a presentation on Leicester Adult Skills and Learning.  Points included:


·         Their main base was at the Old Library on Belvoir St, but classes were held around the city, including at New Parks Library.

·         Courses at New Parks Library included computer courses and assistance with claiming Universal Credit.

·         Other courses included:

o   Free employability courses.

o   Help at York House to access the Council online portal.

o   Level 1 and 2 qualifications, free to people on benefits or earning under £15736.50 p/a.

o   Access to university courses.

o   English, Maths and ESOL courses, Maths course free to people without a GCSE or Level 1 or 2 qualification.

o   Leisure courses in arts and languages at £1.80 p/h.

·         Provision could be made for people with learning difficulties and families.


Anna Parr stated that they were keen to work with the local community and invited anyone with a group to talk to her so that they can work together.  It was indicated that the likelihood of courses in the area depended on the level of interest.


A representative from New Parks Hub asked for more information about courses.  Action: Anna Parr to attend a coffee morning at New Parks Hub to discuss what was offered.











Councillors are reminded that under the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, they should declare any interest they may have in the budget applications.


Information on the Ward Community Budget will be provided.


Feedback from applicants who have been funded from the budget will be given.


Feedback from recipients of community funding was received.


New Parks Community Panel


Lindsay Perbedy, Vice-Chair of New Parks Panel stated that the Ward budget had funded The Summer Extravaganza, The Lunch Club, Theatre trips for families on benefits and other groups including a war-gaming club and a craft club were being run at New Parks Library.


Brian Hookway Football Course


Brian Hookway relayed that, funding had allowed soccer schools had been set up, funding the teaching of coaches, free participation for some and covered the use of facilities, he expressed his gratitude for the support and stated that the scheme would not have been able to run without it.  He also reported that the course had occupied children during summer holidays and had helped them to develop social skills.


Western Park Festival


Representative Adrian Alexander explained that money from the Ward Community Budget had covered a shortfall in the funding of the festival.  The festival had included dance groups, musicians and traders and it was hoped to continue.


Creative Futures Midlands


Liam Hadjipetrou of Creative Futures Midlands reported that money had been provided from the Ward Community Budget for arts and crafts at the Summer Extravaganza.  He also reported that he had been helping with the ‘Plot to Pot’ scheme on local allotments but was finding it difficult to engage the local community.  Regular events were held, and he was thinking about the best place to advertise them.  A representative from New Parks Hub offered to advertise on their Facebook page.  Action: Liam Hadjipetrou to liaise with New Parks Hub.


Letchworth Area Watch


A representative from Letchworth Area Watch expressed gratitude for the funding received for the Garden Area between Nevanthon Road and Denis Close.  He reported that there had been a major improvement on the garden.


Team Troupers Dance Academy


A representative from Team Troupers Dance Academy explained that the academy for local children cost less due to Ward funding, making it accessible families on low incomes.  It was explained that the academy was self-funded other than Ward funding.


The group had run events including a trip to Alton Towers, a Halloween event at New Parks Hub, a summer event run in conjunction with New Parks Community Panel, bingo at New Parks Hub and an Easter event was to be run at New Parks Hub.


It was explained that money raised at New Parks Hub was put into the next event there.


Dissatisfaction was expressed that some groups and representatives had not fed-back on how their funding was spent.  It was explained by representatives and councillors that due to individual circumstances, such as low income and time constraints it can be difficult for representatives to attend meetings.


Ward Community Budget


Seven applications had been supported since the last Ward meeting:


·         Linking Lives- to purchase a roller banner to promote the scheme- £95

·         Team Troupers Dance Academy- for their Easter event- £500

·         Letchworth Area Watch- for bands on Western Park- £200

·         Letchworth Area Watch- for a garden area- £136  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.




Concern was raised that it was difficult to find information on Ward meetings online.  The Community Engagement Officer advised them to add their email address to the list to be emailed the agenda.  Action: Community Engagement Officer to make sure that publicity was timely.


Web address for Western Community Meeting information:


Councillor Unsworth further advised that posters were put up in local libraries and at the meeting venues.


Noting that this was their last Ward meeting and councillors, Councillor Unsworth and Councillor Dr Barton were thanked for their service.


The meeting closed at 9:16pm