‘Vicious cycle’ of tax avoidance must be combated

‘Vicious cycle’ of tax avoidance must be combated

Borough news, fairer council
Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani has written to Oldham Council’s head of finance to push for more action on ensuring that tax avoiding companies are kept away from Council contracts. In 2019, the Council’s passed the Liberal Democrat motion supporting the Council’s for Fair Tax declaration. During Fair Tax Week, Councillor Al-Hamdani returned to the motion to question how much the Council had done to encourage businesses – particularly those closely linked to the Council to sign up to the Fair Tax Mark. Sam said: “The Council reported two years ago that it was going to speak to its arms length companies about signing up for the Fair Tax Mark, but we have heard nothing since. It also agreed to promote fair tax – ensuring companies pay the right amount,…
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Oldham’s Child Sexual Exploitation report to be released Monday – reaction

Oldham’s Child Sexual Exploitation report to be released Monday – reaction

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence, fairer council
Oldham Liberal Democrats have said that due care must be taken with responses to the independent inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Oldham, to be released on Monday, and it “must be viewed in the knowledge of the terrible and lasting impact CSE has had on the lives of many of this borough’s most vulnerable young people”.  The report is being released with a background of serial failings of the senior management of Greater Manchester Police, including the botched introduction and inadequacies of the now-abandoned iOPS computer system, and the force being placed into special measures. Liberal Democrat spokesperson Sam Al-Hamdani said: “People must know that Oldham Council, the police, and the services that they rely on have changed, and will continue to change, so that others will not have…
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Somewhere over the rainbow

Borough news, fairer council
Since July 2019 Crompton Councillor Louie Hamblett has repeatedly asked when Oldham will have its own splash of rainbow in the town centre. While many other authorities up and down the country have painted their steps or zebra crossings in a show of support to the LGBT+ community Cllr Hamblett may have finally been told it could go ahead after nearly 4 years. Councillor Hamblett said: “As the Liberal Democrat Diversity and Inclusion spokesperson along with being one of the openly LGBT+ members on this council, I think it’s quite poor it’s taken them this long to give me and the community an answer. I am grateful that the council have finally come to offer Oldham pride funding and other support to ensure the weekend goes ahead. Cllr Hamblett added:…
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Oldham Council shamed by staff survey results

Oldham Council shamed by staff survey results

Borough news, fairer council
A survey into council staff satisfaction has exposed a culture of slipping standards at Oldham Civic Centre, with 50% of council workers saying they would not recommend Oldham Council as a place to work. Liberal Democrat Group Leader and Leader of the Opposition, councillor Howard Sykes MBE said, “These results show that a long-term culture of falling standards is developing under Labour’s leadership of Oldham Borough Council. The Labour administration has failed to get the basics right under successive council leaders and we now have a mountain to climb to get our staff back on board.” Sykes’s comments come after 2021 staff survey data revealed that the council’s performance as an employer had dropped sharply across the board when compared with the last staff survey which was completed in 2016.…
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Six out of nine Conservative Councillors missing from Council meeting

Six out of nine Conservative Councillors missing from Council meeting

Borough news, fairer council
Oldham & Saddleworth’s Liberal Democrat councillors have said local Conservatives have got questions to answer after six of their nine councillors failed to attend the first council meetings to be held after the local elections. Mark Kenyon, Liberal Democrat councillor for Grotton, Springhead & Lees, said: “I’m sure decent Conservative voters in this town will join the rest of us in wondering when Conservative councillors will actually turn up to do the job they’d promised voters they’d do – there’s important questions to ask about CAZ, Labour waste & the investment our town and districts sorely need.” Conservative deputy leader Beth Sharp, joins councillors Luke Lancaster, Dave Arnott and their newly elected colleagues Chris McManus, Robert Barnes and Lewis Quigg in skipping these first meetings held on Wednesday 25th May…
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Liberal Democrat Leader announces real opposition team for 22–23

Borough news, fairer council
Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has today announced his Real Opposition team for 2022/23. The announcement comes after a successful set of local elections for the Liberal Democrats which saw the group gain a seat in Saddleworth West and Lees. Councillor Howard Sykes said: “I am proud to be leading the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council and to be leading a team that is ready to hold the Council and Labour to account. This year we are joined by the newly elected councillor Alicia Marland, who is joining Mark Kenyon and Sam Al-Hamdani making up a formidable team of community champions for Saddleworth West and Lees residents. “At a time when so many people across the Oldham borough are facing the effects of the Conservative cost-of-living…
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Making democracy more accessible

Making democracy more accessible

Borough news, fairer council
Oldham Council chief executive Harry Catherall has agreed to a review of the arrangements for the counting of the election vote next year to ensure that all is being done to ensure it is accessible for people with varying disabilities. After local Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani wrote to him following this year’s count, highlighting some of the positive aspects, but also some of the weaknesses, he agreed to discuss what could be done next year to make it better. Sam said: “We want as many people as possible to be involved in politics, whether that is increasing the numbers of people voting, or making it easier for people to stand to be elected. “Making the process more accessible is just one of those steps.” Unlike many other counts, results…
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Liberal Democrat leadership team pledged to be Real Opposition to Labour on Oldham Council

Liberal Democrat leadership team pledged to be Real Opposition to Labour on Oldham Council

Borough news, environment, fairer council, road safety
At a Group meeting held on 7 May, the Oldham Borough Liberal Democrat Group elected councillor Howard Sykes MBE as their Leader and councillor Chris Gloster as their Deputy Leader. Councillor Howard Sykes said: “I am grateful once more to my colleagues for their support for my work as Group Leader and delighted that Chris will continue to serve as my Deputy. It was great to welcome newly elected councillor Alicia Marland from Saddleworth West and Lees to the team, and to welcome Dave Murphy and Hazel Gloster back for Crompton and Shaw Wards. After Friday’s results, the Liberal Democrats are up one to nine councillors and I know that all of us will continue to make a difference.” “Liberal Democrats will be the only real opposition party holding Labour…
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Citizen’s budget would make Oldham safer, greener and cleaner

Citizen’s budget would make Oldham safer, greener and cleaner

Borough news, environment, fairer council
Shaw Councillor Chris Gloster, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance and Low Carbon, is looking forward to presenting the Liberal Democrat budget amendment to Oldham’s annual Budget Council 2 March 2022. Many of the proposals have been shaped by feedback from the Borough’s residents and Councillor Gloster’s confident that the Opposition Group has produced a budget amendment that will have no adverse impact on council finances, whilst delivering further improvements in the Council services that residents most value. Councillor Gloster, who is Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition Group on Oldham Council will present this amendment on Wednesday 2 March 2022 in response to the Labour Administration’s proposal that recommends a 3.99% increase in Council Tax, coupled with the Labour Metro Mayor Andy Burnham’s proposal to increase the Greater Manchester…
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Conservatives fail to do Equality Impact Assessment and try to steal Lib Dem clothes

Borough news, fairer council
The failure of the so-called Conservative budget proposals to assess their impact was just one of the flaws highlighted at their presentation at Oldham Council's Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee [8 February]. Crompton Liberal Democrat Councillor Diane Williamson said: ”The Conservatives kept telling the Committee that they did not have enough time to put forward a budget – so instead they stole most of what the Liberal Democrats have put together over the last four to five years and submitted that; rebadged slightly – but still what Lib Dems have suggested years before, and most of which they had previously voted against!” The Conservatives have been on Oldham Council for many years now and have sat in numerous Budget Council meetings. They also have dedicated staff now, so there really…
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