Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Michael Garraway  4716

No. Item


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 Sheerin declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 3 (Open Forum - “Link4Life Membership Fees”), as he had been appointed by the Council to the Board of Link4Life.


Greater Manchester Police - Update


    Inspector Nicholson and Sergeant Twidale (Greater Manchester Police) updated the Township Committee on activities and initiatives that were undertaken by Greater Manchester Police in the Rochdale Township Division.


    The Committee were advised that Chief Superintendent Neil Evans had taken over the Rochdale, Oldham and Tameside Division of Greater Manchester Police with effect from Monday 9th January 2017. Chief Superintendent Evans will hold responsibility for the policing team in the area which had recently been extended and now included responsibility for the Oldham and Tameside Boroughs.


    The Committee were advised that Greater Manchester Police had undertaken several operations over the Christmas and New Year period in Rochdale town centre, which were designed to combat anti-social behaviour. The holiday period had passed without serious incidents and Members of the Committee noted that the increased police presence was a significant factor in this regard.   


    Members of the Committee in discussing the presentation sought details of prosecutions of people driving whilst under the influence of alcohol and drugs during the study period and information of strategies which the police are undertaking to tackle drug dealing in the Borough.


    A Member also suggested that, in light of a number of serious road accidents that had occurred in Rochdale Township the Police be requested to undertake exercises designed to increase road safety and to decrease the number of motor accidents in the Township and to monitor traffic movements. Representatives of Greater Manchester Police welcomed this proposal.


    DECIDED – That (1) the Greater Manchester Police update be noted and welcomed;

                (2) Greater Manchester Police be requested undertake traffic exercises in the Rochdale Township, designed to increase road safety and to reduce accidents.  


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.


    The following matter was raised in the Committee’s Open Forum session:


    a)    Link4Life Membership Fees

    The Township Committee considered the views of Mr Shaukat Ali who addressed the Committee objecting to proposals by Link4Life to change the use of their facilities, from 2017/18, in particular, the proposed charge of over £10 per game when playing badminton and other racquet sports. Mr Ali added that currently playing badminton during off-peak times and at the weekends had been free of charge. In this regard Mr. Ali presented a petition that he asked be forwarded to representatives of Link4Life for further consideration.


    Members of the Township Committee advised that Link4Life was a separate organisation to the Council and as such had responsibility for setting their own fees and charges. However the Committee expressed its sympathy for Mr. Ali and Councillor Sheerin, in his capacity as a Council appointed Member of the Link4Life Board, undertook to make representations to the Link4Life Board regarding the proposed charges. 


Minutes pdf icon PDF 81 KB

    To consider the Minutes of the meeting of Rochdale Township Committee held 30th November 2016.


    The Committee considered the Minutes of the previous meeting held 30th November 2016. Further to minute 43 (Playing Pitch Strategy), the Chair reported that apparently little consideration had been made towards the work done by Link4Life, Ward Councillors and local residents in bringing the St Wilfred's Playing Fields back to its original use and he requested that these comments be forwarded to the Director of Neighbourhoods.


    A Member of the Committee referred to Minute 42 (Sale of Land at Trub Street/Manchester Road, Castleton) and noted that the resolution (1) should be amended to reflect more accurately the decision made by the Committee that: ‘the land identified within the submitted report at Trub Street/Manchester Road, Castleton be disposed of on the open market om the condition that the land be used for housing purposes’.


    A Member referred to Minute 47 (Proposed removal of BT Payphone Box) and suggested that consideration of disused phone boxes for storage of defibrillators be considered. 


    DECIDED – That (1) subject to the amendment of decision (1) in respect of Minute 42 (Land at Trub Street/Manchester Road, Castleton), as outlined above, the Minutes of the meeting of Rochdale Township Committee held 30th November 2016 be approved as a correct record;

                (2) the Director of Neighbourhoods be requested to meet with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Township Committee to discuss matters relating to the development of the Playing Pitch Strategy, as outlined above;

    (3) the Committee request that consideration be given for disused payphone boxes in the Borough to be used as storage places for defibrillators and the Director of Public Health be advised accordingly.


