Minutes of Richmond Hill Forum 2011

Environment & Neighbourhoods
East North East Area Management

Richmond Hill Community Forum
Date:  Monday 6th December 2010

Present: Councillor Pryke (Chair); Stuart Byrne (Area Management (Minutes)); Sarah May (Area Management); Sergeant A Coultate (West Yorkshire Police); Jagdeep Kundhi (ENEHL); Susan Upton (LCC); Robin Oliver (LCC); Sarah Covell (Resident/Area Committee Rep); Paul Curtis (WYP); Councillor Brett (Ward Councillor); Councillor Grahame (Ward Councillor); J J Khader (Resident); Maria Herlingshaw (Resident); Andrew Grinnell (Resident); Terry Nunn (Resident); James Greenfield (St Hilda’s Church); Becky Collins (Leeds University); Andrew Carver (Resident); David Hollingsworth (B&RH Liberal Democrats); Lizz Johnson (Resident); Mary Brennan (Resident); Debbie Riley (Resident); Asghar Khan (B&RH Labour Party); Bernard Idowu (Resident).

Apologies: Wendy Breakwell; Inspector Hawkes; Patricia Dunn; Stephen Sadler; Madge Johnson.

Welcome and Introductions

Councillor Pryke introduced Sarah May, the new Leeds City Council Neighbourhood Manager for Burmantofts and Richmond Hill to the meeting.

Minutes and Matters Arising

The minutes of the last meeting were agreed as a true record, with the amendment that David Hollingsworth was in attendance as an interested party and is not a local resident. 

(Item 12.0) It was noted that funding for the refurbishment works for Richmond Hill Community Centre had been through the Leeds City Council review process and have now been released.  Work is due to commence imminently.

(Item 12.0) Councillor Pryke gave an update on Cross Green Group Repair.  He highlighted that this was offered to an area of 119 properties.  19 ALMO properties will have work undertaken, as will 14 Owner Occupiers.  35 out of 60 private landlords have also agreed to take part in the scheme.  Frontages will be done on all properties.

P.A.C.T. – Neighbourhood Policing Team

Sergeant Coultate reported on the work of the NPT since the last forum.

  • Operation Breach was part funded by the Area Committee and has some success in the area.
  • The NPT newsletter has been circulated across the area.
  • Supported project that actively engaged with young people at risk of dropping out of education.

There has been an increase in burglary within the area.  A reminder was given to residents about the importance of securing doors and windows as sneak in burglaries are still the main method of gaining access.

A property on
Osmondthorpe Lane
was discussed.  A warrant had been served and stolen property was recovered.  However, the CPS has decided that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.  East North East Homes are taking enforcement action for breach of tenancy agreement and are just waiting for a court date.

A question was asked about what happens to tenants who are evicted.  It was explained that a range of actions are taken to mitigate problems in any new area that they might move to.





PACT Priorities Agreed At The Meeting

- To address ASB at addresses on the triangle bordered by Cross Green Crescent,
Cross Green Avenue
Fewston Avenue
- To tackle vehicle crime around
Bow Street

- To address both residential and commercial burglaries within the area.

- To address both residential and commercial burglaries within the area.
- To tackle ASB coming from residential addresses on
Osmondthorpe Lane

- To address Anti-Social Behaviour around Haslewood Close.
- To address Anti-Social Behaviour in the shops in the vicinity of
Harehills Lane

- To tackle the issue of Vehicle Crime around
Beckett Street
- To tackle vehicles causing obstructions within the area.

Aire Valley Area Action Plan

It was not possible to provide information on this item to the meeting as the consultation information had not yet been approved for publication.  However, it was thought that, once released, this would be a positive development for Richmond Hill.


Councillor Pryke outlined the background to the libraries proposals.  However, it was not possible to provide great detail around these as consultation has not currently been approved as further information has been requested for Executive Board on 7th December.  Consultation is likely to commence soon after this and there is likely to be a specific public meeting in Richmond Hill to discuss this matter.

The forum expressed concern that Richmond Hill Library was being closed by stealth as opening hours have consistently reduced over many years.

The meeting felt that access to public computers was particularly important in this area as many households don’t have access to a PC. 

It was suggested that alternative venues for PC access be explored, as well as the option of staffing the library through volunteers.

Area Issues

Selective Licensing

Robin Oliver gave a brief update outlining the work of Selective Licensing.

