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


Agenda Item 8 – Any Other Business

·           The resident, who had raised concerns regarding the speed humps, advised that the issue is speed humps on Mount Road, not ‘near to’ as noted in the minutes.  The resident stated that the speed humps are in a poor condition and queried the height of the humps.  Following the last meeting, a survey was undertaken by the resident, which was passed to Councillor Martin, and it has since been shared with Highways who will investigate further.


All other items are to be covered under the agenda.


Touchstones Presentation


A representative from Touchstones was not available.


Street Cleaning, Clean & Green and Enforcement


Diane Lodwig advised the meeting that the Cleaner Town Litter Campaign has been started with posters being displayed asking people to dispose of their rubbish/takeaway rubbish more appropriately.

As raised at the last meeting, a complaint was made by Councillor West regarding the industrial sized bins which have been put next to the end shop below Kohinoor on Long Street.  Diane advised that she has visited the shop owner and he has nowhere else to store his bins.  Another shop keeper from a nearby row advised that they could be stored on Kohinoor, as has previously happened, but there is charge made by the landowner to do so.  Diane has asked the shop owner to ensure that the bins are kept secure and lids shut.  Residents queried if the shop owner could be issued with a smaller bin and they were advised that this isn’t an option as Rochdale Borough Council don’t collect ‘commercial waste’.

The representative, present at the meeting, from the Edgar Wood Society advised that the bins stored on Long Street are an eye-sore, and the Head of Historic England had previously stated that with important buildings like the Long Street Methodist Church in such close proximity then ‘tat’ and rubbish which effect the ‘street-scene’ should be kept to a bare minimum.  This view was also echoed in the prestigious PevsnerArchitecturalGuides, which advised that Middleton is home to some amazing historic buildings, but these buildings are surrounded by lots of ‘tat’.

The Edgar Wood Society also advised that Heritage Open Days will commence in a few weeks, and unfortunately the area has lots of banners on display such as the one on the ‘Old School House’.  It was agreed that the group would forward the previous emails regarding this issue that they had sent to the Council’s Planning Department for Lauren to chase up.


Link4Life Update - Jonathan Higgins


Councillor Donna Williams welcomed Jonathan Higgins to the meeting.  Jonathan has been in post since mid-March as Head of Events and Programming at Link4Life.

Jonathan commented that since starting he has realised that there is a lot to do, but also a lot of very good work ongoing.  His view is that there needs to be more focus and commercial acumen in order to better the cultural offering.  Jonathan is also working to ensure that Middleton Arena is ‘on the map’ for its services and work has been in progress now for some time to increase the knowledge within the cultural industry of Middleton Arena to ensure that it attracts more shows and providers to the building.

A worldwide production company have recently signed up to stage an adaptation of Frankenstein at Middleton Arena for a week in February.  This is the first time that Middleton Arena will host a one week show and it is a risk for Link4Life as the show must pay for itself, so there will be a lot of focus over the coming months on selling tickets and ensuring that shows like this continue to tour to Middleton Arena.  Jonathan advised that he is also working to ensure similar shows tour at Heywood Civic, which is a smaller offer but still has a lot of potential.

Councillor June West raised concerns about ticket sales and the booking office at Middleton Arena.  Jonathan advised that Link4Life opened the ticket office at Middleton Arena in March, and it is open from 10am – 3pm daily, with telephone bookings available from 8.30am – 7.30pm.  In addition, people can also choose other options and the system in place allows people to print tickets at home.  Wherever possible people are encouraged to go paperless, but Link4Life recognises that not all people have a smartphone or access to a home printer, and for that reason still continue to provide telephone and ticket office bookings.

Concerns were raised with Jonathan about the lack of advertisement of some events and shows at Middleton Arena.  Jonathan advised that previously the cultural side of Link4Life didn’t have specific events marketing, and he and others have encouraged a change in the way Link4Life markets events.  Since March they have experienced an increased take up of ‘likes’ to the Link4Life social media pages which allows for direct marketing opportunities.

