Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Lauren Mason - Tel. 01706 923124 

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


All were welcomed to the meeting by the Chair, introductions were announced and apologies were noted as above.  The Chair requested that all turn off or put on to silent mobile phones, and a reminder was given out for everyone to ensure they had signed in.




Apologies were noted as above.


Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising


The minutes of the last meeting were agreed as a true and accurate record, with the following issues raised.

David McKail had emailed to advise that he was at the last meeting, but his attendance hadn’t been noted.  This is an amendment to the minutes to include the attendance of David.

David Lappin queried who the contact was for Waste Management, as he advised that since moving into sheltered accommodation, he has noticed that the waste management system/bins provided are not fit for purpose at such accommodation.  David stated that when he first moved in, he had a large quantity of cardboard to recycle, but due to there not being enough bins he wasn’t able to put it in the recycling collection.  David also advised that there is no ‘food recycling’ point; therefore all food waste has to go in the normal rubbish bin.  Following a discussion it was agreed that Nick O’Neill would request the Waste Manager, Paul Bowerman, to visit the accommodation (Action: NON to request that Paul Bowerman undertakes a visit to assess the waste provision)

Terry Linden explained that he too lives in flats, and can echo the points raised by David, and this year due to where the bins are stored, there has been an invasion of blue bottles and other flies.  Terry advised that there is a need for more/bigger bins at flats/sheltered accommodation complexes or a need for more frequent collections.  Nick advised that he will also ask Paul Bowerman to pick up the issues at the complex referred to by Terry (Action: NON to request that Paul Bowerman undertakes a visit to assess the waste provision)

A discussion took place about a trial project which was mentioned at this meeting some months ago concerning installing recycling bins in Town Centres.  Nick advised that this had been trialled in Rochdale, but this trial wasn’t successful.  Paula Hickey queried if this trial could be re-done in Middleton.  Nick agreed to look into this matter and report back at the next meeting (Action: NON to investigate the feasibility of re-trialling the scheme in Middleton)

Terry Linden advised that he had noted that the underpass has been painted, this was done prior to the ‘In Bloom’ judging visits, and as yet there has been no new graffiti.

Item 6 – Transport Issues
Terry Linden stated that at the last meeting he raised an issue about the use of the continuation of Long Street by taxis.  He advised that he did receive a reply to this, but would like the minutes to be amended to say ‘Hackney Carriages’, not taxis. (Action: LM noted)

Item 8 – Updates from Friends of Middleton View
Following a request at the last meeting, in relation to an update on Tonge Hall, Lauren read out a written update from Nick Barton, which advised that “At the request of Historic England, the Council commissioned a landscape significance study, which will help the Council and Historic England decide which areas around the Hall  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Ambition for Ageing


Debby explained that the ‘Ambition for Ageing’ scheme is a lottery funded project to find out how age friendly an area is.  Unfortunately this project is across three wards, with only one of the wards being in Middleton, and that ward being Middleton West (Langley area).  The scheme partner in Middleton is Demesne Community Centre, but Debby explained that any other group or organisation in the area can still get involved in the scheme.

Debby stated that the scheme also comes with a pot of funding (up to £2,000) available per project.  Following a discussion about the funding, Debby advised that a person attending a group funded by the scheme wouldn’t be turned away based on their postcode.  The group were advised that the funding is available for anything the over 50’s (who the scheme is aimed at) feel is needed in the area such as Knit and Natters or social groups.  The scheme can also look at larger projects that could improve the area for over 50’s, and she mentioned the steps at Lakeland Court as a barrier.

Debby advised that the scheme is looking for volunteers to work seeking the views of other over 50’s.  Councillor Wardle raised concerns that this project seems like it is aimed more towards disabled residents rather than over 50’s, and Councillor Martin queried how this ties in with strategies such as the Borough-wide Obesity Strategy.  Members also felt aiming an ‘ageing scheme’ at 50 plus wasn’t ideal as most 50 year olds will still have 25+ years working ahead of them.

Questions were raised about the scheme partner and Debby advised that Demesne facilitates the steering group for the project, but doesn’t run the scheme.

Councillor Martin asked if Debby could provide feedback to the GMCVO, who commissioned the project, that Members are concerned about the exclusion of other wards in Middleton.  It was agreed that Debby will try to find out how the decision was made just to use west ward only for the scheme, and feedback the comments from Members.

