The Council’s vision for Oldham must include health and well-being as key to the development of the Borough and its regeneration, says local Liberal Democrat Councillor Louie Hamblett.
While the Council’s new local plan consultation includes them as objectives, they are nowhere to be seen in the vision statement, and that is a massive loss, says the shadow cabinet member for Health and Social Care.
He said: “We want to have a thriving borough, where everyone is able to live their lives to the full. We can only achieve that through improvements to the local economy, so I entirely understand why that is there, but we are doing it so that people can live happy, healthy lives.
“If we do not include that in our vision of what our town looks like, we are missing one of the most important – if not the most important – measures of what we want to achieve in improving people’s lives.”
Increasingly, there have been moves away from strict economic measures of growth to broader targets, including human health, safety and flourishing, to set new ideas and approaches to development and growth. In 2019, New Zealand became one of the first Governments to set a wellbeing budget, setting in law targets to improve people’s health as part of their policies.
Louie continued: “I want a vision for Oldham which puts people first. Our ambitions for how we generate our town must go hand in hand with our ambitions for delivering opportunities for people to live the best lives they can.
“We are under no illusions as to the scale of that challenge. Oldham has lost out time and again from policies from our Government that put London first, the south east second, and everywhere else well down the pecking order.
“We cannot afford to let that stop us. This local plan should be a vision of what Oldham can be. Let’s make that happen.”