Rochdale Township Action and Resources Delegated Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 74 KB


Review of Sites of Biological Importance (SBIs) - Brownhouse Wham and Hamer Pastures Reservoirs pdf icon PDF 2 MB

    Additional documents:


    The Committee considered a report of the Director of Economy that informed Members of a proposed change to the Brownhouse Wham and Hamer pastures reservoirs Site of Biological Importance (SBI). The Committee was being asked to approve the change and the consequent update of the local SBI register for planning purposes.


    The recommendations in the report were presented as Planning Officers had recently received the results of a Review which Greater Manchester Ecology Unit had undertaken in 2015 and they had recommended that a change to an SBI in Rochdale Township be made to increase the size of Brownhouse Wham and Hamer Pastures Reservoirs SBI by 1.4 hectares. This site, which is grade B, is just north of Syke and consists of two disused catchment reservoirs and surrounding area that have developed significant ecological interest; it supports open water, neutral grassland, acid grassland, bog and mire. The extension would incorporate additional bankside vegetation which is mainly grasslands: species include crested dogs-tail, matt grass, sweet vernal grass, tormentil, sheep’s sorrel, common sorrel, bluebell, plantain, bilberry and field woodrush.


    Alternatives considered: to inform the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit that the Council does not wish to approve the change detailed in the report for planning purposes. This would mean that the SBI would not carry as much weight in planning decisions that may affect it and other decisions which may affect it, such as applications for funding.


    DECIDED – That the Township Committee approves the change to the SBI and the SBI register as detailed in the submitted report, for planning purposes, because the proposed change will increase the area of important local habitat to be protected for the benefit of biodiversity and the quality of the local environment, for planning and potential funding purposes.

    Eligible for call-in: Yes.


Townships in Bloom pdf icon PDF 159 KB

    Additional documents:


    The Township Committee considered a report of the Director of Neighbourhoods which updated Members on environmental landscape improvement projects achieved in 2016 across the Township and on improvements to the grounds and streets maintenance programmes and methods of work. 


    The report also highlighted the impact of these improvements in raising the Council and Township profile/winning Britain in Bloom Awards and suggested potential further improvements for 2017.


    The Chair invited Members of the Committee to address the Committee to provide an update on Rochdale’s excellent performance at the recent Britain in Bloom Awards.


    The Committee congratulated and thanked all those involved in the projects carried out across the Township which had improved the environment for local residents and which had been acknowledged in the large number of awards for Rochdale at the Britain in Bloom Awards.


    Officers advised that a further report on the 2017/18 ‘In Bloom’ proposals would be submitted to the next scheduled meeting of the Township Committee on 22nd March 2017.


    DECIDED – (1) that the environmental projects and the improvements to the grounds and streets maintenance programmes for 2016 as detailed within the submitted report be noted;

    (2) that the Committee congratulates and places on record it’s thanks to all those involved in the excellent performance of Rochdale at the recent Britain in Bloom Awards;

    (3) that a further report on funding proposals for the 2017 ‘In Bloom’ events be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee on 22nd March 2017.

    Eligible for call in – no, item presented for information only.


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).


Disposal of Land to Rochdale Society of Model and Experimental Engineers


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Economy which recommended that Members give consent to the disposal of land currently occupied by the Rochdale Society of Model and Experimental Engineers (RSMEE) as the miniature railway at Springfield Park, Rochdale to RSMEE by way of a 99 Year Lease. A plan of the land in question was circulated with the report.


The recommendations in the report were presented as the RSMEE had been in occupation of the land in question for many decades, but had never had a formal lease. RSMEE occupies on the basis of an annual, renewable licence solely for the front part of the track including the engineering shed, station and storage areas at the area close to the Marland Fold/Bolton Road entrance to the park. By granting a formal lease RSMEE would be able to attract funding to assist with specific projects such as fencing, improvements to the track and security for their buildings.


Alternatives considered: Allowing the current situation to continue was not considered viable; the existing lease did not cover the whole of the site, and didn’t provide security of tenure to RSMEE. Granting a lease of 25 - 30 years would have achieved RSMEE’s requirements for funding, but by granting a 99 year lease the Council was securing the future of a valuable attraction to one of the Borough’s important parks.


DECIDED – that the current occupation of this land by RSMEE be regularised by a formal lease for a term of 99 years at a nominal rent.

Eligible for call-in: yes.