A resident queried with Jonathan about financial support that Link4Life receives from Rochdale Borough Council and Jonathan confirmed that Link4Life are subsidised.  A local group advised that they were very unhappy about the unwillingness of Link4Life to help market local events, and whereas previously Link4Life would allow local groups to drop flyers off and display them in the foyer this is no longer the case.  Local groups asked if a community board could be made available to allow local groups to advertise events.  As a senior member of Link4Life staff, Jonathan confirmed he is happy to agree to this request, but any posters, etc would need to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Transport Issues


At the last meeting residents were asked to report any bus issues when they happen.  Lauren advised that there have been no reports made.  A reminder was given that if there are any issues, these should be sent to Lauren who will send them 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 resident queried if the CCTV cameras in the Town Centre could be used to catch drivers who ignore the ‘No Entry’ signage.  Lauren advised that cameras enabled for the reasons of catching driving offences, have to be registered ‘ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) specific cameras’, with specialist GDPR/ANPR licenses and as such normal CCTV cameras can’t be used for this purpose.




Middleton Town Centre Management Company
Victoria has sent her apologies and provided a written update which Lauren read out to the meeting:

·         Garden inspections continue to be carried out monthly and a report is issued to the relevant parties.  Victoria is aware of the water stop tap which has had its cover removed and she is currently liaising with Gerard Proudman (Environmental Management) and United Utilities to find out who is responsible and how to get it repaired to prevent 'youths' filling up water bombs, etc and causing anti-social behaviour in the Gardens.  As a temporary measure, the tape has been sealed off using heavy duty black bags and insulating tape.

·         Alongside the Summer Saturday events this year there was a new 'Summer Sizzler' - Midd's Big Bank Holiday Bash on Saturday 24 August 2019 - this event was a really successful and well attended with around 200 children and their parents coming into the Gardens to join in with a number of activities.  There was also a number of local craft stalls, a DJ and free BBQ food.  This is an event which MTCM hope to expand every year from now on.

·         'Oktoberfest' is to be held on Saturday 5 October 2019 from 12 noon and there will be five live bands, beer tents and food stalls.


Friends of Middleton View

·           The Friends of Middleton View advised the grass cutting at Tonge Hall still hasn’t been completed.  It was agreed that Lauren would pass this issue on to the relevant section in Environmental Management.


Friends of Jubilee Park

·           The Friends of Jubilee Park had sent their apologies to the meeting, but were congratulated again on receiving the Green Flag for the second year running.

Friends of Wince Brook

·           No representative present to give an update.


Green Volunteers

·           The Green Volunteers usually meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and the thanks of the meeting are noted to all the Green Volunteers who do a wonderful job throughout the year.

·           The group are undertaking balsam bashing.

Friends of Alkrington Woods

·           The group thanked Township for the ‘start-up’ grant they received in July.

·           A website has been created for Alkrington Woods.

·           The group have met with TfGM to discuss plans to try and create a more attractive point of entry to Alkrington Woods via the entrance opposite the bus station.  TfGM have agreed to install a display board about the Woods and they will provide signposting in the bus station to encourage more visitors.

·           The group advised that they have plans to create a community orchard in Alkrington Woods.  Councillor Smith informed the group that some fruit bushes can be made available from the Community Garden.  The group were advised to contact the Woodland Trust for fruit trees with the best time to register interest via the Woodland Trust website in late February/early March.

·           A meeting has been arranged with Highways tomorrow to discuss issues with the lay-by and signage to Alkrington Woods on the highway.

·           A litter pick in Alkrington Woods  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Any other business (not already discussed on the agenda)


·           The meeting was advised that some of the signage in the Town Centre is out of date, ie there is still a sign pointing to the Council offices on Sadler Street.  (Action: Lauren to report to Highways)

·           Councillor West raised concerns regarding people receiving parking tickets at the Old Boar’s Head when visiting the Doctors’ Surgery or Durnford Street Clinic.  Lauren advised that this issue has been raised on a number of occasions and as the Council is not the land owner the Old Boar’s Head are legally entitled to install parking meters and charge for parking, with fines for those who don’t comply with the parking terms and conditions.


Dates of future meetings


27 November 2019
19 February 2020