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

General Meeting 19th February 2024

at The Old Parsonage

Attendees: Mike Corlett (Chair), Gordon Browne, Mary Christie, Ellie Sams, Carol Wilkinson, Cllr Debbie Hilal, Elaine Vercoe, Cllr John Leech, Cllr James Wilson, Tony Parkinson

Apologies for absence: Cllr Andrew Simcock, Cllr Richard Kilpatrick, Mark Clayton

Minutes from 13th November 2023: Proposed: Carol Wilkinson, Seconded: Mary Christie

Matters Arising from the minutes:

It was advised that item 1 from the minutes ASB status on CCTV provisioning (No Response) has now been resolved, with a CCTV camera positioned close to the Gillbrook Road access gate to the park. This has been used to identify those involved in a recent incident.

Business Agenda:

1. Roadworks Sandhurst Rd and Dalston Drive

 A very well organised job carried out by J Hopkins within the 4 days advised with very little inconvenience, if any, to the residents including access and egress. The road was also promptly re-lined with its double and single yellow lines, along with its white courtesy lines. Importantly, as the last day (Friday) was bin day the refuse team re-visited on the Saturday, to do the necessary. A great experience all around.

2. Didsbury Festival

A question was placed on the D P Community WhatsApp group asking the members for comments for possible improvements to the event. Two ideas were sent by M C in response:

  • Could Charities and not for profit organisations in Didsbury be charged at reduced pitch price?
    • Which parts of the community are supported by the event?

     MC was requested to send an email to the organisers which has now been done and a reply received.

    3. Further Anti-Social behaviour Gillbrook Road

    The question was asked why Gillbrook Road and this particular entrance? This entrance also leads over to Sandhurst Road and the main arterial walking and cycling route for residents to and from Didsbury for its shops, pubs and restaurants.

    If there are other hot spots in Didsbury for ASB please report to GMP and your local councillor.

    4. Progress on the Garden of Contemplation.

    As at Friday 16th the paving slabs were being laid, completion and cutting should be by Friday 23rd February within Phase 1 including the initial site clearance and levelling by Equan`s. A big thank you to them for their planning, hard work and support in the community. We have secured further grants from Manchester Airport

    Community Funding towards the new seating and the Worshipful Company of Gardner`s for additional perennial bulbs and plants.

    Discussions are also taking place regarding whether the water feature could now be completed within Phase 1.

    The back wall which forms part of the Domino`s Pizza building (preparation area) and is part of the Didsbury Heritage area is still causing concern, regarding its stability before and since the work has started. It is understood that the responsibility forms part of Lessee`s agreement for maintenance and repair. It is important that Dominos management should be written to, reminding them of their responsibilities as the lease holders and their duty of care to the public. The roof also has a large amount of invasive Ivy growth, which could be further stressing the roof with additional weight.

      5. Stenner Lane and Old Parsonage boundary wall movement

    A member`s question had been recently raised about the wall and whether a planning application had been made for repair. From the discussion and in all probability, it seems that nothing has been done. During the discussions it was advised that MCC are responsible for the repair and maintenance. Therefore, we should pursue this matter through the Ward Management team?

    6. Tree deterioration, maintenance and poor road lighting

    We have no actual figures, but there seems to be more trees down and falling limbs during this winter in parks and roadsides. A discussion followed about poor lighting levels due to tree growth even after the upgrade to the lighting heads probably 10+ years ago. The lighting levels on Palatine Road was also discussed from the Britannia Country House hotel to the Palatine Bridge Northenden which also appear to be affected by over growing branches and lack of cleaning maintenance? Questions were also raised about responsibility for, and who owns the scruffy and untidy land on both sides of the road. Is it MCC, the Environmental Agency or the Golf Courses? Also, there are lighting problems to the Wilmslow Road area on the west side, slightly north of Ball Brook Court.

    Cllr Leech added that work had taken place to the frontage of the Britannia Country House hotel which had improved the appearance of the area. It was also advised that the Arbor team are over-stretched and had to be reactive rather than proactive. Though, it is important that MCC recognise that outcomes can be devastating and expensive from trees falling.

    7. Accident Damage to Road galvanised barriers in the Parrs Wood triangle area

    It was agreed that there was quite a lot of barrier damage due to vehicle accidents which have not been replaced for a long period of times. The damage has previously been reported by two members, though may have been deleted by highways?

    There are also “A” frames, road signs and sand bags left in the area from previous works.

    It would appear that Cadent have still not cleaned off the graffiti from the new equipment building in the park. Also, there is green MCC fencing left on the grassed area from the work and a large tree branch from a past storm.

    Carol Wilkinson advised that the person who regularly “begs” in the central area of Kingsway close to the Gateway Hotel presents both an accident danger to the public and drivers, and is also intimidatory. It is understood that an order has been taken out to restrict his activities, but he still persists although not there all of the time.

    It was also advised that the area for the new Dandara apartments has been barriered off in the Tesco car park and looks like some piling has now started.

    The green street furniture in the area, including the previously mentioned new and enlarged Cadent building needs their graffiti removed. Importantly the Cadent issue is in a public park and clearly makes the area look rundown.

    It was agreed to advise Cllr James Wilson regarding these issues.

    Financial Report:

    The HSBC balance £27,217.24 including PIP funding, NIFs and other Grants sources.

    Any Other Business:

    Gordon updated us on the proposed social trip to the Black Country Living Museum

    Please Save the Date 8Th May 2024.

    To keep costs manageable travellers should arrange to bring a packed lunch. We are currently awaiting the coach costs to finalise the cost per traveller, which have risen significantly due to fuel costs and the war in Ukraine etc.

    Tony Parkinson raised points regarding having community meetings to advise about the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the public facing arena and making the community more aware, including its use in traffic control. Along with schools talking about, and advising on the current roles of School Governor’s.

    Good News

    Travellers on the last social trip to Attingham Park in Shrewsbury will receive a refund on the charges made as the DCS has now received a MCC NIF Grant for the social side of the trip. We are advised the payment has to be made to reduce the cost of that particular trip rather than a credit against future trips. We plan to issue cheques directly as soon as possible to each individual payee who went on the trip.

    Finally, it was agreed that Mary C and Mike C will pursue a follow up meeting to the last Pollution Meeting at the Didsbury Baptist Church. Involving a Clinician to deliver findings and research on the subject.     


    Mike Corlett