Listening to residents in College Bank and Lower Falinge

Consultation with our local communities is really important to us. Our starting point for looking at the best options for people and place in Rochdale town centre was to speak with the local community. We have sought to be open and honest with residents at every stage. However, we are always keen to learn and do better, so welcome any feedback on additional ways to consult with and support the community.

We know that our huge investment plans mean big change, and we’re here to listen and to provide any advice or support that residents need.  We are very grateful to everyone who has contributed to this conversation and these voices have helped to shape our plans. By engaging with residents early on and continuing to share information, we’ve been able to adapt our plans to reflect these views.

It is really important that all voices are heard and that everyone affected has the right to participate in shaping the plans and we will not tolerate aggression or intimidation or trying to shut down voices that represent a range of views, whether at workshops or online.

What we’ve done

  • By June 2017 we had over 300 contacts with residents to shape the proposals.
  • By September 2017 we had visited over 1,000 homes and had face to face conversations with people in over 600 households.
  • Held twice weekly drop in sessions from May 2017.
  • Held 17 workshop sessions.
  • Developed a Residents’ Deal with the community.
  • Held Facebook chats and set up a dedicated website and email contact.

Additional support available

 We know that this process can be worrying, so we’ve put in place additional support for those residents who need it.

  • We’ve undertaken additional home visits when requested.
  • We have had a dedicated point of support for tenants since early 2018.
  • Additional intensive work and support for those households affected by the next immediate phases of development.

What we’ve promised

  • Guaranteed a minimum of one year’s notice for those who need to move.
  • Support for an early move for those residents who have a need to do so.
  • All affected residents will have a choice to stay within the town centre.

Those residents in earlier phases of redevelopment who have chosen to move to a different area have all been able to move to their preferred location – this may have been closer to work or family.

Contacting us

  • We have a dedicated e-mail address (towncentre.regen@rbh.org.uk)
  • We have a dedicated website (www.collegebankandlowerfalinge.org.uk) together with dedicated Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Residents can also call us on Freephone 0800 027 7769.

We know that there will always be a range of views about proposals of this scale. We will continue to take on board all views, whether positive or critical. Our proposals are about people, not buildings. We think that these plans represent an opportunity to build homes fit for the future – especially for those residents who already live in Lower Falinge and College Bank. We do know, however, that these are people’s homes, and that any plans for demolition are difficult and unsettling for the residents who live in those homes. That’s why we’ve shared information as early as possible, it is why we have always shared information directly with local people first, and why we’ve put in place additional support for those who need it.

We are sad and disappointed that we needed to cut our February consultation workshop short, due to aggressive and abusive behaviour from one individual towards a fellow resident. We welcome all residents to our workshops, regardless of their views on our proposals, but we will not tolerate such behaviour. We’re looking forward to rearranging the workshop so that all residents have the opportunity to attend.

A statement regarding yesterday’s workshop

Yesterday we held our latest consultation event for residents in Rochdale town centre. This was an opportunity to listen to those who live locally about the improvements and investment we would like to make to the homes we will retain in Lower Falinge.

Unfortunately an attendee at the event became aggressive and abusive towards another resident who was present. We would like to thank RBH colleagues and residents at the workshop who dealt with the situation calmly and professionally, ensuring that the incident did not escalate further.

We have a zero tolerance approach to all aggressive or abusive behaviour. We will ensure that our consultation events are places where all residents and employees feel welcome and safe to attend.

Following the incident, we decided to end the workshop early, and we will rearrange it for a future date to ensure that residents still have the opportunity to contribute. The workshop display boards are also available to download – please e-mail us on towncentre.regen@rbh.org.uk with any comments, views, or suggestions.

Town centre map

Local residents have asked for more information about what we mean by the “town centre area”, and one of the recommendations from the independent report on the residents’ deal was to provide a map of the area. Today we’re publishing our map, which we hope residents will find helpful. In addition to the image below, you can also download a PDF version of the map. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop us an e-mail on towncentre.regen@rbh.org.uk.

Map of Rochdale town centre area

Lower Falinge Community Workshop: Thursday 7th February

We are holding a community workshop on Thursday 7th February from 4pm until 7pm at the Lower Falinge Community Base (238 Newstead) to discuss with residents what investment they would like to see in retained homes at Lower Falinge.

RBH has already invested in new front doors and windows for the retained homes in Lower Falinge, and we recently visited every home in a retained block to have a discussion with residents about what other investment and improvements they would like to see in these homes.

We want to make sure that everyone has the chance to be involved in this discussion too, so we’re holding a workshop to give everyone the chance to share their views on how we can develop these ideas further.

Don’t worry if you can’t make the workshop, information will also be available on this website and on our dedicated Facebook Group.

Improving our retained homes at Lower Falinge

This week RBH colleagues have been in Lower Falinge, speaking to residents who live in the nine blocks which we’ll be retaining as part of the regeneration proposals. We’ve already invested in new front doors and windows for these homes, and this week we’ve started a discussion with residents about what investment and improvements we could make in the retained blocks.

Over the course of the week, we’ve called on every RBH tenant in these nine blocks, and we’re very grateful for the time of all those who we spoke to on the doorstep. Those residents who were not in, or busy, when we called will have the opportunity to make a new appointment.

We want to make sure that the rest of the community are involved in this discussion too, and so we’ll be holding a further resident workshop in early February to give everyone the chance to share their views and give them input on how we can develop our proposals further. More information about this workshop will be available shortly – please keep an eye out!

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by e-mail to towncentre.regen@rbh.org.uk, or by attending our regular drop-in sessions at Lower Falinge Housing Office from 10am until 12 noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Feedback from the December Residents’ Deal workshops on community facilities

Thank you to all the local residents who came along to our December workshops, which were about how best to deliver community facilities and community activities in Lower Falinge and College Bank.

These comprised two open sessions with our independent advisor Helen; as with the November workshops, we held one session during the day and a second session in the evening.