Agenda and minutes

Western Community Meeting
Wednesday, 11 September 2019 7:00 pm

Venue: New Parks Centre, 321 Aikman Avenue, LE3 9PW

Contact: Randeep Singh Mattu, Community Engagement Officer: Tel 0116 454 1835. Email  randeep.mattu@leicester.gov.uk  Ed Brown, Democratic Support Officer: Tel: 0116 454 3833. Email;  edmund.brown@leicester.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

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.

Minutes:

Councillor O’Donnell, Chair for the meeting led introductions and welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

Apologies from residents were noted.

2.

ACTION LOG OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 97 KB

The Action Log from the meeting held on 11th March 2019 is attached and Members will be asked to confirm it as an accurate record.

Minutes:

The action log of the previous meeting held 11th March 2019 was confirmed as correct.

3.

WARD COUNCILLORS' FEEDBACK

Ward Councillors will provide an update on local ward issues.

Minutes:

Councillor O’Donnell reported that:

·         As a councillor he was predominantly involved in case work relating to such things as housing issues and anti-social behaviour.

·         The consultation around the 20mph zone in the Letchworth Road area was ongoing. It was acknowledged there had been a mix up with letters to residents but that had now been resolved.

·         Councillors supported the work of New College e.g. projects such as developing an internal tennis centre and encouraging wider community usage of their facilities.

·         Progress has been made on a longstanding issue with a property on Aikman Avenue, it was understood the property had been purchased and would be re-opened as a supported housing project. The property had been cleaned up and there was new boarding on site. Councillor would continue to monitor the situation.

·         Work was continuing with the New Parks People Zone – a group centred around bringing the community together.

·         It was hoped that more opportunities in the ward for the community and young people could be developed such as routes to good apprenticeships.

 

Councillor Broadwell reported that:

·         In terms of case work she had recently been addressing issues from LGBT community and dealing with people affected by hate crimes.

·         Suggestions to improve transportation systems to the outer parts of Leicester were being explored including improvements to the cycling network and making that safer for people.

 

Councillor Cole reported that:

·         The ward councillors were mindful of the budget situation and were emphasising that this ward was one of the most deprived in the city and it was reasonable to support projects across the ward.

·         Issues in relation to the Allexton Centre had been discussed and those running the centre were looking at a solution that would involve an holistic community approach. An invitation to visit the Allexton Centre project had been extended to the City Mayor.

·         As Vice-Chair of the Children Young People and Schools Scrutiny Commission he had been involved in a piece of work around underachievement in African heritage and White Working Class pupils in Leicester which would be drawing to a conclusion soon.

·         He continued to work with a group involving the Afro-Caribbean community and was exploring something similar with the White Working Class community.

·         As part of his scrutiny role he was also looking at how young people could be engaged more in the decision making processes of council.

 

Councillors recognised there was a need to build knowledge of what was happening in the community and to support all groups where possible and improve on networks.

4.

LOCAL POLICING UPDATE

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

Minutes:

A representative of the police gave an update on local policing issues including details of latest crime statistics across the ward. (Further crime statistics can be found on the police website at www.police.uk.

 

The Police reported that:

·         Anti-Social Behaviour reports in the last 3 months were as follows: June 38, July 39, August 52. The increase in August was as expected for the Summer months.

·         There had been 74 reports of Burglary across the ward in the year to date with a projected drop of 22 burglaries compared to last year.

·         There had been a spike of burglary incidents around the Stokes Wood area and police were continuing to focus on prevention and had recently crowdfunded to purchase extra CCTV.

·         Incidents of anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in the Braunstone Frith area had dropped significantly with Operation Lionheart being successful at targeting those issues with several arrests leading to conviction of main dealers with substantive sentences from the courts.

·         The issue of “cannabis farms” was not so significant in this ward compared to other parts of the city.

·         There had been no recent knife crime and the ward had very few incidents compared to other parts of the city, of the odd instance none were related to “turf wars”. Knife crime was generally targeted rather than a random act.

