Venue: Thythorn Hill Community Centre, Horsewell Lane, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 2HR
Contact: Mark Smith (Community Safety & Youth Officer) Tel: (0116) 257 2675 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Agenda Packs / Minutes of the Previous Meeting have not reached residents. The Agenda has been included in the body of the email to Residents concerning the Forum. 6:30pm – 7pm is an open surgery for Residents, 7pm is the meeting start.
PC G Morgan spoke of the issues ongoing at Wigston Cemetery. Comments are being made on the Leicestershire Police main page on Facebook but it appears many are not following the local Oadby & Wigston Police page; this is used to update the public in the Borough on Police work at a local level. Neighbourhood Link was also promoted to residents present as another means for the Police to share updates and work with the public.
Wigston Cemetery and ASB around the Bell Street / Junction Road area. Police are undertaking plain clothes and uniformed patrols through the cemetery, but are not sharing details of the dates ahead of the patrols. It has been noted that another gravestone has been pushed over in the cemetery today.
There are lots of comments around the Police “finally doing something about the issue” but on review it is apparent that the issues haven’t been reported to the Police, and without the knowledge of a concern they are unaware of something they need to act on. The cemetery matter was first noticed on Spotted Wigston, not via a report to the Police.
Burglaries and Vehicle Thefts – 6-7 arrests were made, and the number of incidents reduced massively.
eScooters / eBikes – Raised by a member of the public as they are becoming an increased risk on the public highway. Leicestershire Police are taking an education route regarding the use of eScooters, informing riders where it is safe to stop them that the use of them in public is currently illegal. There is some confusion around the public’s view of eScooters being legal as some retailers are not making their current status clear at the point of purchase. Schools have been asked to pass on a message to parents around the use of eScooters as parents have previously been seen taking children to / from school on them. Leicestershire Police has previously seized eScooters on multiple occasions. eScooters can only be used on private land with the landowners consent. There is a potential that some eBikes are legal under different legislation that is being reviewed with Leicestershire Police’s traffic department. It may be too late to “put the genie back in the bottle” regarding the use of eScooters. The Police cannot stop retailers from selling eScooters as their sale is legal. Legislation may change from central government in 2024.
Pavement Parking – Raised by a member of the public as it is particularly bad along Horsewell Lane. Part of the issue is front gardens being paved over but still not being big enough to accommodate vehicles which are left hanging over the edge of the pavement. Many of these driveways have not been accompanied by a dropped kerb which would make the driveway legal, as a means of allowing a vehicle to pass over the pavement. The Police do not have a power to enforce this, but can enforce against dangerous parking. Pavement parking falls under the remit of local authority parking / ... view the full minutes text for item 36.
Cllr. Boulter provided details of the Council’s Appointment Hubs; these are appointment only but allow members of the public to speak directly with officers in their local area without needing to travel to Brocks Hill. Brocks Hill can still be attended for emergencies / urgent items. Wigston’s takes place at the Kings Centre on Bull Head Street. The clinics are not limited to residents from each area, who can attend any of the three appointment hubs in the week.
Electrification of the Midland Mainline – Works are currently underway, with a programme of activities which will affect Wigston. Works will be taking place day and night including construction, vegetation works, etc. This phase of works stop just before Spion Cop. Bassetts Bridge is being removed, and Taylors Bridge is being raised.
Items Raised by Residents
Brocks Hill Country Park - Car Parking – More and more cars are parking at the Brocks Hill park end of the car park, most likely Council staff. Are they paying for parking, and how many spaces are expected to be in use? Cllr. Boulter confirmed that staff are paying for parking, and that staff have been informed that they should be, where physically fit, parking at the overflow car park to the rear of Parklands Leisure Centre. If parking cannot be dealt with in any other way a recommendation may be made of a 3-4 hour limit on the Brocks Hill car park.
Brocks Hill Country Park – Walking Access from Meadows Estate – There is an existing route across the back of the Meadows and in to Brocks Hill. This route is fine in the summer months, but in the winter months the route is very muddy and unsuitable for prams or bikes. There is an existing path at the rear of Glenmere Primary School which is tarmacked and would provide access in the winter months. In August 2011 a report was drafted concerning this path, back when the school was operated by the County Council, where an agreement was drafted where the path could be utilised into Brocks Hill with an entrance reinstated for the public. There is a route that follows a permissive path on the farmer’s field, and the original landowner of the farm was happy for this to be used for a fee, with a path constructed. When the school became an Academy the decision was taken to not allow the Council to use the path. When the landowner passed the successors to the land opted to not allow the permissive path. Installation costs would have been £100k at the time.
Public Toilets – The lack of public toilets in Wigston was raised. Peace Memorial Park are the only public toilets in Wigston. Junction Road toilets were closed due to vandalism and their condition prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. An agreement was sought with shopkeepers where the Council could pay a fee to allow for their toilets to be used as public toilets; some venues were accepting of this. Costa, Two Steeples, and Wetherspoons are already happy for the public to use their facilities. The Council still pays business rates on the closed toilet block on Junction Road. There are no public toilets in Oadby.
New Arriva Bus Route – Newton Lane – Arriva are now utilising Newton Lane as their main bus route out of the Borough, but the road is not wide enough to accommodate two buses passing alongside each other; buses are mounting kerbs to pass one another. When reported to Arriva’s main body they were unaware of the route along Newton Lane existing. 47/48/49 buses are increasing, with buses to Leicester every 12 minutes from August 2023. As bus services have been deregulated the County Council has no power over them as they are public sector. Recommended that any buses ... view the full minutes text for item 38.
Suggestions for Future Agenda Items
The Government has decreed that Council’s need to do a waste food collection from each household. There is no date set for this to start, and no plans in place as to how it will be collected. Normal bin wagons will not be able to accommodate these additional collections as the food waste will need to be transported in a different manner. Residents note that the current bins are not placed back in place by workers when they are being collected, often with them being left strewn in the pavement. The Council is looking into this.
Soft furnishings can still be collected in the same manner as bulk items, but must be collected by a different wagon to avoid contamination from some pollutants in soft furnishings.
Is there anything the Council can do to encourage people to clear up the front of their houses? Legislation does exist but properties must be in a significantly poor condition, and often requires a court hearing. If there are rodents present the Council has some powers that will allow action to be taken.
Date of the Next Meeting
Wednesday, 25 October 2023, 7pm – Thythorn Hill (TBC)