Venue: The Emerald Centre, 450 Gipsy Lane, Leicester LE5 0TB
Contact: Punum Patel, Ward Community & Engagement Officer (tel: 0116 454 6575) (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 of interest as required by the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.
Councillor Singh in the Chair.
The Chair introduced himself and Councillor Cank to the meeting and welcomed all present.
No interests were declared.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
The Action Log for the last meeting, held on 31 July 2018, is attached for information and discussion
Agreed as correct.
Further to item 38, “Action Log of Previous Meeting”, all to note that the trailer on Fairfax Road has been removed, but some rubbish that appears to have come from the garage remains.
WARD COUNCILLORS' FEEDBACK
Ward Councillors will provide an update on local ward issues
All to note:
· The Council continues to face severe funding cuts from central government. Consequently, the Council will need to save £20 million during the next financial year;
· The projects referred to in media reports about funding cuts of approximately £350,000 to services for vulnerable people had all been given three years to set up alternative funding arrangements. The cuts therefore were tapered over the three years;
· A report in the Leicester Mercury had suggested that the £24,000 given to the Comedy Festival could have been used to avoid cuts to grants, but the grant had been made in recognition of the significant contribution that the Festival made to the local economy, which was significantly in excess of the grant given;
· Concerns were expressed at the meeting that despite the cuts being made to services for vulnerable people, funding was still being made available for what could be considered to be “vanity projects”, such as a projector that would display images on the back of the Corn Exchange building and to buy and demolish a building at the entrance to the market; and
· In reply to the above concerns, it was noted that the work on the Corn Exchange was being done in response to complaints received about the condition of that building. The schemes mentioned were being funded from capital budgets, not revenue, so did not affect service delivery, and economic surveys from external organisations showed that this type of investment was helping Leicester to develop more quickly than many other large cities in the country.
LOCAL POLICING UPDATE
Leicestershire Police will be at the meeting to provide an update on police issues in the Ward
All to note:
· Limited resources available to the Police meant it was not always possible for officers to be out on the beat as much as they would like;
· Following two arrests, recent problems with burglaries at commercial premises had reduced;
· The number of burglaries of domestic dwellings was increasing, as usually happened in the approach to Christmas;
· The number of thefts of power tools from vans was increasing;
· Addressing problems with anti-social behaviour was a priority in this Ward. This would be done in liaison with partners;
· Anti-social behaviour problems in Craven Park appeared to have reduced, although street drinkers still gathered there. Action had been taken to tackle problems with drugs in the Park, but this was difficult to maintain over time;
· Changing the angle of CCTV cameras did not address anti-social behaviour, as people changed location when they saw the camera angle change. None of the cameras looked in to Craven Park, although two mobile cameras were being acquired, which could be used both as a deterrent and to collect evidence; and
· Anti-social behaviour appeared to be spreading down to Lombardy Rise, so the Police and the Council’s Housing officers were looking at how to address this.
Police asked to:
o Look in to reports of fireworks being set off throughout the night and in the early hours of the morning;
o Remind people, for example through social media, to be careful about how packaging from new products is disposed of after Christmas, as it can indicate properties where there are new items; and
o Liaise with the Ward Councillors on the best locations for the newly acquired Ward mobile CCTV cameras.
The City Warden will give an update on issues in the Ward
All to note:
· The update from the City Warden attached at the end of this Action Log;
· A car had been removed under a warrant to clear the private land on which it had been standing. Other areas of land had been cleared by the respective landholders;
· A patch walk had been done with a Police Community Support Officer, which had provided a useful insight in to the area;
· A problem had been identified with broken glass being left in Waddesdon Walk;
· Fly tipping was not a major problem in the Ward, but there were “hot spots”, which tended to be around commercial premises; and
· It was thought that the new bins at the Grosvenor Gate end of Tower Gardens were attracting rats. Waste management services were looking in to how to resolve this problem.
City Warden to investigate a report of flammable rubbish left on the footpath between Padstow Road and the Barkby Road industrial estate.
NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSING UPDATE
A Housing Officer will be at the meeting to provide an update on housing issues in the Ward
All to note:
· The Humberstone and Hamilton Housing Office had closed and the building was being sold;
· The local Housing office was now located in St Barnabas Library, but as it only received approximately 45 – 50 enquiries on average per week, only one receptionist was employed there;
· Interviews were held at the St Matthew’s Centre, with cubicles being borrowed from the Police when needed;
· Untidy gardens in Northfields had been tackled, mostly with success;
· An issue had arisen with youths from across housing tenures in various areas going in to Hamilton School;
· Two properties had been taken back from tenants; one that had a cannabis vine growing there and one that had been sub-let;
· The programme of external painting was continuing and additional car parking would be provided where possible;
· It was hoped that subsidised drop kerbs could be provided to benefit residents, (not just tenants); and
· There currently were no void properties on the Northfields estate and due to the high demand there a waiting list was in operation. Consideration was being given to how this could be addressed, (for example, whether any properties could be down-sized by relocating bathrooms to upper floors).
Ideas for environmental improvements that are of benefit to tenants to be passed to the Housing officers.
Information on properties in need of repair to be passed to Housing officers, including the one identified in Culham Avenue with a roof in poor condition.
If the scheme for subsidising drop kerbs is approved, Housing officers to consider whether people with disabilities can be given priority for funding.
Highways officers will be at the meeting to provide an update on highways issues in the Ward
All to note:
· Officers were aware of problems caused by cars parking on junction in Herongate Road and Gypsy Lane;
· Speed cushions were due to be installed in Herongate Road on 26 and 27 November, along with a 20 miles per hour zone along the whole length of the road;
· Proposals were being drawn up to allow vehicles to park with two wheels on the pavement on the Cromwell estate where there was enough room to do so;
· Highway maintenance funding being spent in the Ward included:
o a section of Troon Way had been resurfaced in the summer;
o bollards to be installed in various locations this year and in 2019, including at the junction of Essex Road and Hampden Road;
o proposals for two benches to be installed in Nicklaus Road before the end of the current financial year;
· Parked cars made it difficult for traffic turning from Albermarle Road on to Humberstone Drive to get a clear view, so consideration was being given to installing yellow lines there;
· Funding had been committed for the provision of boulders to stop inappropriate parking in Huggett Close, but the exact locations for the boulders and the date of their installation had not been agreed yet; and
· Approval had been received from the railway authorities for work to be undertaken on the underpass between Thurmaston Boulevard and Trevino Drive and options currently were being considered by Highways officers.
Highways officers asked to keep the Community Meeting updated on progress with proposals to allow vehicles to park with two wheels on the pavement on some parts of the Cromwell estate.
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.
a) An update will be given on the Ward Community Budget.
b) Previous recipients of ward funding will be invited to give feedback to the meeting.
All to note the larger scale projects supported:
· £1,000 for the production of a Ward newsletter
· £500 for the purchase of a new bike for use by the Police Community Support Officer to use around the Ward;
· £1,380 to support the setting up the Holiday Hunger Initiative;
· £500 towards a school Summer Activity Scheme;
· A total of £11,269 therefore remains in the Budget for the 2018/19 financial year.
Residents invited to submit applications for funding from the Ward Community Budget and to contact the Ward and Community Engagement Officer if they have queries about the process for this.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
a) Tower Park
All to note that:
· The statue in Tower Park has been formally unveiled; and
· Public access to the Park has improved, with positive feedback being received regarding the footpath running through the Park to Gypsy Lane.
b) Craven Park Football Pitch
All to note that work is due to start soon on improving the football pitch in Craven Park at an anticipated cost of approximately £7,000. This will include levelling the playing area and installing new goalposts.
c) Ward Noticeboards
All to note that 4 noticeboards have been ordered for use in locations around the Ward for use by the Police and the Council.
d) Play Equipment
All to note concerns raised that good quality play equipment was not being provided in Northfields.
e) Footpath between Victoria Road East and the Craven Park
City Warden to take appropriate action over leaves that have been collected and left on the footpath that are now causing a hazard.
f) Outdoor Gym Equipment – Craven Park
All to note that the Ward Councillors have asked for the outdoor gym equipment in Craven Park to be updated to include equipment for working on legs.
CLOSE OF MEETING
The meeting closed at 7.45 pm