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.




Apologies were noted as above.


Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising


Two amendments to the last meeting had been received via email prior to the meeting, which both asked for amends to item 4 Transport Issues:

·           Councillor Boriss advised that the petition that he presented was in fact for the reinstatement of the route of the No. 12 bus service to include Baytree Lane, not the removal of the 415 and 58 services.

·           A resident asked that the following statement be changed from; ‘A resident advised that Bowlee and Heywood Old Road have no effective bus service at all between 9.30am – 4pm, as the 167 only runs during rush hour, meaning residents living in this area have no other option than to drive’ and be amended to “The only bus is a circular bus from Middleton via Rhodes, Bowlee, Birch and back to Middleton.  This service runs circa 0930 – 1600.  Thus residents have no option other than driving to and from work.  This occurred when the 167 was withdrawn some years ago residents had asked that the 167 service was reinstated as it served from Norden, through Heywood, Birch, Bowlee and onto Manchester.  As this was an ideal bus service for commuters”.


All other items are to be covered under the agenda.


Street Cleaning, Clean & Green, Enforcement


A resident advised that a Pay & Display machine has been installed on the Boars Head Car Park and queried if this land is Council owned and whether the Council can undertake any enforcement action regarding its removal.  It was agreed that this situation would be investigated and a response provided.
(Action: Lauren and Diane to send to colleagues in Highways and Estates)

Concerns were raised about the bins which have been left out by one of the shops on Long Street and residents felt that this causes an eyesore within the conservation area.  Diane Lodwig advised that she has previously visited the shop owner, who has no rear access and no other options to store the bins.  They had previously been moved to the Kohinoor car park, but the shop owners have been told to remove them by the landowner.  A resident advised that the owner of the particular shop causing issues does have access to another shop on the block which does have rear access, and as such requested that communication take place between the shop owners to ensure rear access can be provided and bins stored at the rear of the shops.  Residents also felt that the business owner needed to request an additional bin as there is often waste overflowing, which in hot weather creates issues with smells and will attract vermin.

A resident advised that the shop on Long Street (above) is causing access problems, as due to the space being taken up on the pavements this causes disabled access issues and people are having to walk in the road/separate which for those who may need support when walking is not acceptable.

A resident raised concerns regarding drivers, and in particular taxi/private hire drivers, parking up on Old Hall Street after buying food on Market Place, and then just throwing rubbish rather than taking it or disposing of the rubbish in a bin.  Diane advised that she regularly visits this area, and recently had a bin removed following complaints.  Following this meeting she advised that she will undertake another visit to the area and visit the takeaways.

A resident advised that there is dumping of waste taking place at the top of the 24 Steps and this situation is being made worse as it is then being blown about and getting caught in the self-seeded trees in the area.  The resident requested that this area be cleaned and cut back.

The friends of Mellalieu Street thanked Diane for some recent enforcement work she has undertaken regarding waste being dumped.

Recent planting in the town centre was raised and residents thanked the Council’s Environmental Management for the efforts, which have left the Town Centre looking fantastic.


Link4Life Update


Lauren advised that Andrew Entwistle had sent his apologies and she read out a written update:

·           Building works – Upgrade of ventilation system on poolside will improve its ambient temperature.  The design means it’s always struggled to reach the right air temperature during winter which makes the pools feel cold.

·           New furniture – Invested in new furniture front of house for customers to relax during the day and when attending events.

·           Launched a pilot scheme for gymnastic baby stars with Beth Tweddle, Gymnastics for babies’ 0-24months.  If the scheme is a success, Link4Life will look to expand it.

·           The summer holiday programme is now available with activities for children during the school holidays.  A two week play scheme will be running during the last two weeks of the six week holidays.  Link4Life are also considering staging beach party fun sessions and dyeing the colour of the pool to a lagoon colour (this colour change would only last for a few hours and returns to the normal colour).

·           The events programme is being worked on for next year with the new Head of Events and Entertainment.  Cinderella is this year’s pantomime starring Maureen Nolan (one of the Nolan Sisters).


A resident queried the advertisement of the Holiday@Home brochure, and they were advised that, as in previous years, enough brochures are produced for every child in Middleton delivered via schools.  Unfortunately, the schools don’t always deliver these to children immediately and if anyone is aware of any issues with delivery via a certain school these details can be passed to Lauren to feedback to Link4Life.

A resident advised that in addition to Maureen Nolan, they have also been informed that Shane Richie will be part of the pantomime this year.

A resident advised that they attend a lot of shows at Middleton Arena, and unfortunately some of these shows are not very well attended and queried if Link4Life still have the box office open at Middleton.  Councillor Donna Williams advised that Link4Life have recently employed a new Head of Events and Entertainment, who couldn’t attend this evening’s meeting due to being on leave, but will be working to increase attendance at any Link4Life events.


Transport Issues


Concerns were raised regarding a recent incident, where the 412 bus service, now run by Rosso, had no driver from Oldham.  Residents were asked to report any bus issues, when they happen, via Lauren who will send these to Councillor Burke, as he is the Council’s Transport Representative.  Lauren advised that the report needs to happen when the incident happens as without details such as the specific time and date these incidents cannot be investigated by TfGM.

A discussion was held about private drivers and business drivers accessing the Town Centre via the no access near to Wetherspoon’s.  There is currently a lot of children in this area on bikes and concerns were raised that there will be an accident.  Residents queried whether there were cameras in this area, and they were advised that this option was looked into recently, but the cost of the cameras made it prohibitive.  Residents asked if enforcement could be undertaken and they were advised that as this is classed as a moving traffic offence only GMP could enforce, which they try to do on a regular basis.  Councillor Dale stated, as residents will be aware, Policing numbers have been cut dramatically, and unfortunately the Police don’t always have the availability to enforce this situation as often as residents would like.  A similar concern was raised about drivers turning down Wood Street near to the Aldi store and again residents were advised that GMP try to regularly attend and undertaken enforcement action, but it isn’t feasible for them to be there all the time.

