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Local Policing Issues
PC Carl Sutherley, the current Beat Officer introduced himself to residents. He provided a verbal update on crime issues in the Wigston area covering the past four months. This was in relation to crime and burglary. He commented that other crimes generally were on the decline.
The Beat Teams are working together. The Wigston Police Inspector is pushing Neighbourhood Watch. He emphasised Neighbourhood Watch is teamwork and requested residents consider starting up such a scheme.
Neighbourhood Alert links into the Neighbourhood Watch idea. Joining the scheme is via the insertion of an email address. Residents were encouraged to sign up to it. Residents interested were directed to send their emails to the Community Engagement Officer who would then pass them, as a list to PC Carl Sutherley. A person can state an area of interest for example, walkers.
The Officer confirmed that the Neighbourhood Watch information being promoted is that signed off by Ali Haq.
Residents were informed of traffic problems at the start and end of the day around Little Hill School. Comment was made that the area becomes a car park either side of the school day and this raises dangers as people let children out of the cars. It was suggested that a Police Officer attend at the start and end of the day to give out parking tickets. Residents were reminded badge holders can park on double yellow lines.
The County Council has written to all schools to address parking issues. The County has bought a Camera Car to take around schools. The camera car addresses bad parking on double yellow lines.
Issues with Youth behaviour were said to be reducing but occur sporadically. Work is progressing with McDonalds top management and other Wigston businesses re engagement with Youth. CCTV will be covered at another time.
Current crime issues are being investigated where Wigston borders Knighton.
The Officer noted as more people are accessing the internet, information accessed was not always helpfully shared with others in the community.
Prior to leaving the meeting PC Carl Sutherley was thanked for providing the update and for his attendance.
Action 1: Any resident who wish their name, address and email address sent to PC Sutherley to, be registered on to the Neighbourhood Watch scheme, please send the details to the Council`s Community Engagement Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minutes of the previous meeting held on 29 November 2017 were agreed as a true and correct record.
Torrington Close Bungalow Grass Area
Following a request for some grassed areas around the Torrington bungalows to be cut, it was reported that the bit of grass on Torrington Close is in the possession of the County Council. The County Council has agreed to include the area in this year’s programme for cutting.
Street Calming on Boulter Crescent
The County Council will not do any traffic calming in Boulter Crescent, the reason being, it is on a hill and traffic calming on a hill can cause issues with road safety. The other reason is it has a very low ranking when compared to other road safety schemes in Leicestershire.
Traffic Lights Sequencing at two Junctions in Wigston.
The traffic lights at the two junctions have been identified as having problems with the light sequences. There were some detector faults at the Wakes Island and this has been reported to the traffic signals maintenance contractor to investigate/replace. Both junctions will be dealt with.
The Moat Street/Newton Lane site has a number of faulty loops due to re-surfacing works. This has been sent to the traffic signals maintenance contractor who will arrange for the loops to be recut.
At both the above sites ATC (Area Traffic Control ) has been asked to monitor and make adjustments as required.
Further information can be found on the Council’s website regarding the Draft Articles and Terms of Reference for the Residents’ Forums (Report to Full Council on 22 February 2018) by clicking on the link.
The Council`s Monitoring Officer, Mr Dave Gill introduced himself. He spoke on this agenda item. The Officer informed residents that he joined the Council in November 2017 and had previously worked for North West District Council.
It was explained that one of his first tasks was to address the Forums Terms of Reference on the back of the consultation carried out in 2017 on how grants were made, address the terms of reference and place a more robust structure around the way the Resident Forum process worked.
Two papers attached for sharing with residents covered this agenda item. Part 1, Article 7 – Residents Forums, Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 – Draft Terms of Reference, Residents Forums. The papers covered the following:
Current and future role of the resident forums, their funding including proposed changes to the terms of reference, membership and participation, chairing, meeting format, voting, standards of conduct, conflicts of interest, frequency, duration, meeting venues, agenda setting, minute taking and reporting arrangements.
Residents were encouraged to raise questions on the paper and pose any recommendations on the changes. The Monitoring Officer informed residents he will report back their views and recommendations in a report to Members on 24 April 2018. Members will then take a view on the comments and recommendations received to inform decision making.
The following comments relating to the Terms of Reference were made on behalf of the Wigston Civic Society
2.2 The wording indicates a one way meeting from the Council to residents, but it is appreciated that 2.2 of the proposed Key Aims allows the process for residents to express their views to the Council. Only 2.5 and 2.6 of the proposed terms of reference seem to indicate that residents can express their views to the council. These clauses could be combined into one to indicate the two way process.
