Venue: South Wigston Methodist Church, Blaby Road, South Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 4PB
Contact: Mark Smith (Community Safety & Youth Officer) Tel: (0116) 257 2675 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 21 February 2023 were declared true and accurate.
Minutes were not made available to residents following the shift to paperless forums. A separate mailing list has been curated during the meeting to address this.
PCSO Sanders, PCSO for South Wigston, introduced herself to residents. Residents heard that crime has decreased significantly over the last three months, with burglaries and shoplifting reducing by 7 and 9 reports respectively.
ASB reports are at 7 currently, mostly around Gloucester Crescent One Stop. One group of young people brought to the attention of the police and have since not attended the area again. Another group was spoken to PC Breslin regarding their behaviour and the issue also seems to have resolved itself; parents were also involved.
Blaby Road Park – A few months ago multiple reports regarding motorcross bikes on the park, no reports since 5 June. Encouraged residents to report any issues through to the police to ensure that the police can address issues. Blaby Road Park has a waymarker in place that means any officers on patrol must spend a set amount of time in the park whilst on duty.
Leicester Riders are running basketball sessions through the holiday period on Monday’s and Wednesdays organised by OWBC, with the Police also attending sessions to build rapport with young people.
Current beat priorities are ASB hotspots such as Gloucester Crescent and the railway footbridge.
A leaflet was provided to residents highlighting the methods items can be reported through to the police.
Speeding vehicles – Gloucester Crescent, Canal Street, Dorset Avenue – speed patrols are in operation with additional officers now trained in the use of speed guns.
Electric Scooters – The Police can issue Section 165 notices to riders of eScooters being used in an anti-social manner. The Police are taking an education route first, with scooters to be seized after a second offence. The police are not authorised to pursue riders of eScooters. The law was supposed to be changed this year but has been delayed for another 12 months. eScooters can only be used on private land with the landowner’s consent.
Cars being left in a car park off of Windlass Drive with no MOT, no tax, or both. One vehicle has no registration plates attached. Report was relayed to OWBC but no action appears to have been taken. Council or public land the car can easily be sorted, but on private land the Council has limited powers. Drivers are also using this location as a place to take drugs (cannabis) and are leaving significant litter behind. Police note that the issue hasn’t been reported to them previously, but the local beat team will now also patrol that area. Speeding vehicles can also be heard travelling along Countesthorpe Road at speed.
CCTV cameras are also set to be installed on Blaby Road Park near the Skate Park / MUGA by OWBC.
Electrification of the Midland Mainline – The current works will be stopping at Spion Kop (Blaby Road) with a compound currently being built. Works will take place through day and night, including some of the piling works. A programme of works has been delivered to properties in the area by Network Rail.
Appointment Hubs – The Council is operating Appointment Hubs in the Borough, in the three town areas, with South Wigston’s taking place on a Tuesday between 9am and 12 noon at Elliot Hall by appointment only. Face to face access is still available in a limited capacity at Brocks Hill. Appointments can be made via telephone call to the Council. There is no requirement to attend the Hub in your own area, so South Wigston residents can access Hubs in Wigston and in Oadby too.
Bus Service – The 47/48/49 bus routes are now being upped to a bus every 12 minutes by Arriva.
Blaby Road – An air quality monitoring station has been installed on Blaby Road in conjunction with Public Health due to a increase in ‘Child Wheeze’ in the local area. At the moment there is no area in the Borough that exceeds the PPM limit, but this is still being monitored.
Boundaries Commission – The parliamentary commission has already set the boundaries, with limited changes to the existing constituency which is now named Oadby, Wigston and Harborough.
HMP Fosse Way – Parking issues have now been resolved in the local area now that the prison’s car park is open. Some planting is going on within the prison site to replace trees that were removed during the construction of the site. Residents raised concerns that some CCTV on the prison site is overlooking their gardens and properties. In terms of privacy for neighbouring properties it will be necessary to speak to colleagues in Blaby District Council who oversee the planning for the main prison site.
Items Raised by Residents
Public Open Space Opposite Windlass Drive –What is happening with the public open space as the land is currently an eyesore? A resident stated that the land should have been made available to the Council once the last house was sold. The position is that the Council will not take ownership of the land until the landowner has brought it up to reasonable maintenance standard. The Council is in communication with the landowner regarding this, and the Chair has raised the issue with the Council’s legal department to pursue further. There are also concerns raised by residents regarding access to the site, including potential access to travellers. The Council cannot secure the access to the land as the Council does not own it. There is a gate that the Council will enquire around securing. There is also a lack of dog waste bins / refuse bins on this side of the estate, but plenty on the canal side, this is resulting in bags of dog poo being hung in hedges. A suggestion was made for a bin to be installed on the pathway between Windlass Drive and Ervins Lock; OWBC would need to pay LCC to install the bin due to works on the public highway.
Balancing Pond off of Windlass Drive –A resident raised that residents along Windlass Drive that the management charges imposed on them to manage the small balancing pond on the road. Roughly £8k a year is spent on grass cutting only, and residents also contribute toward a cost of £202,500 for insurance of a wooden slatted fence and terrorism insurance. Residents would like to make it clear to purchasers of new build, freehold houses in the Borough where such ponds exist that these fees exist. A FOI has been made to the Council by residents regarding the decision to operate under this arrangement. The Chair notes that the developer opted to not pay Section 106 monies to the Council to maintain the land, but the developers instead opted to setup a management company for the area instead. This situation is not unique to the Borough, and occurs nationally. The Council was appraised of this approach by the developers in 2014-2016 whilst the houses were being built. The company is increasing the management charge year on year, with no limit on the total costs; unpaid charges could result in a charge being placed against the relevant property and could result in homes being lost. MPs will need to change the law to resolve this overall situation. Local Councillors are not happy with the situation but are powerless in the current situation. The new estate on Newton Lane is likely to be under the same arrangement as it’s the same developer. Not all land on estates will be adopted by local authorities either when handed over by the developer, and residents could be charged for repairs to infrastructure in areas like this. Buyers of properties within the Borough do so entering with their eyes open ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
Suggestions for Future Agenda Items
Date of the Next Meeting
Tuesday, 31 October 2023, 7pm – Fairfield Primary School, South Wigston (TBC)