·         There were no reported targeted hate crime to particular minority groups in the ward and it was suggested most “hate crime” on the ward tended to arise out of neighbour disputes where racist words were used.

·         Off road motorbikes continued to be the biggest concern especially around Western Park and Stokes Wood and police were trying to seize bikes when they had relevant information.

A resident suggested that a community event could be held to engage and educate young people around motorbikes and invite motorcycle clubs/dealers to support that.

 

5.

LOCAL HIGHWAYS UPDATE

An update on Highways works across the ward will be given.

Minutes:

Mike Pears from the Highways team gave an update on matters related to the Western Ward which included:

·         20mph zone Letchworth/Glenfield Road, letters had been re-delivered to residents in the area concerned, comments were invited to the consultation by 27 September 2019, when the consultation response time closed. Responses would be collated, and a report compiled with proposals for a decision to then be taken.

·         Liberty Road had received a lot of patching repairs however there was no wholesale plan to resurface Liberty Road at the moment.

·         New Parks Way cycle lane/pathway – Trees and Woodlands team were considering options for repairs and to tackle the issue of tree root growth affecting the pathway.

·         Charnor Road traffic surveys had been undertaken in June 2019, unfortunately the results of that did not justify the upgrade of a crossing point to a signal controlled crossing. Other proposals to address parking issues in that area were being considered subject to funding.

·         Pindar Road had been resurfaced at a cost of £150k.

·         There were plans to install bollards near New Parks Boulevard junction with Liberty Road to address ongoing issues there with cars parking inappropriately as well as along Wyngate Drive near the shops to tackle the issue of driving along the footway.

 

Councillor Cole raised concerns about the dangerousness of the junction between Liberty Road and Glenfield Road.

ACTION: officers to investigate concerns and explore options to improve Liberty Road bend near Glenfield Road.

6.

HOUSING UPDATE

A local Housing Officer will provide an update on housing matters in the Ward.

Minutes:

Marie Murray District Manager Housing gave an update on housing matters across the ward.

 

It was noted that:

·         Environment and communal projects 2019/20 were continuing, this would include repainting blocks of flats on Rowanberry Avenue and Yewtree Avenue scheduled for November 2019.

·         Funding had been assigned to a parking scheme to create parking spaces on Dupont Gardens and reduce grass verge parking. It was recognised that grass verge parking was an issue in several areas and the environmental and communal projects were trying to systematically tackle those issues each year.

·         Proposals to install metal gates around the bungalows at Comet Close to improve security were due to be discussed at a meeting next week.

ACTION: Marie Murray to share details of the metal gates scheme with ward councillors.

·         Although there were no-longer sufficient resources for monthly patch walks the housing officers were out on the estates and did report back any issues.

 

A resident suggested that housing officers should liaise with environmental volunteers to help the community take ownership of untidy pieces of land and bring them back into use.

 

Concerns were raised about anti-social behaviour issues around St Clements court and it was noted that this came under the remit of the Community Safety Team rather than the Housing Team. In relation to ASB issues the housing team were able to give details of support offered and signpost people to other departments.

 

It was noted that the Housing Division was divided into several teams each with different responsibilities: Housing which deals with housing support and tenancy enforcement/management; Repairs Service – tenant maintenance repairs; Responsive Repairs – for more urgent repairs; Technical Service which dealt with larger projects such as rewiring a whole house or replacing a roof and Income Service which handled rent, lettings and voids.

 

Marie Murray explained that requests could be made for such things as metal gates however such requests would only be considered if it related to council land.

 

The Chair referred to recent work with the housing officers and involvement in the Rough Sleepers count and commented that the teams were very supportive.

 

7.

CITY WARDEN UPDATE

The City Warden will give an update on environmental works within the Ward.

Minutes:

Matt Davinson, City Warden, provided a short update.

