Agenda and minutes

Venue: Deeplish Community Centre, Hare Street, Rochdale OL11 1JT. View directions

Contact: Gary Finch - Tel: 01706 924817 

No. Item


Introductions and Apologies/Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 15 KB


The Chair introduced himself and officers present, and welcomed all to the meeting.  He referred to the code of conduct and asked all to abide by the code for the duration of the meeting.

A member of the public attempted to film the meeting.  Whilst it was accepted that it was his right to do so, a number of attendees expressed deep concerns and discomfort.  The Chair respectfully asked that the filming cease, as no prior notice had been given.  Filming stopped immediately.


Greater Manchester Police including PACT meeting


The forum welcomed PC Waqas who is new to the ward.  PC Waqas updated the forum on the following matters:

·           Drug operations – there has been a lot of positive action and a number of arrests made.

·           Fireworks – dedicated patrols have taken place across the Borough.

·           Prostitution – A number of motorists in the area have been challenged, which has led to a decrease in the number of sex workers on the streets and an increase in referrals to specialist services.

·           The National Crime Agency has been working in Rochdale, as have the North West and South East Regional Crime Units, on Operation Titan.  Operations around modern slavery and human trafficking have also taken place.

·           A new initiative called ‘Ride-along’ has been developed which involves members of the public accompanying the Police on their patrols.  Any interested residents were invited to express an interest in taking part.

·           Operation Guard is an initiative to tackle commercial burglaries and is now underway.

·           In the New Year the Police intend to carry out primary school visits and to attend Councillor surgeries.  There are also planned traffic operations around non-wearing of seatbelts, mobile phone use whilst driving, etc.

·           It is planned to introduce a ‘Community Deputy’ scheme, which will see residents taking responsibility for information sharing in their own streets, similar to Neighbourhood Watch.


The current priorities are traffic offences, drugs and anti-social behaviour, particularly groups in cars.

A discussion about street beggars took place and residents were informed that it is often the case that beggars are not homeless and are encouraged to continue their activity by people giving them food and money – all were encouraged not to do so and to give to charities to distribute instead.

101 Number
There was a discussion about the difficulties getting through on 101.  PC Waqas advised residents of other ways of getting in touch with the Police including Live Chat via the GMP website:


Open Forum


Street cleaning
There were claims that the footpaths are not swept regularly enough and litter picking on grassed areas isn’t happening.  Also reports of rubbish around Milkstone Road railway bridge.
Action 1: Raise frequency of cleaning/sweeping cycle with Street Services (Mark Reynolds)

Durham Street private land
A resident reported that there is rubbish dumped on this garage site, which has led to mice in the area.
Action 2: Arrange visit and any necessary enforcement action (Mark Reynolds)

Parking issues
Councillor Zaheer confirmed a proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for the Castlemere Street area had not been supported by Rochdale Township Action & Resources Committee, but a TRO for Milkstone Road was approved.  A long discussion took place around parking throughout the ward; members had received a copy of a detailed report compiled by Rochdale Council’s Highways Officers that responded to all of the issues raised at recent forums and subsequent public consultations.  Councillors will work with residents, and the recommendations/observations contained in the report, to identify any possible future schemes.

King Street power cut
It was reported that at 2.30am on 28 November 2018 an explosion happened which led to a power-cut.  Whilst Electricity North West (ENW) had power restored by 3.30am, it was claimed that nobody attended to look for the source of the explosion or to inspect any damage.  A resident inspected at 6.30pm on 29 November 2018 and discovered a 6ft pit leading to high voltage cables.  There were claims that this was the second explosion of this kind.  Residents were informed that the emergency telephone number for ENW is 105.
Action 3: Make enquiries with ENW around the nature of this occurrence and the likelihood of a repeat (Gary Finch)


Minutes from previous meeting/Matters arising/Updates pdf icon PDF 63 KB


Future venue
The previous decision to alternate between Castlemere and Deeplish Community Centres was discussed.  Due to the outstanding commitment to Deeplish for the current year, the alternate venues will not be utilised until 2019/20.

Community Centre funding proposals
The forum was informed, via the floor, that there is a proposal to reduce grants to Community Centres by 50% next financial year, and concerns that some vital services will be lost, and some will close.  Councillor Zaheer acknowledged these concerns, explaining that Council funds were now greatly reduced and that savings have to be made.

Stoneyfield Park
Rochdale AFC are offering free coaching sessions at 10am on Saturdays, in order to encourage young Asian people into football.  Councillors accepted that there have been previous commitments to improvements – i.e. floodlights, changing rooms, and they are still committed to looking for the funding to achieve this.  Link4Life are also offering many sports for £1 per session during the Winter at various venues.

Chunky Chicken
The Traffic Regulation Order recently agreed for Milkstone Road will impact on how this business addresses the removal of its trade waste.  The Public Realm Inspector stressed that the business is absolutely compliant with trade waste and stated that all parties will need to come together to help identify a solution when the issue presents itself.


Councillor Updates


Councillor Brett
Apologies received.

Councillor Zaman
No updates, due to Mayoral duties.

Councillor Zaheer

·           Working hard to tackle many issues; budgets are often a barrier.

·           Currently working to promote Lincoln Close to motorists in order to reduce traffic on Durham Street.

·           Recycling rates in the ward are improving, work is ongoing.

·           Fire Service Museum – successful lottery bid, work due to begin.

·           Compulsory Purchase Orders – properties have been identified and the process is now beginning.


Rochdale Environmental Action Group


The group has been working to improve the ward since June 2005, with residents support, its aims are to bring pride back to Rochdale.  Every Saturday, around ten residents assemble at Castlemere Community Centre, anyone is welcome to join them.  The group is supported physically and financially by Ward Councillors and the Township.  The group are proud to announce that they were awarded the Community Champions Award at the recent In Bloom ceremony.

The Chair extended his thanks to the group, and also to Mark Reynolds (Public Realm Inspector) for all of their hard work in improving the environment within the ward.


Members/Ward Funds


No update was given.


Date and time of next meeting


Monday 25 March 2019 at 6.30pm in Deeplish Community Centre, Hare Street, Rochdale.