Venue: Ground Floor Committee Room - Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG. View directions
Contact: Zena West, Constitutional Services Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Declarations of interest
Last meeting held 18 November 2015 (for confirmation)
The minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2015 were agreed as a correct record, and signed by the Chair.
Dorothy Holmes, Locality Manager, gave a presentation on the EasyLink accessible bus service for Nottingham City on behalf of Nottingham City Council Public Transport, highlighted the following points:
(a) EasyLink is the new door-to-door accessible bus service from Nottingham City Council, replacing the Dial-a-Ride service, as that had quite a few barriers to use;
(b) 6 brand new fully accessible vehicles have been introduced, including a full flat rear lift. The service is available for anyone who who lives in the Greater Nottingham area who struggles to use public transport, not just the elderly and disabled;
(c) the service is door to door, anywhere within a 10 mile radius of the city centre. Drivers are fully trained to help passengers. Escorts or carers travel free of charge;
(d) if you have a Nottingham City Council Mobility Citycard you can book straight away. For all other users it’s a simple application form. People can also apply online, and there’s no longer a fee to join;
(e) the service can now be booked in advance – up to 7 days in advance for a single trip, 6 weeks in advance for block bookings, or 3 months in advance for medical appointments;
(f) a new booking system has been introduced, including new telephone systems, an online booking system, email and text based booking;
(g) the fares no longer operate on a zonal system, they work on distance as the crow flies, with the cheapest fare (up to 1 mile) £1.50 for a concessionary pass holder, or £3.00 for a full fare;
(h) the Public Transport team want to promote the new scheme within the community. Leaflets and posters are available (including in accessible formats), there is information on the website. A vehicle can be brought along to any planned events to show potential users.
RESOLVED to note the information.
Report of the Director for Community Protection and the Corporate Director for Commercial and Operations
Julie Liversidge, Principle Environmental Health Officer, presented a report to the Committee on Additional Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation, highlighting the following points:
(a) an additional licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) started 1 April 2014, and will run to 31 December 2018. It is part of a strategic approach;
(b) it is estimated that there are 3,200 HMOs in the scheme, with 1,520 applications received from the Arboretum, Dunkirk and Lenton, Radford and Park area – 317 from Arboretum, 782 from Dunkirk and Lenton, and 421 from Radford and Park;
(c) an average of 38 applications are received for the additional licensing scheme each month. 72% of licences are issued with extra conditions or restrictions, and 22 licences have been refused to date;
(d) over 300 compliance visits have been completed, with 53 of these requiring extra work to be done, which will hopefully lead to a reduction in anti-social behaviour and improvements to neighbourhoods. Legal notices are served to help identify unlicensed HMOs;
(e) Licenses are issued with conditions which require holders to be proactive in management of properties. This includes maintenance of the exterior of the property so as to not adversely affect the area (refuse storage etc.), requires inspection of property by the license holder, provision of emergency contact details to tenant, and the license holder taking practical steps to reducing anti-social behaviour. These conditions have been challenged by a landlord at a tribunal, but the tribunal upheld the council’s position;
(f) compliance is checked during planned visits, by license holders providing any documentation requested, and by visits as the result of complaints. License holders are sent warning letters to remind them of their responsibilities as a result of reports from Community Protection Officers. In some cases of non-compliance, licenses can be revoked or license holders can be subject to prosecution;
(g) the Licensing team work closely with Planning to identify unlicensed HMOs. Currently they are dealing with a landlord who has been refused planning permission;
(h) 11 warrants have been issued to gain entry to properties. 24 emergency prohibitions have been carried out to close premises immediately. 23 properties have been prohibited. 55 improvement notices have been served. 14 emergency legal actions have been carried out. 4 landlords have been prosecuted. 6 electric installations have been reported and made safe;
(i) in December 2015, a success bid was made to the Department for Community and Local Government to receive £151,000 to focus targeted work on local landlords, largely in the Area 4 wards.
