Meeting Report

Chorlton Community Alliance (formerly Vital and Viable Chorlton Alliance/ Collaboration) Meeting December 18th 2019 at The Edge Theatre

Present: Carolyn Kagan (Convener), Nick Dixon; Chris Peacock, Linsey Parkinson, Tara Parry, Julia Wickett, Julie Ryan, Shaun Fensom, Fiona Vincer

Representing Chorlton Voice; Chorlton Community Land Trust; Chorlton Connected; Chorlton and Whalley Range Dementia Action Group; Age Friendly Whalley Range and Chorlton; Chorlton Traders; Open Up Magazine; Chorlton and District Co-op;  Friends of Chorlton Park; Friends of Ryebank Field, Chorlton Connected; Manchester Primary care partnership (Health and Social Care Development)

Apologies: Mandie Shilton Godwin (Chorlton Park Councillors); Ken Flood (St Clements); Claire Stocks (Chorlton Climate Action Plan); Steve Goslyn (Chorlton CLT); Greg Wilson (Redeemer Church) ; 2 Councillors Chorlton Park Ward; Health and Social Care Development (Chorlton etc and Chorlton Park etc); Aron Thornley (Manchester BUZZ, Chorlton Whalley Range and Fallowfield); Claire Stocks (Chorlton Climate action; WalkRide Chorlton)

Other Members: Edge Theatre;  St Clement’s Church; Brookfield House development; Whalley Range Forum; friends of Chorlton Meadows; Beech Road Traders; PN Avenue RA; Reach Out; Transition network; Unicorn Grocery; Chorlton Good Neighbours; The White House Project

Agenda was circulated in advance

  1. Matters arising from meeting September 16th: All coming up on the Agenda
  1. Website

The meeting looked at the Website shell Linsey had created. This is mainly to act as a repository of information and was not designed to replace individual group/activity sites. Approved.  The website can be found at  Please note that it’s intentionally pretty basic and simple – and very much a work in progress.  If people want to send info about their organisations or any comments, corrections, suggestions, content, blog posts or whatever else, they can email Linsey .

It was agreed that each group would write a short piece about themselves with links their own website/Facebook page/ social media. Send copy to Linsey.

Linsey was thanked for all the work she had put in to creating the website which will soon go public and details circulated. In the meantime get some copy in to Linsey about your group!

  1. Vital and Viable Chorlton report

The report had been circulated in advance and is available from as part of the Council’s  Overview and Scrutiny District centres Sub-group on October 31st. The report stems from the work that the Institute for Place Management at MMU had been doing across a number of centres in Manchester.

  1. Discussion

There were a number of recommendations in the report and it was agreed that we should convene a meeting in January specifically to discuss the extent to which we are able to implement them. A key recommendation was that there should be better strategic collaboration within and about the District, and the Chorlton Alliance was a step towards achieving this. The report also identified some ‘quick wins’ that would improve the vitality and viability of Chorlton. These included signage within Chorlton, a clear and consistent branding of Chorlton, and picking up litter! As most attendees were not familiar with the report, discussion was limited.

As previously agreed by the Alliance, Chris Peacock is puling together a team with the capability to produce  a Neighbourhood Masterplan to emanate from, and include members of the Alliance, amongst others.

b. Next Steps:

It was agreed to convene special meeting in January to consider the report and to invite the Councillors. CK to do a Doodle poll.

We recognised the role that Neighbourhood Officers might play in any development plan (note: several members at the meeting did not know about Neighbourhood officers and their role) and it was agreed efforts should be made to encourage them to attend the next general Alliance meeting.

  1. Co-op Funeral Home Update

Bid submitted with Regenerate developers on 8th November. Proposal was to be considered by a special committee of the Co-op’s Board. No decision has been communicated yet.

Eve Holt has written a letter of support from the Councillors.

Shaun will be presenting more arguments to the Co-op re their values and commitment to community participation and places

It is of interest that the Co-op is developing  a Co-operate App to support community connections.

  1. Local Climate Action Plans

Work has begun on producing a Climate Plan in both Chorlton and Chorlton Park Wards.

For Chorlton: contact Cllr Eve Holt or Claire Stocks .

Claire says: Over the year we have held several events asking what kind of place we want Chorlton to be and how we respond to the current climate crisis. 

The most recent event was at the Great Chorlton Get Together Again at the Edge Theatre at the end of November.

The outputs of workshops, plus research into the climate issues we face here in our ward, have been summarised in a draft document which is still being worked on.

Please feedback by commenting on the document (or ">emailing Claire (who apologises for the delay in sharing these!)

And look out for a further event at the end of January.

Chorlton park will be holding a follow-up meeting on January 30th – venue and time tbc. ">Contact Cllr Mandie Shilton Godwin.

It was noted that the Cycleway had begun at the ‘non controversial ends’. More planning and consultation to be held, particularly about the Brooks bar and Four Banks junctions. It was suggested that the Alliance should have a view on the cycleway, ready for the next consultation. More discussion to be held at a subsequent meeting.

