Meeting report: Chorlton Community Alliance

Meeting: October 11th 2021, via Zoom

PresentCarolyn Kagan (Convener), Shaun Fensom, Claire Stocks, Nick Dixon, Steve Goslyn

Apologies: Fiona Vincer, Julia Wickett, Margaret Manning, Jane Leach, Linsey Parkinson,  Cllr Mandie Shilton-Godwin

1.Updates since last meeting

Neighbourhood officer update on actions agreed on walkabout with Traders in Feb 2020 received and circulated to those who attended last meeting. Some actions fully and others partially completed; some look to be difficult but are worth pursuing; some are pending completion.  Agreed to request another walkabout with neighbourhood officers to reset the list. These are things that are incontrovertible and ‘quick wins’ so no need to wait for the Chorlton Master Planning process.

– CK to write to Pete Whiteley and if agreeable to invite those present plus Traders to do walkabout to identify urgent improvements needed.

  1. Updates from Groups

2.1 The White House Project (Chorlton Park).

Jane sent through the following: We have been exploring the potential to redevelop the fenced off area of cabins in the park, known to the parks department as the Sports Pavilion. But we are still not sure if this is a possibility from the council point of view.

The Tibetan Kitchen has requested an extension to their trial period in the Park and it is likely that they will also start to use some of the interior space in the White House building over the winter. This will enable use of the toilets for park users.

Since the top two main requests from our community consultations were to have a cafe and toilets in the park and these now seem to be being met by Tibetan Kitchen, there is less need for the White House Project to continue. 

We are currently reviewing what if any role we now have going forward and if we should consider our main objectives as being achieved. Or if there are still needs to be met in the park which require building space, and if there is scope for us to do this, and what this could look like.

It was agreed

  • that the park had been revitalised this year and that Tibetan Kitchen were providing a great service. Many thanks to all who have made this a success.
  • After discussion it was agreed it was difficult to ascertain whether or not the objectives of the group were achieved – this would partly depend on the permanence of Tibetan Kitchen.
  • It was also thought that there may be lots of potential uses for the shipping containers (‘Pavilion’) and that it would be good to invite a wider group of interests to discuss the way forward if the White House group decided not to pursue this option (e.g. one need a number of groups have is  for storage). Preferably, this should not be limited to those groups already using the White House

 2.2 Chorlton Community Land Trust

The Picture House: Communication is now via the selling agent, Savills. There is no current timeline for a decision by the Co-op. It was noted that parking was getting worse on both the sides and in front of the Picture House – SF will raise with the Coop (Steve to send Shaun site plan showing the boundary of the Coop’s land round the Picture House).

 Chorlton Neighbourhood Planning project:  this is proceeding, and a process has been outlined, building on existing knowledge – to be confirmed at Steering group meeting coming up. Aim is to come up with a plan to put us in the position of enabling some actions to be implemented, and to be ready to apply for any available funding to support regeneration.

Ryebank fields: MMU’s process of appointing a developer is ongoing.

 2.3 Let’s Re-imagine Chorlton

Fortnightly meetings are continuing – contact Shaun to go on the mailing list.

Community conversations as part of Art in the Park (part of the Arts Festival) –  many different conversations were had about connected Chorlton, Green Chorlton, Our Streets Chorlton. Thanks to Unity Arts for inviting us to be  apart. One idea that keeps coming up is to have an online information portal.

Online portal – discussion held about possibilities and purpose. A session has been held with ShopAppy. To see the possibilities of such online portals, have a look at:

To listen to the recording of the presentation about ShopAppy go to:

After considerable discussion it was agreed:

  • To keep the issue on the agenda for discussion – to embrace both economic issues and social/information issues
  • To identify where the gaps are for such a portal to fill (CS to draft a case that could be used for NIF grant)
  • To consider creating our own on line platform at a later date, if it is agreed to proceed, rather than buy into an existing one (ShopAppy require £12,000).


 2.4 Our Streets Chorlton

Successful demonstration events for residential streets were held on Burrows Avenue and Westfield Road. The model of taking conversations (short 5-minute talks, discussion, entertainment, food) proved to be effective and could perhaps be replicated across all streets. (Westfield Rd have now got a WhatsApp group attracting the majority of the road focusing on implementing energy saving measures).

In November two more engagement events – one at Islamic HSG to engage parents and pupils; one on Beech Rd to engage with families.

 2.5 Chorlton Bike deliveries

New cargo bike (Big Bertha) bought.

Still searching for premises.

About to recruit first employee.

2.6 Chorlton Voice

Chorlton Arts Festival

Successful Festival with 155 events in over 60 venues. Review currently being undertaken. AF included a mural on Precinct wall (with support from Neighbourhood Officers). As part of the discussions within the preparation of the AF, some negotiations were held with TfGM and Metrolink about painting the lift shafts. Meeting to be held on 21st to see if this can be taken forward.

For information (not discussed in the meeting)

Community Garden – Chorlton Voice has offered to take responsibility for the garden and is pulling together a group of interested stakeholders to take this further.

 Overlap with other meetings and future of the Alliance

We didn’t get to discussing this.

Alliance roles (Secretary needed) – not covered – any offers?.

  1. Any Other Business. – none

Date of next meeting: 17thJanuary. 6pm – whether by zoom or in person tbc

Agenda items or anything you would like communicated to all Alliance members in the interim to Carolyn