Agenda and minutes

Venue: Syke Community Base, Syke Methodist Chapel, Syke Road, Rochdale. View directions

Contact: Gary Finch - Tel: 01706 924817 

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 15 KB


The Chair welcomed all to the meeting and reminded Forum members about the Code of Conduct and asked everyone to comply with the code throughout the meeting.


Greater Manchester Police including PACT meeting pdf icon PDF 1 MB


PCSO Stewart and Vohra attended the meeting for this item.


The Forum was informed that the local neighbourhood policing team had been unsuccessful in organising traffic initiatives within the Ward since the last Area Forum in March. The reason for this is that the traffic unit has seen staffing resources significantly reduced in recent years which is now impacting upon capacity. However the local neighbourhood policing team are very much aware of the problems in the Ward regarding speeding and are looking to undertake training which would enable them to carry out traffic operations. Having said this traffic operations facilitated in this way would not be enforceable, however any drivers found to be speeding would be sent a warning letter.


Residents expressed their disappointment with this and reinforced the message that more needed to be done. A number of speeding hot spots were also identified – Fieldhouse Road, Dewhirst Road, Mizzy Road, Shawclought Road, Whitworth Road and Bentley Street. It was stated that Bentley Street would be subject to traffic calming measures in the near future.


Residents also raised concerns about off-road bike nuisance in the Ward.


GMP commented that this type of nuisance is a problem across the borough and it is hoped that another specific operation aimed at off-road bikes will be organised in the near future. Residents were reminded that GMP has a no pursuit policy which does not help the situation. Residents again were encouraged to report incidents of this nature providing as much information as possible.


The following issues were raised by residents:


1.    It was commented that drug dealing on Syke Road continues and has been going on for some time. Residents expressed their concerns and disappointment that this is reported regularly and nothing seems to happen or change.


2.    A number of residents commented that police patrols are never seen and that more police visibility is required.


In response it was commented that PCSO’s in the Neighbourhood Policing Team are regularly policing the Ward. However they can be diverted elsewhere as priorities change. It was also commented that recruitment within GMP is ongoing and the Positive Action Team will be visiting Rochdale soon.


3.    In response to a question concerning CCTV in the Ward it was stated that CCTV would only be deemed appropriate if a high volume of incidents had been reported.


4.    A Homewatch member was concerned that Co-ordinators are no longer being informed about crime in the vicinity which can be subsequently cascaded. In addition the Homewatch ‘monthly update is only received quarterly.


The Officers present agreed to report these concerns.


Because of time constraints it was not possible to report crime figures for the Ward over the last three months. However these are as follows:


-       Domestic burglary 26 previously 16


-       Other burglary 5 previously 0


-       Theft of vehicle 3 previously 4


-       Theft from a vehicle 23 previously 16


-       Anti-social behaviour incidents 15 previously 28


-       Criminal damage 28 previously 15


It was agreed that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 166.


Role of the Public Realm Inspector


Lee Wardle, Public Realm Inspector attended the meeting for this item.


The meeting was informed that the role of Public Realm Inspector was created in April 2017 and is an amalgamation of the roles of Environmental Enforcement Officer and Community Safety Officer.


Legislation that is pertinent to the role is:


-       Environmental Protection Act 1990

-       Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982

-       Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

-       Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949

-       Public Health Act 1936

-       The Highways Act 1980

-       Town & Country Planning Act 1990

-       Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996

-       Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

-       Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

-       Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014


Relevant day to day activities include dealing with:


-       Accumulation of waste on private land

-       Dog fouling

-       Fly tipping

-       Littering

-       Grafitti

-       Abandoned vehicles

-       Illegal structures on the highway

-       Skips

-       Parking on verges

-       Dangerous structures on highway

-       A-boards

-       Water discharging onto highway

-       Illegal vehicle access

-       Travellers

-       Anti-social behaviour

-       Crime prevention


A resident asked if it was ok to place black bins liners next to a litter bin, if the bin was full.


In response to this the Forum was informed this action in theory constitutes illegal tipping.


A resident reported that the garden to a property on Jefferson Way was full of furniture.


The Public Realm Inspector agreed to investigate this further.




Open Forum - An opportunity for local residents to comment on issues in the ward


Residents raised the following issues:


1.    The Carr Hill House bushes are bordering on obstructing the footpath. This is especially problematic near to the path up to the house.


Response: This will be reported.


2.    When will the bollards be installed on New Street (near to the Talbot’s Head).


Response: The Township and Engagement Officer stated that Highways had recently been in touch to understand the siting of the bollards. Because of this it is hoped that installation will be soon.


3.    What is the current position on the Whitworth Road Route Study that was commissioned from Ward Funds in 2017?


Response: The study has been completed. Options from the study have yet to be costed.


4.    Given that Wilko’s, in addition to other High Street shops have announced closures are Rochdale Borough Council wise to continue with the Riverside Development.


Response: Although the residents point of view was understood it was reiterated that development within the Town was crucial, doing nothing was not an option. It is hoped that the Riverside Development will encourage residents to shop in the Town and stop going elsewhere, will provide greater choice, create jobs and promote the day / night economy.


