Agenda and minutes

Central Area Committee - Tuesday 1st October 2013 7.00 pm

Venue: Reg Driver Visitor Centre, Christchurch Park, IP4 2BX

Contact: Linda Slowgrove  01473 432511

Items
No. Item

28.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Crane.

29.

Unconfirmed Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2013.

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2013 be signed as a true record.

30.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Order of Business be confirmed as printed on the Agenda.

31.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor Cook, being a director of the East of England Co-op and having office premises in the Central Ipswich Area, declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in Item 10 (report CAC/13/12) and left the room during consideration of this item.

Councillor Jones, having volunteered for the Breakfast Advice Service, declared an interest in Item 9 (report CAC/13/11).

32.

To Confirm the Venues of Future Meetings

Tuesday 19 November 2013, 6.30pm – Ipswich County Library, Northgate Street, IP1 3DE

Thursday 30 January 2014, 6.30pm – All Saints Church Hall, Blenheim Road, IP1 2PQ

Thursday 20 March 2014, 6.30pm – Reg Driver Visitor Centre, Christchurch Park, IP4 2BX

Minutes:

The next three meetings would be held at:

 

Tuesday 19 November 2013, 6.30pm – Ipswich County Library, Northgate Street, IP1 3DE

Thursday 30 January 2014, 6.30pm – All Saints Church Hall, Blenheim Road, IP1 2PQ

Thursday 20 March 2014, 6.30pm – Reg Driver Visitor Centre, Christchurch Park, IP4 2BX

33.

Responses to Public Questions Received and Open Discussion on Local Issues

(a)          Police Priorities

(b)          St Matthew Street Action Plan – Mike Grimwood

Minutes:

Policing Priorities

33.1.     Councillor Gibbs introduced Acting Inspector Jo Garrard of the Central Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), who provided the following update:

Crime Statistics: Priority crime (e.g. violence with injury, dwelling burglary, serious sexual offences, robbery, anti-social behaviour (ASB)) was down 26% overall on the previous year’s average.  Victim satisfaction relating to the Police service response was high, with 87% of people being satisfied. Statistics for individual categories of crime were good and improving, e.g. dwelling burglary was at a 3-year low, but there had been a recent burglary in Surrey Road.  The Police would continue with their crime reduction message, especially with the longer nights approaching. Robbery was down 20% over the 3 year period; similarly, serious sexual offences were down 29% and ASB was down 6%.

St Matthews Street: This priority seeks to reduce overt drug use and dealing in this part of the town centre, and address the underlying issues by developing relationships within the community. This long-term project was being delivered in partnership with other agencies.

Rough sleeping/street beggars: There is some overlap between these two issues, and some cases also involve substance misuse.  This issue primarily affects the Alexandra ward area.  Work is being done with the Community Resource Centre and the Assertive Street Outreach Workers to engage with rough sleepers. There has already been some success and one or two rough sleepers have moved away from the area.

Jubilee Play Area: There have been a couple of recent incidents and some of the young people involved have been identified, and the Police are working with Youth Offending Officers.  

 

33.2.     Councillor Lockington: Has there been anything in the media about cyclists increasing their visibility?
The Chief Constable had recently held an event in the town centre and there were a lot of issues raised about cycling, particularly in the town centre.  In light of this, a road safety campaign would be introduced in October.

33.3.     Councillor Leeder: Has there been any reduction in cycle theft following the cycle locks promotion?
The Police Operation was still running and there had been some arrests, but there was no pattern to the cycle thefts.  British Transport Police had also been targeting cycle theft and had successfully prosecuted some offenders, and the Police had released some of their cases to the British Transport Police.

33.4.     Councillor French: Would the ‘No Halloween here’ leaflets be available this year as per previous years to deter people from knocking on doors during Halloween?
Acting Inspector Garrard reported that she would pass this request onto the Crime Reduction Officers.  Door posters have previously been printed in local papers for this purpose and this type of poster could be emailed to Councillors.

33.5.     Councillor Goldsmith:  There have been complaints about speeding cars on Henley Road on a regular basis.
Speed enforcement action does occur in St Margarets and drivers have been prosecuted. However, as resources are limited, priority is given to those areas where there was a greater risk of road accidents, so  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Travel Ipswich Update - County Councillor Graham Newman

Minutes:

34.1.     Councillor Newman reported that the Old Cattle Market Bus Station would be reopening at 10am on Monday 7 October 2013, which would provide greater functionality to the bus station as well as taking buses off the highway when not in service.  Additionally, there would be real-time passenger information at the bus station and on the buses, and this was anticipated to be implemented in the next 6-7 months.

34.2.     Councillor Newman reported that the Tower Ramparts bus station works, which were originally expected to be done piecemeal, were now being done altogether and were expected to be complete by 15 November 2013 at the latest.  The Museum Street works were also expected to be complete by 15 November 2013, and then no further works were planned in the town centre for the remainder of 2013 in order to avoid any disruption on the run up to Christmas/New Year sales period.

