Liberal Democrats stand up for the residents of Oldham and its districts – Chadderton, Failsworth, Shaw and Crompton, Royton, Lees and Saddleworth. We work hard for every individual – that’s what it means to be a Liberal Democrat, but we also have a whole range of local and national policies which inform our work.
Safer, more accessible streets
We have long supported the 20s plenty campaign, despite strong opposition from both Labour and the Conservatives, including most recently as an addition to a motion on road crime in the Borough, and as a full motion in 2021. We also are running a number of individual projects and campaigns locally.
We also need a transport system which actually delivers what people need: low-cost public transport that dovetails with private cars – that means low-cost parking, park and ride spaces, and a local road network that doesn’t funnel people away from Oldham Town Centre.
One of the key issues for rebuilding Oldham is our brownfield first policy. We oppose both the national guidelines that force local councils to accept unrealistic levels of housebuilding – particularly as for Oldham it means developers target high-yield three and four bedroom houses in greener areas, using national targets to force through development.
We were the only party to oppose the Places for Everyone scheme by putting forward an alternative proposal, to develop using the local plan, giving Oldham more control over what is being built where. We believe in protecting our open spaces, and we work hard to defend them.
Better environment: better health
We have put forward solid proposals to improve the environment of Oldham. Most recently the Liberal Democrats proposal for an innovative ground-sourced heating network – a first for the UK, was close to starting trials, before the Conservative Government pulled the plug on its funding.
We believe that practical, groundbreaking projects such as this – which would have also saved local residents money by providing heating and hot water to thousands of homes – can improve our environment, save people money, and improve your health.
Looking after your health
People’s experiences of healthcare in Oldham too frequently aren’t what they should be. A lottery of services mean that some people get seen far more quickly than others. Over the last five years, we have more GPs with fewer patients, so why are people struggling to get appointments?
We want to see new medical centres in Shaw, Saddleworth and Chadderton, and better funding and planning for those and our existing centres. We also want to see improved management, so that more people can see their GPs, and joined up services between health and social care.
We’ve worked hard to introduce a series of policies to combat domestic abuse and violence, at both the national and local levels. Oldham Liberal Democrats introduced the first motion in the UK to support the criminalisation of public sexual harassment; and campaigned for a new law to ban sex offenders from public office; to support the Closing the Loophole campaign; and to introduce a national stalking and domestic violence register.
We have also ensured that Oldham Council will implement the recommendations of the national Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), and are working with the Council on its White Ribbon Accreditation, the uptake of Our Schools Now educational tools to combat sexual harassment, and to ensure that the independent investigation into historic allegations of CSE in the Borough delivers actual changes to support survivors and ensure that previous failings are not repeated.
Making decisions with people, not for people
Too many decisions are made by a small group at the Labour-run Oldham Council, and we believe that needs to change. There is too much focus on Oldham Town Centre, at the expense of all the other districts.
We believe in better, more accessible consultation before projects get underway; an open, transparent council that responds to residents; and staff who want to take on the challenge of transforming our borough.