Venue: Wardleworth Community Centre, South Street, Rochdale OL16 2EP. View directions
Contact: Gary Finch - Tel: 01706 924817
The Chair welcomed all to the meeting and introductions were made. Area Forum members were requested to adhere to the code of conduct for the duration of the meeting.
Apologies had been received from Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed.
Greater Manchester Police
PC Marvell and PC Giblin attended the meeting for this item and informed the forum of the following issues.
1. A drugs warrant was executed in the Lower Falinge Area which resulted in three males being arrested for breach of court order, burglary and abstraction of electricity. This exercise was carried out as part of Operation Avro.
Following on from the above a closure order was successfully applied for and the tenant evicted. Historically the tenant had been responsible for anti-social behaviour, drug activity and criminal behaviour which had significantly impacted upon neighbours in the vicinity.
2. A traffic operation was undertaken on George Street, Bishop Street and Entwistle Road which resulted in numerous traffic contraventions being identified.
3. A male arrested for intimidating a witness was remanded in prison until his Court date in June.
4. A resident in the Ward has recently been found guilty of harassment and criminal damage towards a neighbour. Another resident is due for trial on similar charges in respect of the same neighbour later in the year.
5. Representatives of GMP attended the International Women’s Day event held at Wardleworth Community Centre.
6. Representatives of GMP periodically attend fishing events with pupils from Falinge High School who have challenging behaviour. The purpose of this engagement is to deter the youngsters from anti-social behaviour and criminality.
7. GMP’s partnership with BASA continues to grow with several events taking place – gym sessions, running clubs and football matches.
The following issues were raised:
- A Ward Councillor commented that residents had raised concerns about drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and quad bike issues in the Ward.
- The Ward Councillors present expressed their thanks to GMP for their continued efforts in the Ward.
- Residents raised concerns about speeding in the Ward and requested that more Speedwatch initiatives are undertaken. Speeding problems on South Street, Oswald Street and West Street were identified. It was agreed to refer this issue to Highways to see if additional traffic calming measures could be introduced in the area.
- A resident expressed his disappointment at the way in which GMP had responded to a number of burglaries in the Ward.
Development of the old Mecca Bingo site
Nichola Grogan, Funding Manager, RCOE Learning Pathway CIC attended the meeting to inform forum members that a planning application has been submitted to change the former Mecca Bingo site into an indoor sports complex and gym. The plans propose to change configuration within the facility to create football pitches, cricket lanes, a gymnasium and running track.
In addition the facility will be used to provide targeted support sessions to vulnerable groups. These sessions would be free of charge however charges would apply for the hiring of the sports facilities.
It was also explained that it is hoped to open the facility in the Summer 2023.
Residents raised a number of points including:
- Concerns over fees being payable for some sports.
In response it was explained that the facility is being run as a business, although targeted support sessions would be free to the user.
- Concerns that the offer would conflict with other services provided in the area.
In response it was explained that the facilities on offer would support and complment existing provision.
- The new enterprise was encouraged to engage and consult with the community concerning provision going forward.
This was acknowledged.
- It was asked what the referral rate to the CIC would be?
It was explained that figures for this are not available as the facility is not open at this stage.
In general the forum was in support of this development.
The minutes of the Area Forum meeting held on Monday 27 February 2023 were approved as a correct record.
Updates provided included:
- £5000 has been awarded to undertake an investigation into the introduction of a pedestrian crossing on Howard Street.
- Stuart Morris, Strategic Lead, Housing has indicated he will attend the area forum meeting in August 2023 to discuss the proposed development to the rear of KYP.
The following issues were raised:
1 Residents raised concerns about the proposed development behind KYP.
It was explained that no decision had been made about the development as plans were still in their early stages. A consultation exercise had been undertaken and it was likely further consultation would occur.
It was also explained that Stuart Morris, Strategic Lead, Housing has indicated he will attend the area forum meeting in August 2023 to discuss this proposed development.
It was also commented that residents may have seen some activity on the site, however this is investigatory work evaluating if the land is suitable for building purposes.
A resident also stated that workmen had attended the site and removed fencing without replacing it. This will be reported to the relevant service.
2 A resident raised concerns about trees growing out of riverbank wall adjacent to Morley Street.
3 It was asked why grass is not removed following grass cutting and why certain areas of weeds had been ignored.
In response it was explained that the Council Policy is not to pick up the grass that has been cut as this is time consuming and incurs additional costs. The issue concerning weeds will be reported to the appropriate service.
4 A resident raised concerns about the state of the field at Heybrook School and the fact that it should be cut more regularly, especially during the summer months, to encourage greater public use. It was agreed to investigate this further.
5 A discussion took place about the availability of funding in the Ward and the need to improve how the area forum is advertised / promoted.
In response it was explained that there are three funding streams available to residents – Township Committee, Members and Ward. Rochdale Township Committee is meeting on the 7 June 2023 to agree budgets for the forthcoming year. Once this has been decided residents can request an application form from the Township Office to seek funding for projects.
It was agreed to consider ways in which area forum meetings could be advertised / prmoted.
6 A resident challenged why Councillors do not reply to her emails.
7 Concerns were raised about the state of South Street Play Area and why it is taking so long to develop the site.
In response it was explained that funding has now been secured for the site and plans for the development of the site are in preparation.
8 A resident raised concerns about the poor condition of the highway on Cook Terrace.
It was explained that this is being investigated.
The following updates were provided:
- Residents were encouraged to attend the ‘Open Forum’ section of Rochdale North Township Committee to raise concerns/ask questions.
- Funds to support community projects will be available following Rochdale North Township Committee next week (7 June). It was commented that there had been a poor response from the community last year for financial support for local projects.
- Concerns were raised about the level of littering and fly tipping in the Ward. Residents were reminded of the Bulky Waste Collection Service and the fact that households of more than six people can request an additional bin.
- In response to a question it was commented that the area forum meeting could not be live streamed due to capacity issues.
- It was agreed to consider ways to promote/advertise the forum, provide updates on issues raised and promote/advertise the funding available to the community.
Date and time of the next meeting
Tuesday 1 August 2023, commencing 6.30pm at Wardleworth Community Centre.