Meeting report: Chorlton Community Alliance

Meeting: July 4th 2022, via Zoom

PresentCarolyn Kagan, Steve Goslyn, Shaun Fensom, Nick Dixon

Apologies: Mandie Shilton Godwin, Joanna Midgley, Linsey Parkinson

Matters arising

  1. No information about actions following walkaround with Steve Marsden – CK to follow up
  2. Arts Festival happened. Now undergoing review – due September.

Picture House update and Alliance response

Shaun asked a question at the Co-op AGM about the sale of the picture house to Southway and got a promise that they would share with Shaun what they had asked of Southway. The Head of Property has been in touch but did not properly address this question – Shaun will chase. Once this is received, as per last discussion in the Alliance, it is proposed to write to Allan Leighton, Chair,  to say how disappointed we were at the way the Co-op handled it, but that we were working with Southway to retrieve as much of the plans for the Picture House as possible.. The aim is to 

(i) ensure that the Coop does not walk away from its responsibility to the community 

(ii) convey our view that whilst the Coop might have believed it was doing the right thing by working with Southway,  the Coop did not properly engage with the community – particularly the asset management arm of the Coop; did not handle well the relationship with the CLT and made erroneous assumptions about what would satisfy the community.

NB there is no intention of upsetting the CLT relationship and work with Southway which is proceeding constructively.

It was agreed to write to the CEO once Shaun has heard from the property manager. Action Shaun.

It was noted that we should refer to the building as the Picture House, not The Gaumont as there is some historical bar on using the Gaumont name.

Chorlton Vision update

Vision work has progressed. Document available.The project  website has everything on it.  This is a draft vision for Chorlton and will evolve.

Next steps: Core Group to meet with Gavin White (lead for neighbourhoods) to discuss how the Vision Board could have a formal relationship with the Council. A  list of ‘asks’ have been sent to Council.

Core group wants to move to a more formal Board rather than self selected group. Looking at as Board: 3 reps vols/community sector (via the Alliance). ; 3 cllrs and council; 3 stakeholders like health, schools, housing; employers/traders.

Going ahead with finding reps from those bodies from this group – Alliance could seek nominations from vol/comm groups. Could have reserves It was agreed a one-sider JD would be useful. Action: SG to do one-sider.  SG and CK to agree how to go forward.

Once these tasks have been done, nominations from the Voluntary and community sector will be sought, so watch this space!

Communities in Control –  part of  GMCVO day re Inclusive Economies. Community Led Homes networking event on Wed. event on Wednesday 13th . Steve and Carolyn will run a stall outlining some of the activities CLT is involved with, including Chorlton Vision work.

Chorlton Community Cooperative meeting

(Ex Let’s reImagine Our Chorlton).

Regular discussion still being held. Plans are:

  • Develop a Chorlton website – to act as an information exchange. Aim is to take an agile approach – stop trying to come up with comprehensive spec, and rather to take what we’ve got and make it better. Chorlton and District Coops will fold into ChCoCO. Other people might do the same. Need to find ways  for people to modify content. Not just a website, it is an information exchange. We’re never going to get something that covers everything. It will take time to build trust in a website as a source of information that is neutral with no political or religious. agenda. Watch this space – could be a form that goes automatically on the website. Contact Shaun if you would like to get involved.
  • There are plans for a community event in Sept to get some discussions going – including about ChCoCo . Outdoor event, closing Wilbraham Rd. Sunday Sept 25th (after Thurs 22nd, Chorlton and National Car Free Day.) – Idea is to hold an event similar to 2019 with emphasis on fun but opportunity to hold conversations and get wider input. No organising team yet – suggestion we have four ‘living rooms’ with different conversations: Chorlton Kinder and more Connected (Nick); Green spaces (Danielle Lowy interested in coordinating); Chorlton climate action plan (need lead); Chorlton vision (Steve Goslyn). Keen to get lots of organisations involved. Request for interest in (i) ideas for content, (2) organising any parts and (iii) contributing to the event in Sept."> Let Nick know by end of July know on behalf of ChCoCO 

Other news from groups

Developments in Chorlton

  1. Ryebank fields update on the sale. MMU have announced they have selected Southway Housing  to work on partnership proposal for Step Places and Southway Ryebank Fields. Announced on Friday last week. See MMU website . Southway have set up a page to register interest  (link needed please steve as I can’t find it)
  2. Lidl has bought Lowry House – need to watch out for planning applications
  3. Sai Spice owners are proposing to convert top floor into flats and add a third floor – no details seen to date.
  4. Noted that Mauldeth house is still standing empty!.

Community Garden update

Site has now been cleared (involved Betel for this). Consultation events have been held over garden design and an outline design has been agreed – should be fully accessible and easy to maintain. Monday 11th is a workshop on building raised beds and rebuilding one of the beds in the process. This iis to be planted with perennial edibles along forest gardening principles. Anyone wishing gto get involved contact cmkagan@gmailcom. RHS Britain in Bloom will be visiting on 21st July