Oldham’s food not worth a hill of beans

That’s the verdict according to Council spending records which show that of the £1.1 million spent by council bosses on food and drink since December 2019, a mere £12,500 was spent with businesses in the borough of Oldham.1

Mark Kenyon - with a small tin of beans representing in borough spending, and a huge pile of cans of beans, showing out of borough spending.
Imagine each and every baked bean represents £50: the pile of beans is the £1M+ spent OUT of the borough and the small can is what’s spent IN the borough.
(all beans donated to Oldham Food Bank)

Local Liberal Democrat campaigner, Mark Kenyon, who made the discovery, also pointed to claims made by Council bosses who regularly boast that local spending by the council is on the up – Sean Fielding as recently as June this year claimed that it was as high as 55%.2

“If these figures are anything to go by, that’s pie in the sky. £12.5K isn’t even 1%” said Mark Kenyon. He continued: “Oldham’s Council could do so much good, yet fritters away easy chances to support local jobs and businesses. With Council backing, we could create a £1 million food business in Oldham – that’s at least 15 brand new full time jobs. It’s not enough for council bosses to only ask ‘can we buy this locally?’, they need to be asking ‘HOW can we buy this locally?’ and then get on with doing it.

“Labour are asleep on the job and, missing a chance to do good like this, proves it. Oldham deserves better,” he concluded.

  1. MBC Catering spend dec 2019 – sept 2020
  2. (2) Sean Fielding at the June 2020 Council meeting giving an answer to Howard Sykes about the proportion of council budget spent locally (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JgVt66feaU&t=3631s Cllr Fielding responds at 59:54).

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