Agenda and minutes

Venue: Middleton Library, Long Street, Middleton M24 1AF. View directions

Contact: Lauren Mason - Tel. 01706 923124 

No. Item


Welcome, Apologies and Introductions


All were welcomed to the meeting by the Chair, introductions were announced and apologies were noted as above.  Councillor West advised that there have been a number of apologies from other councillors due to another meeting, regarding council budgets, taking place this evening. 



Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising


The minutes of the last meeting were agreed as a true and correct record.  An update was requested with regards to Middleton Lads and Girls F.C. and Councillor West advised that this would be brought up under the relevant section of the agenda. 


·         Item 2 – Minutes of the previous meeting – Rochdale Football Club

The meeting was advised that Councillor Emmott has taken the lead on this item.  Ted Wooley advised that he is aware that conversations have taken place.  Terry Linden advised that this issue goes back many years and Rochdale F.C. supporters club have put in a proposal including the use of the pavilion in Bowlee, Ted confirmed this and advised that he is concerned about the limited community involvement in this.  Councillor West advised that any proposals about the use of the Bowlee would need to be brought to Middleton Township Committee before a decision could be made, Councillor Burke backed this up and following further discussion it was agreed that Councillor Robinson would raise this issue with Councillor Neil Emmott and report back to this meeting. 



Rochdale Borough Timebank presentation (Sean Heron)


Sean Heron introduced himself and explained this is his last week in the role and he has brought along his replacement, Laura Henshaw.  Sean advised that the principal of the ‘Timebank’ is the swapping of skills within a community and has been taking place throughout the country for many years, successfully.  Sean provided examples and advised if someone, say had a skill at knitting but needed computer advice this could be swapped directly or the skill of knitting provided directly and then the hours spent teaching such a skill banked for when the person with he appropriate skills came along to teach the original requester computer skills. 


In order to join the Timebank a questionnaire and application form is completed, which also requires references to be given.  Sean explained that at this stage the organisation are focusing on rolling out the Timebank to Langley, but this doesn’t mean people in other areas can’t join, and the organisation is hosting a an event on Monday 12th September, between 11am – 2pm ay Burnside Community Centre, as part of the Langley Skills Week. 


Sean advised that at present around 50 people have joined the Timebank in the Borough. 


Councillor Boriss queried why the Angle Project were not listed, and Sean advised that at this stage the Angel Project have decided this isn’t something they wish to focus on, but hopefully in time they will become involved. 


A discussion took place about the safety of the Timebank and Sean advised that CRB checks are not required for members of the Timebank, and if there were any concerns about a member then they would be removed from the scheme, Sean and Laura are also able to accompany people on their first introduction and act as an intermediary if required.  Sean advised that if a member became very heavily involved in the scheme then there is the option to become a volunteer introducer.  Sean further advised the meeting that the Timebank is monitored by Adult Care and has safeguarding policies in place. 


Questions were raised about how the Timebank ensure that people ‘pay it forward’ and Sean advised that the scheme relies on honesty.  Christine Grime queried how as part of the green volunteers she could get her ‘time’ back, and Sean advised that this is something the green volunteers could be involved in.  Also the scheme is not a direct exchange, but can be used to bank time.  It was agreed that Laura will liaise with Ian Trickett to involve the Green Volunteers in the scheme. 


Sean and Laura were thanked for their attendance and welcomed to Middleton. 



Presentation on Tonge Hall


John Percival thanked the meeting for this opportunity and introduced himself.  John explained that Tonge Hall was originally in private ownership, and following the ill health and subsequent death of the owner the Building Preservation Trust stepped in and secured the ownership of the building, and provided funding to RBC to secure the hall and prevent further damage, and was then passed to RBC.  When in private ownership the building suffered from repeated vandalism and this subsequently lead to a fire which destroyed part of the roof and the internal structure of the building. 


John advised that there is a need to understand the Hall and due to this Purcell Architect Consultancy were brought in to undertake a study, with a number of outcomes;

  • Help us to understand the history of the building
  • Wat the current condition of the building is?
  • What uses could the building have to secure its future?

Subsequently the conservation management plan concluded that the building is typical of late 16th century, with a jetty upper floor (this would have been added towards the end of the 16th Century).  The dendrochronology study took tree ring samples and concluded that the wood for the building would have been cut down locally between 1589 and 1614.  Between 1640 and 1792 further extensions were made to the building, and evidence from maps show the hall was rebuilt and a further addition made on the western side in the late 1800’s.  There is also anecdotal evidence to suggest the hall could stand on an even older structure.  John advised that concerns were first raised about the condition of the hall in Middleton Guardian in 1906.   The hall is also of similar significance to places like Ordsall Hall and the conclusion of the constants was that the hall is of very high evidential value, despite the current aesthetic value being pretty low due to radical changes in the surroundings.  But the consultants felt that a sensitive restoration could recover the aesthetic value. 


