Liberal Democrats table Council budget amendment to make Oldham ‘Healthier, Greener, and Cleaner’

Councillor Chris Gloster, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance and Green, is looking forward to presenting the budget amendment of the Liberal Democrat Group to next week’s Budget Council (Thursday 4 March, 6pm).

“The Oldham Liberal Democrats want to make further efficiencies in civic centre bureaucracy to squeeze out more money for our priorities, and those of the public – more cash to spend on front-line services,” said Councillor Gloster. “As we begin to emerge from the nightmare of COVID-19, we wish to look at building back better in our Borough by focussing on making Oldham healthier, greener and cleaner.”

The Liberal Councillors are proposing to repurpose part of Labour’s capital investment programme and find more money from cutting bureaucracy and waste elsewhere in the Council’s budget to:

  • Invest £18 million to build three new health centres for patients in Shaw and Crompton, Saddleworth and Chadderton by 2026;
  • Invest £6.5 million in build a green infrastructure taking Oldham forward in its ambition to be Britain’s first carbon-neutral Council and Borough; and
  • Create a dedicated fund worth £2.5 million to repair our footpaths over the next five years.

In the next two years, the Liberal Democrats would save over £1.2 million by cutting Civic Centre bureaucracy and waste to spend on front-line services. In the next financial year, £294,000 more would be spent on tackling the fly-tipping, litter and dog-fouling which blights the lives of so many Oldham residents, and a new fund of £200,000 would be created to invest in 20-mph zones in residential streets to cut road deaths and injuries, especially amongst children and the elderly. 

Commenting Councillor Gloster said: “I feel that we have a range of practical proposals that reflect the new post-COVID reality that much of the work carried out by our staff will continue to be from home rather than the Civic Centre. Our savings will release money that we would re-invest in the front-line services that the public value.

“The Liberal Democrats are also keen to divert some of the money from Labour’s Capital Programme to build three new health centres for the people of Shaw and Crompton, Saddleworth and Chadderton who have been short-changed on primary health care for so long along with an emphasis on Shaw and Crompton being the first location in view of the excellent tram links from other parts of the Borough which would allow specialist clinics to be provided with good access for the Borough’s residents.”

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