Any groups/individuals wishing to contact Debby can ring her on 01706 510840 or contact her on email at


Irwell River's Trust - Environment Agency


Carrie Wright introduced herself, and advised that she was here in place of Mike Duddy (Environment Agency) and Mike Cummings (Ranger).  She stated the Environment Agency have been working alongside the Irwell’s River Trust to undertake river restoration work around Rhodes Lodges.  This work will include improving fish ‘paths’, addressing flooding issues and raising the footpaths.

Carrie advised that the old mill lodge needs to be reconnected to feed out to Boardman Brook to alleviate flooding issues.  As part of this work there is a need to undertake a footpath closure, which usually requires 29 days’ notice, and costs around £850.  Carrie queried if this could be waived?  Unfortunately this group isn’t able to make any decisions, and any such request would have to be made formally to Rochdale Council.

Gary Leigh raised concerns that there will be a large amount of money spent to improve the weirs, when there is very few fish at the lodge concerned, and as such felt that the money could be better used elsewhere at the Woods.  Gary also advised that if the connection is reinstated and the pathways raised, then flood water, which may be contaminated, could run back into the lodges, thus causing major issues.  Gary felt that this approach was very short-sighted, and following a discussion it was agreed that nothing should be done until a meeting has been held between Mike Cummings, the Environment Agency, Absolute Angling and the Friends of Alkrington Woods.  It was agreed that Carrie will feedback and arrange a meeting as soon as possible with stakeholders.  Gary advised that there also needs to be kit sampling to see what is in the waters (Action: Environment Agency to look into further kit sampling)

Paula Hickey offered the support of the In Bloom team, if works are to go ahead at the Lodges.


Street Cleaning, Waste, Clean and Green


Nick advised that there has been a change to the waste collection service, which has seen the teams change from 4 staff, to 2 loaders and a driver.  At present around 40% of staff are agency employed, and it is hoped that staff will be recruited to employees before the jobs are advertised via open recruitment.  This will create a cost saving.  Councillor Wardle advised that the current rural route team are excellent.

David Lees advised that he would like to thank Lauren and Nick, as he undertook a walk round of the area being visited as part of a Heritage Open Days tour.  Whilst checking the route he had noticed a large quantity of fly tipped rubbish, and this was reported to Lauren who passed it to Nick.  David was pleased this was sorted within a few hours.

Paula Hickey stated that there are not enough bins in the town.  Nick advised that if people report where they feel waste bins should be installed, a visit will be undertaken by a supervisor to investigate if a bin could be installed at the location.

David Bowker advised that when the bin trucks have visited, staff leave the bins all over the street rather than putting them back against the wall.  Nick advised that he will ask a supervisor to visit and look at this issue where David lives (Edward Street). (Action: NON to request that a supervisor visits the area and discusses any issues with the teams)


THI (Townscape Heritage Initiative) Update


Lauren read out an update from Sue Oakley, who had sent her apologies to the meeting.

·           All current restoration projects are now complete and they have all been a great success.

·           After a huge amount of work we are now waiting for the Heritage Lottery Fund to approve a grant for the Long Street School.  This is the most important project in the THI and the only one still to proceed.

·           Christine and Geoff Grime are still working on events and publications funded through the THI including the Golden Cluster openings.


Councillor Martin requested that thanks be noted to Christine and Geoff Grime for their continued commitment to the THI projects.


Transport Issues


·           David Lappin advised that on Saturday three number 17 buses were cancelled due to driver shortages.  There are also ongoing issues since the bus stations at Ashton and Bury were closed, as drivers now have to make their own way to Bolton.

·           David Lappin stated the 163 bus service is also atrocious, and following the bus not arriving recently, David has been left with a charge of £40 for a missed appointment.

·           Mike White advised that he has been informed that when Bury closed, all 20 mechanics working there had left; this is also causing issues.

·           Terry advised that following his request at the last meeting, he received an update from Licensing, via Lauren, and queried if a representative from Licensing could attend the next meeting to discuss the issues around the Long Street continuation and ‘Uber’ taxis’.  (Action: Lauren to liaise with Licensing and ask a representative to attend a future meeting).  It was also agreed that Lauren will request an update on the installation of traffic cameras at this location from Street Lighting colleagues. (Action: Lauren to request update)


Friends of Middleton View


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


Friends of Jubilee Park


David Lees advised that he is no longer Chair of the group, and the Chair is Sharron Stevens.  The group continues to meet and are very happy about the recent ‘Green Flag’ award.

The group are hosting a volunteer event on Saturday 16 September 2017.

Lauren advised that at the last meeting, Sharron Stevens queried about the grass cutting in the Old Burial Ground.  Nick had confirmed the Old Burial Ground has to be strimmed and as such is done every 4 weeks on a Friday.  The next time it will be strimmed will be on 15 September 2017 and the last time it was done was 18 August 2017.  The supervisor has suggested a change from Friday to Thursday as they will get more done as on Friday the operatives only work until 12 noon.