Some of the quatrefoils re original, some are oak, others are painted and there is also a few which are cement, which will be damaging the building, there is also evidence of bulls blood which was typically used during the period the Hall was built.  John advised that following the arson attack in June 2007, water ingress has affected the building which would need around 12 months to slowly dry out, once fully secured, although air would still be needed to circulate around the building, to minimise the risk of collapse. 


There is a large amount of work require to the building which John read out to members.  In relation to future alternative uses, this was looked at by the consultants, who also considered external funding available and concluded that the only realistic an viable option for the building is residential, although the layout and size of the building would make this difficult, as the Hall is too large to be a single dwelling, but couldn’t be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Street Cleaning, Waste, Clean and Green


The following were raised;

·         Concerns were raised about some 35ft trees on Longmead Way.


·         Terry Linden advised that the current wildflower planting looks fantastic.  Ian Trickett advised that the flowers do look good and it is hoped to have year round structure with the planting of lavender.  Wildflowers at Bowlee look good and Councillor Wardle thanked Ian.  A request was also made for further planting of wildflowers on Stakehill Roundabout. 


·         Councillor West asked that a query be raised with regards to who receives any income from the installation of signs on roundabout such as the one at Stakehill for the All In One Garden Centre. 


·         Concerns were raised about the current state of Saxonside, which was the old care home.  Councillor Burke advised that the owners have met on site and planning has been approved, and currently it is around 2 months off demolition.  Unfortunately the delays have been due to ownership and financial issues, and around £70,000 has been spent boarding up the building.  The meeting was further advised that a section 215 notice has been served and the 56 notice, which has to be adhered to by the law, will expire in late September 2016.  Terry Smith raised concerns about youths accessing the building via the upper floors, and Councillor Burke advised that a request was made to have the lower floors boarded, which did happen. 


·         Bill Percy was thanked for the installation of a bin on Baytree Lane, Kentmere Drive and Bonscale Crescent.  A further request was made for a bin to be installed on the corner of Damson Green. 



THI (Townscape Heritage Initiative) Update


Sue advised that the update is similar to last time and explained that many of the buildings which are suffering are under private ownership and therefore it is very difficult for RBC and other local authorities.  Sue advised that the THI scheme has been extended and the schemes are running slightly over schedule. 


Sue advised that of the following;

·         Towncroft – now completed and looks fantastic.

·         Long Street Methodist Church & School – currently awaiting listed building consent, with the tender documents being completed by Alan Gardener.

·         21-23 Market Place La Min Haz – work is ongoing and repairs to the roof will be done soon. 

·         Exedra & Staircase – work is currently out to tender.

·         51-53 Rochdale Road – Sue advised that this is currently awaiting on Heritage Lottery agreement to go ahead.

·         37-39 Rochdale Road – this is proving a difficult scheme and Sue advised that she is working hard to try and get something done with this building. 


Sue advised that the complimentary initiatives are very important, and following a recent visit from the lottery fund monitoring officer the complimentary schemes have been congratulated.  A discussion took place about the role of the HLF in supporting participation as the key driver behind grants, not the actual heritage. 


A query was raised about whether Lodge Mill and the Assheton Arms was within the conservation area, as Lodge Mill has had a new sign erected advising that the freehold is available with the option for development. 


John Burton offered his services with writing any bids, and advised that he has secured a number of grants for the Cricket Club from places such as Biffa and Viridor, both of which have a high focus on community involvement. 



Transport Issues


The following were raised;

·         There is a grid on Market Place outside La Min Haz which makes a loud sound every time a vehicle passes over it, it was agreed that Lauren would report this to highways. 


·         Ongoing concerns were raised about vehicles accessing the lower section of Long Street outside NatWest bank.  This area is for taxi’s/ buses and loading only, but other vehicles use it continually throughout the day.  Members advised that they have previously tried to close this section of Long Street, but TFGM have advised it is one of the main bus stops within the Town Centre and therefore closure wouldn’t be appropriate.  Councillor Robinson advised that there have previously been discussions within Highways about each Township having an enforcement officer allocated, but this has not yet been decided. 


Councillor Burke advised that he is scheduled to have a meeting with Manchester City Council on 8th September, to look at the option of ‘tapping into’ enforcement in Manchester for areas such as this and bus lane enforcement. 