 

It was noted that since the last meeting total of 44 reports had been made to the City Wardens about matters relating to the Western Ward of that – 25 were fly tipping reports, 8 related to untidy land and 11 had come through from the Love Leicester app.

 

The property referred to earlier during the meeting on Aikman Avenue was one of the untidy land reports, the property owner had been served with a notice and since then they had responded and completely cleared the property up.

 

Residents were reminded that they could still arrange for removal of bulky items through the council – up to 5 large items for free every 2 months. An information in several languages had been produced and was being distributed across areas of the ward where fly tipping was an issue.

 

Concerns were raised about 2 large sofas that had been left outside the New Parks Club. The City Warden advised that if items were left on private land they had no powers to deal with that and the owners of the land would have to clear that themselves. If large items were left on the public highway or council land then City Wardens/Cleansing Team could deal with as appropriate if reported.

 

There was a brief discussion about the use of CCTV on private premises to pick up incidents of Flytipping etc and it was noted that it was not as simple as asking an owner to let an officer see the CCTV as there was a rigorous procedure to go through.

 

It was reported that cars were being advertised for sale on New Parks Boulevard.

ACTION: City Warden to investigate.

 

Concerns were raised about bins being left on streets along Aikman Avenue.

ACTION: City Warden to investigate.

 

The Chair suggested it would be helpful to do something in Spring to raise the profile of the City Warden and Cleansing Services teams.

8.

FIRE STATION OFFICER UPDATE

Minutes:

The Local Fire Station officer gave a brief update that included:

·         The fire service had been providing assistance to the East Midlands Ambulance Service with bariatric patients and this was something that was becoming more prominent,

·         There had been a recent spike of road crashes, luckily these had not involved any deaths or life changing injuries.

·         The fire service would soon begin promoting the annual Bonfire Night Celebrate Safely campaign.

·         Fire station open days were now held bi-annually and the next open day would be planned for 2020.

9.

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 including a summary of grant applications submitted for consideration since the last meeting.

Minutes:

The community engagement officer gave an update on the ward community budget. Those present were informed that 22 applications for funding had been received since the last meeting, of those 9 had been supported, 2 rejected and 11 were pending. There was a balance of £12165 to be spent by the end of the financial year.

 

Applications supported since the last meeting:

·         Early Help & Prevention team - £500 supported towards Get Up and Go summer activities for children and young people

·         Western Park Beer Festival - £335 supported towards the Western Park Beer Festival 2019

·         Tnmcp - £1000 supported towards The Nelson Mandela Party in the Park

·         Gimson Road WhatsApp Community Group - £300 supported towards a street party for residents of Gimson Road

·         New Parks Community Panel - £500 supported towards New Parks Summer Extravaganza

·         Ndi Igbo - £500 supported towards a sea side trip for families

·         Brian Hookway - £1500 supported towards football school for children 6-15 yrs.

·         Monday Morning Coffee Club - £700 supported towards a coach trip to seaside

·         Kanayo Njideaka - £500 supported towards holding a fashion show at the Curve.

 

Residents/Groups were informed that the community engagement officers would be holding sessions from October 2019 to help groups complete funding applications.


A representative from the New Parks Community Hub gave feedback about the Summer Extravaganza event that was supported with £500 from the ward community budget. It was noted that the New Parks Community Hub was run by volunteers and funding support was needed to help run events. As well as this event the group also organised, Easter, Halloween, Christmas and Summer events for all of the community and due to the increased numbers attending they now had to issue tickets to events.

 

 

10.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

AOB 1 It was noted that the Lunchclub had met in the Library and received food from Fairshare each Wednesday from 12noon to 1pm.There was an excess of bread items on this occasion and those attending the meeting were invited to take those.

 

AOB 2 Concerns were raised about the condition of the public toilets near to the Co-Op/Public House. It was suggested that there was some talk of approaching local shops/businesses to open up public access to toilets.

ACTION: Councillor Broadwell to assist with this issue.

 

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.55pm.