Report of the Director of Community Protection
Greg Foister, Michelle Graley and Lysle-Anne Renwick, Neighbourhood Development Officers, presented a report on the current priorities and issues facing the Dales, Mapperley and St Ann’s Wards, the upcoming ward events and activities, and the latest issues being addressed at the regular Neighbourhood Action Team (NAT) meetings. The following points were discussed:
(a) the Dales Ward councillors and officers have an ongoing commitment to be available to citizens, and a number of meetings are held in the community. The second phase of the Greenway Park improvement is moving forward and a scheme of bulb-planting has been planned. Following the death of Ken Williams – a previous ward councillor – a memorial bench will be installed in Windmill Park. A Christmas fair is being planned and the Christmas lights will be switched on at an event on 4 December;
(b) the NAT has agreed hotspots for the targeting of parking and speeding issues by enforcement teams. £34,000 is to be invested in preventing bad parking at junctions and for the introduction of resident parking schemes, and £60,000 is being invested in the Phase 2 road improvement works on Lancaster Road;
(c) there are current issues with littering in the area and discussions are underway with the relevant Council team, while a community litter-pick has been planned. Littering from cars that have visited food takeaways is a significant issue and some local councils have introduced by-laws so that fines can be levied against the car owner, to avoid the need to prove littering on the part of a given occupant of the car. The NAT continues to focus on tackling fly-tipping and dog-fouling, and is focusing on engagement with persistent offenders;
(d) the Committee felt that weed growth has been a problem in the area for a number of years and, as the treatment of weeds has been brought in-house, a report should be produced to set out the lessons learned and how the weed treatment regime will be improved, going forward. It also recommended that the use of glyphosate weed-killer by the Council was reviewed and possible alternatives considered if appropriate, due to the banning of the substance for use in some countries;
(e) work is continuing with the emerging communities along Westwood Road. Councillor Neghat Khan is exploring vocational skills and training with the community as Portfolio Holder for Early Years, Education and Employment, and an educational campaign to address fly-tipping and littering is underway;
(f) the Police have been carrying out an operation over the last three months to combat street drinking in the Mapperley Ward, though may offenders appear to be passing through the ward, travelling from one part of the City to another. Nottingham City Homes has designed a new build for the Wells Community Centre within budget, where the existing foundations will be re-used for a more lightweight structure. The project is proceeding on the basis of a 19-week build period, but the timetable could be subject to change. There will be a focus on adult education in the Centre, and the groups that take up permanent residence in the building will be given places on the overall management committee;
(g) measures are in place to tackle a spike in graffiti in the St Ann’s Ward. Work is underway to ensure that reporting incidents is easy and that citizens are confident to do so. Engagement is taking place with schools on the school parliament initiative, and work is being done to address the misuse of visitor parking permits in resident parking areas. The St Ann’s Carnival will take place on Saturday 7 September;
(h) the Committee suggested that the Council’s social media platforms could be used much more effectively to spread information on the negative effects upon citizens of issues such as littering, graffiti and vehicle theft, and how these problems can be combatted at the local level. It felt that the Council’s social media presence focused mainly on its corporate face, and that it could present a much more local voice.
(1) request a report for presentation to a future meeting of the Committee on the treatment of weeds in the public realm by the Council, setting out the lessons learned and how this maintenance work will be improved going forward, with consideration given to the type of weed-killer to be used;
(2) recommend that the Council’s social media platform is used to communicate more news and information at an individual ward level, alongside the corporate and city-wide information.