Agenda and minutes

Venue: Training and Conference Suite, First Floor, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, OL16 1XU

Contact: Michael Garraway  4716

No. Item


Variation of Order


    The Chair indicated that agenda item 13 ‘Smith Street Experimental Traffic Order’ would be considered on the public agenda, prior to the exclusion of press and public, and that a presentation relating to policing matters would be held prior to the commencement of the open forum.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 27 KB

    Members must indicate at this stage any items on the agenda in which they must declare an interest.  Members must verbally give notice of their interest at the meeting and complete the form attached with this agenda. 


    Members are also advised to take advice with regard to any matter where there is potential bias or predetermination in any business to be considered at the meeting and whether they should take part in decision making at the meeting.


    Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011 and the Council's adopted Code of Conduct, they must declare the nature of any discloseable pecuniary interest; personal interest and/or prejudicial interest required of them and, in the case of any discloseable pecuniary interest or prejudicial interest, withdraw from the meeting during consideration of the item, unless permitted otherwise within the Code of Conduct.

    Additional documents:


    Further to the Council’s Code of Conduct, Councillor Cecile Biant indicated a personal interest in agenda item 8 ‘Neighbourhood Planning - Application for a Neighbourhood Area and Forum’ by virtue of an expression of interest to be considered for the Committee of the proposed Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum’, and Councillors Sultan Ali and O’Neill declared personal interests in agenda item 12 ‘Misuse of Allotment Sites’ by virtue of holding an allotment tenancy/a family member holding an allotment tenancy respectively.


Budget Presentation


    The Director of Resources introduced a video animation presenting the budget issues facing the Council and inviting residents and other stakeholders to participate in the Council’s budgetary considerations.  Savings proposals being considered within the budget development process for the 2016/17 budget were available for consultative purposes on the website, and further proposals would be posted there as the process continued through the year.


Policing presentation


    Sgt P Canavan, Greater Manchester Police, and M. Reynolds, Community Safety Services, Rochdale Council reported on outcomes from the first quarter 2015/16 crime statistics.  Members noted with disappointment and concern certain reported increases and considered the impact of funding reductions, with Sgt Canavan further advising on recent changes to the recording of reported crime.  A further report was made on work being undertaken with stakeholders to ensure that the town centre was a safer environment.


Open Forum

    Half an hour has been set aside for members of the public to raise any issues relevant to the business of the Committee and the Township.





    (a)          Use of overgrown or disused sites for allotment or social use

    Mr T Butterworth asked whether the Township could consider a policy to make overgrown or disused plots of land available to local people for allotment or social use.  To this end, the number of sites held by the Council or by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing or by other people or organisations in such a condition and not earmarked for development within the next six or twelve months was requested.


    The Township Officer advised that a full response had not been prepared to date due to the extent of the information requested.  The Chair suggested alternatively that details of any such sites noted should be forwarded to the Council for consideration.


    Members welcomed the commitment for community involvement in such projects, while noting the long term commitment and some basic requirements to make such schemes a success.  Reference was also made to work being undertaken with Petrus to identify such sites for volunteering purposes, and indicated that the head of Environmental Management would be asked to expand this consideration beyond Petrus.


    (b)          Heritage assets

    Further to the consideration at the meeting held on 22nd July, Mr C Faulkner indicated that while he had received certain information from a member of the Committee, this had not contained the detail he had been expecting.  He expressed a concern that a Freedom of Information request to the Council had been denied and that a response to a submitted review was overdue, advising that he would make appropriate referrals to the Ombudsman and Information Commissioner as required to access the information. 


    Members noted the comments and hoped that a response to Mr Faulkner could be speeded up.


    (c)          Swift Road - Village Green application

    Mrs M Basto addressed the Committee advising that residents had applied for Village Green status for the area, and while hoping for a favourable response indicated that should this fail it was intended to explore other means to achieve the objective.  Along with Mrs J Arden, they advised Committee of the use made of the area, that it represented the only area for play, was shown on house deeds as a village green, and commented that the site required little maintenance paid for via Council Tax.


    (d)        Springfield Park

    Mr D Logan, Friends of Springfield Park made a request for consideration of funding to the Friends Group from s106 monies for the renovation of the original running track in Springfield Park to encourage the fitness of the Springfield Park Junior football Team and to be similarly available to park users and the community on a general, no charge basis.


    Members welcomed the proposal in principle, the Township Officer acknowledging the receipt of the bid to be forwarded to the appropriate Officers for consideration alongside other bids for s106 funding and the relevant criteria.


    (e)        Traffic Regulation Order – Bury Road

    Mrs P McConnell expressed concerns at the procedures undertaken in the publicity for and subsequent approval of a Traffic  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 71 KB

    -       To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 22nd July 2015.


    DECIDED – That, subject to Minute 21(d) (Open Forum (Heritage Assets)) being amended by the substitution of the words in the first sentence ‘objections to’ with the words ‘concerns over’, the minutes of the meeting of the Rochdale Township Committee held on 22nd July 2015 be approved as a correct record.


Rochdale Township Action & Resources Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 59 KB


Savings Proposals 2016-2017, 2017-2018 pdf icon PDF 158 KB


Disposal of Land at Cut Lane/Caldershaw Road and Swift Road, Rochdale pdf icon PDF 153 KB

    Additional documents:


    The Committee received a report providing an update of the current position in respect of two plots of land at Cut Lane/Caldershaw Road, Rochdale and Swift Road, Rochdale and seeking a decision from the Committee as to the way forward on each site. 