A number of questions and comments were made by the Committee, and additional information was provided in response:
(j) it is vital to ensure that tenants are living in safe properties, and excellent progress has been made to ensure that all Nottingham citizens are safe in their homes;
(k) in the Arboretum area, gang masters have been operating using residential properties. The Department for Communities and Local Government funding will empower the City Council to look at ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
Report of the Director for Planning and Transport and the Corporate Director for Development and Growth
Dawn Alvey, Local Plans Manager, presented a report to the Committee on the Local Area Plan Part 2: Land and Planning Policies Document, highlighting the following points:
(a) the Local Plan Part 2 is guided by statutory rules on how to prepare local plans, which guides the way that the Council considers planning applications in the future. The Plan allocates future sites for development. Part 1 was a higher level document setting out land requirements for Nottingham, whilst Part 2 focuses on the detail and is more relevant to Nottingham citizens and Councillors;
(b) consultation now open till 11 March 2016. There are 10 sites in the Arboretum, Dunkirk and Lenton, Radford and Park area. One additional site (Prospect Place) has been added since the last update, and 2 sites (Dunkirk Fire Station and Wholesale Fruit and Flower Market off Clark Road) have not been taken forward;
(c) planning policies form part of the plan: there is a focus on protecting family housing, supporting new family housing, having guide locations for purpose built student accommodation; and resisting the conversion or creation of HMOs;
(d) the sites within the Arboretum, Dunkirk and Lenton, Radford and Park area are:
· Prospect Place – cleared site, suitable for residential. Some details will need to be handled sensitively as the land to the south and north is not residential;
· Derby Road – primarily residential, family housing;
· Abbey Street/Deengate – was part of the Medipark proposals, part of the Enterprise Zone, so important still to be allocated for appropriate uses;
· Boots site – 2 planning permissions have been approved, still allocated as often economic conditions change;
· Alfreton Road/Forest Mill – problematic! Keen to see it brought forward for a beneficial use and an attractive frontage. Mixed usage;
· Radford Mill – part of the site has already been developed;
· Salisbury Street – temporary planning permission for car sales and a car wash. Appropriate for residential and mixed employment use;
· Derby Road/Sandfield – allocated for residential, some community use, small scale retail. Important site to get right in terms of connection to neighbouring occupiers;
· Castle College site – mixed use, with a focus on tourism and links to the castle. Need to get the heritage and architectural details right;
There were some questions and feedback from the Committee:
(f) the plan takes forward the concentration test for HMOs, so when an HMO comes forward the existing density will be reviewed. A tighter limit is proposed (10%), but there may be difficulty justifying and evidencing that approach. 10% may be too high still in some areas, but too low citywide. If the Park gets more students it could have a domino effect and get more students in;
(g) the proposal for Forest Mills is for mixed use - residential and other uses are appropriate. It is a long standing site, and there is ... view the full minutes text for item 36.
Dorothy Holmes, Locality Manager, and Dave Brennan of Castle Cavendish, presented a report to the Committee on the Area Jobs Plan, and Employment and Skills in the Area, highlighting the following points:
(a) the main priority to emerge from Area Chairs Panel was around jobs and training. There needs to be a better review process in place for how this is delivered locally, and this report provides responses to those questions and provides a joined up way forwarded. It is recommended that a partnership is created, led by Councillors and supported by dedicated officers, setting priorities for local job plans and supporting the new and existing jobs plans;
(b) as key partner to support the partnership, Castle Cavendish is glad that Nottingham City Council have come forward with this idea, and have provided input into the responses. Castle Cavendish continues to support young people beyond their 8 or 12 week programme to ensure ongoing positive outcomes. The cost of Step In To Work will hopefully end up being less than £2,000 per job outcome, which is good value compared to other programmes;
(c) in their submission for the grant for the next year, Castle Cavendish did some more work, and two things stuck out about the Arboretum, Dunkirk and Lenton, Radford and Park area: there is double the amount of Employment Support Allowance and Incapacity Benefit claimants than Job Seekers Allowance claimants - approximately 2,000 to 1,000. This will be a big area of work. Step In To Work focuses mainly on Job Seekers Allowance claimants, so more work is needed to focus on other claimants. There are also a lot of unemployed people not claiming any benefits. There has been an increase in people aged 35-50 claiming out-of-work benefits, so re-training and re-skilling of older people will become important in some wards.
