The Old Parsonage Stenner Lane Didsbury Manchester M20 2RQ 0161 445 7661

General Meeting 13th November 2023

At The Old Parsonage

Attendees: Mike Corlett (chair), Gordon Browne, Mandy Salmon, Ellie Sams, Paul Thornhill, Richard Kilpatrick, Debbie Hilal, Andrew Simcock, Linda Jenkins, Anne-Marie Lackey, Mark Clayton, Carol Wilkinson, Mary Christie, John Leech

Apologies for absence: Margaret Seasby, Jayne Crawshaw and James Wilson.

Minutes from 10th July 2023: Proposed: Carol Wilkinson, Seconded: Richard Kilpatrick

Matters Arising

1. ASB status on CCTV provisioning (No Response)

Since the community meeting with the Parks team and GMP etc there has not been any response or update. Prior to tonight`s meeting the DCS were advised that the park was to be locked unofficially at night from 19:00 to 06:00 without community consultation, which especially affects those who work and catch the early trams and buses and those with disability.

Cllr Simcock advised that the locking was being carried out by a local resident who was using a personal device to secure the gate. It was also advised that the current householder carrying out the locking up was the victim of harassment. Is this not the problem which needs to be resolved?

Importantly at the ASB meeting the attendees were advised that GMP were in support of CCTV being put into operation using a type which was generally used in areas where fly tipping is prevalent. MCC agreed to take this problem away and investigate. It was also generally agreed that there are a considerable number of low-cost solutions in the market place.

** Ps we have since the meeting been advised that the locking up problem has now been resolved.

2. Recurring Flooding on Parrs Wood Lane under CRM-516-2912 (No Response)

This is a well-known problem to the attendees and residents. Cllr Leech has re-reported the problem under the above CRM. The re-reporting response from MCC Highways was that it was understood that this problem had been resolved some time ago? It is also understood that travellers completing TfGM travel surveys regularly advise this problem which has been present for many years. Surely, in 2023 this problem deserves to be escalated as it is a clear danger to pedestrians, those with disability, cyclists, Metro travellers and most importantly the school children using this area to cross an already problematical road. It is also surely a clear problem for resolution under the MCC “Climate and Pollution” Plan.   

Talk by Mandy Salmon (Didsbury East and West and Baguley Ward Manager)

Mandy preceded to deliver a very informative talk on the team`s responsibilities. There was a clear and very concise handout (a copy of which is attached) and it was explained that the Wards were all very busy, with various and multiple groups of stakeholders in line with an agreed and laid down Ward Plan. Regular Quarterly Meetings take place at various locations around the Ward which are open to all residents, attended by the elected councillor team with an open Q/A finale.

It was advised DCS raises regular Ward questions and issues via the Online CRM system, most of which are resolved via the developing Partnership which has been built up over the last few years. The Ward management also works closely with Southway Housing who manage the community housing for the area.

The Ward team also highlighted that there is financial hardship in the Didsbury area and they are holding regular “Cost of Living” events in all of the wards of Burnage, West Didsbury, East Didsbury. There is also a Climate Action Plan which is bringing about behaviour change to enable the plan to bring about positive results. The climate plan is publicly displayed on the MCC website for the community to view.

Ongoing work is taking place in Didsbury West with the Environment Agency to protect the area when flooding threatens, with an increased level of warnings currently being issued during the early part of 2023. Plans are being created and working around active travel. A cycle” fiesta” is set to take place at Emmanuel Church covering repairs and servicing, with increased cycle racks also being installed on Burton Road.

The Neighbourhood Investment Fund (NIF) was advised as £20,000 per ward, with the elected councillors deciding which causes receive the funding. Recent worthy causes being Christmas Lights, Friends of Fog Lane Park, the Corinthians Ladies Football mural, Didsbury Pride and the DCS Heritage Social Trip.

A Dragons Den style climate event will also take place on 7/12/2023 from 6pm until 8pm where a 5 minutes pitch could earn Community Funding for participants. Mandy reminded that the DCS has an application for the Garden of Contemplation already submitted.

The Local Infrastructure Fund is now active and will fund new and additional long awaited lighting columns on Ford Lane and upgrades to Fog Lane Park.

Currently there is a road safety initiative taking place outside of schools in which the children are recording poorly parked cars, noting the numbers and reporting them to the PCSOs involved. Some owners will receive letters of advice. Drivers who also have their engine idling will also be advised of the damage to air quality and health that this practice causes to lungs. There are also similar initiatives taking place on 24th November around the Didsbury Mosque area where the new Islamic Girls School is located. Finally, an aptly named clothes repair session will take place at Emmanuel called “Stitch-Up” on 25th November.

This was a very interesting and informative new addition to our meeting schedule.

 A big “Thank you to Mandy and the Team”.

Update Mersey Valley Peoples Assembly

A people`s assembly regarding the problems of the Mersey River Valley and Flood Plain regarding its pollution, flooding and levee erosion has taken place. Initially it was predicted that there would be about 80 attendees. The revised number is now 100 which was no mean attendance on a single topic. Also attending were United Utilities, various local speakers and closely linked community groups, including the DCS and elected council representatives, though not speaking. A successful meeting, although no response from those who can make the required changes happen.

Update Didsbury Park Estate (DPE) Community Issues, pavement and trip hazards

On the DPE Community WhatsApp it was recently advised that pavement and road trip hazards were being logged on the Didsbury Park Estate. At an even date no repairs have taken place and the deterioration is getting worse. Causes of the problems being by pavement parking, pavement driving (illegal), heavy builder`s vehicles (numerous). Areas which are advised regularly are namely, Sandhurst Road (St James Park), Dalston Drive both road and pavement and others.  

Update Delays on Didsbury building projects

Didsbury appears to have a number of stalled building projects which are a blot on the landscape. Some may be going slow, and others could be subject to being in financial Administration such as Bar 186 on the corner of Barlow Moor Road.

The new build at 21-23 Didsbury Park has been ongoing for around 3 years with the many and still present builder`s vehicle`s coming and going to site. Though the double decked roadside portacabins have now been removed. The Gatehouse development and conversion on Kingston Road still remains, Millgate Lane was closed for weeks for wall rebuilding, coupled with the works to the rear of Kingston Road with property extensions, again for weeks. Why do MCC not insist on time constraints being written into MCC planning application approvals, and with Planning department follow up? Why do the residents bear the inconvenience, simply because it`s cheaper.

Update on Spann`s Ghost Art

The wall plaque artwork is now completed and will be sent to the foundry soon for casting. The DCS need to readvise both the landlords, and the business unit users of the status and agree an installation plan. Diana Leitch has written the Spann`s family story, the full version will be on the website and can be accessed via a QR Code. 

Planning Approval for GoC War Memorial 137448/FO/2023

The planning approval under the above number has been received. Work will start in January 2024 with completion by the end of March 2024 which is the Realms Department Grant draw down final date.

Financial Report

The HSBC balance £25,075 including PIP funding, NIFs and other Grants sources. A reminder that Membership for 2024 is due from January 2024 onwards.

Any Other Business

Paul Thornhill asked whether the Jessiefield Apartments project had delivered any S106 funding to the Didsbury Community. We were advised by the Didsbury West representatives that it had. Could we be advised how much and the good causes benefitting in Didsbury which has seen closed roads, heavy vehicles, congestion and blocked gullies to the Holme Road area.


Mike Corlett