Agenda and draft minutes

Oadby Residents' Forum - Thursday, 8th February, 2024 6.30 pm

Venue: Civic Suite, Brocks Hill Council Offices, Washbrook Lane, Oadby, Leicester, LE2 5JJ. View directions

Contact: Mark Smith (Community Safety & Youth Officer)  Tel: (0116) 257 2675 Email:

No. Item


Police Update


Burglaries have been the main concern for residents in recent months, 11 in November, 19 in December, usually between 6pm and 9pm but previously were in the early hours. A significant arrest was made in January and breaks have now dropped to 7 and 4 in January and February. The arrest was a gang from the West Midlands.


There have been no reports of ASB.


Shops along the Parade have been targeted with shop fronts being damaged; there have been 30 reports of this across the Borough and an arrest has been made.


Residents noted that they are facing difficulties contacting the police with phone calls to 101 not being answered. One individual noted they were on hold for 25 minutes. The 999 service has targets in which calls must be answered, the 101 service does not. Beat team contact details are on the Police’s website and they are happy to be contacted directly.


A query was raised as to who complaints regarding the performance of the Police in regards to call answering are made; it was noted that the Police have a single complaints form and this is either filtered to the Chief Constable or the PCC.


Parking outside of the Sports Lounge on London Road; vehicles continue to park on double yellow lines despite a recent effort to further ticket vehicles. The Police have no powers to ticket vehicles for parking; this falls to Leicestershire County Council. 5 cars were noted to be parked on the double yellows tonight and 1 wholly on the pavement. County Council enforcement officers do not work beyond 6pm and advise residents to talk to the Police instead; this is unable to be reported through the online Police system as the system does not allow parking to be reported as it’s not a Police responsibility. Residents noted that this could be ASB as customers of the Sports Lounge hang around outside the bar and make it an intimidating location. The Chair asked for a report on this to be made to the Council’s Licensing Committee. Residents also suggested that County Council Enforcement Officers work additional shifts to help resolve this matter. It was also noted that people have started to park on these double yellow lines during the day so it is being seen as “the norm”; this may be linked to the parking charges in the Borough as ASDA car park is also being used by non-customers.


A fatal accident took place on 6 November on Wigston Road; a public meeting was called regarding this with the Police invited but there was no attendance. Residents would like to see traffic calming measures installed along Wigston Road coming from the direct of the public houses at the Wigston Road roundabout. A bus shelter installed on this stretch of road also blocks the sight lines along the road which may have contributed to the accident in November. Residents have been informed elsewhere that no changes can be made until the Police inquiry has been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


Safer Streets Funding


The Borough was selected as a ‘Safer Streets’ eligible area by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in line with Home Office guidance. This enabled the OPCC to submit a bid, developed with input from the Oadby & Wigston Community Safety Partnership, for Home Office funding to address crime and disorder, with a specific focus on Burglary, in the area. The OPCC highlighted an area of Oadby in the Brocks Hill Ward where a large percentage of this initiative will be focused.


Residents in eligible areas will be able to apply for ‘Target Hardening Packs’ consisting of items such as video doorbells, cctv cameras, socket timers, and window shock and contact sensors free of charge under the Safer Streets scheme. Details of how to apply will be shared shortly through the Council’s Comms channels and via the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Previous victims of burglary will be eligible for a ‘Cocooning Pack’ through Leicestershire Police and will be contacted directly by local officers.


The Safer Streets funding has also enabled a significant enhancement to the redeployable CCTV systems utilised by the Community Safety Partnership, with 15 extra units having been ordered, and works to take place to allow identified street light columns to host the units. Additionally two ANPR equipped speed indicator display units have also been ordered for deployment around the Borough to both combat speeding vehicles in hotspot areas and to detect vehicles linked to crime traveling through the area.


M Smith provided further information regarding the CCTV cameras, the Safer Streets bids, and target hardening packs. M Smith noted that there will be 25 cameras, and 60 columns identified to host them.


A resident noted that 5 columns on the racecourse roundabout are not currently working; Cllr. Ridley had previously reported this only to be told by Highways that they’re not a County responsibility. This was confirmed to be false as they fall inside the County boundary and were looked at; LCC state they are working but it appears the timers on them are not set properly. This will be reported again.



2024-25 Council Budget


A summary of the results of the Council’s 2024-25 Budget Consultation, which ran from 19 December to 16 January, is now available on the Council’s website.


