Meeting Report: Chorlton Community Alliance Meeting: June 10th 2020 via Zoom 6.30-8pm

Present: Carolyn Kagan (Convener),Nick Dixon; Steve Goslyn, Shaun Fensom,

Representing Chorlton Voice; Chorlton Community Land Trust; Chorlton Connected; Chorlton and Whalley Range Dementia Action Group; Age Friendly Whalley Range and Chorlton;Chorlton Park Climate Action; Chorlton Co Housing group; Chorlton and District Co-ops;  Chorlton Bike Deliveries

Apologies: Linsey Parkinson (Chorlton Traders; Open Up Magazine),  Fiona Vincer (Manchester Primary Care Partnership; Health and Social Care Development, Chorlton Park), Mandie Shilton Godwin, Dave Rawson (Chorlton Park Councillors); Alan Williams, (Unicorn and Chorlton Traders);

The Alliance welcomes all groups concerned with vitality and viability of Chorlton. Members include: Chorlton Voice; Chorlton Community Land Trust; Chorlton Connected; Chorlton and District Coops; Chorlton Co Housing;  Chorlton and Whalley Range Dementia Action; Age Friendly Whalley Rangeand Chorlton; Health and social care development – Chorlton … and Chorlton Park …; Manchester Buzz Chorlton Whalley Range and Fallowfield; Redeemer Church; St Clements Church; Reach out to the Community; Unicorn Grocery; Chorlton Traders; Beech Road Traders; Chorlton Good Neighbours, Friends of Chorlton park; Friends of Ryebank Fields; the White House Project; MCC Neighbourhood Officers; Chorlton and Chorlton Park Councillors; Friends of Chorlton Meadows;  PN Avenue RA; Transition network;  Barlow Moor Community Association; The Edge Theatre; Whalley Range Forum; Walk ride Chorlton; Chorlton and Chorlton park climate Action groups; Open Up magazine. Contact Carolyn  to be included in the mailing list

Agenda was circulated inadvance

  1. Intros and check in

ALL been to Alliance meetings before so no introductions needed. All OK – with different personal experiences of COVID, shielding, being conduits for information and volunteering

2.Experiences of COVID in Chorlton and Challenges ahead


  • Involvement in Chorlton Bike deliveries – Co-op provided hi-vis jackets.
  • Co-op shops now taking on-line orders and delivering (mostly same day) through their own bike delivery service
  • Co-op participated in Together in One Voice .
  • Local residents pushing for more Fair Trade goods in local shops
  • Shaun has raised local question on Fairtrade at AGM this year
  • Coop has an on-line platform – Cooperate – which could be a useful platform for community engagement (see Next Steps below).

CLT and Chorlton Co housing

  • Stayin’ Alive project: Simon Borkin has taken over from Chris Peacock – he had worked for Cooperatives UK and is currently a Board member of Stretford Public Hall with experience of crowdfunding and Community Shares. CLT now working with a different developer on proposal for the Coop building. The timescale is more flexible as the funeral Home is being used again during pandemic which means it has not been possible to enter the building for surveys.
  • Looking into a platform for community engagement (see next steps below).

Chorlton Irish Club

  • Four community groups have expressed an interest in the Irish Club which means the moratorium (under the Localism Act) has been invoked. The building cannot be sold before October to give time for community groups to bid.

Chorlton Baths

No-one had any update.

Chorlton Connected

87 Street connectors listed linked by Whats App as a street level mutual aid group response on the Chorlton Coronavirus Community Response Facebook page. Challenge is how to best maintain the momentum and enable mutual aid groups to thrive and move forward  in pursuit of a stronger, kinder, greener, fairer community (across Greater Mcr mutual aid groups are starting to lose focus and fade.) There has been a problem of Councils not trusting community groups to work with shielding people. A platform may be a good idea. Health development workers (Dawn and Fiona) with MACC surveying and seeking to talk to Manchester mutual aid groups with a view to seeking not to lose what has been created.  

Chorlton Bike deliveries

Grew inpart from mutual aid groups. The group is now thinking of becoming a cooperative, working more with Traders to become affiliates with a range of different ways of relating as not all traders can take payments on the phone or online (eg Unicorn – jointly starting a scheme where  people go and shop and CBD deliver their shopping home).

Watch out for a survey of residents to gauge the interest and support for a Chorlton Bike Delivery Coop.

Chorlton Voice

  • We’ve been keeping up Committee meetings to consider planning applications; have issued information bulletins to members on a regular basis; have contacted all those non internet users re support and practical action.
  • Arts festival – this got cancelled (obviously). We are looking into mounting a smaller digital festival in the autumn. A Chorlton Cake Challenge has been initiated or
  • National and international contacts reveal a) not everyone has a nearby mutual aid group; b) some places have neighbourhood level community resilience groups enabling local action to be mobilised very quickly (with some coordination to ensure there are no gaps); c) people who are the most socially marginalised do not have digital access so have not been able to access either information or assistance; d) physical distancing, isolating and shielding is not always possible putting people at greater risk.
  1. Next Steps for the Alliance

We had a lot of discussion about the potential upsides and downsides of on-line consultation platforms, often masquerading as engagement tools. It was agreed to ask Cllr Eve Holt to share her analysis of various platforms (eg Citizen Lab, Commonplace, Cooperate).

Chorlton Alliance may be the place to host such a platform.

Need to be careful this does not become a top down consultation mechanism, instead of a place for sharing, discussing things that matter in Chorlton.

In part the above issue will depend on who controls the site.

We must not lose sight of the place-initiatives we were discussing earlier in the year. For example, pull together the work the Traders did with N’hood officers around ‘place’ with the work Chorlton Voice did around signage, benches (both important if we are trying to reduce the amount of car use). Wider consultation on this matters could be a test of any platform.


Shaun will look into Cooperate platform and give a presentation at the next meeting.

Carolyn will contact Eve re different platforms and the Chorlton Development Plan and Chris Peacock re the putative  Chorlton Area Plan.

Steve will try to find out about the Baths.

  1. AOB

Walk Ride Chorlton has put in a bid to the Lottery to develop some infrastructure and community engagement around walking, cycling and rolling across Chorlton. Decision pending.

Cllr John Hacking is initiating a Chorlton Recovery Plan. He has been urged to include the Alliance.

No further information on a Chorlton development Plan. CK to contact Cllr Eve Holt

Cycleway: As far as we know there has been no further action on the junctions under dispute

Next Meeting:

Wednesday 22nd July 6.00 via Zoom Invitation to be sent nearer the time.

Then:; Tuesday  September 15th; Monday December 7th