Agenda and minutes

Venue: Middleton Library, Long Street, Middleton M24 1AF

Contact: Lauren Mason - Tel. 01706 923124 

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


All were welcomed to the meeting by the Chair, Councillor Donna Williams, and introductions took place.  It was requested that mobile phones were switched off and put on to silent.  Lauren gave a reminder for everyone to ensure they had signed in.

Lauren advised that due to GDPR legislation individuals details would not be noted on the minutes, but confirmed that a record of attendance would continue to be kept.

The meeting was advised that from April onwards copies of spare papers would not be provided at the meetings.  All attendees will continue to receive invites via email or post, but asked that people bring copies of the papers to the meeting; this is due to a Council decision to reduce the amount of paper wastage.




Apologies were noted as above.


Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising


All items to be covered under the agenda.


Waste Services Presentation


Paul Bowerman introduced himself and advised that his role is Waste Services and Workshop Manager.  As part of his role he manages 24 winter rounds and 26 summer rounds during the warmer months.  Middleton is on a Tuesday round and operates, as in other areas, a week round during which week 1 is waste, week 2 is paper recycling and week 3 is plastic and metals.

Paul explained that there are 160,000 operational hits per week, with around 60 complaints received weekly which is less than 1%.  The busier periods for the team are Christmas and Easter.

Paul explained that when he came into post around 2 years ago, the service employed 40-50 agency staff per day.  Most of the roles are now recruited to permanently with only 3/4 vacancies at present.  The service also recruits from the Borough to ensure that local people can access the roles available.  Paul advised that recently a recruitment drive took place and 96 applications were received, of these 8 were disregarded as the applicants didn’t live in the Borough.

Paul explained that part of his role is dealing with staffing issues and complaints and the service operates a 0% tolerance for staff not meeting service standards.

Paul advised that there has been some changes to rounds recently, where around 7,500 properties were moved onto a different round to equal them out further; this is around 10% and there were no major impacts on service users.

Two operatives work full time on bin deliveries and approximately 40 bins are delivered daily by the operatives.  Paul advised that every year the service spends around £360,000 on new bins and around £240,000 on recycling bins.

Paul explained that the service operates a proactive and reactive response to fly tipping, and operatives will visit hotspot areas known to have issues.  Staff have all received training to look for evidence of fly tippers’ identities and pass any evidence to the Enforcement Teams.

One of the main changes that has taken place since Paul took the role is Rochdale Council now owns most of the bin wagon fleet rather than renting.  This situation again has created a cost saving and allows Rochdale Council to sell the wagons at the end of their ‘working life’ thus generating income.

Paul explained that the team also operate an assistance scheme to help vulnerable residents, and when someone is registered for the service the crews will collect the bin and return it.  Part of Paul’s role is working to get the team to take responsibility for their areas, and he feels that responsibility ensures they want to do the best job for their ‘area’.  If a bin collection is missed then the operatives are aware they will have to go back and collect any missed areas.

Councillor Martin advised that she has nothing but praise for the teams, and felt that we need to invest in our staff, especially those who are paid some of the lowest wages and do the hardest of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Street Cleaning, Clean & Green


No items raised as all issues were covered under the above section.


Link4Life Update


Andrew Entwistle advised of the following:

·           The Box Office has been reinstated at Middleton and is available every weekday from 10am – 2pm.  It is currently a three month trial and the viability will be reviewed at the end of the trial.  Andrew explained that before any performance the Box Office opens one hour before for ticket purchases.

·           Andrew advised that Link4Life are currently recruiting an Events Manager to work across three sites including Middleton Arena.

·           Swimming lessons are continuing to increase to ensure that lessons are available for those who wish to access them.

·           Andrew advised that the Beth Tweeddale Academy is continuing to grow and it is doing really well.

·           This year’s pantomime was a great success and a lot of positive feedback has been received, again this offer continues to grow year on year, as does its popularity.


