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.  Councillor West 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


·         Friends of Bowlee – Agenda Item 8 – Page 7

David Lees raised concerns about the lack of noted ‘verbatim’ minutes regarding the discussion which took place in relation to Bowlee.  Lauren Mason explained that the notes of these minutes are not written as verbatim minutes.  Following the last meeting a list was given of the points raised by the Friends of Bowlee which was included in the minutes.

Following a discussion David was advised that consultation has been taking place with wide advertisement of the dates held.


Street Cleaning, Waste, Clean and Green


Nick O’Neill advised that during the recent heavy snow fall, some waste collections  were affected unfortunately, but crews did collect any ‘missed’ collections at the soonest opportunity once the snow had cleared.  Nick explained to the meeting that where waste collections teams can’t collect waste during heavy snowfall, the teams are diverted to ‘winter maintenance’ duties, such as clearing of snow and gritting.

Nick advised there are changes being made to the Street Cleaning rounds as some areas require additional rounds, whilst other areas need to be cleaned very little.  The team are currently undertaking a mapping exercise to see where there is higher need.  Following a discussion about this issue, Councillor Martin advised that she objected to this proposal as it penalises the areas where people look after the area in which they live.  Nick advised that the rationale behind this is some areas suffer from additional waste dropping/fly tipping, etc and as such need more intervention to clean and tidy.

Councillor Boriss raised concerns about the waste around the Baytree Lane development and also the rail bridge on Baytree Lane which is full of pigeon droppings, etc.  It was agreed that Lauren will refer issues with the Baytree Lane development to Planning Control and Enforcement and ask that they take action where necessary.  In relation to the rail bridge at Baytree Lane, Lauren will refer this to Councillor Burke (Transport Representative) and query if the area can be netted similar to the Joshua Lane bridge.  (Action: Lauren Mason to refer this issue to Councillor Burke)

Fly tipping – Public Realm Inspectors and Nick O’Neill
Nick advised that there are roughly 100 requests for removal of fly tipping per week with three teams working full time removing rubbish.  One of the teams will proactively drive around looking for waste and remove any found; the other two teams work on a reactive basis dealing with requests.  A discussion took place about the costs of this service and Nick advised that there are 6 members of staff, 3 vehicles plus the costs of tipping waste collected.  It was agreed that Nick will bring more detailed costings to the next meeting.  (Action: Nick O’Neill to bring along costs to the next meeting).  Following this discussion, a conversation took place regarding the previous ‘free bulky waste collections’ and whether the costs were comparable.

Following a discussion about the prosecution of offenders who dump waste, Stephen Pyke advised that it is rare to identify offenders as most waste found by the teams has no evidence who the offender is.  Where there is evidence, then the Public Realm Inspectors will work to prosecute.  It was agreed that a list of prosecutions over the last 6 months will be provided by Stephen for the next meeting.  Stephen explained that in many cases people will arrange for someone to remove waste, not request certificates to prove that it is a genuine company, and then the waste is dumped, and the person who paid can’t prove  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Link4Life Update


Unfortunately, no representative was present and no written update provided in advance of the meeting.


Public Realm Inspectors


Stephen Pyke introduced himself and Steven Lett, and advised that in addition to Steven, Rob Cameron also covers the Middleton area.  The remit of the Public Realm Inspectors covers environmental enforcement issues and anti-social behaviour.  The team also work alongside the HIT Team and Clean & Green Team.

A majority of the role of the Public Realm Inspectors covers the enforcement of matters such as issuing fines for dog fouling, etc and the team also attend Court on a regular basis.  Stephen explained that this activity can be a long process which is very time consuming as well, and prior to Christmas 10 cases went to Court with a further 10 cases awaiting Court dates.  Stephen advised that on a day-to-day basis the Public Realm Inspectors are in Middleton and dealing with issues daily.  Any issues which arise can be sent in to the Public Realm Inspectors via Lauren at Middleton Township Office as the issues are logged and then allocated as required.

Councillor Martin advised that she feels the role of the Public Realm Inspectors is to challenge and enforce issues within our communities, and queried the role of partnership working with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing and other agencies.

Alongside the Public Realm Inspectors are Town Centre Enforcement Wardens who also enforce issues such as dog fouling.  Both the Town Centre Wardens and the Public Realm Inspectors wear body cameras and are able to undertake covert or high visibility visits to areas where there are issues.

Stephen explained that the officers also spend a lot of time talking to people to try and educate, before issuing fines, etc.

Concerns were raised about ongoing issues in the Town Centre caused by people feeding pigeons.  The Public Realm Inspectors visit this area and will in the first instance talk to offenders.  If notice is not taken then eventually a PCN (penalty charge notice) can be issued to offenders.  It was also agreed, following a discussion, that additional ‘No Dog Fouling’ stickers would be provided to the Township Office so these can then be collected in small numbers if needed.  (Action: Stephen Pyke to provide Lauren Mason with ‘No Dog Fouling’ stickers)

Gary Leigh explained that there are ongoing issues around Myrtle Road Lodges, in part caused by a broken fence between the lodges and Boarshaw Cemetery, which gives unauthorised access into the ‘members’ only area’ of the Lodges.  Gary queried if repairs could be made to the gate and the fence area.  It was agreed that Steven Lett will liaise with Mike Cummings who is aware of the issues.  Lauren will also send a Township commissioning form to Mike Cummings to apply for funding if needed.  (Action: Lauren Mason to send Mike Cummings a commissioning form)

Concerns were raised with Steven that the area around Springvale is very messy and dirty, with rubbish dumped, etc in addition to bins spilling over.  It was agreed that the Public Realm Inspectors will visit the area and where appropriate take action against any offenders.

Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Transport Issues


Grids and gullies

Mike White advised that he regularly reports issues with grids and gullies to Councillor Martin, but felt that there is a lack of investment in the infrastructure, which is now in many cases 50+ years old.  Of the issues which Mike reports, around 10% re-block, and Mike feels this indicates that there is a need for future investment.

Flooding on Mount Road
Mike stated that there are ongoing issues with flooding on Mount Road and this area needs more frequent cleaning than it currently receives (1 clean per year).  Councillor Martin advised that all reports she receives are sent to the Director with a request made for the gully to be cleared.

No. 163 bus
David Lappin raised concerns about the cancellation of five 163 buses.  This issue would be fed back to Councillor Burke and the Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham.  It was agreed that any dates, etc should be passed to Lauren to allow this issue to be escalated.  (Action: David Lappin to provide Lauren Mason with detailed information and this will be passed to Councillor Burke)

Rush hour traffic
Concerns were raised by Howard Bowden regarding the traffic issues during rush-hour in Middleton and he advised that it can often take 40 minutes to get through the Town if heading in the direction of Manchester.  A discussion took place about public transport in Middleton and Councillor West explained that the bus companies are run as private businesses and as such ‘pressure’ can be applied but there is no mechanism to ‘force’ additional routes, unless it is a ‘funded route’.




Friends of Middleton View


No representative present to provide an update.


Friends of Jubilee Park


Sharron explained that some works have recently been undertaken by the Community Payback Team and she asked that her thanks be noted as the work undertaken is commendable.  In addition to this, there has also been work done by the Green Volunteers, which again has been excellent and thanks of the Friends of group is noted.

The Friends of group have managed to secure some ‘bat boxes’ with help from the Bat Society and these will be installed as soon as possible.

Discussions are ongoing regarding the removal of some trees, but replacements will be installed over the coming months.

Sharron explained that there is an ongoing issue regarding dog fouling in the park.  Lauren advised that if times and dates can be passed to her, with a brief description of both the dogs and owners, then this information can be passed to the Public Realm Inspectors and they will arrange to visit the park to take action.  (Action: Groups to pass information to Lauren Mason to share with the relevant teams)


Friends of Wince Brook


The AGM for the Friends of Wince Brook took place on 28 February 2018 at 7pm.

Bob Magee has met with Mr Holden who has purchased some land, which his property overlooks.  The main purpose of purchasing this land was to ensure that the view held by Mr Holden remains ‘uninterrupted’.

David McKail advised that he has met with Marlowe Hardicare regarding the River Irwell Trust Works discussed at the last meeting.  Work on the facilities treatment plant is expected to be completed in 2019.  At the meeting David was assured that once the works are completed the water will be clear enough for trout to live in.

David advised that the group are looking for funding to undertake works on the linear stone path from Mainway East, and it was agreed that Lauren would send the grant application pack to enable the group to apply for Township funding.  (Action: Lauren Mason to send Township grant application pack to Friends of Group)

A discussion took place about the extra bin which Members had installed on the pathway from Roundthorn Road, as the resident has requested that this bin be moved to the wider pathway near to Ramsden’s Farm.  It was agreed that the bin could be installed on the public right of way land.

David advised that there is also a lot of graffiti, and agreed that details of this will be passed to Lauren to arrange removal.  (Action: David to pass Lauren Mason details of graffiti and Lauren will request removal via Environmental Management)


Green Volunteers


The Green Volunteers have been undertaking various work including laying hedges out today in Hopwood Woods.


Friends of Alkrington Woods


Jerry advised that as discussed at the last meeting there is still an issue with a downed tree.  Lauren stated that she raised this with Environmental Management Officers and she was informed that “the Environment Agency will need to undertake this work because of the River.  It will fall under their responsibilities, this has been reported to them and a job reference number has been provided; 1592982.  As such unfortunately it will be a matter of waiting for their contractors to complete the work”.

Jerry reported that two other trees have also come down, one of which was near to the cottage and has been removed, and the other in McBride’s Wood which Adam Holt from Groundwork Trust has arranged to be removed.

Jerry advised that the ‘sloped hill’ outside the Hall is looking brilliant, even after the recent snow, when the area is usually left quite messy.  This year most people seem to have taken their rubbish with them.


Friends of Boarshaw Cemetery


No representative present to provide an update.


Friends of Hopwood Woods Nature Reserve


Keeley O’Mara advised that Mike Cummings has recently undertaken some tree works as previously discussed.

Following the last meeting, a visit was undertaken to see if any evidence could be found in some fly tipped rubbish.  This action was successful and the evidence will be used by the Public Realm Inspectors to fine/prosecute where appropriate.