Terry Linden advised that one of the main offenders is private hire companies and queried if a reminder could be sent out by Bev Wilkinson to local private hire firms to advise them that this is not for use as a cut through within the Town Centre, Lauren will pass this onto Bev and report back to the next meeting. 


A suggestion to link into the CCTV in Middleton was made, Eric Holliday advised that cameras have to be licensed for traffic enforcement and the cost would be in the region of £160,000 and advised that the Council alone cannot afford this and bus lane enforcement, hence Councillor Burke’s forthcoming meeting with Manchester City Council. 




a)    Friends of Middleton View

b)    Friends of Jubilee Park

c)    Friends of Wince Brook

d)    Green Volunteers

e)    Friends of Alkrington Woods

f)     Friends of Boarshaw Cemetery

g)    Friends of Hopwood Woods Nature Reserve

h)   Absolute Angling

i)     Friends of Bowlee Community Park

j)      Any other groups/events


  • Friends of Middleton View

Christine advised that the group are hoping that the pathways which were washed away in early june during heavy rain will be reinstated and a cutting management plan brought to the group.  Bill advised that this is problematic as previously, due to the size of the area, it was undertaken by local farmers, but now due to it no longer being of value to them, they are not willing to do it. 


  • Friends of Jubilee Park

David advised that there are four things coming up;

1)      The wall at Jubilee Park will be replaced as previously discussed and reinstatement of the shrubs will be undertaken. 

2)      Works to the Exedra as discussed under item 5.

3)      On Saturday 3rd September an event will take place to clear the graves in the Old Burial Ground, the group is looking for people to assist with removal of weeds etc. so the graves can be seen and inscriptions recorded.  The event will take part in two phases, between 10am – 12noon with a free lunch at the Old Boars Head and gain between 1pm – 3pm. 

4)      David advised that following a meeting between himself, Councillor West and Officers, it has been agreed that from Friday 16th September a team of 7 council officers will attend the OBG monthly to assist with weeding, strimming and clearing pathway access.  David thanked Councillor West and the Officers who have organised this. 


  • Friends of Wince Brook

Bob advised that there has been no further progress since the last meeting in relation to the offer from Farrans Construction.


Electricity North West are currently in the area clearing the area between the pylons. 


Bob thanked Mike Cummins and the Clean & Green Team.


  • Green Volunteers

The following work has taken place; 

  • Work has taken place this week on clearing the self-seeded beech trees from Hopwood Nature reserve.
  • A public right of way on Sam Bamford field has been cleared by the volunteers. Whilst there the team came across someone camping and despite repeated requests for the person to move on this didn’t happen and when the tractor attended to cut the grass they had to cut around the tent.  Mike Cummings also asked them to move and again they have refused. 


  • Friends of Alkrington Woods

Jerry Stokes advised that the vandalised bridge has been repaired with more substantial panels installed.  Ian Trickett advised that discussions are taking place with the company who installed the originals bridge, as there are concerns the structure of the bridge wasn’t suitable. 


  • Friends of Boarshaw Cemetery

No report was provided and no representative was present to give an update. 


  • Friends of Hopwood Woods Nature Reserve

Keeley advised that as yet there is no start date for the cycle path which will run from St. Anne’s to Hopwood Nature Reserve.  The friends have advised on a number of occasions that they don’t want the cycle path to be laid with tarmac due to it being a bridleway.  Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Any other business

Date of next meeting

Wednesday 2nd November 2016, 6:15pm, Middleton Library


  • Councillor Boriss advised that promises have been made to clear Japanese knotweed from a number of areas in Middleton East Ward, and was concerned about how many people were now trained to do this.  Bill advised that previously only two of the rangers across the borough had received the training, but since then a further four have been trained and then the rangers do work together when it is a large area to be covered. 


  • Keeley advised that she has recently come across 4 further incidents of fly tipping, following a discussion Bill again reiterated that people must not touch fly tipped rubbish, this must be reported to EM as discussed earlier. 


  • Terry Linden advised that when this meeting was amalgamated with the Culture Working Party it was agreed that culture, leisure, tourism and health and wellbeing would remain part of this meeting, but such representation seems to have diminished, Lauren advised that the same people continue to be invited to this meeting, but unfortunately haven’t attended for some time, Lauren will reiterate the need for attendance or reports to this meeting.   Terry asked that if such groups/ representatives aren’t able to attend then a written report, with updates, be requested. 



Date of Future Meetings

Allmeetingscommenceat 6:15pmandtakeplace 1st Floor,Middleton Library.

·         2nd November 2016 (Wednesday)

·         4th January 2017

·         6th April 2017