Trustees Reports – What a Year!
3rd November 2017

Reports from Trustees and Officers of the Forum

Structure, Governance and Management

Trustees manage the affairs of the CIO and may for that purpose exercise all the powers of the CIO. In exercising their powers and duties, charity trustees have complied with their duty to have due regard to the guidance on public benefit published by the Charities Commission.

It is the duty of each trustee:

  1. To exercise his or her powers and to perform his or her functions as a trustee of the CIO in the way he or she decides in good faith would be most likely to further the purposes of the CIO; and
  2. To exercise, in the performance of those functions, such care and skill as is reasonable in the circumstances having regard in particular to:
    1. any special knowledge or experience that he or she has or holds himself or herself out as having; and
    2. if he or she acts as a charity trustee of the CIO in the course of a business or profession, to any special knowledge or experience that it is reasonable to expect of a person acting in the course of that kind of business or profession.

Members of the CIO have no liability to contribute to its assets and no personal responsibility for settling its debts and liabilities.

There are no paid employees of the CIO and the value of services provided by volunteers is not incorporated into financial reporting.

Including trustees and officers there are currently 40 members of the CIO with voting rights. This is an increase of 4 members on last year.

Recruitment & Appointment of Trustees

At every subsequent annual general meeting of the members of the CIO, one-third of the charity trustees shall retire from office. If the number of charity trustees is not three, or a multiple of three, then the number nearest to one-third shall retire from office, but if there is only one charity trustee, he or she shall retire.

Any vacancies so arising may be filled by the decision of the members at the annual general meeting and the members or the charity trustees may at any time decide to appoint a new charity trustee, whether in place of a charity trustee who has retired or been removed, or as an additional charity trustee, provided that the limit of 12 charity trustees is not exceeded.

This year Roy Thorniley is resigning as Trustee & Vice Chair but wishes to remain as a member of the Forum.

Fran Healey (Treasurer), Nick Green and John Newcombe are standing down as Trustees but wish to be considered for re-election.


The CIO is established for the public benefit without distinction of ability, sex, sexual orientation, race or political, religious or other opinions for the following purposes in the area of benefit known as Rooley Moor, which shall hereinafter be referred to as the Neighbourhood

The objects of the CIO are:

  1. To promote high standards of planning and architecture in or affecting the area of benefit.
  2. To educate the public in the geography, history, natural history, culture and architecture of the area of benefit.
  3. To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features or areas of historic or public interest in the area of benefit.

In furtherance of the above objects but not otherwise the trustees shall have the power to establish a neighbourhood forum for the area of benefit to promote and or improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the area.

Accounting Policy, Income & Funds Structure

Income arises from restricted funds (grants), unrestricted donations and recovered Gift Aid.

Expenditure is recognised when an invoice is received or payment made.

There are no tangible fixed assets.

The Reserves Policy of Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum CIO is to hold reserves from unrestricted funds to cover our known liabilities (such as insurance, hire of meeting rooms, website costs, etc.). £400 has been proposed to cover these costs. The reserves policy will be reviewed at each AGM.

Achievements & Performance

October 2016: Two more Trustees appointed. Several forum members attended the Scout Moor Windfarm Extension Public Inquiry at Bacup and presented their views for consideration. The decision of the Secretary of State was announced in July 2017.

November 2016: The Cotton Famine Road featured in Episode 3 of the BBC2 series ‘Black and British – A Forgotten History’. Rochdale people can be proud of the story, which explained the history of the Cotton Famine Road and its links to the abolition of slavery. There were some fantastic shots of our area, the Cotton Famine Road and our launch event. Credit goes to the Forum members who were involved in the programme too. Very positive publicity for Rochdale. During this month our Forum also took up membership of the Open Spaces Society.

December 2016: Our very first RMNF calendar is produced. Well done to Liz Rutherford and Bill Taylor for creating the calendar which shows off our area in a very positive way and puts a few bob into the bank account as well! This all helps to fund other activities that cannot be covered by grants etc.

January 2017: Decommissioning Bond – RMNF along with other various organisations raised the issue of a decommissioning bond for the Scout Moor Wind Farm Expansion Ltd (SMWFEL) application. If the Secretary of State (SoS) was minded to approve this application, then the basic idea of a bond would ensure there is sufficient money available at the end the wind farms life, to ensure the site can be returned to its ‘pre’ wind farm condition. Currently there is no requirement for onshore wind farm developers to put a bond in place and we asked the SoS to consider putting a condition in place requiring a bond that tracks inflation and cannot disappear when the wind farm becomes redundant. RMNF considered this issue to be bigger than just SMWFEL and asked that a decommissioning bond should be a requirement for all future developments of this type.

February 2017: Councillor Cecile Biant, John Newcombe, Roy Thorniley, Alan Rawsterne, Andy Meek and Morley Morgan formed our Neighbourhood Plan Group and started work on designing a community questionnaire intended to help support the creation of our neighbourhood plan policies.

