Firstly, there was a presentation from Phillipa Fisher, Strategic Director of Oadby and Wigston Borough Council. P Fisher detailed that the Pandemic has brought great challenges and opportunities for local government, and how the Local Government Association visited OWBC to do a Peer Review. This featured interviews and focus groups with Councillors, Officers and community members. The result of this has been the Vision, which P Fisher presented and introduced is currently in a consultation phase.
A visual and feedback on the Council’s vision can be given via the following webpage up until 31st August: https://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/pages/our_vision This is before it will be discussed at a Full Council meeting on 27th September.
Questions were then put to P Fisher. Firstly, one resident asked about town centres and how the vision would seek to support them, given the loss of banks in particular on the high street. P Fisher said that the Council now has a proactive Economic Regeneration Manager whose role is to maintain the vibrancy of town centres across the Borough.
A further question was asked about how the Vision, and consultation around the Vision, was being promoted. P Fisher said that newsletters and social media had been used, and would be used again to promote it. N Alam said that paper copies of this consultation could be requested through your local ward Councillor. It was acknowledged that social media is not the only way to promote key updates. Should you not be able to contact your local ward Councillor, it was advised that residents ring Oadby and Wigston Borough Council’s Customer Services, and they will be able to put you in touch with the right person.
With regards to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund bid, P Fisher stated that this had been submitted and full details of this will be announced in due course.
Cllr Ridley reminded residents that it is beneficial to sign up the Council’s new and improved mailing list, which allows you to subscribe to what you are most interested in.
A short presentation was then delivered by Ben Clark-Monks with regards to a new Energy Efficiency Funding Scheme. This is a scheme which is targeted to households which have a collective income of under £30,000 per annum. Free energy efficiency measures are available to those who apply to the scheme, for instance solar panels and cavity wall insulation. More information can be found here: https://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/pages/energy_efficiency_funding_scheme#:~:text=Oadby%20%26%20Wigston%20Borough%20Council%20is,and%20their%20property%20is%20suitable.
Questions to B Clark-Monks about the scheme included about the possibility of thermal imaging surveys, to which it was responded that all properties have a retrofit assessment and Energy Performance Certificate conducted. It was also asked that B Clark-Monks had talked about heating properties, but what about cooling them- significant considering the recent heatwave. Ventilation is a key part of the scheme, it was informed.
This section of the meeting was concluded by saying the scheme was running until March 2023, yet more funding is available to be bid for- if required.
The next section of the Oadby and Wigston Borough Council update came from Jay Bhatha and Matt Copley (Leicestershire County Council) about recycling and waste disposal. Oadby and Wigston has a recycling rate of 44.7%; the Borough Council collects all waste and LCC disposes of it. Casepak is where recycling is filtered. It was noted that the number one contaminate of recycling was nappies. More information on recycling can be found: www.lesswaste.org.uk
After a quiz about what could or couldn’t be recycled, it was noted that the Oadby Baptist Church takes blister packs, crisp packets and more for specialist collection. It was said that local garden centres can also take used plant pots.
With regards to why waste was being transported abroad, it was noted that a lack of infrastructure and risk aversion were key reasons for this. Further information about the possibility of touring Casepak was also said to be an action.
It was concluded by Cllr Alam that education is key to improving awareness of what can and can’t be recycled, and further information about the current state of play in the district with regards to recycling would be useful.