David Bowker stated the grass in Jubilee Park looks awful.  Nick will arrange to have a supervisor visit and investigate the concerns raised by David.


Friends of Wince Brook


Bob advised that there is a walk through Wince Brook planned for Saturday 16 September 2017, meeting at 10am at the entrance to Wince Brook on Kirkway.

Bob asked that his thanks be noted for the pathways funding arranged by Councillor West and advised that Mike Cummings is currently working on this.

Bob advised that a large amount of knotweed has been chopped down from a property on the David Farm estate and dumped in the Brook.  It is between Albany Street and Bridge number 2.  Pictures will be forwarded to Lauren and passed to Stephen Pyke who advised that he will ask one of the Enforcement team to visit (Action: SP to investigate)

Councillor Martin advised that there have been additional bins installed in this area, although the one ordered for Roundthorn Road has still not been installed.  It was agreed that this will be chased up by Lauren (Action: LM to liaise with Environmental Management Officers)


Green Volunteers


David Lees advised that Middleton is the most successful area for Green Volunteers, with between 8-10 volunteers each time they meet.  The main works being undertaken by the volunteers at present is in Alkrington Woods and Wince Brook.


Friends of Alkrington Woods


Jerry Stokes advised that the pathway between Boardman Brook and the Hall is overgrown with brambles, etc, but this is creating a haven for small wildlife.  Unfortunately, a large tree trunk has been rolled onto the pathway, by kids, and is that large it can’t be moved.  Nick confirmed he will arrange for this to be removed (Action: NON to arrange removal of the tree trunk)

A discussion took place about Swan Lodge, and Gary Leigh advised that Absolute Angling are looking to net the lodge.

Lauren advised that at the last meeting a request was made for a referral regarding McBride’s Wood to be sent to Groundwork, following the request Lauren spoke to Adam Holt at Groundwork Trust who advised that:

‘’As part of our site inspections we identified the need to complete some maintenance works required at 'McBride’s Wood' or indeed 'Irkside' as we know it.  Consequently we submitted a Tesco 'Bags of Help' funding bid to cover some physical improvements.  We have been successful at stage one and the opportunity to vote at the stores in Middleton/Langley/Alkrington is currently live.  Therefore it would be a great help if you can support and 'get the word out there' so that we can increase the chance of a better position (and therefore more money!).  I am wondering if there is any match funding you know of to 'beef up' our budget?’’  Lauren advised that following this, she had sent an application form to Adam and asked him to liaise with Jerry.


Friends of Boarshaw Cemetery


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


Friends of Hopwood Woods Nature Reserve


Keeley O’Mara advised that the Friends of Hopwood Woods Nature Reserve have submitted a Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ funding application.

A discussion took place about fly tipping at the entrance to the Nature Reserve, and Stephen Pyke agreed to look at whether signage could be installed to advise that fly tippers will be prosecuted (Action: Stephen Pyke to liaise with Keeley).  Keeley advised that recently there have been a number of drug canisters dumped, and she has also retrieved a driving license from the fly tipping.

Keeley stated that works have started on the Alderman Kay site, but the s.106 funds of around £17,500, which have been promised to the groups, won’t be allocated until the development is completed.  It was agreed that Councillor Wardle would look into this matter (Action: Councillor Wardle to look into this issue)


Absolute Angling


Gary advised that the bin on Myrtle Lodges is very rarely emptied, and requested that this be added to the cycle of bin collections (Action: NON to liaise with Waste Supervisors regarding the emptying of this bin)

Gary also advised the access to Myrtle Lodges, from Myrtle Road and turn left, is becoming increasingly overgrown and inaccessible.


Friends of Bowlee Community Park


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


Friends of Mellalieu Street


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




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


Middleton Lads & Girls Football Club


Councillor West advised that she had a meeting this morning with Anthony Fletcher, from the group, regarding works to improve Limefields.  There are also ongoing discussions about the renovation of the Pavilion, which is still in its infancy.

Councillor Martin advised that a window is smashed on the Pavilion; this needs repairing and a new cage installed over it.  (Action: Lauren to report to Property Services)


Middleton Civic Association


David Lees advised that over summer the group aren’t as active.  The next meeting of Middleton Civic Association is a private meeting, scheduled for 11 September 2017.  The dates of future meetings held at the Old Boars Head at 7.45pm are:

·           Wednesday 11 October 2017

·           Wednesday 8 November 2017

·           Wednesday 13 December 2017


Middleton Roundtable


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


Middleton Cricket Club


John Wilkins advised that he had recently visited the cricket club and was amazed by the facilities; they are excellent and the ground is very well kept.