34.3.     Councillor Newman recognised the importance of providing up-to-date and accurate information to the public, and weekly updates were now available on a dedicated Travel Ipswich website: http://www.travelipswich.co.uk/. This information was also forwarded to all ward Councillors, County Councillors covering Ipswich, Ipswich Central and the Press.

34.4.     Local resident: Traffic can take as long as 20 minutes to turn right out of Grange Road onto Grove Lane following the closure of Rope Walk to all traffic, and there is no other route for traffic wanting to get onto Grimwade Street other than going along St Helens Street.  Could Rope Walk be reopened to traffic?  Rope Walk was closed off when Suffolk New College was redeveloped, but students often use other roads to cross over. There was also talk of a yellow junction box being placed at the bottom of the road to allow buses to turn out of Warwick Road.

34.5.     Councillor Cook: A survey was recently carried out with Alexandra ward residents and there was overwhelming support for Rope Walk to be reopened, either to all traffic or just buses.
Councillor Newman: This issue has been raised previously by Councillor Sandy Martin and I will forward the response previously prepared. 

34.6.     Councillor Cann: Whilst there have been some issues with planning and communication, the changes that Travel Ipswich will deliver should be celebrated and lessons learnt for future projects.
Councillor Newman: Whilst I have only recently taken on responsibility for Roads and Transport, Suffolk County Council has a lot of experience of planning major road schemes.  Unfortunately, the detailed planning for major schemes does not begin until funding has been acquired; however, lessons will be learnt and any future projects would be much better planned.

34.7.     Councillor Lockington: When the proposals for making Back Hamlet one-way were put forward, concerns were raised about the potential impact on Grove Lane and St Helens Street.  It is important that the potential impact of traffic schemes on neighbouring streets is taken into consideration when plans are drawn up.
Councillor Gaylard: The traffic lights on Grove Lane are due to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Suffolk County Councillors - Feedback from their Communities

Minutes:

35.1.     Councillor Sarah Adams (St Margaret’s and Westgate) reported that there had been ongoing issues with speeding traffic on Tuddenham Road, especially in light of the number of school children that use this road. There have also been issues relating to fly-tipping and vehicles driving the wrong way up streets in Westgate, and these issues were being investigated with IBC ward Councillors. As the shadow representative for Health and Adult Care, Councillor Adams had been working with Councillor Alan Murray on the winter care provisions of the Ipswich Clinical Commissioning Group and it was proposed that 21 additional beds be available in Ipswich over the Christmas period.  An event was recently held at Trinity Park to promote the benefits of breast feeding, as the percentage of mothers’ breastfeeding in Suffolk was much lower than the national average.

35.2.     Councillor Inga Lockington (St Margaret’s and Westgate) reported that there was a shortage of volunteers to help with Speed Watch activities; previously, students from Suffolk New College had volunteered.  All volunteers are given training and do not have to take part in their own area if they do not want to do so.  All the notification letters are issued by the Police, not the volunteers. Councillor Lockington reported that a Public Health paper had been published, which focused on improving lifestyles for healthier living, e.g. promoting the benefits of exercise.

35.3.     Councillor Mandy Gaylard (St Helens, covering Alexandra and Holywells) reported that a key issue had been improving the communication of Travel Ipswich updates and making the public aware of future changes in traffic management systems. A commitment has now been given to provide regular traffic updates on a weekly basis on the Travel Ipswich website.  There are proposals for changes to the junction on Bishops Hill and the junction of Argyle Street and Woodbridge Road, and Councillor Gaylard has requested that Councillors are consulted at an early stage of the process so that they can provide input and keep residents informed.  Councillor Gaylard has received requests for grit bins for 5 streets, and has been notified of issues relating to litter, weeds in flower beds, parking on double yellow lines and parking across dropped kerbs.

35.4.     Councillor Leeder suggested that it would be helpful to provide a list of what services are provided by Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council.
Action:  A list of Council Services is to be available at future meetings. 

36.

CAC/13/11 Funding Request: Breakfast Advice Project pdf icon PDF 23 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

36.1.     Mr Mole, Head of Community & Cultural Services, reported that the Breakfast Advice Service (BAS) provided a key service after the night shelter closes and before the Community Resource Centre opens, i.e. 8am to 10am. Demelza Penberth, Project Manager of the Ipswich Homelessness Transition Project, added that this service provided a simple solution to a complex problem through the provision of a breakfast and the offer of help and advice to signpost people onto other services.

36.2.     Ms Penberth confirmed that the BAS worked in partnership with other agencies, with links to the Winter Night Shelter, under the Ipswich Locality Homelessness Partnership, and the Assertive Street Outreach Project.

36.3.     Councillor Leeder reported that volunteers were required by the BAS to help with the serving of breakfast – if people would like to volunteer, please contact the Community Resource Centre on Ipswich 232426.

Resolved:

 

that the Central Area Committee approve funding of £3,909 from the Central Area Committee budget for the annual food expenses of providing the Breakfast Advice Service at the Community Resource Centre.

 

Reason: This payment will help support the future provision of the Breakfast Advice Service and provide an essential meal with support for people who are rough sleeping or in emergency accommodation

37.

