Venue: Braunstone Frith Community Centre, Sharman Crescent, Leicester, LE3 6NW
Contact: Randeep Singh Mattu, Community Engagement Officer: Tel 0116 454 1835. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Ed Brown, Democratic Support Officer: Tel: 0116 454 3833. Email; email@example.com
INTRODUCTIONS, DECLARATIONS AND 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 Broadwell as Chair led the introductions and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
No Declarations were made.
Apologies were received from Lindsay Perbedy of New Parks Community Panel and Neville Turner of New Parks Centre.
The Action Log from the meeting held on 11 September 2019 is attached for information and discussion.
The Action Log of the previous meeting held on 11 September 2019 was confirmed as correct.
WARD COUNCILLORS' FEEDBACK
Ward Councillors will provide an update on local ward issues.
Councillor O’Donnell reported that:
· Additional funding had been secured for the Allexton Centre so it could continue to function.
· Funding had enabled the New Parks Panel to start a food bank. 20 people had signed up and the food bank would continue on 16 January 2020.
· Progress had been made with pest control on Aikman Avenue. The first block had been cleared of rats and it was hoped that the issue would be resolved by the end of the year.
· He had been working to engage young people in the area to prevent Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and he was looking to get an outreach worker to help with this.
· There had been major motoring incidents on Glenfield Road and Hinckley Road. Ways to avoid such incidents in the future were considered, including permanent speed cameras.
· Councillors had been approached by Leicester City Football Club about the possibility of a free football pitch being installed between Glenfield Road and Aikman Avenue, paid for by the Johan Cruyff Foundation. A similar scheme had worked well in St Matthews.
Councillor Broadwell reported that:
· Housing casework was being conducted in the Ward, looking at how to mitigate serious structural issues such as damp.
· Ways to address concerns over the gender-neutral toilets at New College were being considered, such as making the cubicles ceiling-to-floor.
· An exemption was being sought on parking restrictions around New Parks Playground to avoid parents being penalised when they dropped off and collected children.
· Failing lighting on Western Park would be fixed.
· Concerns had been raised about people potentially tripping over vehicle charging cables on Western Park. Ways to prevent this were being considered.
· She had been working with the Council and bus companies looking at ways to improve services, particularly at night.
· The Company Shop Group were setting up a premises (subject to planning permission) on Scudamore Road creating 80 jobs which people in the local area would have first refusal of. They would pay a living wage on a flat rate regardless of age.
Councillor Cole reported that:
· The success of the Braustone Frith food bank had inspired a similar scheme in New Parks Library.
· He had become a governor at New College and as such had been working with the Council to gain an insight over inequality issues surrounding underachievement of white working-class children and children of African heritage. Residents were directed to www.leicester.gov.uk for further information.
· Councillors were looking at ways to further support Kirby Frith and Braunstone Frith as it was felt that these areas were often overlooked.
· Councillors were attempting to work with private landlords to tackle fly tipping.
· The City Mayor had been engaged regarding the perception that fewer resources were being directed to Western Ward in comparison to others.
LOCAL POLICING UPDATE
Officers from Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an update on local policing issues in the Ward.
Sgt Adam Hastie gave an update on Police issues in the Ward. Points included:
· The team was now based at Beaumont Leys Police Station and two PCSOs were leaving the team.
· Operation Lionheart had now closed following many arrests including the main targets surrounding drug dealing and knife crime.
· Stabbings in the Ward had been premeditated and not random attacks. Residents were encouraged to feed back to the police with concerns or intelligence.
· There had been four incidents of knife crime in the ward in the past three months, down from 11 in the same period in the previous year. Knife crime included offences surrounding possession of knives as well as stabbings.
· Police were conducting talks in school to avoid children becoming involved in knife crime.
· Six habitual knife carriers had been identified in Western Ward. Police were taking more intrusive measures to understand why they were involved in knife crime and devise ways to stop it.
· There had been four reports of ASB around Aikman Avenue. Meetings with children and their parents had been conducted in order to tackle ongoing issues with youths and ASB.
In response to a query by a resident Sgt Hastie reported that they had no solid leads on the reports of a person approaching children by Braunstone Frith Primary School. However, a description of the person and vehicle had been circulated and it was believed to be an isolated incident.
