Meeting report: Chorlton Community Alliance

Meeting: September 15th 2020, via Zoom

Present: Carolyn Kagan (Convener), Sue Dixon, Nick Dixon; Steve Goslyn, Shaun Fensom, Linsey Parkinson, Alan Williams, Julie Ryan, Tara Parry, Claire Stocks

Representing:  Chorlton Traders; Chorlton Voice; Chorlton Community Land Trust; Chorlton Connected; Chorlton and Whalley Range Dementia Action Group; WalkRide Chorlton; Chorlton Park Climate Action; Chorlton Co Housing group; Chorlton and District Co-ops;  Chorlton Bike Deliveries; Chorlton Connectors; Open Up Magazine; Friends of Ryebank Fields; Unicorn Grocery

Apologies: Cllr Mandie Shilton-Godwin; Simon Borkin CLT;

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 Plant Swop; Chorlton and Whalley Range Dementia Action; Age Friendly Whalley Range and 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; Chorlton Street Connectors; Chorlton Bike Deliveries; Our Streets Chorlton (Chorlton Climate Action Project). ">Contact Carolyn Kagan to be included in the mailing list

1.Update on Actions from previous meeting (not coming up later)

    • Sharing platforms – any feedback? Cost may be a barrier. Different platforms are to do different things. coop as alternative to zoom is beginning to get some traction. Agreed need to consider the purpose of a platform more (possibly link with work on the Climate Action Project – see below).
    • Precinct Centre – Ck nothing to report as no response from Avison Young. CK to keep trying and involve councillors.
    • Roles in Alliance: no takers for different roles – to keep on the agenda

2.General updates to share from groups

Steve: CLT 
Coop delayed meeting with CLT (again). Now scheduled 14 October. Are asking questions and preparing report for their Board/executive. So dialogue is still happening. CLT made a formal offer some weeks ago. 

CLT AGM happening 22 Oct.

Irish Club: Friends of Chorlton Irish Club Are working on a proposal to save the venue – by cworking with Hillcrest Homes to build some houses on part of the car park, but save the venue. See

Ryebank Fields: understanding is that it will be marketed in the near future. Currently fenced off because of asbestos on the site. See FoRF below

Steve and Shaun will discuss communicating the support of local Co-op members for CLT to the Co-op management.

Julie – Friends of Ryebank Fields

Site investigation reports are now published by MMU.  Shows dangerous toxicity levels

MMU seems to be going ahead with the sale of the land.

Parts of the site probably not suitable for housing development. Parts will need mechanical ventilation system. Land is designated inparts Red (most hazardous for human health) and parts Amber (next worst – see ), but delineation between the two areas not clear.

The site would be safe now as long as all further investigations are overseen by licensed contractors.  But local residents are concerned about groundwater run off.

Although fences have been put up, the tree lined edge with the park is not fenced – doesn’t make sense!

Further investigations are being carried out. MMU is meant to have written to all local households but not all have received a letter.

FoRF consider best end use for the land would be to cap the waste and then use as local open space and nature amenity.

Shaun : Chorlton and district Co-op.

Voting for the good causes to receive 1% from  local Coops is now open. 8 causes to choose from. Vote at Voting closes 17th September – please circulate widely.

Chorlton Bike deliveries is exploring ways to have a close relationship with the Co-op.

Co-op district meeting on Saturday for one hour. See

Shaun and Sue: Reimagine Chorlton 

Play streets: 17 streets had put in to become play streets but MCC has cancelled all applications because of Corona infection increases.

Re-imagine Chorlton Zoom meeting Sept 27th 4-5.30: planning going ahead. Alliance members to contact Sue if you  may be able to help with group facilitation 

Plan is to show film (some great footage obtained from about 16 people including at least 3 people from Merseybank; bike deliveries; food deliveries; scrubs sewing; Open Up amongst others.) Then to have some kind of group work – Eve is preparing questions. Anyone want to contribute ideas, please send to Sue.

If it can be arranged, film may be shown in the ‘performance space’ at the Arts festival.

Posters and flyers for the event can be obtained from or from Shaun

Claire: Chorlton Climate Action Project:

Claire gave an overview of the 1 yr climate action project that has received Lottery funding (a development grant which might lead to further bidding for funds). Main aims are to explore how to reduce carbon footprint, especially carbon emissions from transport. Partners are Sustrans; Groundwork; WalkRide Chorlton; Open data Manchester. The Alliance (via CK) has given active support to the bid.

Project is currently recruiting for 2 people. Closing date 28 Sept.

Part of the project is the Community Board, which will have a two way link to and from the project to the community and effectively govern the project. (Alliance will probably be represented on the Board).

Preliminary stages will focus on data collection (with Open Data Manchester) – including the siting of data collection, community workshops, and community volunteers to collect data.

Overall project will include a High St; a school or cluster of schools; a residential St. Community Board will choose the sites and the project team is actively drawing up criteria to underpin these selections. No decision have been made as to whether streets/schools etc will be asked to apply to be a part of the project or be invited. There should be lots of opportunities for everyone to get involved and community engagement is essential.

An engagement plan covering the different Chorlton demographics will be drawn up with a view to identifying priorities and targeting the non-engaged in climate issues. This may involve a platform. Noted that residents of Merseybank will probably be pleased to be involved.

Project base  – looking for a base where there is a large footfall to encourage more people to ask questions and find information. All ideas to Claire.

All agreed this was a great project and the project team were to be congratulated. It was noted that the project should strengthen the connections between groups, started by the Alliance and contribute to the development of a shared focus for developments locally. The project will tie in with the Vital and viable work, Ryebank Fields, Gaumont, Precinct – it will catalyse other things to happen. It should link up with the Communication Group from the Chorlton Park Climate Action workshop and is underpinned by the workshops in Chorlton ward. (Noted that the booklet planned by the Communication group will need to revive).

Carolyn: Chorlton Voice

Arts Festival (virtual) will take place 3,4 October. Stewards sought for the virtual space- anyone (especially young people) interested contact Carolyn . Please ask around. One legacy of the AF will be a virtual performance space, Solstice, that can be used after the AF. Quite how this will work has to be determined.

Open Up is for sale. We are looking into the viability of a community buy-out. A meeting with the current owner should take place soon which should give us an indication of asking price. Agreed this would be a strong contribution to Chorlton life.

Also agreed that a mix of communication channels – online, platform, hard copy should be retained. (it was noted that a South Manchester Focus was being circulated but not all had seen it – mostly adverts).

Linsey: Chorlton Book Festival 19-25 September 2020

Lots of events for all ages, including local authors. Registration details on website. Events free to access live or some on Facebook Live or Live webinar. All details of events and registrations on website.

3.Vital and Viable Chorlton

It was noted that some different pieces of work that took place (traders, Chorlton Voice) need to be brought together and actioned. CK to (try to) coordinate with neighbourhood officers. Main discussion deferred to next meeting.

Date of Next Meeting: Monday December 7th 6pm. Invitation to follow nearer the time.

To include: update on reimagining Chorlton event; engagement tools; climate action project; Vital and Viable Chorlton.