Councillor Martin queried with Andrew how Link4Life is competing with the low cost providers such as Exercise4Less.  Andrew advised that they have a different offer and sit in the middle ground, between the lower cost offer and the more exclusive gyms such as David Lloyd.  Andrew explained that Link4Life offer a different package to both providers with GP referrals, different classes and activities such as the swimming offer.

Andrew was thanked for attending and providing an update.


Public Realm Officers


Unfortunately, the Public Realm Officers weren’t able to attend the meeting, but Lauren advised any issues raised in this meeting will be passed on to them via email.


Transport Issues


Residents advised that a ‘Better Buses’ petition is being circulated, and asked any of those who wished to sign the petition to do so at the end of the meeting.  Linked to the petition, a public meeting regarding bus regulation and the Better Buses for Greater Manchester is taking place on Wednesday 6 February 2019 at 6.30pm – 8.30pm in Manchester Art Gallery.

Councillor Donna Williams advised that due to the number of issues raised at this meeting from residents regarding bus issues, Councillor Burke in his role as Transport Representative has arranged for a TfGM Representative to attend the next Middleton Environment & Culture Forum meeting scheduled for Wednesday 20 March 2019.




Middleton Town Centre Management Company (MTCMCo)
Victoria advised of the following;

·           MTCMCo. continue to inspect and monitor Middleton Gardens sending regular reports to Rochdale Council and Middleton Township Office.

·           Issues are ongoing with fly tipping and pigeon feeders and Victoria advised that she has tried to arrange meetings with the Public Realm Inspectors, but hasn’t yet managed to meet with them to discuss concerns.  It was agreed that Lauren would email the Public Realm Inspectors and request a meeting be arranged.

·           Middleton Town Centre won a Silver award, which all agreed was fantastic given this is the first year that the Town Centre had entered the competition.

·           Victoria advised that there were issues with the Christmas tree that was installed in Middleton last year, but reported that within 24 hours of raising concerns with Councillor Donna Williams and the Township Office the tree was replaced.

·           Work is ongoing with local businesses to try and install brackets on the shop fronts to enable Christmas trees to be installed.

·           A resident advised that there are still ongoing issues with vehicles parking in the disabled parking areas near to McDonalds.  Victoria stated that she has no control over this issue and only Parking Enforcement Officers are able to ticket vehicles contravening parking regulations.  A discussion also took place regarding the poor state of the paving in this area.  Residents were informed that a site visit took place late last year and funding has been allocated to improve this route into the Town Centre.


Friends of Middleton View

·           The Friends of Middleton View advised that around 10 years ago Middleton Township funded a knee rail fence around areas of Tonge Fields, and unfortunately this fencing has now neared the end of its life.  A Township grant application has been submitted by the group for consideration in February 2019.


Friends of Jubilee Park

·           The Friends of Jubilee Park advised that works to the Exedra are due to start this week, with the fencing now installed to protect the public from accessing the works area.

·           The group was congratulated on the works which have taken place in the park, and all agreed that the park is looking fantastic.

Friends of Wince Brook

·           The Friends of Wince Brook advised that they have submitted two applications to Middleton Township for pathway works.  In addition to applying to Middleton Township, the group have also applied to Tesco ‘Access for All’ grant and confirmed they will be listed as a possible group in the store from March, and asked everyone to support them when receiving tokens in store.


Green Volunteers

·           Work is ongoing at Rhodes Lodges, and the group were thanked for their work and continued support in various parts of Middleton.

Friends of Alkrington Woods

·           The existing Chairman of the Friends of Alkrington Woods advised that he has served in the role for the last 16 years, and unfortunately membership has dwindled in that time.  When recently approached to redevelop the group he fully supports the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Any other business (not already discussed on the agenda)


Councillor West asked that the scheme discussed earlier on the agenda, funded by Township for Burton Street, is chased up by Lauren (Action: Agreed Lauren to contact Highways for a scheme start date).


Dates of future meetings


Wednesday 20 March 2019