5.    What will happen to the Wheatsheaf Centre and Exchange Square going forward?


Response: Unsure


6.    Does the local authority have any input into the setting of business rates.


Response: Central Government is responsible for the setting of business rates, however the local authority can offer reductions to encourage / support businesses.


7.    Car parking has been significantly reduced in the Town Centre, are there any plans to increase car parking spaces.


Response: There are a number of car parks within or near to the Town Centre. Longer term it is likely that the car parking spaces at the front of the Town Hall will be removed due to its redevelopment. There are no plans to introduce additional parking places at this stage.

8.    A resident commented that he had approached Environmental Management on a number of occasions to ask if the service holes on the Common can be made safe. However he has received no replies.


The Public Realm Inspector agreed to investigate this further.


9.    A resident raised concerns about cars and motor bikes accessing the Common and if it would be possible to introduce a number of measures to make this more difficult.


The Township and Engagement Officer agreed to meet with the resident.




Ward/Members Funds


It was reported that Ward / Members Funds for 2018/19 are not known at this stage. However they are likely to be agreed at Rochdale Township Committee on the 13th June.


Potential Projects 2018/19


The following requests had been received from residents and a Ward Councillor as potential projects for 2018/19: The information below was circulated at the meeting.


Project outline




1 Restoration of the Pack Horse Trail

This has been referred to Environmental Management to see if they would be interested in undertaking this as a project. It is understood an Officer from Environmental Management has met with the resident, however the outcome of this meeting is unknown.



2 Introduction of bollards / signpost / dropped kerb or painted lines on ‘John Bright’ car park to assist pedestrian access.

Asked Environmental Management for a price for bollards.



3 Litter around John Bright car park and Greenbank School to be cleared

Not necessarily a project to be funded from Ward / Members Fund. This has been reported on many occasions to Environmental Management.



4 Three trees recently planted on the Common (Greenbank Road) were subsequently vandalised. Suggestion received to replace these trees.




5 Trees planted in groups on the Common

The City of Trees project will be contacted to see if they can help with this.



6 All tree stumps on the Common to be removed – approximately 19.

Have been advised by Environmental Management that this is not part of their general maintenance programme, therefore would need to be financed. Informed this can be an expensive operation.



7 Repair to flags and general tidying up of the heritage lottery garden




8 Marsh plants on the Common need treating to avoid extensive spreading

Asked Environmental Management if this is part of their general maintenance programme.



9. Wild flower areas to be planted




10 Raise edging stones on the roads to stop cars parking on the Common

Extremely expensive operation



11 Improve the footpath that runs across the Common from Cronkeyshaw Road to Heights Lane



In addition to the above comments it was agreed that in relation to:


-       Project number 4 no more action should be taken


As a result of the Forum requesting that an additional meeting be organised to deal specifically with Cronkeyshaw Common and Syke Pond it was agreed to raise the above related issues at that meeting.


Updates on issues raised at previous meeting


The following update was provided:


Council Policy on A-Boards – All business owners can have a maximum of one A-Board advertising their business and that all such boards are up against the building from which their business operates. Anything which is considered a danger can be removed immediately and any particular concerns are dealt with through advice / notice / legal proceedings.


Apologies for absences and approval of the minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 73 KB


Apologies had been received from Councillor O’Neill, V. Heather, S.Dixon and J. Murphy.


The minutes of the Area Forum meeting held on Thursday 8th March 2018 were approved as a correct record subject to the following amendment;


Minute 163 should read – Syke Methodist Church will be 150 years old this year.


Matters arising from those minutes not listed as agenda items


The following matters were raised:


Minute 159 (point 3) – Ashmount Drive / Mizzy Road resurfacing – now complete.


Minute 161 (point 2) Do not feed geese signs – feeding is still being carried out.


In addition to the above it was reported that the feeding of geese is taking place on Heights Lane. The Public Realm Inspector agreed to investigate this further as a potential littering offence was taking place.


Councillors' News


Ward Councillors informed the Forum of the following issues:


1.    The Council had received a £680k grant to produce a development plan for the Town Hall.


2.    The Lincoln Street link road is now open which will hopefully ease traffic congestion and traffic flow in the area.


3.    Regeneration work will be undertaken on Drake Street.


4.    It is proposed to undertake a local campaign to stop lorry’s over 7.5t using Shawclough Road. This was supported by the Forum.


Good News from people in the area and Syke Community Base


The following issues were raised:


1.    The work on Syke Base is progressing.


2.    Residents are keen to obtain conservation status for the Syke Common area.


3.    The picnic benches are being used.


4.    Residents are keen to protect the green belt.


Date and time of the next meetings


The next Area Forum meeting will be held on Thursday 18th October 2018, commencing 6.30pm at Syke Community Base. This meeting will also include the Annual General Meeting and election of Chair and Vice Chair.


In addition to this it is planned to organise an additional Forum meeting to deal specifically with issues relating to Cronkeyshaw Common and Syke Pond. Date to be arranged.