Venue: Syke Community Base, Syke Methodist Chapel, Syke Road, Rochdale. View directions
Contact: Gary Finch - Tel: 01706 924817
The Chair welcomed all to the meeting and reminded forum members of the need to adhere to the code of conduct for the duration of the meeting.
The Chair also informed the Forum that she would be standing down at the annual general meeting in October and that a new Chair would be required.
Apologies had been received from Councillors O’Neill and Wazir and two members of the public.
Greater Manchester Police including PACT meeting (start at 6.30pm)
PS Sutcliffe, PC Havard and PCSO Cottam attended the meeting for this item.
It was explained that because of problems with GMP’s computer system it had not been possible to produce crime statistics for tonight’s meeting. However the Forum was informed of the following:
1. The area has suffered from a recent spike in burglaries.
In response to the above information a lengthy discussion took place about this, facilitated by a group of Shawclough residents who had suffered burglary or witnessed suspicious activity in the area, primarily in the early hours of the morning. Residents also raised concerns about the lack of visible police presence and what home owners could do within the law in providing information to GMP.
GMP commented that they do have limited resources and capacity, however wherever possible they will visit if incidents of this nature are reported. It was stated that responses are intelligence led, therefore residents should report all criminal / suspicious activity via 101, the live chat facility or directly via email to the Neighbourhood Policing Team.
Some residents stated that they have been reporting incidents of anti-social behaviour for some time, yet nothing seems to change. The GMP Officers present reassured residents that they are committed to making the area safer and referred to a recent example in the Central Ward where similar concerns were raised with GMP and other services taking the appropriate action to reduce the incidence of ASB.
Residents were advised that when reporting incidents they should provide as much information as possible including number plate evidence and any CCTV data that is available. However residents were informed they should not approach the individuals they witness undertaking criminal activity / acting suspiciously.
GMP also commented that hot spot areas are targeted and patrolled usually with plain clothes officers and unmarked police cars.
The Forum was also advised that GMP are keen on setting up Homewatch Schemes across the Ward and encouraged residents to sign up to such schemes.
Residents also reported drug dealing – Syke Road and the tunnel which goes under Whitworth Road adjacent to Bentley Street being identified and the problems that dangerous parking causes across the Ward.
It was agreed that the priorities for the Ward should be anti-social behaviour, burglary and theft of vehicles.
Open Forum - An opportunity for local residents to comment on issues in the Ward (start at 7pm)
Residents raised the following issues:
1. The traffic island at the junction of Falinge Road / Sherrif Street has been completely smashed. It was also asked if the island could be moved as it seems to need repairing on a regular basis.
2. A resident asked what the public transport policy is regarding stopping to pick passengers up on certain sections of Shawclough Way where no bus stops exist – Glenavon Drive and Overdale were mentioned.
3. It was reported that littering still remains at the site of the bonfire on the Common and that the rubbish that was reported at Gandy Lane, some months ago, still remains.
4. A resident asked why the Council had removed the flagstones from around Thrum Hall pond.
5. It was asked if a litter bin could be installed near to Hazel Grove Farm
6. A resident asked what the bin and road sweeper schedule was around the Common.
7. It was reported that commercial vehicles are parking outside recycling centres and taking rubbish into the centre.
It was commented that the above will be reported to the appropriate service or investigated further where possible.
Common and Pond Working Group Update
A copy of the Common and Pond Working Group minutes for the meeting held on Tuesday 3 December 2019 were circulated at the meeting for information.
The Chair explained further that it had been discussed and subsequently agreed that a Friends Group should be established for the Common. One of the main advantages of setting up a group of this nature is that funding can be applied for that is not available to the Council. Following a brief discussion it was agreed to invite a Council Officer to the next Area Forum meeting to discuss the setting up of a Friends Group.
The Forum was also informed that a substantial number of additional trees would be introduced on to the Common and that a tree planting session has been organised for Monday 30th March. Any residents interested in getting involved should meet at Syke Base at 10am.
Updates on issues raised at previous meetings
It was reported that the two issues on the update sheet – the steps at Waingap Rise and the traffic calming / safety measures on Shawclough Road near to the junction with Shawclough Way – remain outstanding
It was explained that all Ward and Members Funds (£14000) for 2019/20 had been allocated. The following projects had been supported:
Pot House Lane / Dewhirst Road Junction Grit Bin
Shawclough Road Litter Bins
Falinge Fold Grit Bin
Whitworth Road Bus Stop Clearway
Syke Common Trees
Hawley Green Grit Bin
Dell Road Litter Bin
Community at Christmas
Do not feed the birds signs
Syke Base Kitchen Equipment
Syke Common Footpath
Dewhirst Road Speed Survey
Following a brief discussion it was agreed that the wording on the notice board should read Cronkeyshaw / Healey Community Notice Board. It was also suggested that a notice board could be funded from next year’s allowances in the Shawclough Area.
The minutes of the Area Forum meeting held on Thursday 17 October 2019 were approved as a correct record.
Matters arising from those minutes not listed as agenda items
It was reported that the following issues still required attention:
- Overgrown weeds at Waingap Rise / Stoneyheys
- White goods continue to be placed on the pavement outside a shop on Whitworth Road
It was reported that the following issues had been completed:
- The trees at Hawley Green, near to the bus stop had been cut.
- Two new litter bins at Shawclough Stores have been installed.
Forum members were informed of the following:
1. The Town Hall is due to close on the 31 December 2020. Redevelopment work is due to commence on the 1 February 2021.
Arrangements are being made for staff and services that are currently located in the Town Hall to be re-located. It is likely that the majority of these services will move into Number 1 Riverside. It is also likely that the Council Chamber and Mayor’s Parlour will move into the same venue.
2. Regeneration within and around the Town Centre continues with plans for new business and residential development.
3. A new birthing unit is planned for Rochdale Infirmary.
4. Funding for a 20mph school zone (Brownhill Community School) on Heights Lane has recently been agreed.
News from people in the area and Syke Community Base
The following issues were raised:
1. A number of opportunities currently exist at Syke Base for residents to get together at lunch time – Lunch Together, Pie and Peas, Luncheon Club. All the above run once per month.
2. The Forum was informed that a recent application for funding in connection with the re-development of the base had been rejected. A shortfall of approximately £80k exist for the re-development plans. A planning application has been submitted for change of use to the building.
Date and time of the next meetings
Thursday 2 April 2020, commencing 6pm at Syke Base.