6. Information and News

Friends of Chorlton Park Contact Julia Wickett   @FChorltonpark

Planting 200 trees to form green corridor along the brook; a new oak and willow avenue between Chorlton park School and the playground; and to replace lost or damaged trees.

The orchard has been opened. The Orchard Project will undertake some training for interested parties on orchard management.

Volunteer days are regular and include mid-week sessions.

The White House. Proposals are in development to bring the White House and nearby shipping container rooms into greater community use. Contact: Jane Leach via the Chair 

There are  plans to introduce a Pétanque (boules) pitch and club as well as an outdoor gym with weatherproof exercise equipment

Friends of Ryebank Fields (Facebook page

The Guided walks on Sunday 12.30 have been popular and there are plans to prepare a downloadable version. 

Plans are afoot to have ‘led’ walks, with poets or about foraging for example (as there are lots of foraging opportunities)

300 ‘bulbs of hope’ have been planted in the tracks made by MMU vehicles

January 17th (old 12th night) – there will be Wassailing session and more fruit trees will be planted.

The group is planning some work on the Nico ditch, in partnership with Salford University Community Archaeology group.

Chorlton District Co-op (formerly the Chorlton Co-op Cluster) (">Contact Shaun Fensom and see )

Have been working to support the CLT bid for the Funeral Home. Now to turn energies to the Co-op’s support for introducing electric car charging points in car parks.

Fair Trade Fortnight will be coming up with activities in stores 24th February to 8th March 2020.

Next meeting Sat 25th January 10.30-11.30 in Coop Hall,, above Hardy lane Coop (thereafter bimonthly

Chorlton Connected (contact Nick Dixon)

The November Get Together was a success with lots of people coming to the edge and enjoying the day (despite foul weather).

A social event will be held in January – all welcome, and anyone interested in joining the Whats app or email group  to either get involved or simply to be kept in touch with developments please contact Nick

Discussions are proceeding with the HOUR (timebanking) project with a view to starting a scheme in Chorlton, the February meeting will likely focus on this.

Chorlton Community Land Trust (Contact Chris Peacock)

Awaiting a decision from the Co-op re the Funeral Home

Been approached by someone who some ideas for the Baths – still no movement re the sale of the building and land.

With the encouragement of Eddie Smith (responsible for Development in the Council), beginning to seek people with relevant expertise in the community to contribute to Chorlton community-led masterplan.

Chorlton Voice (Civic Society) (Contact Carolyn Kagan)

We will be running the Arts festival again 17th-24thMay . Calls for participation will be made in the new Year and we encourage more and more local artists and venues (including outdoor ones).

Meetings held every second Tuesday of Every second month starting January 14th in Library community room, 7.30. 

Free to join Chorlton Voice – contact Carolyn to be put on mailing list and receive newsletter

Chorlton Traders (Contact Chorlton Traders)

Carol Thompson has stepped down as chair.

A recruitment drive is needed to encourage more Traders to get involved and be a key part of the strategic development of Chorlton.

St Clements (Contact Ken Flood)

Ken Flood sent apologies but asked that the meeting be informed of an event in the planning for VE day next year. 

“ As you may know, the government has moving the first bank holiday in May from Monday 4th to Friday 8th to coincide with the 75th anniversary of V.E. Day. We normally run Chorlton Fun Run on the first May bank holiday but with the change of dates we have decided to do something different. We are planning to hold a VE weekend Fun Day/ Street Party/Summer Fete in the grounds of St Clements on Saturday 9th (the advantage we have at St Clement is that if the weather is bad we have space to move everyone indoors). St Clements is looking at running a 1940s themed afternoon tea/cafe and we are hoping that other community groups might like to come along and run different fun stalls. We’ll plan it, fund it, and organize it and other local groups are invited to run a fun interactive stall and keep whatever money they may make (50p for three balls to hit coconuts or a bran tub lucky dip or a tombola etc etc etc).  It would be helpful to know what interest there is from other groups.”

Please contact Ken directly if interested.

WalkRide Chorlton (contact Claire Stocks)

WalkRideChorlton has submitted an expression of interest (through WalkRideGM) for lottery funding to enable a raft of behaviour change initiatives in our area aimed at reducing carbon emissions from transport.

The fund is designed to facilitate communities coming together to tackle our environmental problems – and if WRGM is asked to progress to the formal submission stage then we’d hope to work with as many groups as possible on constructing a formal partnership bid covering Chorlton and wider area.


The Solar Together  scheme is still open for people to get solar panels – approximately 40% market rate. (see )

Doing Buses Differently: Bus consultation

The consultation for bringing the buses back into public ownership is open until January 8th. We urgently need more people to send comments in approving the proposal for Franchising, particularly in the face of the aggressive counter campaign being mounted by the bus companies. An email message  will do to  . Or Freepost to Freepost GM BUSCONSULTATION.  All the info about the consultation is at .  A quick, automated email response can be made at

Next meetings: for 2020 Provisional (tbc)

Tuesday 17th March – date and venue to be confirmed

Wednesday  June 10th

Tuesday  September 15th

Monday December 7th