Applications and Licences

213 landlords have made an application for a Selective Licence
412 draft licenses issued
306 Final licenses issued
66 drafts waiting to be issued due to either backlog or awaiting confirmation of payment.
503 applications received

£ 201,000 confirmed income received  

Legal Action

5 prosecutions already undertaken fines and cost totalling £16,000
14 submitted to legal awaiting prosecution for not applying for a licence
1 for breach of licence conditions
4 for breaches of section 235 Housing Act 2004 i.e. not providing information when requested e.g. tenancy agreement
4 for breach of S16 LG Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976

Selective Licensing are also actively pursuing a number of landlords who have tried to avoid prosecution by trying to obtain a licence retrospectively.

It was asked why some properties were still in a poor state of repair and it was explained that landlords have a period of time to comply with the standards before enforcement action is taken.

It was noted that Selective Licensing is generally seen as positive but is more complex than initially thought.  The first year was focused on identifying properties and issuing licences.  The next stage will be to commence inspection visits.

Richmond Hill Primary School

It was hoped that plans would have been submitted to Plans Panel to share with the meeting but this hadn’t happened as yet.

An objection to the initial proposals has been received from Sport England due to the reduction of sporting facilities on the site, which has held up planning consideration.

Richmond Hill Elderly Action

It was hoped that the meeting could be updated on the discussions between RHEA and Irish Health and Homes about the services that they provide.  However these discussions are still ongoing, so it was not possible to report on the outcome.


The issue of Traveller sites around the area seems to have reduced as there had been no illegal encampments in the six weeks prior to the meeting.

Waste Strategy

Susan Upton, Head of Waste Management for Leeds City Council gave an update on the Residual Waste Strategy.

The current timescales indicate that the contract will close in late Summer, which will require pre planning consultation to take place in early to mid summer.  It is then hoped that the full planning submission from the preferred bidder by late 2011/ early 2012.

Drop in sessions have been held and comments are being collated.  These will be passed on to the bidders and all other interested parties.

Concern was raised in the meeting about the quality of the consultation.  The feeling was also expressed that the two possible sites selected for the waste treatment site were chosen without adequate public input.

A number of other concerns were raised.  It was asked what financial penalties Leeds City Council would incur if the project was cancelled.  It was also asked how the new incinerator would impact on the Aire Valley Action Plan.

It was noted that the potential planning proposals for the Biffa site have not been submitted as yet.

Area Committee Report

Sarah Covell gave an update on the activities of the Area Committee since the last meeting.

York Road
Library – Notice has been served on owners to make good the property.  They have until the 24th December 2010 then Leeds City Council will make good and levy a charge.

£11,700 was agreed by the Area Committee towards the removal of the bollards on
East Park Drive
and their replacement with alternative traffic calming measures.

Binyards were discussed as a local issue but it was noted that ownership of these is not straight forward, which made environmental enforcement problematic.

Parks – There are five Leeds City Council parks in the local area but none have Green Flag status.

A Freedom of Information request had been made about how much had been spent to date by the Council on the Residual Waste Strategy.  The amount reported was £954,000.

Ward Forums – The meeting expressed that it was keen to continue with the current ward forum model.  A request was made for Rory Barke or John Woolmer to attend the next meeting to discuss the forum model.

Any Other Business

Health Through Warmth was promoted to the meeting.  There are a number of schemes available to homeowners to insulate their properties.

What if Leeds – Consultation is currently underway on the revision of the Vision For Leeds.  This consultation will close at the end of December.

Housing – Jagdeep Kundhi asked tenants if they are happy with the support they receive from Housing Support Officers.  He would be happy to receive any comments both positive and negative.

Christmas Carols will be sung on Cross Green on Saturday 18th December.

Bin Collections – black bin collections are still weekly but there have been lots of complaints about streets being missed.

Sarah May circulated a questionnaire that will help to set the Area Delivery Plan for Inner East Leeds for 2011/12.  Attendees were asked to complete this and return it to the Area Management Team.

Metro/PTE – The meeting expressed strong feelings about the change of bus provider in the area.  A number of concerns were raised, including:
  • Day Rider tickets are not valid across both services.
  • Bus stop on
    York Road
    had been suspended, although it was noted that this was due to the number of accidents.
  • New busses often don’t have tickets due to machines not working.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

Tuesday 8th March, 6pm at Victoria Primary School