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

Minutes of the General Meeting 8th August 2022


Mike Corlett (MC Chair), Debbie Hilal (DH), John Leech (JL), Anne-Marie O`Driscoll (AMOD) minutes, Carol Wilkinson (CW), Mark Clayton (MC), Gordon Browne (GB), Brian Johnston (BJ), Geoff Bridson (GBr), Mary Christie (MCh) James Wilson (JW)

Welcome and Apologies for Absence:

Apologies from Andrew Simcock (AS) Greg Stanton (GS), Richard Kilpatrick (RK), Pam Venning (PV), Ellie Sams (ES), Tony Parkinson (TP), Barry Young (BY)

Acceptance of the Minutes of the DCS General Meeting held on the 11th July 2022

Proposed: Carol Wilkinson Seconded Debbie Hilal

Matters Arising:

Storm debris and damage raised 13th June and 11th July: Bradley Fold tree trunks still littering and security fencing still down. Didsbury Cricket Club external fencing looks to have been removed for repair. With two tree trunks cut off, but still in ground, the dislodged tree trunk root base upturned is still on pavement grassed area.

Barlow Moor Road Gullies and Grids raised 13th June and 11th July: Work looks to have started to carry out the additional clearing.

The poor state of Didsbury pavements around Didsbury Centre raised 11th July:

No action to date and no response to the Sandhurst Road pavement criticism about its current state and the lack of repairs.   

Business Agenda

1.Tesco Apartments, Dandara, Traffic Pollution and congestion:

The apartment application was rejected by MCC Planning with up to 250 residential letters of opposition, mainly attributable to potential traffic problems, pollution and access/egress. The park area and road triangle will still need a Highways traffic plan to improve the current travel and vehicle problems, and is regularly advised as a failed traffic junction. Importantly, the fact that it`s a “green area” would also be a serious issue to overcome with public opinion.  It has been an ever-present problem for about 40+ years. The proposal to develop the area with apartments was described by MCC as high density living, as its on a small footprint. It is also in the suburbs and contrary to MCCs current plans.

2.Planning Applications and objections:

The MCC report on the Tesco/Dandara proposal stated there were 228 objections to the proposal plus 7 unknowns. However, being submitted in letter form to MCC Planning and Licensing, none appear to have been entered on the public MCC Planning Portal, where submissions go through a formal submission and vetting procedure. A process which is a far more open procedure.  

3.Is there a Community Plan for Didsbury in the 21st Century:

The DCS has submitted two proposals for improving Didsbury (Didsbury Plan and Future Didsbury) addressing the issues of traffic, parking, traffic signals and road crossings etc in both 2017 and 2021. The documents submitted have not even had the courtesy of an official council response, to what was regarded by residents as very professional proposals made by the Manchester School of Architecture student`s involved.

4.Social Trip to Liverpool Thursday 8th September 2022

Interest has now taken off. The trip includes a guided tour of the St Georges Hall, Knowsley Safari Park and a carvery lunch.

Financial Reporting:

The Final Accounts for the Year Ended 2021 were presented and have been approved by the Trustees and independently audited.

The HSBC bank balance at the 30th July 2022 was £13486.92

A o B:

-It was suggested we look at purchasing anti vandal/graffiti cleaning materials, though the DCS does cover a wide area for both monitoring and cleaning up. It does seem that certain of the problem areas are outsourced contractually such as lamp standards to AMEY, without any monitoring and cleaning actions being taken in Didsbury for several years. Currently the retrospective clearing actions have still not taken place along Wilmslow Road.

-The Post Office red pillar box in Albert Hill Street has been graffitied more or less since installation, why have the Post Office staff not taken action as it is outside of their front door, rather than leaving it to the public to report.

-Investigate whether green telephone infrastructure boxes at street level can be decoratively painted, similar to those around the Christie Hospital Wilmslow Road and Palatine Road areas. (JW) has advised that he has the contact details for one of the Withington Walls artists.

-The Councillors and Ward management agreed to pursue the persistent tarmac damage to the ducting in Whitechapel Street behind the Coop and Gusto. Which is poorly repaired and not fit for purpose and regularly being torn out by the HGV`s delivering to site, which has a tight turn entry. It was also discussed that the rough type anti-graffiti paint used in the past at ground level /street level was a good deterrent, even though it is expensive to deploy across potential targets.

-The DCS advised it will run a stall at Didsbury Pride in September and also try to recruit new members with a Saturday Morning table at the Didsbury library.

-Debbie Hilal requested that we should hold a further meeting of the Garden of Contemplation team. This will be arranged.

-Spann`s Ghost Art the physical storyboard is being edited and will also have a QR Code of the full version on line. We are currently looking at possible storyboard back board materials for the finished hard copy

-MCC, TfGM and Network Rail appear to have problems determining infrastructure ownership action to remove graffiti on bridges and walls etc. Members of the public reporting problems are regularly being asked for post codes and national road numbers etc which are not always available when initially reporting problems. Support requests are also made to “can you supply photographs”, whereas the MCC reporting system does not allow “browse and attach” function of photographs which confirms a lack of consistency of standards for the reporting public. (JL) also confirmed reporting issues in Perrygate Ave West Didsbury, regarding a vandalised street sign which was advised as “could not be found” when the location was visited for repair, even though it was actually still in place.

Mike Corlett, DCS Chair