Minutes of the meeting of High Lane Residents’ Association
Date: 6th July 2023 Time: 8pm Venue: High Lane Library
Present: David Burks, Stephen Price, Anne Walker, Barry Sequeira, Angela Sequeira, Eryl Hughes, Caroline Smith, Darrell Williams, Carol Gibson, Cllr Shan Alexander, PC Simon Carr and PC Iain Weir and members of the Residents Association
1) Apologies: No apologies were received
2) The minutes of the last meeting were approved
3) Police Report
i) Parking close to the junction of Windlehurst Road and Andrew Lane:
This has been an ongoing problem which causes danger by obstructing the view for drivers turning from Andrew Lane into Windlehurst and narrowing an already narrow road causing drivers to have to drive on the wrong side of the road. The police stated letters and flyers have been posted to relevant people when this occurred some time ago and will be re-issued. The law is that you can’t park within 10 metres of a junction. Fines will be issued if the illegal parking continues. There are currently double white lines on the road and Shan Alexander stated the intention is to put double yellow lines there.
It was pointed out that parked cars are also a problem when turning into Meadway from Andrew Lane. The police advised speaking to the school and asking them to remind parents not to park so that Meadway is blocked. A Community Speedwatch is due to start on 25th July so this should help to alleviate the situation.
ii) Anti social behaviour
A report of trespass/ drug dealing on Fairacres Road and High Lane School was reported to the police who investigated but found no-one there. The police stated the matter is for the school who need to erect a higher fence. The police stated some enforcement regarding drug dealing in the area may take place this month or next. They will pass an update to David when this happens.
Action: David to contact the school re the advice about the fence given by the police and re the parking issue on Meadway.
(iii) The police stressed High Lane is relatively quiet regarding crime. One vehicle was reported stolen since the last meeting and 3 people have been charged. Simon can be contacted directly by e mail – David Burks has his address - or by ringing 101 or Crimestoppers (including your postcode) which allows you to report anonymously. The police emphasised making them aware of problems is the single most important thing residents can do.
(iv) A resident thanked PC Simon for responding promptly and personally to her when she was the victim of several scam calls. Advice from the police re scam calls – if in any doubt hang up. You will never be asked to transfer money or carry out any transactions by your bank over the phone. If the call relates to your bank do not ring your bank to check straight after the call – if possible, phone them on a different phone.
(v) Peter asked if Simon would pass on to police headquarters that a retired police officer living in the area has died. Simon said he would do this.
4) Financial Report
(i) Barry reported there is £2860 .32 in the Residents’ account – no change from last month
(ii) There is £1,536 in the War Memorial account which is funded from money received from books donated at the doctor’s surgery. £77 has been spent on plants and compost for the various planters round the village. The RA is very grateful to the patients who contribute to this fund which brings in about £50-80 a month.
(iii) David reminded people that Barry intends to step down at the next AGM. Two volunteers have offered to take over the role. David is considering asking one to take over the RA account and one to take over the War memorial Fund.
Action: David will speak to the two volunteers about his proposal
5) Land adjoining the pavement between Middlewood Road and the Cruising Club
(i) David has checked with SMBC and this land is unregistered so he has been informed the RA can do as it wishes with the land. He emphasised the RA wishes to get residents’ views on what to do with it. A query was raised about whether there is insurance for anyone working on the land if we don’t know who it belongs to. David stated people will be insured so long as there is a project leader on site when work is happening.
(ii) Liz spoke about the Re-wilding Stockport initiative taking place with the collaboration of the Cheshire Wildlife Trust and stated this seems a relevant initiative to find out more about and get support from. She outlined the many wildflowers and grasses currently growing on the land and pointed out these are attractive to wildlife but not necessarily to passing motorists since it is a “wild” area and the wildlife benefits from the grass not being cut back.
(iii) Judy has carried out a detailed survey of the plants growing there and their benefits for wildlife and to our environment generally. She pointed out that tidying everything can reduce its attractiveness to invertebrates, birds and plants. Some examples: ragwort grows there which 200 species can live from and which butterflies like; dandelions provide food for wrens, common hogweed is a magnet for beetles.
(iv) David explained there are cables for services under the land so no trees or large bushes can be planted there. A question was asked as to who would do the work on the land. It was felt it needed to be local people since ongoing maintenance will be needed not just a one off session. David stated that he is slowly gathering a group of volunteers.
(v) Christine pointed out the CWT are a good organisation to contact since they suggest specific plants that will grow in that particular environment.
(vi) David asked for a show of hands to see how many people present were in favour of contacting CWT and Re-Wilding Stockport. A clear majority were in favour so this was agreed.
Action: Christine to pass on contact details of CWT to David
Action: David to circulate the request for volunteers to help with the scheme and compile a list of names
Eryl reported on one new application: 4 Hartington Road Ref no: DC/086059 single storey rear extension, part garage conversion and alterations to doors and windows – a non controversial application.
7) Removal of Speed bumps from Windlehurst Road between Torkington Lane and Andrew Lane
(i) Cllr Thornley has put out a statement on FB stating the work is now with the highways dept. Shan explained that progress with the removal is going to be delayed because three people have lodged a complaint and are taking SMBC to the ombudsman. They are not happy with the removal of the humps which are a traffic calming measure and want to know what will go in their place. Two or three alternative schemes are being debated. Shan explained that formal consultation will have to happen so removal of the bumps is not going to be happening soon. Shan was thanked for her update.
(ii) A range of views about the humps and the speeding problem were expressed across the meeting. It was agreed traffic along the road has increased since the opening of the A555 and the humps originally were part of the mitigation measures given to High Lane because of the predicted increased traffic. David suggested number recognition cameras be used like the ones at the Red Lion to deter motorists from speeding. Someone asked whether consultants were employed by SMBC to analyse the effects of removing he humps. No-one knew the answer to this query.
8) Volunteers needed for HLRA
(i) David stated that several committee members are stepping down this year and so there are vacancies for people to join the committee. Caroline is a recent new member who the committee are very happy to welcome. If other people are interested in joining the committee in any capacity please speak to David or e mail him. The vacancies will be publicised across High Lane.
(ii)David showed a photograph of some decorative planting done at the War Memorial by Owen and also a planter worked upon by Warren and Alison and now looking very smart at the top of Park Road. There was a round of applause to thank all the volunteers who helped these things to happen.
(i) Angie stated in October it will be 5 years since the last review of the effects of the A555 undertaken by consultants for the council and another review is now due.
(ii) She explained that the last review had been analysed by Darryl who showed that the consultants were not using baseline figures in the traffic comparisons which they were making. They should have been using data from 2014. Darryl’s review is on the RA website under Environment.
(iii) Cllr Colin Macallister asked for a copy of Darryl’s review fairly soon after it was written. Angie stated the RA would like to know what Colin and the other councillors think of Darryl’s analysis of the initial review.
Action: David to email Colin to make this inquiry and to find out what is happening regarding the next review.
(v) There was an inquiry re the old Dog and Partridge site. David stated there is a developer currently involved with planning permission for a retail development. As far as is known no-one has shown interest so far. A range of different views were expressed as to the safety of the site in its present state, some stating it has been made safe, others disagreeing.
10) Date of Next meeting
There will be no RA meeting in August. The next meeting will take place on Thursday 7th September at 8pm in High Lane Library. All welcome.
David thanked everyone for their attendance and contributions.