Following questions and comments from the Committee, the following additional information was provided:
(d) all Councillors feel that jobs are a key priority. They are key to the economy and to people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, so Councillors want to ensure that jobs and skills are given priority;
(e) particular attention is also needed for teaching English skills, as there’s been an increase in people with English as an additional language. This is one of the things that Castle Cavendish is looking to do, and they are hoping to increase English for Speakers of Other Languages provision as there’s a waiting list at the moment.
(1) note the information from Castle Cavendish on Employment and Skills;
(2) establish an Employment and Skills West Area Partnership with terms of reference, membership, officers, reporting and frequency of meetings to be decided at the next West Area Cluster meeting.
Report of the Director of Sport and Culture and the Corporate Director of Commercial and Operations
Alex Brown, Community Sport and Physical Activity Officer, Eddie Curry, Head of Parks and Open Spaces, and Councillor David Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Sport and Leisure, introduced the Park Lives Healthy Lifestyle Activity Programme 2016, highlighting the following points:
(a) Nottingham was one of 10 authorities successful in securing funding from Coca Cola;
(b) there are lots of Friends and Parks groups around the city that need to be engaged with. There will be opportunities to engage local people, get them involved in events as well as providing some training;
(c) other core cities have been talking about selling off their parks, but Nottingham City Council has invested over £28m, including refurbishing playgrounds, installing outdoor gyms, and major improvements to larger parks. We now have 24 Green Flags and 9 Community Green Flags. A lot of that money has come from local councillors funding, with a lot of external sources as well;
(d) Park Lives runs up to 2020, and lots of activities will be organised, but ideally it will be sustainable. There can be more than 1 friends group per park, and there could be activity friends groups (such as dog walking, litter picking, walking groups, outdoor yoga etc.) where people may continue after the scheme funding has ended. Friends groups and community support can demonstrate community involvement, which can help with external funding bids;
(e) last year there were over 450 activity sessions, all free. Some were for adults, some were for families, some were for children and some were for older people. They were held at all times of day and weekends, to remove barriers and be more accessible. This year, activities will be much more locally focused, concentrating on what activities people want and when they want them in their parks.
(f) the Park Lives Team can provide coaches or instructors, or provide training to get local people qualified as coaches to make it more sustainable. There is lots of help and support available from the team;
(g) the main aim of the scheme is to get people to participate in low level activity. Activities and groups can be tailored to the needs of local people, such as dog walkers, mums with prams, conservation sessions, games of rounders, or outdoor yoga. It’s not about the Olympians of the future, just about getting people off the sofa and more active. For example, Derbyshire nature reserve group dog walkers were provided with litter pickers by the Council.
Following questions and comments from the Committee, additional information was provided:
(h) The Park Lives team can help to bring people together on an area basis and see what they would like to do;
(i) The Park Lives team can and will work with anyone, including Nottingham City Homes, other projects and organisations or community groups. There are no age or other restrictions, they will work with anyone to encourage any physical activity;
(j) some existing friends groups have had average ages of 60+, so it is exciting ... view the full minutes text for item 38.
Report of Nottingham City Homes
Paul Howard, Nottingham City Homes, presented an update report to the Committee, highlighting the following points:
(a) performance for all wards is at target. Repairs are slightly down on last year, but rent collection is above target. The rollout of Universal Credit will have an impact as the year progresses, but Nottingham City Homes are being proactive and ensuring people have access to online systems. There have been fewer voids. And better tenancy sustainment. Local lettings policies have been reviewed, and they will all remain in place;
(b) there were some issues with the replacement of a lift, which was picked up by the Nottingham Post newspaper. Nottingham City Homes has learned from that experience and will make sure it doesn’t happen in the other blocks;
(c) the realignment of the Housing Patch Managers is complete, the new Housing Patch Managers are now in place.
