Venue: Walter Charles Centre, Wigston Road, Oadby, Leicester LE2 5QQ - Walter Charles Centre. View directions
Contact: Mark Smith (Community Safety & Youth Officer) Tel: (0116) 257 2675 Email: email@example.com
Welcome and Apologies
The Minutes of the previous meeting, held on 16 August 2022, were declared true and accurate, with the following notes;
Jubilee Tree: Minutes of this meeting note that a ‘feasibility study’ is required regarding the placement of the tree, and that an update would be given on this at “the next meeting” which was originally scheduled for 27 October 2022 before being amended to 9 January 2023. This action was first mentioned as an action at the meeting held on 17 May 2022, but on neither occasion do the Minutes allocate it to an officer at the Council. On 14 December 2022 this was passed over to Michael Bennetto, the Council’s Tree Officer, to action and cost.
Communication with Residents: A resident raised the need for the Council to “explore further ways to reach those not on social media and to get the views of residents”. I believe that the Council’s Communications Team are already looking at this as part of a wider review of the Comms Strategy, and that physical newsletters from the Council have already been delivered to households across the Borough at the end of 2022 as part of this.
A resident raised concerns that the physical newsletter arrived after the closure of the CES consultation. The deadline for this was extended but notification of this was sent out via email which links back to the original comment regarding communication with residents.
31/31a Bus Service: An action was included in the Minutes for the Chair and Ross Levy to “explore key contacts and hold the operator [of the 31/31a bus service, Arriva] to account”. It is not clear if Ross Levy progressed this action prior to leaving employment with the Council, but I am aware that the 31/31a bus services specifically have been the focus of an article in the Leicester Mercury recently, with the Borough’s MP raising the issue directly with Arriva on behalf of his constituents.
The Chair wrote to the DVSA regarding this on 17 August 2022, but was informed by reply that this needs to be raised directly with Arriva as the bus operator. The Chair highlighted that two petitions has also been submitted to Arriva; one with over 500 signatures arranged by local councillors asking for the service to return to pre-pandemic service levels and timetable. The second petition, undertaken by residents themselves with over 200 signatures, suggested that if the service is to remain being run in a circular route, the service should be amended to a staggered service ensure greater accessibility. A resident noted that since 3 January 2023 the timetable has been revised to an hourly service, which is impacted by the roadworks on the Parade, Oadby, and is not providing a suitable service to the area. A ‘31x’ bus service also exists, but it is unclear where or how often this service operates. The bus stop outside of Cross Medical / Sainsburys remains out of operation, meaning people leaving Sainsburys with their shopping are unable to catch a ... view the full minutes text for item 97.
Items Raised by Residents
(1) In 2017 SLM took over the running of Brocks Hill for what I understood to be a 17 year lease. Could the Chair clarify what the arrangement with SLM currently is, and what it will be when the Council move into the building? Will SLM be in effect sub-letting to the Council, and if so, at what cost?
OWBC have allowed SLM to use the Brocks Hill site and lease the café. OWBC will be taking the site back at no cost. SLM will continue to lease the café.
(2) As part of the agreed refurbishment of the Brocks Hill building prior to, and as a condition of, their taking over the lease, I believe a sprung floor was installed at a cost of Circa £400k. Could the Chair indicate how many classes took place at Brocks Hill following that installation, and if they will continue?
Speaking to the General Manager at Everyone Active, the floor was adapted to be semi-sprung to allow multi-purpose use of the room. The room has since been used for a variety of different functions both during the day and evening. An example of this is an existing cheerleading class moving over from Parklands to Brocks Hill 3 times a week. Upon OWBC moving into Brocks Hill, this room will not be open to the public. This may change over time.
The resident confirmed that a typo was made in this question, and that the figure should read as £104k.
(3) Could the Chair give an update on the Customer Service provision plans?
The Customer Service Experience Strategy consultation closed on 23rd December 2022, results are now being analysed and considered and will feed into the final strategy.
The main proposals are:
· To promote, encourage and support a digital-first model in acknowledgement that most customers prefer to self-serve using the council’s digital offer – such as the website.
· To continue to provide an excellent supported service offer by telephone, email, virtual video appointment and similar.
· To increase our face-to-face offering, considering appointment hubs, and a reception facility at our new head office.
No decisions have been made at this stage, but we will be using the customer feedback from the recent consultation to direct our strategy.
We are driven to find to the correct balance between encouraging and advancing our digital customer service offer while also ensuring those that are unable to contact us in this way have direct access to the support they need.
Cllr. Ridley noted that there is a push from Members to see Officers conducting face-to-face meetings and appointments where possible, potentially operating out of libraries that is being discussed with LCC.
Cllr. Haq notes that a dedicated room will be present at Brocks Hill for face-to-face meetings with Officers and Members for members of the public.