RMNF Trustees decided not to adopt the phone box in Catley Lane Head. Our forum would have had to take on the costs and responsibility for insurance, maintenance and repair (which would have to be in accordance to industry guidelines), and we would NOT have got title to the land beneath the phone box. We would also have required volunteers to look after the cleanliness of the phone box and to undertake the governance requirements for any installed equipment (e.g. a defibrillator).

March 2017: RMNF Supports Purple4Polio. Members of Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum are always keen to see our area looking its best. On Saturday 11th March 2017 a group of forum members took advantage of the early morning sun and supported the Rotary’s latest campaign, Purple4Polio by planting donated crocuses, which is designed to unite communities to engage in activities as part of the final push to eradicate polio for good.

April 2017: David Olusoga agreed to be the Honorary President of Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum. David Olusoga is the historian and broadcaster who put the Cotton Famine Road on the map in BBC2’s Black and British: A Forgotten History. Changes to accommodate the position of Honorary President in our constitution will be proposed at our 2017 AGM.

Catley Lane Head Spring Clean – Saturday 22nd April 2017 – Thanks to Nick & Margaret Green for organising a fantastic day and thanks to everyone involved! We couldn’t have done it without you, or the help and support of Rochdale Council and those people who loaned the digger and dump truck.

May 2017: Thursday 4th May 2017 – Roy Thorniley organised a Rooley Moor Scenic Walk that was very well attended.

Also in May a paper copy of our community questionnaire was delivered to all households in our Neighbourhood Area. We asked people to please take the time to read, complete and return the questionnaire which is intended to allow local people the opportunity to say what they like (or dislike) about our area and to make suggestions about how it might be improved working in conjunction with Rochdale Council. Recent works undertaken on our bridleways, the new cattle grid, the repairs to Prickshaw Dam and the improvements that have taken place at Catley Lane Head have all been encouraged via the Neighbourhood Forum.

At the end of May Andy Meek and Alan Rawsterne gave a talk about RMNF to the Rotary Club of Rochdale East.

June 2017: Our area gets a mention in Great Days Out In Rochdale, a guidebook, published by Rochdale Council, to provide ideas for fun family days out in Rochdale.

July 2017: Sunday 23rd July 2017 – Catley Lane Head village clean up

Catley Lane Head Conservation Area Consultation is approved by Rochdale Township Committee, the outcome of which is expected to be revealed at the December 2017 Rochdale Township Committee meeting.

Analysis of our Neighbourhood Plan Community Questionnaires – The voice of our community told us:

Built Heritage:

  • Conservation areas, their settings, listed buildings and heritage features should receive strong protection
  • Key heritage features should be protected, promoted and enhanced, e.g. the Cotton Famine Road

Built Development:

  • New development should be limited to that which is appropriate in the Green Belt
  • New development should satisfy high standards of design to ensure local character and identity are retained
  • Extensions, alterations and conversions should be supported provided that they respect local character and heritage
  • Redundant and disused buildings should be brought back into use

Green Spaces and Environment:

  • Key open spaces should be identified for protection and improvement
  • Local landscape quality and character should be protected and improved
  • Areas of nature conservation should be strongly protected and new areas established
  • Trees and hedgerows should be protected
  • Renewable or alternative energy should be encouraged provided it is of an appropriate scale and type and does not harm the landscape and heritage features

Countryside Management and Farming:

  • Rural occupations should be supported
  • Farm diversification should be supported, especially where it provides recreational opportunities, better land management, re-use of rural buildings etc.


  • Key routes for walking, cycling and riding .e.g. the Mary Townley Loop, and access to them should be developed, promoted and improved
  • Links between attractions should be improved and promoted (e.g. Healey Dell)
  • Recreational activities which detract from environmental quality or the local landscape should be discouraged
  • Equestrian activities and facilities of an appropriate scale should be supported


  • Better visitor facilities, like parking, are required
  • Traffic calming on Rooley Moor Road, and improvements to roads, lanes, and footpaths are needed
  • Footpaths, cycle routes and bridleways need improvement and their use by those with impaired mobility increased
  • Signage and interpretation information needs to be improved
  • Conflicts between cyclists, horse riders, walkers and vehicular traffic should be addressed


  • Countryside visitor facilities should be improved, e.g. signage, interpretation, parking etc.
  • Low key, small scale overnight accommodation would be appropriate
  • Opportunities to promote interest in local heritage, rural skills, nature appreciation should be taken

August 2017: The Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum community event took place in Catley Lane Head on Sunday 13th August 2017. We started at noon and had four hours of fun with folk music, history readings & displays, clog dancing and much, much more. Thanks go to our Event Team, Rochdale Council and the many organisations and people who supported our event, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale, Mr Ian Duckworth and Mrs Christine Duckworth, our local MP, Mr Tony Lloyd, our Ward Councillors, Cecile and Surinder Biant and Sue Devaney for their attendance and participation.

