Information & resources
MANCHESTER CHINATOWN COMMUNITY GROUP MEETING MINUTES/ACTIONS
Chairman of the Meeting; Tommy Wolstencroft – Project Manager Cityco.
Meeting Held on; Wednesday 20th February 2013
Venue; New Hong Kong Restaurant
Kirsty Rawlinson MCC City Centre Regen
Cllr. Joan Davies MCC
Insp. Rik Byatt GMP
PC Rick Grace GMP
Breige McDonnell MCC NDT
Winnie Leung Great Wall Restaurant
Jimmy Low Wing Fat Supermarket
Clifford Hui M/c Chinese Centre / FCAM
Vanessa Ho Ho’s Bakery
Bonnie Yeung Yang Sing
Barrie Thompson UK China Business Centre
Thorsten Mayer MCC City Centre Ward Coordination
Jenny Green Grosvenor Casino
Jessica Spencer Street Cars
Warren Yeung Little Yang Sing
David Chapman UK China Business
Laura Musk Macdonald Townhouse
Gary Ellis CityCo
Lisa Jones MCC NDT
Rachel Combie Marketing Manchester
Anh Nguyen Marketing Manchester
Vera Wong New Hong Kong Restaurant
Diane Murphy MCC Ward Co-ordination
Insp. Rik Byatt GMP
Welcome and introductions
Matters arising from the minutes of the last meeting
Traffic Signage in Chinatown – Breige McDonald reported that Charlotte Street sign to be turned and faded signs on Faulkner Street to be replaced.
TW asked if it was possible to supply a visual report of the signs to ensure everyone is clear on which signs are being discussed.
Winnie Leung reported that cars are continuing to ignore the one way systems in Chinatown. What is the time scale for signs to be fixed/added/changed?
Action Supply a visual audit of damaged signs and time-line for repair/replacements. BM
United Utilities – Bonnie Yeung reported that UU clean-up of general area and shop fronts has been done, but she is awaiting confirmation from UU that works are now complete
No feedback as yet from local businesses but on receipt of UU confirmation of completion, will circulate an email notifying local businesses and asking for feedback
Action If the feedback is positive, an email of thanks to UU to be sent to show appreciation for the efforts and co-operation of UU with a hope to build stronger relations for the future. Discuss possibility of contribution to Chinatown projects UU. TW
Manchester Chinatown Community Group – Draft Strategic Plan
TW read out Draft Strategic Plan Aims and Objectives (copy attached Appendix 1)
BT raised the issue of threats from outside competition to the community e.g. Trafford Centre
TW acknowledged this, but the aim is to be succinct and to concentrate on what is achievable rather than the negatives
Please forward any comments to TW or Bonnie Yeung
TW stated that the leaders of the working groups are currently shouldering the entire work load, which defeats the object of the groups.
More involvement is required from other members of the Community Group. To register your interest, please contact TW or Bonnie Yeung personally.
A joint meeting of all the working groups is proposed to allow brainstorming and clarification of responsibilities and goals.
An ‘Action Plan’ is to be produced from this and the follow up working group meetings, with updated reports fed into the quarterly MCTCG.
This will be reviewed annually to ensure actions and targets are being met.
BT stated that representation from local businesses was very low and needs increasing.
TW stressed that hopefully the visible results of the Group’s efforts will encourage more involvement in the future. The priority is to work towards a series of short, medium and long term successes that can be measured and reported back to the Group.
Community development/Chinatown Environment
The Chinese Arch
KR reported that the Chinese Arch has been formally adopted by MCC Highways. Interim repairs have been undertaken to make the structure safe and remove the unsightly netting. A bid for funding for 2013/14has been applied for as part of the Council budget process, which will allow them to develop a more extensive renovation scheme .
BT asked whether MCC will offer MCTCG a budget for the marketing and promotion of this asset.
KR stated that no budget would be made available for marketing but the group should work more closely with Marketing Manchester to publicise local assets.
BY added that the working group responsible for Marketing/Promotion will look at this
TW stressed that it is important to acknowledge the success of the milestone reached.
Warren Yeung agreed that this is good news, as the effort to get a maintenance budget started in 2008, but wanted assurance that the Arch was now safe.
TW reported that a full safety survey had been undertaken to allow the netting removal.
Lucy Powell MP has forwarded an e-mail from Cllr. Bernard Priest, confirming that a budget for the Arch maintenance had been allocated.
The survey of local businesses was completed and a pilot began on 11th Feb with a potential refuse collector that provides a stronger, larger bag and collections up to 4x a day. They separate the different waste types at the plant and send them for recycling. Winnie, Tommy and the business owner will monitor and report back. If standards are met then scheme will be rolled out over all businesses happy to take part. Recent survey showed this would be 72% of local businesses asked and the hope would be all other businesses would follow suit if they could see the successes of the scheme. This same refuse company covers a large part of The Village and their plant is local to the centre so they can make regular rounds economical. The company have also said they will come ‘on demand’ where feasible.
Breige MacDonald stressed that hopefully using one refuse supplier will then highlight the non-compliance of any businesses to the rules governing food and general waste.
