Agenda item

Open Forum

Minutes:

Missing Road Sign
It was reported that there is a missing road sign on Wildhouse Lane; a resident raised their concerns of the safety impact of the missing signage.
Action 1: Request replacement signage (Tracey Knight)

Temple Lane Traffic Volume and Speed
Residents raised their concerns about speeding traffic and road safety; the suggestions previously put forward by Highways were not supported for a number of reasons.
Action 2: Feedback to Highways and request further advice (Tracey Knight)

School Crossing Patrols
A resident advised that the crossing patrol on Calderbrook Road has been missing for some time.  Another resident advised that the person had been seconded to a different location that was deemed a higher priority.  A discussion then took place regarding the Council proposal to withdraw funding for school crossing patrols and the concerns this raises for residents.  It was explained that this is not a statutory service and that in lots of authorities the schools pay for the patrols themselves.  This is a proposal to assist with the current budget gap; difficult decisions have to be made.

Stolen Bicycle
A resident advised that he had found a bike that may have been stolen; it had been reported to the Police but he was advised they wouldn’t collect it.  PC McGregor agreed to arrange collection of the bike from the resident.
Action 3: Arrange collection of the bicycle (PC McGregor)

School Places
A lengthy discussion took place regarding the allocation of school places and the effect that this is having on families now and in the future.  The admission criteria for academy schools was explained and residents were advised to apply pressure themselves to the local academies.  Residents were also advised that the decision regarding the application, made by the Altus Education Partnership, for a new school in Littleborough will be known in spring 2019.  Concerns were raised regarding the lack of school places to accommodate the planned housing developments.  Councillors advised that they too are concerned about the lack of infrastructure; they raise this issue at every opportunity.

GM Transport Strategy
A resident raised concerns regarding the lack of transport plans within the strategy for the Rochdale Borough.  Councillors confirmed that they are lobbying TfGM for improved commuter options and infrastructure including additional bus routes and extended car parks.  Friends of Littleborough Stations are hosting a community consultation event on 21 March 2019 at Smithy Bridge Methodist Church.  It was confirmed that the Leader of the Council, Councillor Allen Brett, represents Rochdale at the GM Combined Authority Committees.

Former Akzo Nobel Site
A resident addressed the meeting and gave some background to this site including the reports of the Coal Authority and the planning processes that has taken place, etc.  Planning permission was granted in 2015 for 174 dwellings.  A letter was referred to that allegedly brought to light new information that would question the safety of the site for housing/development.  This information has previously been made available to senior Council Officers and Homes England.  The resident is concerned that this information has been disregarded and plans appear to be progressing.  Following a lengthy discussion, Councillors Dearnley and Emsley agreed to speak with the Head of Planning for clarification.

Framework Consultation
Residents are concerned about the current GMSF green belt plans for the local area and the impact this will have on the already stretched infrastructure.  Campaigners are advising and assisting residents to submit their comments before the consultation ends on 18 March 2019.  Residents asked Councillors for their active support in challenging the plans and assisting their constituents to do the same.  A number of events have taken place already to raise awareness and engage with the community.  It was confirmed that the Leader of the Council, Councillor Allen Brett, represents Rochdale’s views at the GM Combined Authority GMSF committees.  Residents raised their concerns about this situation and requested a public meeting with Councillor Brett and Paul Moore, Rochdale Council’s Head of Planning.
Action 4: Arrange meeting and invite Councillor Brett and Paul Moore (Tracey Knight)