Monthly Archives: November 2012

Kirkwood, Chadkirk

Democracy at work

Last night, a meeting of Friends in the Chapel, Chadkirk.
Representatives from Stockport MBC and Solutions SK(SSK) came to talk with Friends of Chadkirk . They provided some further information about the current proposals.
The minutes of the meetings will be available when the Friends of Chadkirk get together in January 2013.

In the meantimeā€¦for those who love Chadkirk and the many visitors who were unable to be at the meeting but care what happens, here’s a bit of a summary:

‘the plans will not impact on the occupancy of the house’
matters relating to specific individuals: unable ‘to go into this issue’

Proposed changes across the borough:
3 Senior Ranger posts to go (including the current postholder at Chadkirk)
All Rangers move across to SolutionsSK

In place of 3 Senior Rangers the proposal is that there will be 2 new posts
*Countryside Officer
*An additional Greenspace Project Officer

The planning timescale – some key dates

22 November Greenspace Forum AGM

12 December staffing issues to be agreed
17 December proposals considered and decisions made by the council

January 2013 consultation about the client specification for management and development of Chadkirk

Look out for this client specification to be circulated in mid January.
This will itemise what is to be expected from the organisation looking after Chadkirk. The Head of Public Realm Service will draw up the spec and then if/when SolutionsSK does the work they are responsible for delivering according to that specification.

There is likely to be a 2 week period for consideration and feedback on this spec.

The person in charge of the Public Realm invited people to communicate directly with her via email. There is an exercise to capture and collate comments.

While currently we benefit from having a Senior Ranger on site, the way things unfold will depend upon a clearly identified person to go to for issues big and small that affect the people and environment of Chadkirk.

There will be a team that manages Greenspaces throughout the borough and is responsible to the Head of the Public Realm Service. The actual work of maintaining footpaths, litter, ecological diversity, group activities with the public? Well, most of that looks likely to be done by Solutions SKstaff. Then again, the Chapel remains under another umbrella…the fabric of the building falling under Estates and the day to day running under Culture Recreation Museums.

The work done by the volunteers will continue. As belt tightening continues, there is evidence that this work might become more important. For example: last night there was the suggestion that funds raised by Friends of Chadkirk be used for commissioning maps for people who visit Chadkirik. There is a belief that groups such as Friends of Chadkirk may be able to attract funds from sources not available to the local authority.

Politicians, planners and administrators are looking at more radical ways to organise local greenspaces. But that’s a post for another day.