Agenda and minutes

Venue: Norden Methodist Church, Edenfield Road, Rochdale OL12 7QE. View directions

Contact: Rachel Hudson - Tel: 01706 924343 

No. Item


Introductions, Apologies and Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 70 KB


The Chair introduced himself and officers present and welcomed all to the meeting.  He also introduced the new Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Mike Holly, to all in attendance, congratulating him on his prestigious recent appointment.  Councillor Winkler was also introduced and he updated the forum on his recent organisational input into the Tour de Manc, which was held on the Bank Holiday weekend and welcomed 2.5k riders passing through the town, with lots of money being raised for good causes.

The Chair also referred to the code of conduct and all were asked to abide by it for the duration of the meeting.


Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 137 KB


Attention was drawn to the addition of the Terms of Reference document for all non-constituted local area forums in the Rochdale area.  The purpose, objectives, powers etc detailed within the document were discussed.


Minutes from the last meeting and matters arising pdf icon PDF 179 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 28 February 2023 were approved as a correct record.


Former Nutters Restaurant premises
A resident commented that the ground works carried out so far at the site are giving cause for concern as they look unsightly and there appears to be slate being lost.

Caldershaw Road traffic calming measures
Local Ward Councillors advised the forum that the matter is in the hands of the Council’s Highways Officers who are preparing a number of proposals for the addition of speed restrictions in the area and once a project brief is drawn up, the matter will be put forward as an application for funding at the next Committee.

The Great Litter Pick – Saturday 18 March 2023 at 10am
This event proved extremely successful with a great number of volunteers involved and the recovery of a high volume of litter.  Well done to all those who participated.  The Chair advised that the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ group can provide residents with free litter pickers upon request.  Any enquiries please contact the Chair or Township Officer.


Greater Manchester Police


Staffing update
Sgt B Walsh and PC T McCluskey updated that PCSO Peter Smith Emanuel has joined them as an addition to the Norden team in terms of coverage.  The Chair explained that GMP have recently appointed a new Chief Inspector (CI Fraser) to the area and discussions have taken place with him on a number of local matters.

A number of cannabis farms have been uncovered across the borough recently, including within the Norden/Bamford areas and arrests have been made.

Dangerous dogs
A dangerous dog was recently seized in the Norden area and officers are committed to focussing on public safety in respect of any reports of this nature.

Ongoing reports of burglaries at Rochdale Golf Club have led to the recent arrest of three individuals associated with the crimes.  In general, burglary numbers have decreased in the area due to less dark evenings/nights, however, the lighter nights can lead to increases in reports of anti-social behaviour.

Operation Dragster
Future dates are planned for Operation Dragster with the assistance of colleagues from United Utilities, Lancashire Police and members of the public that aim to tackle off-road bike issues.  A request was made by a member of the forum to include the statistics for the off-road bike incidents in future to show residents the value of reporting incidents to the Police.

A forum member provided some additional information to this meeting about recent off-road incidents dating f
rom 5 March 2023 stating he had recorded 41 reports plus 5 recorded incidents during the recent Skyline Walk charity event (when 500 local people were walking across our Moors).  These incidents can be broken down as follows:

6 Vans, 1 4x4, 10 quads, 72 bikes plus 40 bikes for the Skyline.  Key times seem to be 12 noon, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm with other reports late evening from 6pm.  Further analysis is required to understand which days are the most voluminous, although weekends see increased activity.  These figures were provided to illustrate that this problem has been growing in recent months.
Action: GMP to include the statistics for the off-road bike incidents in their update at the next forum

Parking operations
Two parking operations have been carried out near local primary schools in Norden since the last area forum, in association with the Council’s Parking Enforcement Team.  Mr Mayor, Councillor Holly, thanked officers from GMP for their efforts in tackling the issues previously raised.


Criminal damage

9 (previously 4) Elmsf/Shelfield/Caldershaw areas


11 (previously 22) 10 residential and 1 commercial

Vehicle crime

11 (previously 13) Elmsfield/Shelfield areas

Possession of drugs

2 (previously 5)

Possession of weapons

4 (previously 2)


GMP Surgeries
These surgeries will be held monthly by local PCSOs at Norden Old Library.  The next three surgeries are:

16 June 2023 (1-2pm)
17 July (5-6pm)
11 August (1-2pm)

‘Bee in the Loop’
This is a new initiative by GMP which is a messaging service, in addition to their social media  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Telecommunications Infrastructure Update


A written update was provided by the Council’s Highways Department and read out as follows:

Since the last Norden Area Forum, the Highways Service have continued to receive a large volume of road activity permits from IX Wireless.  These have been dealt with as per the guidance for Highways works.  Monitoring the works has involved a large amount of inspector resource from the Highways team with complaints and issues raised on-site dealt with appropriately.  Chris Woods also met residents and Councillor Gartside on Shelfield Lane during installation works to discuss concerns, the traffic management systems were checked and locations of the poles.

