Minutes of the General Meeting held on Monday 26th September 2022
Mike Corlett (MCo Chair), Debbie Hilal (DH), Anne-Marie O`Driscoll (AMOD) minutes, Carol Wilkinson (CW), Pam Venning (PV) Mark Clayton (MCC), Brian Johnston (BJ), Phil Downs (PD), Geoff Bridson (GBr), Mary Christie (MCh), Marion Philbin (MP).
Welcome and Apologies for Absence:
Richard Kilpatrick (RK), Ellie Sams (ES), Tony Parkinson (TP), Gordon Browne (GB), Andrew Simcock (AS), James Wilson (JW)
Acceptance of the Minutes of the DCS General Meeting held on the 8th August 2022
Proposed: Carol Wilkinson Seconded Pam Venning
Storm debris and damage raised 13th June and 11th July:
This item was moved from the original Agenda as it is a Matter Arising item. The retaining wall on Wilmslow Road between Philip Godlee Lodge and St James Park. Is damaged and repairs have not commenced. The work is advised as ordered but needs carrying out before the stones disappear.
1.Rhodes Clock Security Door:
After initial contact with Stefan Strittmatter (Halcion Conservation) on behalf of MCC Monuments on the 28th Feb 2021 regarding the replacement of the damaged door on the outside of the Grade 11 listed monument. Nothing heard to date regarding progress.
2.People Place and Planet
A new additional group has been formed in Didsbury. Is there any reason why the existing community groups have not been asked to work with them not just to solely join in a seminar. “Our future” has to be community and elected representative driven and the bigger the better. What is the plan for Didsbury and its future. We are nearly a year on from COP26
The DCS has previously been advised that AMEY are responsible for Didsbury`s lamp posts under an outsourcing agreement. This was being pursued by Barry Young prior to his new appointment. If this is correct DCS is extremely disappointed
at the lack of action by AMEY over the last 3+ years, which has allowed Didsbury`s lamp posts to be fly posted with leaflets and notifications, without any regular cleaning down or even checking to ensure that there are no offensive or political notices posted.
It was agreed that a check would be made with the appropriate MCC department to check the contractual T&Cs and provide an update on the correct situation. We would expect an update for the next meeting in October 2022. MCC also need to instruct Highways to deep clean the traffic signal crossing controls of graffiti and stickers now soiling our once lovely streets. It was also mentioned that the PCSO`s may know who the graffiti vandal Maca is, who visibly has completed more acts of Criminal Damage in Didsbury than any other resident. Surely the time has come for action. (DH) agreed to raise the matter with GMP on 3/10/2022
(PD) explained, the law regarding discrimination in buildings is now very clear, specific to wheel chair access of residents and visitors. It is not just a matter of the occasional widened door way the removal of the odd step or adding a ramp. For example, O`Neill`s Bar/Dockers/Dockyard is a classic example of a regularly refurbished pub. However, the step remains ever present denying wheelchair access. There is also at least one group of “independent living” in the community members living on Parrswood Road who regularly meet these problems, along with those who are visually impaired or use ambulators.
Recently a new and raised inspection cover has been installed in the public pavement side at the Limes access which requires levelling to make safe for all pavement users.
It was also advised that:
(MCo) new disabled parking bays have been created on Dene Road. Unfortunately, they are a distance away for those with disability rather than in Didsbury Centre allowing easier village access within an acceptable distance of travel. Also how have Highways escaped the “oft quoted” legal costs of near £1400 to create the bays.
(MCh) advised that the new disabled parking bays (Dene Road) are only on one side of the road and was simply not good enough. Requiring the road to be crossed to access Didsbury shops and businesses (Highways need to review this action)
It was also advised (DH) that many disabled residents do not have easy access to bars in West Didsbury.
The planned installation of charging points for electric vehicles both residential and business will result in large parts of the area being dug up to allow the new cabling
required to be installed. Also, older houses have to be split off from neighbouring houses supplied originally with 440v down to 220v.
The northbound ramp to the train station platform at Parrs Wood station was advised as unnegotiable for those in wheelchairs due to the scale of incline and verses what cost to the installation of a lift, when much more sensible work has been done under the Metro roll out?
DCS held a very informative meeting with MCC regarding the challenges facing villages like Didsbury, requesting restricting of the drive towards late night/early morning drinking and control of the many glasses and bottles regularly left on our streets during bar hopping.
At a recent meeting with the Ward Management, the DCS requested that Community groups should have awareness of applications by the various Ward groups and pursue potential co-operation and use by other groups for the benefit of all in the community. The Award detail and accumulative expenditure can be advised at Ward Meetings similar to how the Charity groups update expenditure at member meetings.
7.Thorn Bank Woods:
It is understood that steps are being installed towards the rear of the wood and towards Didsbury Sports Ground. Less than 6 months ago there was a planning application to fence off a significant part of this area. Has there been a change of plans for access? Has the larger community and DSG been consulted? (MCo) was asked to write to the volunteer group for an update on future plans.
Continues to be a problem and on the increase around Didsbury, including outside of Didsbury C of E Elm Grove where dumped pallets were a clear danger to young children. We have been advised that CCTV is planned be installed. At an even date it is still outstanding and fly tipping continues in the area.
HSBC balance was advised to attendees which now includes a Parks in Partnership grant for the Cenotaph Garden of Contemplation and the Spann`s Ghost Art
A o B:
(MP) and (MCh )confirmed that there is a litter problem at M & S with delivery tickets blowing around regularly after a delivery has been made. Marion has contacted M & S without any improvement.
Questions were raised regarding the appearance and installation of the art works to the Railway Bridge Parrs Wood (EDY) on Wilmslow Road, with discussion following including the damage and the lack of any prep work or cleaning down.
Other comments from some members at the meeting were as follows:
The idea of covering up the tiles of the East Didsbury railway bridge was initially a good idea. However, it is disappointing after such a protracted installation, the artworks were damaged. Looking forward, if possible, to repairs.
General comments received were lack of a Didsbury community wide consultation, the names of those individuals portrayed are not known. Overall, an opportunity missed to have an improved “gateway to Didsbury.”
Finally, it is regrettable that DCS was not involved and communicated with throughout this project.