    The recommendations were presented as disposal of the sites would be consistent with the Council’s corporate priorities of reducing its asset base and associated costs and obtaining capital receipts.  However, it was noted that Village Green applications had been submitted for each site which, if successful, would prevent development of the sites and that, should legislation change in the future, Community Asset Transfer would give the local communities a further opportunity to safeguard and invest in the sites.


    Alternatives considered:  The Council could retain the sites as Village Greens if applications were successful and the sites legally registered as such; the Council would remain responsible for maintenance and upkeep presenting an ongoing financial liability for the Council.  The Council could undertake a Community Asset Transfer to give the local communities opportunity to permanently safeguard the future of the sites in accordance with their priorities and to invest in the sites to enhance their value to the local communities.  Should the Village Green applications be unsuccessful, the Council could consider disposal of the sites on the open market for residential development, removing a maintenance liability and generating capital receipts and bringing new homes to the Borough, along with the associated New Homes Bonus and council tax income.


    The Chair noted that the position could not be resolved until the outcome of the Village Green applications was known, and indicated that further information as to the background to the re-acquisition of the land by the Council and associated terms should be presented prior to a final decision being made.


    DECIDED – That a decision on both sites be deferred pending resolution of the outcome of applications for Village Green status as such determinations would represent a material change in circumstances.

    Eligible for call-in:  Yes


Neighbourhood Planning - Application for a Neighbourhood Area and Forum pdf icon PDF 1 MB

    Additional documents:


    The Committee was advised that applications for the designation of a Neighbourhood Area and a Neighbourhood Forum had been received from the prospective Rooley Moor Forum in order to prepare a Neighbourhood Development Plan, and approval was sought to carry out public consultation as required by the Localism Act 2011 on the proposed applications.  A submitted report included the applications for the designation of a neighbourhood area, including a map of the proposed area, and for the designation of a Neighbourhood Forum.  Mr A Rawsterne, member of the proposed Neighbourhood Forum addressed the Committee in respect of the application.


    The recommendation was presented further to powers introduced by the Localism Act 2011 for local communities to become involved in planning matters and specifically related to the production of Neighbourhood Plans, Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders (CRtB).  The Council has a duty to consider and support the preparation of neighbourhood development plans by a neighbourhood forum constituted for a designated neighbourhood area.


    Alternatives considered – None, as the ability for local communities to come together to create a neighbourhood forum and plan for any development and infrastructure within their areas through the production of neighbourhood development plans was introduced by the Localism Act 2011. However, the Council is not obliged to adopt a neighbourhood development plan but may do so upon which the neighbourhood development plan will become a material planning consideration in the determination of future planning decisions for the particular neighbourhood area.


    DECIDED – That (1) the proposed Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Area boundary, as described in the submitted report, be approved as the basis for public consultation;

                (2) the Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum application be approved as a basis for consultation.

    Eligible for call-in - Yes


TBA site update pdf icon PDF 156 KB


Armed Forces pdf icon PDF 137 KB


Smith Street Experimental Closure Order


The Committee were advised of safety issues regarding a conflict between buses and pedestrians on Smith Street following the recent development of the area, and advised on potential solutions to the safety concerns so that a decision can be made to improve the situation.


The recommendation was presented as an experimental Traffic Regulation order (TRO) to remove buses accessing the bus station from Smith Street, raise the carriageway level of Smith Street for the length between Milton Street and the bus station to that of the surrounding footway while allowing access during emergencies or planned works that affect bus station access from Water Street.


Alternatives considered – To allow bus access along Smith Street during peak periods only would achieve very little, other than improving safety during the off-peak period and evenings.  To only allow bus access along Smith Street after 6pm and before 7am would improve pedestrian safety but may cause confusion to both pedestrians and bus operators.  To remove buses completely from Smith Street but maintain the carriageway/footways as existing and allow access during emergencies or planned works that affect access from Water Street would need a removable bollard to be positioned at the Milton Street end of Smith Street to prevent non authorised access.


DECIDED – That (1) an experimental scheme as detailed in paragraph 2.2 to the submitted report be approved, and the Head of Highways and Engineering Service be authorised to promote, advertise and make the required Experimental Traffic Regulation Order;

(2) should no objections be received to the experimental Traffic Regulation Order, the Head of Highways and Engineering Service be authorised to make the experimental Order permanent.

Eligible for call-in:  Yes


Exclusion of Press and Public

    To consider excluding the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business in accordance with the provisions of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.






    DECIDED – That the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business since it is likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, namely information relating to the business or financial affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).


Misuse of Allotment Sites


    The Committee considered a report of the Director of Economy and Environment which advised Members on the approach to be taken in respect of the management of allotment sites and to advise on the specific measures proposed to be put in place at certain problem sites in order to safeguard the future availability of allotments to the public.


    The recommendation was presented to address the lengthy waiting list for allotments and to circumstances where allotment plots were not being used in accordance with the terms and conditions of the allotment tenancy agreement.


    Alternatives considered: No action could be taken.  However this would not address the current waiting list and would not address concerns being expressed regarding inappropriate use at certain locations.


    DECIDED – That (1) all allotments be managed as allotment sites and where plots have been used as garden extensions measures be taken to return these to allotment sites where it is practicable to do so;

                (2) alternative uses for allotment sites and plots as garden extensions, parking spaces, grazing sites or stables should be resisted as allotment sites are presently in short supply;

                (3) Officers identify additional land to bring forward into allotment use;

                (4) where it is not practical to return plots to allotment use, Officers pursue the measures set out in the submitted report;

    (5) it be noted that while no current occupier of an allotment site would be evicted from the plot they occupy or be asked to change their current use of the site, some may be asked to pay an increased fee for their continued use in line with the discretionary fees and charges rates applicable to garden tenancies rather than allotment sites.

    Eligible for Call-in: Yes