From an ambulance station to 12 apartments

Borough news
Crompton Liberal Democrat Councillor, Diane Williamson, and her two Crompton colleagues, have learnt that the owner of the former Ambulance Station on Moor Street has put an outline planning application for 12 apartments. “Currently our stance is that we would support, in principle, this application. This is because for a long time the site has been an eye sore, with anti-social behaviour as well as littering and fly-tipping, which has caused residents much concern,” said Councillor Louie Hamblett. Councillor Dave Murphy added: “We are keen to understand how the application will affect local residents and we would also like to guide them through the planning application process. This is only an outline application, which means it is just the principal of building on that land.” “We obviously want to listen…
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Failure to investigate crimes highlight again GMP’s inadequacies

Failure to investigate crimes highlight again GMP’s inadequacies

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence
Greater Manchester Police closed 141,010 cases last year without even identifying a suspect, new analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed. The party’s analysis of new Home Office figures found that of the 360,099 offences committed between April 2021 and March 2022 39.16% were not investigated. Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “These awful figures show criminals are getting away with victimising people on an industrial scale. The Conservative party love to talk tough on crime, but they can’t even get the basics right. “And on Andy Burnham’s watch, GMP has remained stubbornly in special measures, has been cited repeatedly for failing victims of domestic abuse, and failed to engage in the recent review into child sex exploitation in Oldham. “That is just part of the reason why we have written to the Home Secretary asking for…
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Time to clamp down on parking offenders says Sykes

Time to clamp down on parking offenders says Sykes

Borough news, road safety
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader and Shaw representative, councillor Howard Sykes MBE has called on Oldham Council to clamp down on persistent parking offenders. Councillor Sykes said: “Pavement parking and inconsiderate, or illegal parking is a real nuisance in our communities, especially in our town centres. I am calling on Oldham Council to get tough on repeat offenders – just as other councils have done. The only way we are going to change things is by showing people that there are consequences for being a nuisance to other people on our roads and pavements.” The Department for Transport defines a persistent offender as someone with three or more Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). Councillor Sykes is calling for Oldham Council to seize vehicles of persistent offenders until a release fee has been…
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Oldham Council urged to act against fly-tipping

Oldham Council urged to act against fly-tipping

Borough news, environment
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader and Shaw representative, councillor Howard Sykes MBE has urged Oldham Council to think outside the box when it comes to tackling fly-tipping. In a letter to council bosses, Sykes has called for the council to apply for grant funding from the government; and highlighted three strategies that have shown good results elsewhere in the country. Councillor Sykes said: “Fly-tipping is a crime which harms our natural world, blights communities and costs council taxpayers thousands to clean up and councils time and staff resources. If there is extra funding available from the government Oldham must be sure to apply for that funding. The councils that deal with Fly-tipping best are the ones who have multiple schemes in place to prevent and prosecute offenders.” The Liberal Democrat Leader’s…
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First community meeting post-Covid

Borough news, fairer council
Crompton Liberal Democrat Councillor, Diane Williamson, and her Shaw and Crompton colleagues, hosted the first Community meeting, since the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions. “It was so nice to see local residents, officers and Councillors at the Lifelong Learning on Wednesday 27 July. GMP and FCHO officers were in attendance as well Mike Barker, the new Accountable Officer appointed for NHS Oldham, who came to speak to the meeting about the significant news about the new Shaw and Crompton Health Centre.” Residents mainly came to speak about issues on Durden Mews and Queen Street. Meetings have already taken place, organised by the Shaw Liberal Councillors, where officers from FCHO and GMP are working with them to investigate and resolve the problems. “The next meeting is on Wednesday 31 August at…
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Lifesaving Grotton defibrillator ready for use

Lifesaving Grotton defibrillator ready for use

Borough news, health and social care
A heart defibrillator in Grotton has been brought back into use as the first community project for recently elected Councillor Alicia Marland. The casing for the defibrillator at Lido House had been broken since before lockdown and the unit was being kept in the manager’s office, meaning it was unavailable to people outside office hours, which could have meant a critical delay in providing life-saving resuscitation. Local Liberal Democrat Councillor Alicia Marland said: “I became aware of the problem while helping at the Band Contest in Grotton a few weeks ago. Looking around at how many people there were really brought home how crucial it was to make sure it was accessible for everyone, and available for the North West Ambulance Service to support people. If I were in that…
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Liberal Democrats welcome U-turn allowing dogs onto trams for a trial period

Liberal Democrats welcome U-turn allowing dogs onto trams for a trial period

Borough news
Pet dogs will be allowed on Greater Manchester trams during a three-month trial, with a two dog per passenger rule. Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, said: “It’s common sense to allow dogs on trams so I’m glad that Transport for Greater Manchester have finally listened. You can take a dog on a bus or a train with no problem. This trial should be made permanent. We want to see more people encouraged to use public transport so moves like this are very welcome.” Councillor Sykes’s Liberal Democrat group have previously called for pets to be allowed to travel but the move was blocked by Labour and Conservative councillors (see links below). Councillor Sykes said, “Hopefully this initial trial period results in something more permanent and responsible dog…
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Government plans for council finance watchdog will do nothing to improve frontline services

Government plans for council finance watchdog will do nothing to improve frontline services

Borough news, fairer council, Parliamentary news
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has hit out against government plans to introduce new financial oversight measures for local government spending. Councillor Sykes said: “We’re in the eye of a cost-of-living storm right now and what we need is a government that empowers local councils to direct funding to frontline services across social care, housing and health. Instead, we have Conservative ministers who are making local councils jump through hoops, count beans and increase bureaucracy and red tape.” The Government announced that it would introduce a new regulator to audit council spending. But the Liberal Democrat Leader and representative for Shaw dismissed the plans as “unnecessary red tape that will do nothing for ordinary residents and just increase costs for councils”. Councillor Sykes argued: “Local councils need…
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Liberal Democrats write to Home Secretary demanding public inquiry into CSE failings

Liberal Democrats write to Home Secretary demanding public inquiry into CSE failings

Borough news, CSE
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has written to the Home Secretary – Priti Patel – calling on her to open an independent public inquiry into child sex exploitation in Oldham and Greater Manchester. In his letter to the Home Secretary, Councillor Sykes said: “I hope you will use your position to show people in Oldham that failure to protect children can never be accepted in our public institutions. It is only through meticulously investigating these failings that we can have true accountability and begin to earn back the trust of the people of Oldham.” The issue of child sex abuse has dominated Oldham council meetings since the report was published, leading to heated council meetings. But so far Labour have blocked calls in council meetings to call…
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Burnham must face further questions

Burnham must face further questions

Borough news, CSE
Liberal Democrats say Andy Burnham must come to Oldham to answer questions on Greater Manchester Police special measures Liberal Democrats call on Andy Burnham to come to Oldham to answer questions on Greater Manchester Police special measures. At a meeting of Oldham’s Full Council, Liberal Democrat councillors called on Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to come to Oldham to field questions from councillors on the state of Greater Manchester Police. Liberal Democrat Councillor for Saddleworth West and Lees, Sam Al-Hamdani said, “Politically accountability has been lacking throughout the time that Greater Manchester Police has been in special measures. Will the Leader of the Council write to Mayor Burnham asking him to come to Oldham to field questions from councillors on the ongoing situation affecting Greater Manchester Police – as he…
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