Sgt Hastie reported that the issue of replacing the two departing PCSOs had been raised but they would not be replaced immediately. Action: Councillors to write to Leicestershire Police and Police and Crime Commissioner to encourage Police to replace PCSOs.
LOCAL HIGHWAYS UPDATE
An update on Highways works across the Ward will be given.
Highways Team Leader Mike Pears gave an update on Highways issues in the Ward. Points included:
· Bollards had been installed where New Parks Boulevard joins Liberty Road and on Wyngate Drive to prevent people driving on the footway.
· Responses in the consultation on the 20MPH zone on Glenfield Road had mainly been supportive. The scheme had now gone to the City Mayor for approval.
· The service roads around New Parks Way, including New Parks Boulevard and Brex Rise were part of a proposed 20MPH scheme for 2023-24 to prevent speeding.
· Liberty Road would be prioritised as part of the 2021 maintenance project (yet to be finalised).
· Signs, lines, pencil bollards and railings were to be installed on Charnor Road around Forest Lodge Community Primary School.
· Bids have been made to improve cycling infrastructure. Proposals had been made for a bike-sharing scheme.
· Tree roots had been causing slabs to lift on Westfield Road. Trees and Woodlands would do a survey in the coming year and Highways would look to replace slabs with tarmac.
Mike Pears informed those present that people could submit claims if the trees were owned by the Council were damaging private property. He further stated that Highways were not allowed to remove trees, but they did inform Trees and Woodlands of trees that were an issue. He also suggested that leaves blocking drains that had been reported should be removed by City Cleansing. Action: Mike Pears to report back on the above issues.
Councillors urged more cooperation between the departments. Action: Councillors to arrange meetings between Trees and Woodlands, City Cleansing and Highways to find solutions to the above problems.
Councillors requested speed bumps as part of the 20MPH Scheme. Action: Mike Pears to feed back.
Councillor Cole asked Mike Pears to feed back to Highways on the parking issue by New Parks Playground. Action: Mike Pears to feed back.
A local Housing Officer will provide an update on housing matters in the Ward.
District Manager for Housing Marie Murray gave an update on housing issues in the Ward. Points included:
· Between April and December 2019 there had been 247 reports of ASB to housing, a slight increase on the same period in the previous year.
· The most common ASB complaint was neighbour disputes, followed by nuisance and then abuse.
· If ASB cases are serious then they were reported to the Police.
· The average age of ASB perpetrators was 44 and the average age of victims was 47. However, the statistics were for tenants so would not include children.
· Whilst funding for environmental and communal schemes was decreasing, officers were talking with residents and Counillors about how to improve the estates. Proposals were now through for the next financial year and would focus on Wood End and Mossgate. Other areas would also be worked on.
· Tatlow Road flats bin chutes had been decommissioned and new external bin stores had been installed to help tackle arson at one block. Residents were now looking to decommission the chutes in the other three blocks (not arson-related) at a cost of £15,000 per block.
· Housing Officers were looking to engage with residents and councillors on how to spend additional funding.
· Surveys had been completed on the balconies on flats on Aikman Avenue. Contracts to fix them were now out to tender.
Concerns were raised about the condition of grass verges in the Ward. The resident was advised to contact Housing Officers or Customer Services. Action: Marie Murray to discuss options with Councillors.
Concern was raised about a lack of space for busses to get through on Tatlow Road resulting in them driving up kerbs. Action: Councillor Broadwell to discuss options with bus companies.
A resident suggested organising volunteers to conduct litter-picks. Action: Councillor O’Donnell to raise issue at next panel meeting.
CITY WARDEN UPDATE
The City Warden will give an update on environmental works within the Ward.
City Warden Matt Davinson gave an update on environmental issues in the Ward. Points included:
· Since the last Ward meeting 23 complaints had been received including nine through the Love Leicester App. Complaints had included dog fouling and bins on streets.
· Six reports of fly-tipping had been received, mostly on the highway. Reports on private land needed further investigation.
· Four reports of untidy land had been received. One report concerned a former care home where bins had been taken away as the home was no longer in use, but people were still living in the building. The owners had been given seven days to clear the land with the possibility of a £100 fine if the land was not cleared.