CAC/13/12 Funding Request: Graffiti and Gum Removal pdf icon PDF 22 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

37.1.     Ms Reeve, Waste Operations Manager, reported that this request would allow the Street Cleaning Team to be able to react quickly to remove gum and graffiti from private property for those cases where it was not possible to ascertain ownership or where the cost could not be recovered.  This would help to prevent graffiti and litter from escalating.

37.2.     Ms Reeve confirmed that every attempt would still be made to identify ownership of the affected property and to reclaim the costs from the private landlords, but where this was not possible, this funding would be used to cover the costs.

37.3.     Ms Reeve reported that a brief Street Cleaning Survey was currently being undertaken up until 25 October 2013 to help identify the priorities for the Council’s Street Cleaning Service.

 

Resolved:

 

(i)           that the Central Area Committee approve funding of £1,000 from the Central Area Committee budget towards the non-recoverable cost of removing gum and/or graffiti from private property;

(ii)          that a brief report be brought back to the Central Area Committee at the end of the 2013/14 financial year detailing how the money has been spent.

Reason: To provide a swift response to graffiti and gum removal

38.

Consultation - Draft Allotments Strategy - Gordon Mole

Minutes:

38.1.     Mr Mole reported that the draft Allotments Strategy would be taken out to consultation from 22 October 2013 to 30 November 2013.  One of the key drivers for revising this strategy has been the uptake of allotment plots since the Strategy was last produced, from 60% to 98% occupancy.

38.2.     The level of allotment provision in Ipswich (1 plot per 60 residents) was considerably more than the national standard (1 plot per 200 residents). The revised Strategy would also take into consideration the quality and accessibility of allotments plots.

38.3.     Details of the consultation would be available on the Council’s website, with hard copies available from Grafton House, the Reg Driver Centre and Ipswich Library.  The resultant Allotments Strategy would be taken to Executive for approval in Spring 2014. 

39.

Customer Services Update - Paul Farrer

Minutes:

39.1.     Mr Farrer, Customer Services Operations Manager, reported that new facilities had been introduced at the Customer Service Centre (CSC) from 9 September 2013, with 6 PC for public use and 9 public telephones for contacting Council service departments.  Many face-to-face services were also available online, and paperwork, e.g. requested documents, could now be scanned at the CSC and be available on the Council’s systems with immediate effect.

39.2.     Mr Farrer reported that a Customer Access Strategy was being developed that would seek to improve face-to-face and online services further.

40.

Chairman's Update on Actions from Previous Meetings

Minutes:

40.1.     Mr Mole reported that Inspector Cooper and Parks Patrol staff had visited Broomhill Park in relation to the ASB issues previously reported, but no evidence of drug use had been found. This area would continue to be monitored. Mr Mole added that grass verges were now the responsibility of Suffolk County Council as the Highway Authority.

40.2.     Mr Mole reported that Planning Enforcement Officers were talking to the owner of 243 Tuddenham Road in relation to the removal of the hedgerow next to this property.

40.3.     Councillor Gibbs reported the following updates on funded projects:

·                Summer/Half-term activities – Adam Keer would attend the next meeting to provide an update on the outcomes of this project;

·                Removal of planters – both planters have now been removed;

·                Glass recycling unit – this would be installed on Tower Ramparts bus station when the bus station works were complete;

·                Upper Orwell Street improvements – the works should commence shortly following the resolution of a legal matter with NCP.

41.

Community Intelligence - Verbal Update from Ward Councillors

Minutes:

41.1.     Councillor French reported that there had been problems with large trees on the highway in Christchurch Street causing obstructions for pedestrians and traffic.  Ipswich Borough Council would require permission from Suffolk County Council to be able to remove some of the greenery at the bottom of the trees.

41.2.     Councillor Cook reported that litter bins had been provided for Alexandra Park and Rope Walk, but some people were still not using the bins.  There have also been issues with inconsiderate parking and blocked driveways in the Alexandra ward.

41.3.     Councillor Lockington reported that she had contacted County Councillor Colin Noble and SCC Estate Officers about funding for Westbourne Library. Expenditure from their corporate property budget was prioritised in line with the condition of the property and Health & Safety requirements.  Unfortunately, this property did not trigger either of these criteria, so no funding could be made available.

41.4.     Councillor Blake reported that there were many cases of people living in private accommodation that was of a sub-standard condition, as the landlords were not taking responsibility for the condition of their property.

41.5.     Councillor Leeder reported that following the walkabout in Shaftesbury Square and Woodhouse Square, some clear up work would be carried out to cut back greenery and remove Japanese knotweed to make the area tidier and help to prevent ASB in the alleyways.

42.

CAC/13/13 Area Committee Budget Update pdf icon PDF 22 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

42.1.     Councillor Gibbs reported that at the start of the meeting, the Central Area Committee had an unallocated budget of £63,274 available to support its priorities.  Following the financial commitment of £4,909 arising from the approved funding requests, the Central Area Committee now had a budget of £58,365 available.

 

Resolved:

 

that the financial statement of the Central Area Committee be noted.

 

Reason: To provide an audit trail of funding that has been spent from the Central Area Committee budget