Jessica Spencer added that Street Cars have looked into this refuse collector also and in doing so asked the local Village businesses for feedback and all were so far happy
The power supply from NCP car park for the pagoda lighting has been restored but this has brought to light that several of the bulbs are out and need replacing, ideally with LED lights that would have longer life and lower running costs. A cash grant has been applied for to cover costs of replacing the pagoda lighting, car park spotlights and also work to remove the moss from the roof of the pagoda which will then reveal any structural issues there may be.
Cllr. Joan Davies asked if the ownership of the Pagoda could be confirmed.
TW Queries regarding the pagoda have historically been directed to MCC Highways.
Cllr. JD asked if the power supply is provided via NCP and TW confirmed that it is.
BT asked if the supply of the new light fixtures could be tendered for and could Chinese suppliers be a priority.
TW stressed that for the Cash Grant application an approved MCC supplier was used and other enquiries should be directed to the head of the Environment Working Group, Winnie Leung.
PC Rick Grace explained that there has been a reduction of vagrants, street drinking and rough sleeping in Chinatown, but cash machine begging is still an issue. The Pagoda is better but Romanian flower sellers and distraction thefts are particularly bad at the moment, the thieves have no hesitancy coming into the restaurants with board signs begging for money. These are transient criminals that will leave a City once they have attracted police attention and so are hard to pin down, but giving them money only encourages them to come back but they are so persistent people often give them money to make them go away. Please ring through all incidents like this to 101 number, even if they have left the premises.
A campaign to deter people from giving money to beggars will be launched by GMP soon, with posters available to hang in businesses once they are printed.
Please can everyone look out for a White Transit van reported to be dropping off groups of flower sellers on Portland St, identification of a registration number would be appreciated.
BY reported that the air vent behind the Kwok Man, is becoming a regular spot for vagrants.
Rick explained that the closure of the Salvation Army hostel has had a knock on effect, but he will add this location to his regular rounds.
Incidents of ASB and drug taking should always be reported on 101 number. Alternative contact details for non-emergency response are:- or e-mail:
Events and Fundraising
BY explained thatthe aim for the group is to be involved with three core events:-
Chinese New Year
Dragon Boat Festival
Autumn Moon Festival
To assist in the group’s involvement with the former, ties are to be strengthened with the Federation of Chinese Associations. In addition to the three core events, we are also looking to work with the China Forum on a ‘Gala Dinner’ and with the Manchester Chinese Centre on a joint entry into the Manchester Day Parade.
The Centre won 1st prize last year and would welcome collaboration on this year’s entry into the event. It is felt that this would be an ideal way to generate interest in the Dragon Boat Festival and give the Chinatown event increased exposure.
KR mentioned that events could be as much about pulling the community together as fundraising/external promotion. Lessons could be learned from Castlefield in their methods of team building, where ideas include regular events such as, pub quizzes etc. MCTCG could adopt this and hold similar activities to develop community cohesion.
Clifford Hui agreed with this idea and suggested that Chinatown should be looking to promote itself through internal networks and connections in addition to outside businesses to increase footfall.
BY Suggested that this could be widened also to other forums, to build City wide with Castlefield forum, VB, Chinese Art Centre etc.
Marketing and Communication
Website is being done pro bono, with the brief given to refine the interface, improve the navigation of the website and to set up MCTCG specific email addresses.
Social Media is proving popular; has had a good response and is working to generate interest in Chinatown. Having more businesses use twitter and promoting Chinatown through twitter will increase footfall. Marketing Manchester is happy to include Chinatown and MCTCG events in their online calendar and provide a link to the Chinatown website as a microsite to their own.
A NCP project to redesign the map and signage associated with Chinatown NCP car park has commenced. This will include directions to local businesses and attractions and other tourist relevant information via the key and QR codes.
An initial survey has been undertaken with a positive response; therefore this will hopefully go ahead soon. An email will be circulated to confirm all those wishing to take part in this project.
NCP will fund leaflets with similar information to appear in the Tourist Information Centre, hotel receptions, airports and stations etc.
A project in its early stages is a light projection on the NCP car park that could display images and photographs indicative of the Chinatown story that would be a unique art attraction, informative to visitors and an ideal stop point for MCR walks. The walking tours start at the nearby Information Centre and a Green Badge tour of the area led by a Chinese speaking guide would be ideal. Tour operators need to work with the group to maximise the Chinatown the retail and food and drink offer and build up working relationships.
DC suggested that strategic marketing should be looked at in bus stations, Metrolink trams, train stations and the airport to bring in tourist trade.
BY stated that once the interactive map is developed, it will be ideal to use in these locations
DC May be worth surveying crowds at future events to see what brought them
BM responding to a question regarding the phone card sellers, said that whilst they have no street sales permit they do have a license to distribute and therefore operating within the rules. However, as part of this license they must not obstruct passing traffic or pedestrians or litter and so this can be reported back if seen.
BY responded that it is location in front of the pagoda, which is the problem. The group should try to get them to get involved with the community.
WY asked whether there were any plans to improve the poor quality of the paving in Chinatown.
TW to ask MCC if the area is to be included in any future capital works programmes.
Cllr. JD suggested that MCTCG seems focused mostly on business and questioned whether it had looked at other fields where it could be influential
TW Yes it has done in the past and certainly aims to in the future.
BT questioned the ownership of the empty properties in and around Chinatown.
TW responded that this is something that Lucy Powell MP would make enquiries about with MCC
Next MCTCG Forum
- Date; Wednesday 15th May 2013
- Time; 2.00pm
- Venue; TBC