In-person Council and Committee meetings which are open to the press and public to observe have resumed from 7 May 2021 following the expiry of the Regulations that allowed local authorities to hold remote meetings.
Whilst most of these meetings will take place in the Council Chamber at the Council Offices in Wigston, it may be necessary to host a meeting at an alternative venue and/or at short notice. This will allow all attendees to maintain social distancing and follow the latest COVID-secure guidelines.
If attending an in-person meeting, all attendees must wear a face covering (unless exempt or when seated) and must sanitise their hands on entry and exit to/from the meeting venue. Meeting venue capacity will be severely restricted due to COVID-19 regulations, however there will still be opportunities for public participation in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.
Where the necessary technology is available and working, the press and public may still be able to watch the live streams of meetings without having to attend in-person. Instructions on how to access live streams can be found below where applicable. At a minimum, audio recordings of meetings will be made available on the Council’s website shortly after any given meeting.
Venue: South Wigston Methodist Church Hall, Blaby Road, South Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 4PBZ
Contact: Veronika Quintyne - Email: email@example.com
Mrs S B Morris
Local Policing Issues
The Police did not attend the meeting and no verbal update was provided.
The Chair will contact the Police to try to ensure future Police attendance.
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. The Chair checked the minutes for accuracy. The minutes were agreed as a true record.
· With reference to any future South Wigston Health Centre redevelopment, the Council is still working to find a potential development solution. It was commented that in previous years discussion had taken place about the possibility of building a new Health Centre. This happened when Jelson`s were developing industrial units on Magna Road. The Arriva Bus Station complex would have made a good site to which it could have been located, particularly as there is no conflict at junctions. It was noted that to move the Health Centre, which pays a Peppercorn rent, might have seen a loss of income for the GPs (General Practitioners).
· The Borough Council wishes to keep the conversation between partners to such a future venture open.
· The Chair noted that the web link to take enquirers to the Glen Parva Prison build information had disappeared. Councillor Boyce stated the Glen Parva Prison department had informed him that the design build and run contract may well change. The actual prison boundary will not change but what happens within the boundary may.
· Extra monitoring with regard to the Prison build and the impact on roads is being monitored. This is in readiness for when the Prison is completed. The build and the road planning in relation to the Prison are about getting the long-term infrastructure correct.
· The Crow Mills Picnic site is to be replaced.
· On the previous issue about the alleged speeding of lorries on Dorset Avenue, the County Council does not view this issue as a priority for action.
· With regards to the previous issue raised as to what can be done about lorries parking on Gloucester Crescent overnight. Highways no longer enforce prohibitions about this.
· The Lidl store landscaping was discussed. It appears the landscaping only reaches to the end of the Lidl property and looks quiet sparse. Councillor Boyce raised the issue of planting with Lidl management. The planting has been carried out within its boundary. With regards to the planting of shrubs and trees on the sloped area by Lidl, this matter was raised with the County Council but no answer has been forthcoming. Tesco would not entertain a change of road access with Lidl.
· The issue of Bollards was taken up with the County Council and these will be replaced. A Safety Road Audit needs to be taken up with the County Council. The Bollards will be altered and yellow box markings will be placed on the Blaby Road. The yellow box was viewed as one way of helping drivers to pull out safely from nearby roads such as Lansdowne Grove .
· Wickes Store officially opens on February 02 2019.
· The Massage Parlour on Blaby Road is closed. The building regulations and fire safety regulations had not been concurred with. A Planning Application is to be heard, the proposed use needs permission.
· The Defibrillator training will be organised to be delivered in 2019 by the Council`s Community Engagement Officer.
Be The Voice of Your Community - Becoming a Borough Councillor (Presentation)
Senior Democratic Officer Samuel Ball, gave a presentation aimed at encouraging local people to consider becoming a Local Councillors. A paper presentation handout and a document titled ‘A Brief Guide to Becoming a Councillor in Oadby and Wigston’ were circulated to those present.
The following points noted from this presentation were:
· The Chief Executive of the Council has a duty to promote consultation and encourage people to vote and stand for local elections.
· Councillors manage the Council budget of some £6.6million.
· Notice will be published for nominations to become a local Councillor in March 2019. Local Elections take place in May 2019.
· BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Councillors are currently underrepresented in proportion to people from BME backgrounds residing in the Borough and nationally.
· Only 4% of Councillors in England are from a BME background.
· Without a diversity of candidates it is unlikely that Councillors reflect the diversity of Oadby and Wigston Borough would be elected.
· Examples were given of voting apathy in other regions which led to seats being uncontested leading to seats being won by default.
· In the 2015 local elections in Eden District Council 21 seats out of 39 seats were uncontested. At Blaby District Council, 39 seats saw 9 of them uncontested in the 2015 local election.
· There is a decline in the number of candidates coming forward to stand for election as Councillors.
There are myths about being a Councillor. The following are examples:
· You need to belong to a political party.
· You need to be qualified.
· A prospective candidate needs to pay a deposit and candidate will not be able to get time off work.
Borough Council elections are held every four years.
Councillors are provided with a range of support information and guidance via an induction programme and are provided with IT to assist them to fulfil their role.