A resident advised that they often witness private hire drivers driving in both areas, illegally, and previously a request was made for
the Council’s Licensing Enforcement to visit the taxi/private hire companies to discuss this situation.  Lauren will re-open this request and provide an update direct.

A resident stated there was a recent RTA on Wood Street on 2 May 2019 and they asked if this incident was due to someone accessing the area via the no entry access outside Aldi.

Councillor Martin advised the Council’s Licensing Department undertake a very stringent process and recently liaised with Rossendale Council to help them with licensing procedures.  A resident commented that he had to recently made a complaint via a taxi from another area and he was very impressed to receive a reply from Rochdale Council’s Licensing Department within 24 hours.

Councillor Martin advised issues should be reported as they happen to the Council’s Licensing Enforcement (




Middleton Town Centre Management Company
Victoria advised of the following:

·           Middleton Town Centre will be judged as part of the Middleton in Bloom competition this coming Monday (15 July 2019).

·           Rochdale Council’s Licensing Department did a fantastic job concerning a problem which was raised at a previous meeting regarding Uber drivers congregating at McDonald’s in the Town Centre.

·           The Town Centre Summer Events Programme starts on Saturday 27 July 2019 and runs for the next four weekends.

·           A summer event will take place in the Town Centre on Saturday 24 August 2019.

·           She will meet with Diane on a regular basis to walk around and discuss issues in the Town Centre, and she thanked Diane for agreeing to this arrangement.

·           Additional flowers are being planted in the Town Centre and she agreed with an earlier comment made regarding how good the Town Centre looks at the moment.

·           New roofs and backs have been ordered for the market stalls.  This investment will help to protect the traders and their stock, especially in the winter months and it should make the market look more ‘uniform’ and create a better image.

·           A discussion took place regarding the bee-hive which Middleton Shopping Centre has on the car park roof and residents felt that with bee populations currently in decline, this is an excellent idea.

·           A discussion took place regarding a singer that currently performs within the Town Centre.  She tries to work with all the users of the Town Centre to make sure there is no disruption caused to anyone due to performers being in the area.


Friends of Middleton View

·           As discussed at the previous meeting, the Friends of Middleton View received a Township grant to replace the knee rail fencing around Tonge Fields.  The knee rail has now been installed by the Green Volunteers and again Township were thanked for the funding received which enabled this scheme to go ahead.


Friends of Jubilee Park

·           The Friends of Jubilee Park advised that the park has entered Middleton in Bloom as a ‘stand-alone’ scheme, and not part of the main Middleton In Bloom competition.  They thanked Ian Trickett and the Environmental Management Team for their amazing work in helping to get the park ready for its judging day.

·           Once the In Bloom judging has finished, the group plan to meet with Environmental Management Officers and the Township Chair and Vice Chair to undertake a walk-about in the Old Burial Ground next to St. Leonard’s to create a newer management plan for the area.  The group were advised that funding may be available via an application to Township.

·           Works to the Exedra and Bandstand have now been completed and again the group thanked Rochdale Council for all the support in getting these projects finished.

·           Three new bins have been ordered for Jubilee Park and they will be installed over the coming months.  Following a discussion concerning bins, a resident requested that a new bin be installed next to the bus stop, outside the park, on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Any other business (not already discussed on the agenda)


·           Following a request at the last meeting where some groups asked to share their email addresses and contact information, Lauren advised that a sheet has been put on the table and those who wish to share contact details can do so via this sheet. Groups who have completed this sheet will receive a copy via email.

·           St. Anne’s Academy has recently changed their lettings policy due to an increase in demand.  A lettings company has been engaged and St Anne’s Academy can offer bookings up to 10pm.

·           An open meeting to discuss the GMSF was requested.  This request will be passed to Rochdale Council’s Planning Department.

·           Lauren advised she has been working with colleagues in Environmental Management and the Friends of Group concerning the proposal to install another flag pole in Jubilee Park.  This proposal would tie in with how Middleton Library would have looked initially as there was a flag pole originally located to the left of the building near to where the cycle rack stands currently.  All those present in the meeting were supportive of this suggestion.

·           A resident requested that signage be installed at the lower end of Wood Street to advise drivers that there may be older people present as seen in other areas due to the neighbouring sheltered accommodation.  Lauren will pass this request to colleagues in Highways.

·           A resident raised concerns about road markings and the speed humps near Mount Road.  It was agreed that the information would be passed to Councillor Martin who will ask Highways Officers to check the height of the humps and road markings.

·           Works to St Leonard’s Street are currently on the Highways list and the budget has already been allocated to this scheme, but there is presently a backlog and it will be carried out in due course.

·           A Friends of group member advised that he wishes to formally thank all the other groups for their ongoing work, but felt that it is very unfair when other groups don’t respect the boundaries of each other and interfere unnecessarily at certain times of the year. It was agreed by all groups they needed to show courtesy to other groups, and their boundaries, which if they do cross then they should treat each other’s groups with courtesy and ensure a dialogue so everyone is aware of what is happening.  Following a discussion about this situation and other groups advising that they were in agreement, the Township Chair agreed to write to the relevant officers about this matter and ask that reminders be sent out to all groups regarding their conduct.



Dates of future meetings


4 September 2019
27 November 2019
19 February 2020