· A dog fouling report regarding Liberty Road had been received, but nothing was found upon investigation.
· Two reports of bins on street were reported off Liberty Road, however as the bins were on a parking area on private land they were not technically on a highway.
· He was looking to address the issue of nuisance parking such as people parking, selling or repairing cars on the highway. If untaxed vehicles are discovered and crime was apparent the Police and DVLA are informed.
Councillor O’Donnell enquired into the trimming of bushes behind the care home on Glenfield Road. Action: City Warden to update at the next meeting.
An enquiry was made about a building on Aikman Avenue. The City Warden reported the building had been boarded up and vegetation cut back. Councillor O’Donnell further reported that there was a potential plan to convert the building to supported flats.
An issue was raised about dumped furniture around the Nevanthon Road flats. It was reported that a Community Protection Notice had been sent and that investigations were being made, but it was unsure as to who was responsible.
Project Manager Steven Tuitt will talk about the Leicester Climate Emergency Conversation.
Service Manager for Sustainability, Anna Dodd gave an update on the Leicester Climate Emergency Conversation and a written update was circulated (attached). Points included:
· This was an opportunity for all to be involved in the conversation following the declaration of the Climate Emergency in February 2019.
· This was an opportunity for the city to reduce carbon emissions as cities are responsible for 70% of carbon emissions worldwide.
· Issues such as transport and energy needed to be addressed.
· Since 1990 carbon emission had been reduced by 40% through:
o Cladding and new boilers making building heating more efficient.
o District heating being more efficient.
o Schemes for businesses to reduce energy bills.
o Better cycling and bus infrastructure including Park and Ride schemes and electric busses.
o A national reduction in carbon from energy production due to a move away from coal power stations.
· The consultation was open until 9 February 2020 and there was an online questionnaire about how Council proposals affect people on Leicester.gov.uk.
· A pack had been produced for community groups.
· An online forum on the issue had been running since 16 December.
· A climate assembly would be run on 18 January 2020 (now full). A young people’s assembly was taking place on 27 January 2020.
Councillor Broadwell encouraged those present to contact herself or Anna Dodd with any feedback.
Councillor Cole informed those present that a discussion on the Climate Emergency would take place at 7pm on 29 January at Dovelands School. All welcome to attend.
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 will be given on the Ward Community Budget.
The Community Engagement Officer provided an update on the Ward Community Budget.
It was noted that since the last Ward meeting 10 applications had been received of which seven had been approved and three were waiting to be assessed. There was a remaining budget of £2479.
The applications supported included:
· Allexton Youth and Community Centre for the Relaunch of the Allexton Centre - £500
· Leicestershire Boxing Education CIC (The Community Boxing Gym) for Boxing Technical and Fitness Sessions - £500
· Community Praise Centre for ‘Music 4 Health Light and Well Being’ - £500
· Stokes Wood Primary School for Camping - £500
· Joanne Randall for Winter Extravaganza and Christmas Activities - £500
· Letchworth Area Watch for Gardens on Nevanthon Road - £100
It was further noted that Councillors had supported a payment of £1250 for Western Ward Community Enterprise but this would not be paid until they had reached their total of £26,096 through Crowd Fund Leicester.
There would be sessions for Community Engagement Officers to help potential applicants with their applications on 17 January 2019 10am-12noon at New Parks Centre.
Joe Carroll voiced appreciation for the £500 funding received for a bus trip in the summer, but expressed the desire for a greater presence of the Councillors at their meetings.
Joanne Randall of New Parks Hub reported that the £500 of funding received had been put into projects that had raised £1300 which helped with the running costs of the building, including new lighting that were needed which had cost £720.
Funding options, including crowdfunding, were being explored to fix the roof at the Hub. Action: Councillor Broadwell to discuss options with Joanne Randall.
Councillor Cole circulated photos of the Ndi Igbo group’s successful trip to Southend which had been paid for with Ward funding.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
It was noted that April would be the 10-year anniversary of the opening of New Parks Library/Centre. A resident reported that she was looking to get community groups together to look at ways to celebrate and what to do with the next 10 years. Councillor O’Donnell suggested tying an anniversary event in with World Book Day.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.00pm