Agenda item

Open Forum

In accordance with paragraphs 4.16 and 4.17 of the Community Committee Procedure Rules, at the discretion of the Chair a period of up to 10 minutes may be allocated at each ordinary meeting for members of the public to make representations or to ask questions on matters within the terms of reference of the Community Committee.  This period of time may be extended at the discretion of the Chair.  No member of the public shall speak for more than three minutes in the Open Forum, except by permission of the Chair.



In accordance with paragraphs 4.16 and 4.17 of the Community Committee Procedure Rules, a period of 10 minutes was allocated for members of the public to make representations or ask questions to the Community Committee.


Members of the public raised issues in relation to:

·  Bins left on pavements, causing serious problems for pedestrians and were an eyesore.

·  Rumours that the After-Hours Noise Service was going to be phased out.

·  Residents were disappointed to have heard about a lighting installation on Woodhouse Moor led by the University on Look North News, rather than from the Council.

·  Incidents of paving stones being stolen, which was dangerous and could cause injuries. It also made the area look unkempt.

·  Lots of old buildings were being turned into student accommodation. It was the view that these buildings could be refurbished and used for homeless people.


Councillors responded to the issues raised, providing the following information:

·  It was noted that Councillors had also not heard about the lighting installation on Woodhouse Moor, but since the news had broken, they had met with the University and WYCA. Councillors had requested that this project be withdrawn or moved to another location such as Alexandra Park. They had been informed that the funding was specific to Woodhouse Moor. Councillors had suggested that any mention of lighting should be removed from all communications and consultation. The resident confirmed that the idea of lighting had been removed.

·  Councillors advised the residents that they had not heard anything about the After-Hours Service being stopped.

·  There is a Public Space Protection Order in the area concerned which covers bins left out amongst other things. The PSPO in relation to bins in particular is extremely onerous to enforce given the transient nature of the population.

·  Residents were informed that the Council has been marking paving stones with Smartwater to try and address the issue of the paving stones being stolen. However, it was difficult to see how effective this had been. Councillors were not aware of any areas where holes had been left for 9 months, the Council usually filled the holes as quickly as possible. A long-term solution was to replace all the paving slabs, as resetting them makes it difficult for thieves to lift them. Councillors requested residents to let them know as soon as possible if paving stones had been stolen. It was noted that the police were aware of the issue.

·  It was acknowledged that student accommodation in the city was developed by private companies. However, the Councillors advised the residents that numbers of rough sleepers in the city were low compared to other large cities. The Council do have rooms for rough sleepers, and once there, they are offered assistance and support. The Council unfortunately has no spare buildings to designate for homeless people, as those the Council own are currently being sold to raise income. It was noted that the Council do an overnight head count of rough sleepers every six months and it is low in comparison to those who are presenting as homeless in the city during the day.

·  Residents were informed of a consultation survey called ‘Streets for All’. This consultation survey wants people to highlight any issues that stop them getting round the city. These issues can be in relation to public transport, safety or accessibility. The results will be used to develop local transport plans using Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) monies which developers pay to the Council for development projects.  The CIL money can be directed towards local initiatives. There were leaflets at the committee meeting and everyone was encouraged to take part in the survey.