Keeley advised that there are ongoing issues with motorbikes and off-road bikes in the Woods, and Mike Cummings had a run in with the riders as recently as today.  Lauren advised that GMP now have a toolkit, for which a copy will be passed to Keeley, regarding how to report bike nuisance.  (Action: Lauren Mason to pass Toolkit from GMP to Keeley O’Mara)


Absolute Angling


Following a discussion about dogs being let off their leads at Myrtle Lodges, it was agreed that Lauren will request the Public Realm Inspectors visit the area to see if any enforcement action can be taken against offenders.  Comments were made about ‘by-laws’ and whether it would be appropriate to apply to have a ‘by-law’ regarding dogs being off leads.  David McKail felt that it is unfair as any ‘by-law’ introduced would also have an impact on ‘good’ owners who keep their dog under control even when it is off a lead.  A discussion took place about the use of ‘by-laws’ and whether these could be supported by ‘designated areas’ in which dogs are allowed to be off their leads as long as they remain under control.


Friends of Bowlee Community Park


No representative present to provide an update.


Friends of Mellalieu Street


Sharron Stevens advised that the owner of 60 Long Street has applied for permission for another HMO (House of Multiple Occupation).  This property is situated on the corner of New Lane and it has already been converted without Planning Permission.  It was agreed that this issue would be reported to Planning Enforcement.

Sharron queried where the application for a residents parking scheme is up to.  It was agreed that Lauren would ask for an update from Highways.  (Action: Lauren Mason to request an update from Highways be sent to Sharron Stevens)

It was reported that works to the Old Rectory on Mellalieu Street are ongoing.

A discussion took place, as has previously been raised, regarding the bin at Brentwood and whether a bin store could be installed.  Councillor West and Lauren advised that they have previously met with Brentwood Management about this issue as when the initial conversation took place it was discovered that planning permission would be needed due to the Conservation Area, and there would need to be funding and project management in place.  The bins are continuing to be emptied at 5am which is causing issues for residents of Mellalieu Street due to the noise.




No representative present to provide an update.


Middleton Lads & Girls Football Club


Councillor Martin advised that the Football Club has to clear the fields of dog poo prior to using the area.  This situation is unfair as the club regularly engage with around 300 children and Councillor Martin feels that there is not enough being done by the Council to support the club.  Lauren will ask colleagues in Environmental Management to meet with the management of the club and see if any further support can be offered.  (Action: Lauren Mason to request Ian Trickett arrange to meet with the club)


Middleton Civic Association


David advised that there is a talk this evening (14 March 2018) at 7.45pm about the Egyptian Odyssey.


Middleton Roundtable


No representative present to provide an update.


Middleton Cricket Club


John Fielden introduced himself, and advised that since the death of John Burton he has been Chairman of the Club.  Work is well underway for the start of the Cricket season and the club is currently making some additional security improvements to stop dog walkers who are non-members gaining access to walk their dogs on the pitch and in the club grounds.

Works have commenced on a new walkway, which has been paid for by £6,500 funding raised by the daughter of Roger Whitworth, previous club Chairman.  Once completed, the new walkway will go around the perimeter of the club.


Middleton In Bloom


Tree planting took place on Sunday behind Boarshaw Boxing Club, in conjunction with the Scouts, in addition to a litter pick behind the Brunswick Pub.


Any other groups/events


Nothing to report.


Any other business (not already discussed on the agenda)


·           It was agreed that in future meetings Town Centre Management will bring along an update to be included above on Item 8, Updates from Member Groups.

·           Lauren advised there is a film screening tomorrow evening of the Edgar Wood.  The film, ‘A Painted Veil’, by Norther Light will be shown at 7pm at the Long Street Methodist Church.  Screenings of the film have also taken place in Huddersfield and London.

·           David Lappin advised that he was recently at the ‘No Entry expect buses and taxis area’ at the continuation of Long Street near to Barclays Bank and counted 28 vehicles flouting the signage between 8am – 8.10am.  Lauren confirmed that a request has been made for a temporary camera to be installed and this is currently being looked into by colleagues in TfGM and Street Lighting.  Unfortunately, this issue has been going on for some time and both Councillor West and Councillor Burke are pushing officers to have the camera installed as soon as possible.

·           A discussion took place about the recent display at Middleton Library relating to ‘Peterloo’, and it was agreed that the thanks of this group would be passed on due to the excellent feedback received.

·           A film is currently being made called ‘Sam, the Middleton Man’ and updates will be provided about this project at the next meeting.

·           Following the update provided at the last meeting regarding Hopwood Hall and Tonge Hall, Members of the group asked if this could be an annual update.  It was agreed that this issue will be put on the agenda for future meetings on a yearly basis.

·           Concerns were raised about the recently installed paving on Long Street and how slippery the surface is during rainy and icy weather.  Councillor West advised that she has raised this problem with Highways Officers and asked them to investigate this issue and come up with a solution.  (Action: Councillor West to continue pursuing with Highways Officers)


Dates of future meetings


11 July 2018

31 October 2018
23 January 2019
20 March 2019