Meeting report: Chorlton Community Alliance
Meeting: January 17 2022, via Zoom
Present: Carolyn Kagan, Steve Goslyn, Shaun Fensom, Alan Williams, Cllr Eve Holt, Cllr Mathew Benham
Apologies: Julia Wickett, Claire Stocks, Linsey Parkinson, Nick Dixon
Updates from last meeting
CK written to Pete Whitely re doing another walkabout to identify issues in the district centre that need to be addressed – this has been passed to Steve Marsden.NB he has responded positively- CK to circulate this group (who are welcome to invite others) with invitation for walkabout.
Noted that Chorlton Councillors re having a walkabout with the new Director of Place/ Strategic Director of Growth and Development (Becca Heron, previously Exec Director of Economy and Skills at Wigan Council). Steve suggested they facilitate a meeting with those undertaking the Chorlton Visioning work and to make sure the idea to close off the Mcr Rd end of Nicolas Road to create a public square (linked to saving/redeveloping the Coop Funeralcare building) is explained.
Friends of Chorlton Park
The gardening, Conservation and orchard volunteering continue Saturdays 9.30 to 11.30 with a good group of people. New members always welcome. Great work in October to December with over 6000 bulbs planted. 40 sapling apple trees planted around the fence of the Bowling Green orchard with dog proofing. The hedge around the pond is complete and water drainage work continues. The Friends Garden continues to be maintained and there has been a makeover in what we now call the White House garden.
We have plans to plant more saplings and mature fruit trees.
The White House project
This is now the White House Users Group and is part of FoCP. We are working closely with Unity Arts and Southway to improve the space and increase use.
MCC are looking at what to do with the cabins. Potential link with Chorlton Bike Deliveries. FoCP are having a new cabin for took storage. We are planning to have a small greenhouse and looking at improving our composting.
We are working with Unity Arts to: renovate one of the teen shelters; a Tree and Art trail is being developed, for a spring launch.
We are looking at a playground extension.
Picture House Project led by CLT
Nothing new to report – Coop said they should hear something next few months. Parking on the forecourt is being followed up by Shaun with the Coop (it is also a concern for Oswald Rd School).
Chorlton Vision Project led by CLT
Progress being made. Linsey Parkinson is working on the project. This will bring good synergy with the Chorlton Traders. Noted a democratic structure will be needed.
MMU still in the process of appointing a developer.
Manchester School of Architecture
Students are currently voting on two projects linked to the Chorlton Vision project (i) green corridors; (ii) 15/20 minute neighbourhood. Confirmaiton or otherwise expected soon.
Noted that the Healthy Active City unit at Salford University is promoting the idea of ‘Right to the Neighbourhood’.
Chorlton District Coop
Let’s Reimagine Out Chorlton which grew from the Alliance – discussions are continuing fortnightly. Current ideas under discussion:
- Chorlton Hub to develop a one-stop information sharing website;
- e-commerce arrangements, drawing on inspiration from ShopAppy still under discussion;
- a physical hub filling the lack of community space in Chorlton being explored;
- creation of a framework to support those three – and any other initiatives under ‘Cooperative Chorlton’. Drawing on ideas from Cooperative Council Innovation Network – forming a Cooperative Place like Middleton (https://middleton.coop/). This would be open to the citizens of Chorlton to join through modest subscription. It would enable organisations in Chorlton to collaborate better via the information sharing function. Examples of what could happen Cooperative Chorlton could bid to run the Picture House if the bid for it is successful. This would combine a commercial and community focus.
Noted that Alliance has looked at a number of structures to bring greater coherence to activities in Chorlton (eg Neighbourhood forum, Whalley Range forum, Withington Partnership) and Cooperative Chorlton looks to be the best for the nature of Chorlton.
Trying to rejuvenate the Traders Group and get more engagement from Traders. Unicorn has been exploring Sociocracy as a means of governing a large Coop. Councillors offered to do what they could to support the Traders’ group.
No update yet on district centre plans.
Meetings have been suspended. To resume in March (we hope). Hosting:
- Community Garden restoration (with coalition of interested groups, including Our Green Chorlton, Chorlton Plant Swop). Funding bids put in. Soon to be clearing the site and planning a new, fully accessible design. Idea is to have a Green hub and oasis in the centre of Chorlton. The project has been accepted into the Grow Manchester network of 129 growing projects. Two bids for funding have been made, to Lottery and the Wellbeing Fund.
- Muralling the lift shaft (or at least part of it) at Chorlton Metro stop. Currently negotiating with an artist.
- Arts festival will be 29 April – 29 May this year. It is 20 th anniversary from the first CAF and sign-ups for artists, venues, volunteers and Streets are now on the website www.chorltonartsfestival.org . Have made a bid for a Jubilee extension to CAF but wont know the results until April.
Friends of Beech Rd Park
Been planting bulbs and new trees. Plans are advancing for redesigning the Park
Chorlton Book Festival
Planning to begin in February.
Closing for refurbishment – probably April-May. There will be pop-up arrangements during refurbishment, details tbc.
Ward Climate Action Plans
Brief action Plans now submitted for Chorlton and Chorlton Park. Chorlton ward will be holding a Climate Summit at the Edge, 24 th Feb in the afternoon.
Our Streets Chorlton
Project due to end in April. Expression of Interest for further funding accepted. This is likely to be to share the project’s model across other neighbourhoods.