Simon Walters, Director of Communities and Environment:
a) provided Performance Scrutiny Committee with an update on progress towards the Remarkable Place strategic priority contained in Vision 2020.
b) explained that there had been strong progress within the strategic priority with a number of key achievements/completions:
· Practical completion of the renovation of Boultham Park in early 2018, followed by an official opening in May 2018 and attended by several thousand people. This was also followed by a Royal visit from Princess Anne.
· The City Centre CCTV installation had been completed. This had been supplemented by the installation of a city centre wifi system offering a free internet connection for anyone with a mobile device within the city centre.
· The City Council had announced that the size of the air quality management area in the City Centre had been reduced as air quality generally in the city centre had been improving.
· Protection of wildlife sites were important in the city and two initiatives had commenced in 2018/19 – one to record the vital characteristics of 52 sites in the city and another looking at the feasibility of a new tree planting scheme.
· The Secretary of State had approved the application to remove the deemed planning consent for the display of ‘To Let’ boards in three terraced areas of the city.
· The City Council had received the match funding required to pursue an innovative scheme with Historic England to focus on restoring shop frontages to their original look in the high street.
· In order to ensure allotments were used well in the future, the Council commenced phase one capital investment of £650k in 2017/18.
· The Council had been successful in achieving grant funding from the Football Foundation and Sport England to invest in outdoor sports facilities.
· An intervention team to help tackle the issue of addiction fuelled ASB and begging within the City Centre had been introduced.
· Work had started on developing the specifications for key ‘front door’ services of refuse collection, street cleansing and grounds maintenance.
c) invited members comments and questions
Question: Members asked whether the Graffiti in Sincil Bank had been removed.
Response: Graffiti was an ongoing problem. CCTV had been installed in Hermit Street and Portland Street and was proving to be successful with 34 incidents across a range of issues being recorded since December.
Question: Members asked whether the Police were on board in Sincil Bank
Response: The Police were on board. There was more visibility in the area due to the Neighbourhood Office and CCTV.
Question: Members asked whether the graffiti project had been successful.
Response: The project had lifted resident’s spirits and brought people into the area to view the art trail. There were many benefits which helped bring communities together.
Question: Members asked whether the CCTV cameras in Hermit and Portland Street could be moved to different hotspots around the city.
Response: The cameras were wired in and not mobile so unfortunately this couldn’t be carried out.
Question: Members asked how much the CCTV cameras were.
Response: The cameras collectively cost about £15k as some were cheaper as they were mounted on buildings.
Question: Members asked whether it was worth going into partnership with NKDC and build a bigger and better crematorium.
Response: The crematorium that we currently own remains in the right place especially once the eastern bypass was in place. Conversations had already taken place around a joint adventure but at present these are unlikely to develop further.
RESOLVED that the progress report of the Remarkable Place Vision Group be referred to Executive.