Cllr. Ridley noted to residents that Council meetings are public but YouTube viewing figures show that not many residents watch or attend them. The Council started looking at the budget some time ago being aware that many Council’s are facing budget hardships. The Local Government Association surveyed all Council’s in December and found the 1 in 5 Councils are likely to issue a 114 notice within 2 years. When a Council issues this notice the Council Tax cap is lifted; Council Tax is able to be raised by 10% if this happens, with Woking having raised their Council Tax by 8%. Other non-statutory services provided by the Council such as garden waste collections are stopped.


All of the Council budgets are available online; in 2010 the Council’s Revenue Budget was £10m, in today’s money that is £15m. The budget agreed by the Council is now £7.5m, significantly lower. Grants from Central Government were only announced in December, 3 months before the budget was due to be agreed, so the Council was forced to speculate.


Moving Council Offices saved money for the Council as maintaining Bushloe House was expensive.


10% inflation rates have also affected the Council’s costs around staff wages, fuel for vehicles, and other goods and services.


External Auditor fees have increased by 50% nationally due to increased regulation in auditing.


Council Tax can only be increased by 3% normally. Business rates are also a static charge.


Homelessness related expenses are a statutory duty and the cost of living crisis has increased homelessness; the bill to the Council was higher than expected.

The Borough also has fewer Band D properties and above for Council Tax. The Borough does not have land able to be utilised to create business parks etc. either.


The Council, to balance the budget, has been looking at cutting staff (1 in 10) and increasing charges for services. Garden Waste services and car parking fees will be increasing.


The Council tries to benchmark itself against other local councils in terms of charges for services. The Garden Waste service charge is in line with Harborough, and the season tickets for parking are still the cheapest in the County. Season tickets are not advertised enough and Cllr. Ridley has asked Council Officers to amend this. Car parking tickets are cheaper for residents. Season tickets for the Borough cover specific areas; there are three zones in the Borough that cover leisure centres, Wigston and South Wigston, or Oadby – charges are currently 6 or 12 months but Officers have been asked to look at monthly permits due to how many households are budgeting. There is also one ticket for all car parks in the Borough. Residents of the Borough get a 50% discount on the car parking permits; this currently works out at £1 per week per permit zone. Certain car parks are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Items Raised by Residents


·        Meeting Day to be Varied: Request provided to Democratic Services ahead of the 2024-25 meeting calendar being finalised. May’s meeting date has already been set.


·        Uplands Park Tree: The tree failed during high winds and was brought down in the interests of safety and its shortened safe life expectancy. The tree has been left as ‘coppice’ as the Council’s Arboricultral Officer is confident the tree will grow a new iteration of itself from the stump.


·        Installation of a Traffic Mirror at the corner of Uplands Road and Fairfield Road: This is a matter for discussion with Leicestershire County Council Highways.


·        Allotments / Badger Issues: More details to be sought before being raised with the Council’s Corporate Assets Team. Allotments on Brabazon Road are not being maintained; hedges are not being cut anymore. There is a waiting list for plots on the allotments; one is vacant and not yet re-let, it is now overgrown and in a poor condition. Residents noted difficulties in paying their allotment fees since September 2023; residents have visited the Council to resolve this, and phoned them, to no avail. Councillors will follow up on this. The badgers in the area are destroying crops and discouraging people from attempting to grow there; this is also affecting neighbouring gardens and the property of the vacant swimming pool. The badger’s set can be moved but this can only take place in a certain window from July.


·        Planning Application for 39 Gorse Lane: An application was put in to convert an existing 4 bedroom home into a residential care home for young people aged 8 – 18 years. There are concerns as to the suitability of the premises for this and Councillors have previously met with residents regarding this. The planning process with public input should still be followed, and Councillors have spoken to the Council’s Planning Officers regarding this.


·        Works on upper part of the Washbrook course: Work has been undertaken by Severn Trent; we’re not aware of this and Severn Trent has been approached regarding what the works are and their purpose.


·        Fludes Lane: Part of Fludes Lane has been resurfaced as per previous Forum meetings. This is not a permanent resurface and will be looked at again in the future for a more permanent surface. The bridge here has also been replaced.


·        Buses through Oadby: Bus services in Oadby have not been consistent for some time; Councillors have spoken with Arriva regarding this on a number of occasions and found them to be very amenable. The bus service has been improved, ensuring that all the bus stops have timetables on them, old bus stops being removed, and improving the promotion of the bus service to households in Oadby. Buses now run both ways around Oadby preventing unnecessary travel for some bus users. The buses should arrive on the hour and half-hour. Residents noted the improvement regarding the bus stops having maps and timetables on them. Thanks were given by the Chair and Residents to Cllr. Kaufman for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Suggestions for Future Agenda Items


None raised.


Date of the Next Meeting


Thursday, 16 May 2024 – 18:30 – Brocks Hill Council Offices

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