Concerns were raised that only one bus route services Brocks Hill, and that this will be a barrier to residents attending the new Council Offices, especially those that live in Wigston and ... view the full minutes text for item 98.
PC Andy Collins provided an update to residents concerning the current crime and disorder stats in the Borough. In the last three months burglary dwellings have almost doubled compared to last year. Cllr Haq suggested a seminar or similar be put on for residents regarding target hardening for residential buildings; PC Collins is happy to facilitate this and distribute a number of free packs containing items aimed at deterring burglary.
Theft from motor vehicles (cat converter) has seen 9 reported in the Borough.
ASB – no incidents in October, 2 Nov, 1 Dec. All dealt with by police and partners spoken to.
Theft from Stores – Decreased significantly on previous years.
Drugs related offences – Vehicles – 8 vehicles with cannabis. People – 16 people found with cannabis. This coincides with the Police’s drink drive campaign. A cannabis factory was found on Briar Meads, with 2 further potential factories being investigated. A resident asked for the signs of a building being used as a factory; it was highlighted that blackout blinds being shut all day, bright lights being used at odd hours, and the noise of large fans being used to mitigate the smell of cannabis from within the location. PC Collins noted that he is happy for his email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be circulated to residents for reports of potential cannabis factories to be passed on to him.
Overall Oadby is very healthy from a crime and disorder point of view. Many of the perpetrators are thought to be travelling into the area from Peterborough along the A6, and this is being looked in to.
A resident raised queries regarding deliveries being left on, and stolen from, doorsteps. Advice was given about identifying a safe place or a neighbour where parcels can be left securely, and having a conversation with the delivery driver regarding this.
A Launde Road resident raised concerns with dangerous driving in the area at the Woodfield Road junction, including two lampposts having been brought down by vehicles in the last 5 years. Cars that have been parked on the road in this area overnight have also been struck by motor vehicles at this location, and buildings have also been struck on previous occasion. Police have confirmed they are aware of speeding in this area, with a speeding operation having taken place around the Manor Road extension – 73 tickets were issued over a four and a half hour period in this area in late 2022. The CSP is currently looking at purchasing speed activated signs to support police operations in this area. A resident suggested the installation of speed humps in this area but this would be a matter for the County Council. An additional matter of a parked car causing an obstruction at the corner of Launde Road / Uplands Road was raised which the Police will look into.
A query was raised regarding the use of loud fireworks and how the police enforce this; it was confirmed that the police do not take ... view the full minutes text for item 99.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service Update
M Walters, Manager of Wigston Fire Station, spoke with residents about the free home fire safety checks that LFRS offer to residents. A leaflet concerning fire safety in the home was also distributed to residents in attendance.
LFRS work with the Police, and other partners, to identify hotspot areas in the borough where a focus for resources and education should be placed.
LFRS also attend primary schools to speak directly with pupils about fire safety.
Fire crews are able to attend public events, such as coffee mornings etc., to speak with attendees about fire safety messages etc. The service’s approach is very much education focussed with a view to reducing the number of emergencies in the Borough.
Of particular note was the use of older style ‘multi-plug cubes’ which are a greater fire risk than new ‘strip style’ multi-plugs. Other quick advice given involves having access to a telephone upstairs, and being aware of escape plans from properties during an emergency.
Fireworks – LFRS provide education around the safe use of fireworks, and are kept informed of large scale organised displays that are taking place across Leicestershire. An example of ASB firework use on Canal Street, South Wigston was given where a firework was intentionally launched inside a shop. Crews whilst out and about will stop and speak to young people who are seen to be setting off fireworks.
M Walters is happy for his email address (email@example.com) to be distributed to enable people to invite fire crews to events across the Borough.
Thanks were extended to M Walters and the fire crews working out of Wigston Station for their work during the heatwave in summer 2022. It was noted that the number of calls to fires dramatically increased, with over 1000 calls being received each month and 2000 in July alone, with a major incident due to the number of calls being made to the service. Education proved helpful with this and without doubt reduced the number of calls that were received overall.
Suggestions for Future Agenda Items
Update on the sale of land near St Peter’s Church, Oadby as raised earlier in the meeting.
Coronation plans in the Borough.
Planning application for houses off of Florence Wragg Way, Oadby.
Date of the Next Meeting
Thursday, 9 February 2023
Attendees were informed at the Forum that the next meeting will be held on Thursday, 9 February 2023 at 7:15pm.
Due to a necessary change in Chair of this meeting, announced on Tuesday, 10 January, and to be decided on Tuesday, 7 February 2023, this meeting date is no longer suitable and has been amended to Monday, 20 March 2023 at 7:15pm. The venue for this meeting is to be confirmed.