Agenda item


The City Mayor will answer questions raised by members of the Overview Select Committee on issues not covered elsewhere on the agenda.


The Chair reminded members that he would prefer for all questions to be provided in advance, which can help in providing more detailed responses at meetings. The Chair accepted the following questions to be asked to the City Mayor:


1.     Councillor Cassidy asked:


From the reports that I’ve read, the Radio 2 in the Park festival was clearly a huge success and I’d like to thank all involved in contributing to a fantastic occasion for Leicester.  In terms of the rail travel problems that arose following the damage caused by storms, please can the City Mayor tell us a little about how the immediate response was handled, including the role of the City Council? 


The City Mayor agreed that the event had been extremely successful and that it reflected very well on both the city and the City Council.  There were very few issues of note throughout the weekend. 


In respect of the disruption to rail travel following the event on Sunday, he confirmed that follow-up discussions had taken place with East Midlands Trains who had been apologetic and have acknowledged that communication could have been better, particular in terms of informing the incident management team.  He was confident that lessons had been learnt by East Midlands Trains. 


Eashan (co-producer representative) asked questions 2-5:


2.    I know a local football club in my community has recently been shut down without explanation. The young people of the area of the area are concerned that they won’t have a space to play football. Can the city mayor please give us an update on going on as we are afraid that Rushey Mead will lose even more facilities for young people.


In response, the City Mayor confirmed that partnership arrangements had been established to provide facilities to cater for local sporting needs.  The Rushey Mead facility had been problematic in respect of other issues relating to the facilities that did not relate to the provision of football.  The existing tenants had been advised to use the facility appropriately, but that there has been no prevention by the City Council in allowing football to be played at the Rushey Mead facility. 


As Ward Councillor for Rushey Mead, Cllr Dave also confirmed that he had received assurances from City Council officers that the football activities would not stop and that pre-arranged fixtures have been taking place as scheduled.  He added that the building remained open and would not be closing.


3.    Have all e-bike scheme stands been removed? What’s going to go on their place?


The City Mayor confirmed that almost all of the existing stands had been removed and the remainder would be removed in the near future.  He explained that there had been difficulties across the country in implementing successful e-bike schemes.  It was hoped that suitable alternative models could be considered but that this should not be expected in the sort-term. 


4.    In young people’s council we’ve been consulted on the potential removal of one of the events during diwali. I’ve spoken to my peers and they’re worried about losing an important event during a religiously important festive period. What’s the plan moving forward? Can we get an update?


The City Mayor responded by stating how proud he was of the festival programme provided in Leicester, though reminded members that public events required a high level of security and the supply of additional staff to ensure that people were safe.  He confirmed that the cost of Diwali switch-on and the Diwali day event amounted to £260k; a significant sum at a time of enormous financial pressure, as well as a sum that was significantly higher to that granted for other similar events.  It was therefore suggested to in future provide one single event and that a number of meetings had taken place with Councillors and partners to put suitable plans in place.  For the coming year, both the switch-on and Diwali events would be taking place, but the level of City Council funding required to hold both events on an annual basis was not sustainable.  He added that there had been some encouragement with regard to future support and sponsorship. 


5.    Following what looks like a success in Radio 2 in the park, what’s the councils plan to bring more events like this to the city?


The City Mayor stated that he was keen to receive resident feedback following the recent event to understand impact and to help inform views on holding and similar events in the future.  He re-affirmed his earlier comments about the recent event being successful though stressed that such events must also work well for residents.  He reminded members that Victoria Park had also previously staged several other key events such as the LCFC Premier League title-winning victory event. 


Dina (youth representative) asked:


6.    How do you support those with no recourse to public funds?


The City Mayor stated that the City Council could not support people directly and that this support was led by a number of voluntary sector organisations.  He expressed great sympathy for those affected and was hopeful that a future government would help to address the problem. 


Councillor Porter asked questions 7-9:


7.    A series of concrete blocks had been installed along the highway on Aylestone Road without public consultation.  Please can the scheme be paused to allow for consultation before a decision is taken whether to proceed with any work?


The City Mayor agreed to provide further detail on this matter to Councillor Porter.


8.    Why is there not full transparency for contacts relating to SEN provision?


The City Mayor responded by stating that to the best of his knowledge, the City Council was fully transparent in respect of such arrangements and that these were published.  He asked Councillor Porter and other members to let him know if they had any particular concerns. 


9.    Would the City Mayor support an inquiry into what happened to Haymarket Consortium Ltd and whether equipment that the City Council had invested in had gone missing?


The City Mayor stated that he had addressed this matter previously and re-iterated that the company in question unfortunately went out of business as a result of the covid pandemic.