(1) note the performance information;
(2) note the allocation of funds and remaining budget for 2015/16:
Arboretum - £5,000.00
Dunkirk and Lenton - £33,433.00
Radford and Park - £11,277.00
Report of the Corporate Director for Commercial and Operations
Inspector Robert Wilson, of Nottinghamshire Police, presented an update on crime performance in the area, highlighting the following points:
(a) anti-social behaviour is down significantly compared to this time last year. Nottinghamshire Police have been working closely with Framework Housing and the Houses in Multiple Occupation Licensing and Trading Standards teams at Nottingham City Council to reduce levels further;
(b) the Dunkirk and Lenton ward has had a very good year for crime rates. Burglaries are down significantly (with 29 fewer offences), as is vehicle crime (reduced by 20%) and crime overall (9 fewer offences). There has been an increase of one incident of theft, surrounding the thefts from Queen’s Medical Centre, and some shop thefts;
(c) the Radford and Park ward has more mixed news regarding crime levels. There has been a reduction in home burglaries, but an increase in other areas, such as a 19% increase in vehicle crime. Overall crime has seen 7 more offences over this time last year;
(d) in the Leen Valley war there has been a large increase in shop thefts, and some increase in criminal damage. Nottinghamshire Police have been working closely with the City Council and the University on crime prevention, with messages positively received. Two thirds of the burglaries are in student areas, with access gained through unsecured windows and doors;
(e) there were several mosque break-ins in Dunkirk and Lenton. An arrest has been made and one individual has been charged with all of the break-ins.
Dorothy Holmes, Locality manager Central and South, and Iffat Iqbal, Neighbourhood Development Officer, presented an update on other ward performance issues to the Committee, highlighting the following points:
(f) from January 2016, the cleanliness rating has been above the 80 mark, which is back at target. There has been an increase across areas in graffiti and fly-tipping levels, but some of that is because Nottingham City Council is being more proactive. Neighbourhood development Officers are working very hard to look at ways to tackle this, such as deep cleans, and are starting to bring together the student waste plan with all partners. The deep cleans that have happened so far have been very successful and very well received by the local residents;
(g) the Christmas lights in Canning Circus was very well received, as was the Curry in the Park event in October. Citizens are being consulted regarding designs for the play area at Radford Recreation Ground.
Following questions and comments from the Committee, some additional information was provided:
(h) there were lots of complaints regarding cleanliness in the Hazeldwood area, so a deep clean was arranged. Council staff knocked on every door and explained what was happening. It went very well, with great community engagement. Some of the increased level of fly-tipping may come as a result of the new requirements to be on the electoral register in order to book free bulky waste removal;
(i) the restrictions on waste collection are fiddly for some people, such as covering items ... view the full minutes text for item 40.
Report of the Corporate Director of Commercial and Operations
Deborah Wilson, Neighbourhood Development Officer, presented a report on the Area Capital Fund 2015/16 Programme to the Committee.
(1) note the remaining balances available:
Arboretum Ward: £57,807.00
Dunkirk and Lenton Ward: £40,804.00
Radford and Park Ward: £72,664.00
(2) approve the following new schemes prioritised by Councillors since the last meeting of the Arboretum, Dunkirk and Lenton, Radford and Park Area Committee:
Report of the Director of Neighbourhood Services
Deborah Wilson, Neighbourhood Development Officer, presented a report on the Area Committee Priority Action Plans to the Committee. The report shows Councillors’ priorities which have been investigated during Area Cluster meetings.
RESOLVED to note the Area Committee actions and priorities:
· Environmental issues (cleansing, fly-tipping, noise and open spaces)
· Regeneration and balanced communities (empty sites, balance of housing provision, HMOs)
· Jobs and Training