At the Full Council meeting held on 22 March 2023 a motion was passed regarding broadband infrastructure.  The resolution was for the Council to write to the Government asking for a change in the law to require the masts to have Planning permission.  This letter has now been drafted and will be submitted to Ofcom and the Secretary of State.

IX Wireless are now concluding the build process within the next 4 weeks in the Borough and they have started the process of erecting the fibre cable along the poles.  The Council’s Highways and Planning Service continue to monitor the project as a whole and look to make improvements where possible.  Agreements have already been reached for poles in conservation areas to be painted black, in line with other street furniture in conservation areas.

Residents discussed issues concerning blocking of driveways, debris being left after works and also the fact that some poles are being erected before notices are being posted.  Also concerns were raised about the volume of poles going up and the placement in conservation areas.  The Chair advised he intends to write to the local MP Chris Clarkson regarding the frustrations of the residents at the forum.


Environmental Matters


The Chair discussed issues which are dangerous or those that give cause for concern for the current season including:

Reservoir/Open water – incidents of swimming in reservoirs or open water are always of concern for local communities and thankfully there have been no fatalities in recent years, mostly due to the efforts of the emergency services, in particular GMFRS working in conjunction with United Utilities.

Moorland fires – drier weather over the past few weeks give cause for concern for the risk of moorland fires like that of the recent fire at Marsden Moor which caused considerable issues.

Dog attacks on livestock – sheep and cattle owners face enough economic difficulties as it is without this additional issue.  Lambing season is still active until the end of June. Residents were urged to assist in any way they can to reduce this menace.

The Chair urged residents to report any issues on GMP’s live chat facility on their website.  The GMP live chat facility is easily accessible using the small blue icon in the bottom right hand corner of the GMP Homepage.


Open Forum


Local Plan – Rochdale
An enquiry was made as to how our local communities can get involved and assist the Council’s Planning Department on decisions for development in their areas, stating that residents need to know how they can input into the development of a local plan.
Action: Townships to raise the query with the Council’s Strategic Planning Department

Woodhouse Lane resurfacing
A resident asked when the resurfacing of Woodhouse Lane would commence.
Action: Townships to raise the query with the Council’s Highways Department

Woodhouse Lane surface water drains
A resident advised that the surface water drains on the cobbled part of Woodhouse Lane appear blocked and need jet washing.
Action: Townships to raise the issue with the Council’s Highways Maintenance Department

Rooley Moor Road traffic calming scheme
A resident requested an update on the scheme for traffic calming at the top of Rooley Moor Road stating in the past months a lamb had been killed, a horse badly injured and several vehicles written off by speeding vehicles.
Action: Townships to raise the query with the Council’s Highways Department

Tree of Trees
A resident updated the forum on behalf of the In Bloom group regarding the fact that they as a community group had been presented with a tree that had come from part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee ‘Tree of Trees’ project cited outside Buckingham Palace.  The tree is being stored carefully at Bowlee Nursery until works to the Town Hall are complete and it will then be planted within the landscaping of the new grounds.  The tree came with a silver container bearing the Queen’s crest, which is being stored within the Mayor’s Office.

Mayor’s tree planting
It was announced that each newly appointed Mayor will plant a tree within their individual ward area at the start of their year of service, gifted to them from the previous Mayor.

In Bloom
There will be 8 days of judging this year using the same route.  The judging date for the Norden area will be 5 July and for Rochdale it will be 6 July.  The Chair thanked all those involved and wished them the best of success.

Knitting/Crochet Club
A new group has started at Norden Old Library on Tuesday evenings 7-9pm – all welcome.

Rochdale Harriers
A representative attended from the Harriers to advise of their annual 3 day race event held in Norden on Friday 9 June to Sunday 11 June as follows:

Friday 9 June                Road Race                                                     7.30pm start
Saturday 10 June         Multi-Terrain Race thro Naden Valley           11-12 noon
Sunday 11 June           Knowl Hill Fell Race                                      11am start

NB - The Saturday event affects the bridleway in Naden Valley (11-12 noon) and notices will be put up for information and to advise riders.


Councillors Update


Councillor Holly gave the update on behalf of the Ward Councillors and he advised that they had been involved with some planning enforcement matters in the Birtle area, with the Council’s team being very stretched at the moment as they are low in officer numbers so updates are taking longer than normal as a consequence.

Norden Carnival was discussed and residents expressed sadness that the event no longer exists due to lack of volunteers.

Ward Councillors hold surgeries as detailed below:


St Paul's Parish Hall

9.45am – 10.45am

(2nd Saturday in month)

Jericho Church, Birtle

11.00am – 11.45am

(2nd Saturday in month)

St Vincent's Hall

7pm – 8pm

(4th Thursday in month)



Members/Ward Funds


Residents were advised that the current Township funding for this financial year and the new budgets will be agreed and available by late June/early July.  Any ideas or initiatives to improve the local area or give benefit to any community groups or associations are always welcome.  Discuss with your local Ward Councillors or the Township Officer.


Any Other Business


No issues raised.


Date and time of the next meeting


Tuesday 12 September 2023 at 7.00pm