Council Officers administer the scheme as to how elected Councillors can claim expenses and pair them up with Senior Officers to help with support to ease them into their role.
Residents were invited to speak to Council Officers in Democratic Services if they wished to know more about the election process and how to put themselves forward as election candidates.
Prospective candidates were advised to think about speaking to their local Councillors to find out more about their experiences. The other options are to contact the local political party branch to discuss how the branch can support their campaign, or to attend a Council/Committee meeting to see how the Council operates.
Following a consultation report of Councillors in 2013 82.4% of those surveyed said they would recommend the role of a Councillor to others.
For more information residents were invited to contact Democratic Services on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring: 0116 2572775 or attend a candidate and agent briefing .The date for this is to be confirmed, however it is likely to be held in February 2019.
At the close of the presentation, the Chair thanked the Democratic Services Officer for the presentation.
A copy ... view the full minutes text for item 25.
Community Harmony Scarf (Presentation)
Mrs Clare Lawrence-Simms presented on the topic of the ‘Community Harmony Scarf’.
The Scarf was developed following the Big Lunch event in 2017. It was led by the Oadby Youth Group following the Big Lunch event. The initial aim was to have it displayed in Oadby Library.
The Scarf represents fun and complexity. It was about young people learning coping skills, helping them to grow and be well adjusted in the community.
The long term aim is to create a scarf that will grow to go around the girth of the world. This is a measurement of some 475 Kilometres.
In summer 2019, it is the aim to have a scarf, which will measure 730 metres to enable it to fit around King Power Football Stadium in Leicester.
The Scarf is also a tribute todeceased Leicester Football Club owner Mr Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
People are offered a chance to contribute to the Scarf by choosing a ribbon, which is knitted into the Scarf. The Salvation Army Centre and Helping Hands both in South Wigston have sections, which are being worked on.
The Scarf has travelled around parts of the UK and even as far as Spain. It is a conversation piece. It now consists of fifty-two sections. Each piece has a theme attached to it.
In concluding the presentation Mrs Lawrence-Simms emphasised that the Scarf is helping people to find their voice and is seen as a ‘Community Harmony Scarf’. People are to note, the scarf is not a craft project.
It was also noted that a resident donated a large amount of wool to the project.
South Wigston Traders' Update
Christmas Capers takes place on Saturday December 1st 2018, 2:00pm until 6:00pm. The Light Switch On is at 5:30pm.
The shop window competition to mark the end of World War One saw the following results:
· 7 took place in Wigston
· 5 in South Wigston
· 2 joint winners in South Wigston
Capital Projects Update
Residents are to be made aware that each Residents Forum has a pot of money to fund local projects.
This is not Council money, it is for the residents use on local projects.
Forum Budget Update
The current available spend for South Wigston Residents’ Forum stands at £19,298.
No spending requests were received.
Items Raised by Residents
Change of Residents Forum Meeting Time
Consider changing the start time of future South Wigston Residents’ Forum meetings.
Proposal for Changing to a Unitary Authority
Regarding the proposal of a Unitary Authority, residents were advised that there may be no advantage of having a ‘Super Council’.
Town and Parish Councils can increase their precepts.
Financially, residents may not be better off. A survey will be circulated via Letterbox to ask residents their thoughts. Residents were encouraged to fill this in and send it back to the Borough Council.
A ‘Super Council’ may introduce a fortnightly recycling collection and full charges for all car parking.
In the future, a ‘Super Council’ may not offer residents the same access as they currently have to Councillors. There is a proposal to have paid Councillors; there may also be a reduction in the number of Councillors.
Some residents expressed disappointment with the quality of the South Wigston Remembrance Parade. As the road was not closed off, some residents advised that they struggle to hear the service due to traffic noise.
Only Police Officers have the authority to stop traffic. It was suggested the road by St Thomas Church and Saffron Road be shut for a limited period.
Councillor Boulter will address this with the County Council.
Speeding and Safety Issues around Streets in South Wigston
Speeding, safety issues for the public and vehicle parking issues in the following South Wigston Streets: Glengate, Station Street, Albion Street and Kirkdale Road were reported.
Councillor Boulter agreed to raise the following issues with the County Council:
· The partial closure of Saffron Road and St Thomas Road to support next year’s Remembrance Parade though South Wigston.
· The use by heavy lorries on Glengate, resulting in the taking out of slabs due to the weight of the vehicles and the inconveniencing of disabled parking spaces on Kirkdale Road.
· Resident’s cars struck by other motorists due to speeding.
· The striking of a lamppost by a vehicle on Station Street and the traffic gridlock this street experiences.
· Children are at risk of injury as they are playing on their bikes on the area between Glengate and Albion Street.
· Some residents do not mind having car parking permits.
· A survey is being carried out in South Wigston to see who is using the car park. A notice is to be installed to show the car park has a 12-hour limit.
· A site barrier may be installed, this would cost about £600.
South Wigston Festive /Christmas Lights
Residents complimented the Council for the attractiveness of the Festive /Christmas lights in South Wigston.
Suggestions for Future Agenda Items
Council Tax banding compared with other Districts.
Date of the Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting is, Wednesday 20 February 2019 at 7:30pm. The venue is to be confirmed.