Lauren advised that the cricket club undertook a one week summer play-scheme, for 7 – 12 year olds, which was brilliant, and provided excellent value for money.  The cricket club are also looking to set up a girls’ team when the new season starts in January/February.


Middleton In Bloom


Paula advised that this was the first year of Middleton in Bloom.  The project commenced around March time and the feedback, although the formal judging decisions won’t be known until October, has been really positive and there are lots of volunteers on board.

Paula explained the group has big plans for 2018 including a plan to ‘paint the Town red’, which Keeley O’Mara is leading on with Ian Trickett, and Friends of Groups were invited to get involved in this project which is part of the centenary year plans.

Paula stated a Halloween Walk is already organised and hosted by Middleton Town Centre Management Company, but the ‘In Bloom’ group are hoping to organise a ‘Scarefest’ in and around Jubilee Park, and are planning on working with the Friends of Group to get this arranged.  This event is still in its infancy, and as such the group are looking for volunteers to help out with this.

Paula advised that there are litter picks on Sundays with a different area completed each week.  During the last litter pick the group worked on the passageway at the rear of Jubilee Terrace and she advised that some of the gardens appear to have been illegally extended.  This matter will be picked up by Stephen Pyke (Action: SP to provide an update once this issue has been investigated further)

Keeley advised that the group have been discussing a potential idea with Ian Trickett for Slattocks roundabout, and Ian has suggested that Keely mention it here.  The proposal is for a wooden barge with flowers and the Middleton Crest.  It was agreed that information on this idea should be emailed to Lauren who will circulate for comments to all Members (Action: Keeley O’Mara to provide information to LM)


Link4Life Update


Unfortunately, Andrew Entwistle from Link 4 Life was unable to be at the meeting, so Lauren read out an update:

·           Andy King – new CEO starts 4 September 2017

·           Kids Cinema – Zootopia, Finding Dory, Lion King, Jungle Book Live, and Beauty and the Beast attended by 1,300 people in total and further 200 expected for Lego Batman so total number expected to exceed 1,500.  £2 and funded through Middleton Holiday at Home.

·           Busy summer holiday period with Go for It sport sessions, extended pool opening hours.  Weekly fun inflatable session full every week again funded by Middleton Holiday at Home.

·           914 children currently attending weekly swimming lessons on Link4life Swim Academy.

·           200 children attending gymnastic sessions and activity been at capacity; extending capacity to 240 from September.

·           Upcoming events – Paul Choudhry 7 September 2017 (sold out), Jason Manford 3 October 2017 (sold out), Lee Nelson 13 October 2017, Ed Byrne 20 November 2017 and Dave Spikey 24 November 2017.

·           Restructure to the management team has created 2 x Event Officer’s posts which are being recruited to improve the customer service for delivery of events and support the development of the programme.


Andrew had advised in writing that he will ensure we have somebody in attendance at the next meeting and he would hope to be in a position to update regarding improvements planned at Middleton Arena.


Any other groups/events


Nothing to report.


Any other business


a)     David Lees advised that the 200 year anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre is next year, and there is lots going on nationally regarding Samuel Bamford.  David invited anyone interested to a meeting tomorrow evening (31 August 2017) at the Old Boars Head.

b)     Following a discussion, Terry Linden requested an update on the Play Pitch Strategy at the next meeting  (Action: Lauren to request an update)

c)     Terry Linden asked if a list of planning applications can be brought to future meetings.  (Action: Lauren to speak to Planning colleagues about this request)

d)     David Lappin advised that the paving at the rear of the Dusty Miller, near to the pelican crossing, is in a state of disrepair and needs works carrying out.  (Action: Lauren to report to Highways)

e)     David Bowker advised that the paving on Edward Street also needs to be reported to Highways as it is in a state of disrepair (Action: Lauren to report to Highways)

f)      Paula Hickey advised that the paving on New Lane also needs attention (Action: Lauren to report to Highways)

g)     The group advised that the wildflowers on the verge on Heywood Old Road are beautiful and asked that their thanks for this be passed on to Ian Trickett at Environmental Management (Action: Lauren to pass this comment to Environmental Management Officers)


Dates of future meetings


Allmeetingscommenceat 6.15pmandtakeplace on 1st Floor,Middleton Library.

·           Wednesday 4 October 2017

·           Wednesday 6 December 2017

·           Wednesday 14 March 2018