Catley Lane Head is the gateway to Rooley Moor and the Cotton Famine Road, so this year’s event theme was the Cotton Famine, as we all have a responsibility to make sure the story is never forgotten and that the Cotton Famine Road remains for future generations to enjoy.

Mayor Ian Duckworth said: “My grandmother worked in a mill and when my mother was 12 her name was put down to work there as well. I am proud to be a descendant of those mill workers and how they supported the slave workers in America, I have no doubt Rochdaledalians would do exactly the same today.”

Tony Lloyd MP said: “It’s important to recognise the story of the Cotton Famine, I’m a Northerner and grew up with the Northern traditions, what really annoys me is that no one told me of these stories as a child, I had to wait until I was an adult to find out about the Cotton Famine.”

Sue Devaney said: “This road [the Cotton Famine Road], this village [Catley Lane Head], this area and Rochdale has a very proud association with the abolition of slavery and this road is undoubtedly a monument to the courage and suffering of the cotton workers of Rochdale in those dark years.”

Part of the event included the unveiling of a new village sign for Catley Lane Head, Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum is extremely grateful to Greater Manchester Police for funding the sign to promote careful driving, and to Rochdale Council for installing the sign and supporting this year’s event.

At the event we also revealed the results of our community questionnaire, the results of which will be used to define a neighbourhood planning policy for our area for the next 20 years. We hope to present a draft plan for the council to consider by the end of this year.

Since the end of the financial year:

September 2017: Our Neighbourhood Plan Group are working with Paul Simpson, a planning consultant, to draft our Neighbourhood Plan Policies. The group hope to present a draft plan at the end of December 2017 for Rochdale Council to consider.

Rochdale Connections Trust (RCT) asked RMNF to support a project that will provide a unique opportunity for members of their support programmes to explore the historical significance of the Rooley Moor area for themselves and to develop skills which they may not have utilised previously to undertake research in many forms, create 3D site plans and finally to produce a film which will log their journey of discovery. RCT hope to exhibit their work at Touchstones museum and will gift to RMNF anything which is of benefit upon completion of the exhibition. For information – RCT is a community based Charity and leading local provider of specialist programmes of support for young people, adults and families who are finding life difficult in some way. They offer individually tailored programmes; structured interventions and 1:1 mentoring designed to deal with an array of issues to help empower individuals to overcome barriers and to turn their lives around. They offer specialist programmes of support for Domestic Abuse, Social & Emotional Well-Being, Male and Female Perpetrators.

29th September 2017 – An Extraordinary Trustees Meeting was convened to review a compliance issue that resulted in vouchers for refreshments from last year’s event being used at this year’s event. The unanimous opinion of the Trustees is that mistakes had been made; last year’s vouchers got into the system and were not picked up until invoice reconciliation. All agreed this was a process failure that has been noted and corrected.

29th September 2017 – Heritage Lottery Fund Shared Histories Grant of £9,400 offered to RMNF (see Grants & Funding below).

Health & Safety

Risk assessments were in place for all activities and there are no issues to report.

Trustee Training

No trustees have attended any training sessions.

Grants & Funding

  • 28th November 2016 – An application of £5k made to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester to support the cost of installing CCTV in Catley Lane Head was rejected.
  • 29th April 2017 a Neighbourhood Planning Basic Grant of £7,065 was awarded to RMNF by Locality / Groundwork under the Community Rights Programme. This is a restricted fund intended to support the development of a Neighbourhood Plan, any unspent money will have to be returned at the end of October 2017.
  • 12th July 2017 – Cartwheel Arts awarded RMNF £500 to support the creation of a Cotton Famine Road 8 page booklet, artists fees and exhibition materials.
  • 27th July 2017 – £1K Rochdale Township Grant awarded from the revenue budget to support the August RMNF community event.
  • 27th July 2017 – Rochdale Township Grant of £1K awarded from the capital budget to support RMNF purchasing display equipment that will be used to promote our forum.
  • 29th September 2017 – Heritage Lottery Fund Shared Histories Grant of £9,400 awarded to RMNF for the following approved purposes:
    • Research and produce accessible heritage trails around areas of historic interest in Rooley Moor, including QR codes linking to additional interpretation material and permanent heritage display boards
    • Research, develop and produce accessible heritage trails around areas of historic interest in Rooley Moor, including QR codes linking to additional interpretation material
    • Support Forum members to visit and research other local heritage trails to inform the project, and consult with a range of user groups to support accessibility
    • Work with Touchstones Museum and Rochdale Pioneers Museum to research archive material for use on display boards and project website
    • Record audio and video interviews with local families to capture their memories, and make use of local dialect songs and historical interpretation
    • Update the Forum website with heritage material to link to QR codes, and promote the project via social media, leaflets and events
    • Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the project, including on users and participants

Outstanding Issues

  • Shawfield Turbine – The complaint regarding the position of the turbine and noise from the turbine was made in November 2015 and remains unresolved, at the time of writing an update is awaited from the Planning Enforcement Officer.