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Note: This meeting will not be open to the public in line with Government advice on public gatherings. The meeting will be webcast live via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWFpwBLs6MnUzG0WjejrQtQ
Mrs Evelyn Ensor
It was with great sadness that the Chairman reported the passing of former Councillors Mrs Evelyn Ensor. Mrs Ensor passed away on Monday, 11th January 2021 aged 98.
Mrs Ensor served on the County Council from November 1976 to April 1985 and represented the Market Bosworth No 4 Electoral Division.
During her term of office, she was appointed Chairman of the Personal Services Subcommittee and as Vice Chairman of the Social Services Committee. She also served as a member of the Environment Committee and Police Committee.
The Chairman called on members to stand in silent tribute to the memory of Mrs Evelyn Ensor.
The Chairman reminded members that it was coming up to a year since the impact of the coronavirus began to be felt in Leicestershire.
Plans are in hand with partners to mark the anniversary of the first case in Leicestershire on 6th March and the first lockdown which followed on 23rd March. The County Council will be playing a key role in remembering those who had tragically lost their lives to Covid.
The Chairman mentioned the opportunities to thank key workers - those many officers in the Council - as well as the contribution of others. As well as the efforts of volunteers and unpaid carers who had stepped forward through this year.
The Chairman also thanked all residents, reminding members they had played their part in reducing the spread of the virus - following the guidance to protect family and neighbours. There will also be acknowledgment of those who had struggled through this year - facing hardship, isolation, mental health issues - or the long-term effects of Covid.
The Chairman was pleased to inform members that funding for the Watermead Memorial Walk had been secured earlier in the month and that there were also plans to dedicate a tree at County Hall in remembrance of those staff who had lost their lives.
The Chairman asked Members to look out for further details about the memorial activities and to reflect and find some comfort through them in what had been a difficult year.
It was moved by the Chairman, seconded by Mr Kaufman and carried:
“That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 2 December 2020, copies of which have been circulated to members, be taken as read, confirmed and signed.”
To receive declarations by members of interests in respect of items on this agenda.
The Chairman invited members who wished to do so to make declarations of interest in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.
It was assumed that all members who are members of District Councils would wish to declare a personal interest in relation to the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021/22 to 2024/25.
The following members declared a personal interest in the MTFS:-
To answer questions asked under Standing Order 7(1)(2) and (5).
“Could the Leader update me on progress regarding a school crossing patrol for St Peter’s School, Hinckley?”
Mr Pendleton replied as follows:
“The school crossing patrol (SCP) for St Peter’s School in Hinckley has been vacant since 14th July 2017. We have ever since sought to recruit a patrol to this site on London Road and have done our best to attract candidates. Because of the relatively short times of operation (45 minutes in the morning and 35 minutes in the afternoon) it is likely to appeal to someone with connections to the school and/or living in close proximity to the school.
Our service is reliant on members of the community coming forward to fill these paid school crossing patrol roles. Unfortunately, to date no applications for this location have been received.
As with all our vacant SCP sites we will be reviewing this location once children return following the latest lockdown. This will be to check the volume of traffic and number of pedestrians crossing – known as a PV2 assessment. We will then revisit our recruitment programme dependent on the outcome of this review.”
(B) Mr Bray asked the following question of the Leader or his nominee:
“Could the Leader update me on the highspeed broadband rollout in parts of Burbage which currently have poor speeds/coverage?”
Mr Pain replied as follows:
“Superfast Leicestershire is a £33.5m partnership led by the County Council, together with Openreach, LLEP, Government and district councils. Since 2014, Leicestershire County Council has invested more than £20m to improve digital infrastructure through the Superfast Leicestershire Programme, resulting in more than 75,000 residential and business premises having gained access to superfast broadband across Phase 1 & 2 of the Programme, taking the broadband coverage across Leicester to 97%.
The Superfast Leicestershire Programme is committed to delivering further phases of high-speed broadband rollout, and the launch of Phase 3 of the Programme in August 2019 will see a further 2500 premises benefit from future proofed Gigabit capable full fibre connections across west Leicestershire, working with our delivery partner Openreach.
Specifically, as a result of the Programme’s intervention to date, superfast broadband coverage within Burbage, and across the Hinckley & Bosworth district as a whole has reached 95%.
We do not want to see any area left behind and are committed to working towards 100% superfast coverage across Leicestershire, and to seek all possible solutions to support the residents of Burbage and across the Hinckley & Bosworth area.
The remaining premises in Burbage which have poor broadband speeds are currently in the delivery plan within the Phase 3 Contract, of which the Superfast Leicestershire Team are focussing their efforts on ensuring all the unserved premises are planned-in to receive full-fibre broadband infrastructure.
The good news is, so far 20 premises within the Burbage area have recently been upgraded to full-fibre, and can now order gigabit capable broadband services, via their internet service provider.
We are prioritising and focussing our efforts on finding solutions for all unserved properties, and I have asked officers to work closely with BDUK and Outside-in Programme to ensure Leicestershire is at the front of the queue to be considered for BDUK funding to rollout full-fibre broadband to the remaining unserved areas and premises across Leicestershire.
For information, Appendix A provides the current status of premises by post-code in the Burbage area planned in the Phase 3 delivery, including those that have recently been upgraded.”