3.1 It is noted that the original wording has been amended following the consideration of the document by the full council. But the amended wording does not include representatives of properly constituted groups of residents within the Borough, such as the Civic Society (Oadby and Wigston), the Lions Club and the Pride of the Borough. Can this be amended please?
4.3/4.4 There needs to be a definition of who can vote, presumably a reference back to 3.1 as amended above.
6.3 This is rather abrupt, it is appreciated that usually participants in a meeting would not wish it to last longer than two hours but can this item but less dictatorial.
7.1 Can there be a timescale included regarding the issue of draft minutes?
7.2 Can there be a reference to the order of items on the agenda being agreed by the chair but that he can vary the order at the meeting in response to requests by residents present?
7.3 There needs to be a full and accurate record of the meeting and therefore the inclusion of the word ‘brief’ could invite the exclusion of some discussion and ... view the full minutes text for item 31.
Charging for the Collection of Garden Waste
Further information can be found on the Council’s website regarding the new Garden Waste Service by clicking on the link.
An update was provided by the Council`s Interim Head of Services on this agenda item. Residents were invited to ask questions. The Officer provided the background as to why the charging was introduced. Communications and publicity has been distributed across the Borough.
From 1 April 2018 the Council is to charge for garden waste collection. The Council has decided to charge £35.00 a year for garden waste. This is because funding is being reduced from Central Government on a yearly basis. This requires the Council to find additional revenue.
In order to generate additional income the Council consulted the residents about their views on the following:
· Charging for car parking
· Charging for bin collections
· Charging for collection of the recyclettes
· Charging for collection of garden waste
· Public conveniences and
· Selling off Brockshill Centre
The result of consultation showed that residents preferred to pay for the collection of garden waste. The Council looked at what the other Leicestershire Local Authorities are doing and noted the average charge was £35.00. From 1 April the garden waste will be collected fortnightly, 12 months a year. The new bins will have stickers to show the people who have joined the scheme.
The monies for generating garden waste will be substantial. Income from garden waste could reach £500.000 annually. This would mean not making a charge for services such as car parking.
The Chair stated the Council was looking at introducing a hardship scheme through Customer Services.
Green waste is composted down and used for land filling. This reduces the amount of money for the landfill tax, which goes up a percentage year on year.
It was confirmed that garden waste will be collected from 1 April 2018. The cost will be £35.00 a year. Currently 4,550 households have signed up for this service. The refuse tips owned by the County Council will remain open.
The Council used to sell our recyclettes but the company who bought them has gone out of business. This is a loss of £700,000 to £899,000. The Council was instructed by the County Council to take our recyclettes to CasePak.
The collections will be made on a fortnightly basis and collection will be made in a single clear plastic sack. No contaminated waste will be taken. A leaflet will state what can and cannot be taken and a sticker placed on the sack as to why it has not been taken, if it is contaminated.
The Council could be fined if too many bags contain contaminated materials.
General concern was expressed as to broken glass being placed in the sacks, which residents were informed are extremely strong.
A review will take place on the method of collection. Feedback will be received by the Council in June 2018.
A resident requested white bags are not placed in the gardens where snow fall might cover them.
From 1 April coloured bags can either be kept or returned to Customer Services, on Bell Street.
General Domestic Waste
Bin collection for general ... view the full minutes text for item 32.
Budget Implications for 2018/19 and 2019/20
Further information can be found on the Council’s website regarding the Medium Term Financial Strategy (Report to Full Council on 22 February 2018) by clicking on the link.
The following points flowed from discussion and questions received on Budget Implications covering the period 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.
By 2020 Central Government grant to Councils will cease. The Council has therefore had to find other ways of generating income. The Council has tried to make significant cuts without affecting services. It is moving to channel shifting. This means the reduction of staff, reduced by the number of residents going online. SLM (Service Leisure Management) managing Brockshill and the investment in Parklands lease facility is an example of this. The future will see fewer but better trained staff. Brockshill car park is being expanded to cater for 150 spaces.
The biggest portion of the grant received from Government goes to the County Council to pay for: education, social services, highways, Police and Fire Services.
Central Government set the bands for council tax and the average charge is set around a Band D. The Band D charge for this financial year is made up of the following:
Leicestershire County Council - £1,242.60 (+5.99%)
Police - £199.23 (+6.41%)
Fire - £64.71 (+2.98%)
Oadby & Wigston Borough Council - £217.97 (+2.99%)
It was clarified that changes were to be introduced on the setting of bands for Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMO). A number of such houses will be paying a licence fee of £900 per property.
Air Quality ASR 2018 Update (Briefing Paper)
A briefing update paper on Air Quality was brought to the meeting. The Government figure of forty parts per million is the measure used to decide when action is to be taken. All Wigston areas are less than this. The measurement is taken from the edge of a property. Residents were assured there was no need for concern regarding the measure of air quality pollution. The Chair shared with residents that, in Leicester city bus emissions were being addressed and vehicles were being charged. The Chair stated that in South Wigston the measuring tubes were being stolen and requested residents report anyone seen tampering with them.
Oadby & Wigston Lions
A brief verbal update was provided by a representative of the Oadby & Wigston Lions Group. They are working with and have met Mark Hryniw the Council Officer responsible for working with the Town`s traders. A second meeting in April is planned with Mark to follow up with developments. The dull stretch of icicle Christmas lights will be updated. The Forum was not requested to spend any money on the icicle lights.
The Christmas lights Switch-on will take place on 24 November 2018. The event will start at 12 Noon. The following amenities have been booked.
· The Venue
· Billy Bates Fun Fair
· Leicester Sound
· First Aid
· Santa Claus
Other entertainment was being booked. Traders will support the cost of distributing the cost of leaflets.
Capital Projects Update
Full Payment for the customising of Peace Park Gazeeboes, loaned to Oadby & Wigston Lions Group has been made.
Forum Budget Update
The Wigston Residents Forum to date has a budget of £51,310.
Extra funding request received for the purchase of a Defibrillator for Wigston.
An extra £300 was requested from the Forum to assist the purchase of a defibrillator. The defibrillator was requested in 2017. The Residents` Forum members agreed to the release of the £300 to purchase the Defibrillator.
Spending request for a litterbin off Durnford Rd.
A litter bin was requested to be purchased at a cost of £450. The request was tabled because the alleyway over the railway bridge, towards the county side was seen to have some 28 bags of dog poo deposited. The residents unanimously voted to have the bin purchased and installed.
Action 2:- Once the funding form is filled in by Officers, the Council will investigate the appropriate place to site the bin.
Items Raised by Residents and Suggestions for Future Items
The Pinfold Project obtained planning approval in late January 2018. The Group is currently working on the wording and images for the information panel. Previously residents had been requested to send the project any photos of how the Pinfold looked in the past. Two very dark looking photos from the 1930`s were received. They show the front wall of the Pinfold when it was in use. The Information Panel will contain wording about Wigston Pinfold and Pinfolds in general. They were once used to contain stray animals.
A local artist has created some sketches to give an interpretation of what a Pinfold would have looked like, when it was in use. These are near completion. This will replace the interpretation panel and it is similar to the World War one commemorative set backing. Installation will take place by late May to early June. It will be planted up to be part of judging for Wigston in Bloom.
Pride of the Borough
The number of membership card holders has risen since last year. There are 50 businesses offering discounts and benefits. The cards may be purchased at Customer Services on Bell Street, Brocks Hill Centre and Oadby Library. The floral display competition forms are available from Customer Services on Bell Street, the library in Oadby and the library in Wigston and from Brocks Hill Centre.
The Litter picking working group is to meet this Saturday on Chartwell Drive at 10am at the Chartwell Arms. A request was made to residents that if they are aware of anyone who has been picking litter from their own street for the past years could they let Pride of the Borough know. This is because it is looking to build on this to show the County judges the depth of local involvement. The working groups will look at doing weeding and pruning public spaces not done by Council Staff.
Britain in Bloom
Wigston has been a finalist with Britain in Bloom in the years 2002, 2006 and 2011. It was a silver guilt finalist in 2011. East Midlands in Bloom received a gold award every year since 2010.
Horse and Trumpet
The issue of a diversion order on a historical footpath was now in County Council hands. A Diversion Order would be entered in this New Year. The Chair stated the order had not yet been issued. The County Council has written to the brewery to state how they should define the foot path. The landlord will be speaking to the brewery again. Without a physical barrier the County Council will not issue the diversion order.
Holmden Avenue Trees
There are no Section 106 monies to fund the trees. The County Council will not allow trees to be planted on the verges. If the trees are wanted they must be put in situ in tubs. The County will not pay for the tubs.
Wigston Civic Society received a letter from residents making the observation that, if trees are planted this will stop people ... view the full minutes text for item 37.
Date of the Next Meeting
The Chair informed residents that tonights meeting was the last in the Council`s meeting schedule until the next financial year begins. Residents were thanked for their attendance.
The date of the next Resident`s Forum meeting will be communicated to residents as soon as it is officially set.