Energy price hike: Lib Dems set out cost of living rescue package, to save struggling families in Oldham almost £1,000

Energy price hike: Lib Dems set out cost of living rescue package, to save struggling families in Oldham almost £1,000

Borough news, Parliamentary news
The Liberal Democrats have set out a “cost of living rescue plan” that would save thousands of struggling families in Oldham nearly £1,000 this year. It comes after Ofgem announced a crippling rise to people’s heating bills, with the energy price cap set to soar by 54% to £1,971 in April. Energy bills for homeowners in Oldham are forecast to soar by an estimated £692 per household in April, according to analysis by the Liberal Democrats. Meanwhile, broadband bills are set to rise by 9.3% with inflation at its highest rate in almost thirty years. The Liberal Democrats warned that Rishi Sunak's proposals to deal with soaring energy bills will just be "spreading the pain over the coming years" while clobbering local families with tax hikes. The cost of living…
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So-called Conservative Government levelling up agenda is all fur coat and no knickers

So-called Conservative Government levelling up agenda is all fur coat and no knickers

Borough news, housing and development
The Conservative Government’s announcements on the "levelling-up" agenda included dropping targets for gigabit broadband across the country, on the heels of dropping high speed rail lines across the north. Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “The Government has abandoned crucial targets, and failed to provide the funding needed to meet these new ones. It is a fig leaf for a Prime Minister who everyone can see for what he is.” “If the Government is serious about levelling up, why has it just abandoned plans for local high speed rail? “Why is it loading the bill for social care on to local council tax payers, particularly those like Oldham? “Why did it abandon its target for high-speed broadband to 85% of homes by 2025? “Levelling-up is just the latest Tory buzzword…
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Liberal Democrats say residents will be safer, greener, and cleaner in their budget proposals

Liberal Democrats say residents will be safer, greener, and cleaner in their budget proposals

Borough news, environment, housing and development, road safety
Safer, greener, and cleaner, these are the watch words when the Liberal Democrats present their budget amendment proposals to the Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday 8th February (6pm). Shaw Councillor Chris Gloster, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance and Green, is looking forward to presenting the budget amendment to the committee and believes that the Liberal Democrats have come up with sensible adjustments to the budget that will have no impact on council finances but deliver maximum impact to residents whose valuable input as to what residents want to see is at the heart of the proposals. “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…
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Welcome for new convenience store on former King’s Arms/Big Lamp pub site, High Street, Shaw

Welcome for new convenience store on former King’s Arms/Big Lamp pub site, High Street, Shaw

Borough news
Shaw Liberal Democrat Councillors are pleased to see plans progressing to build a new convenience store on the derelict King’s Arms/Big Lamp site, on High Street, Shaw. Local councillors and the Shaw and Crompton Parish Council have been consulted by the developer on the plans. For his part, Shaw Councillor Howard Sykes MBE is looking forward to seeing the site brought back into use.  “We have waited more than ten years to see the successful redevelopment of the site, and now I am delighted that we may soon see a new community store there to serve local residents.  Not only should this improve the retail offer in Shaw, but it will redevelop a major gateway site into the town centre, a site which for too long has been an eyesore…
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Former Very Site – Planning application – Shaw

Former Very Site – Planning application – Shaw

Borough news
Oldham Council Planning Committee will consider an ‘all matters reserved’ application with regards to the proposal to build 400 houses on the former Very site on Thursday 22nd July 2021 which will purely look at access to the site from both the Beal Lane and Linney Lane entrances, Shaw. The application is recommended for approval by Oldham Council Planning Department based on a report by Highway Engineers. Councillor Howard Sykes, Liberal Democrat Councillor for the Shaw Ward said: “there are very mixed views in relation to the development of the site for housing. Whilst most welcome the use of the site for housing as an alternative to building on green space we also recognise that an increase in housing will bring additional pressures to Shaw not only on the roads,…
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Liberal Democrats oppose Labour’s new Green Belt homes ‘Places for Everyone’ plan

Liberal Democrats oppose Labour’s new Green Belt homes ‘Places for Everyone’ plan

Borough news
Despite Liberal Democrat opposition, Labour voted to take forward the so-called ‘Places for Everyone’ plan at Wednesday’s Council’s meeting (24 March 2021). The new plan will lead to thousands of new homes being built on Oldham’s Green Belt. Councillors considered a report to make an agreement to ‘prepare a joint development plan’ to replace the discredited Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and to delegate the Leader of the Council to sit on an oversight committee with the Leaders of eight of the other nine Greater Manchester authorities. All of these are led by Labour Leaders, other than Bolton which has a Conservative Administration. Stockport Liberal Democrats torpedoed the previous plan by voting against Stockport being involved with it at a Council meeting held there in December 2020. At Wednesday’s meeting (24/03/21),…
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Addressing Oldham’s empty homes scandal would help save Green Belt

Addressing Oldham’s empty homes scandal would help save Green Belt

Borough news
More than 1,100 private homes are empty in Oldham, and the Liberal Democrats would like to see them brought back into use to help address homelessness and to reduce the pressure to build new housing on the Green Belt and green spaces. Figures recently released by Oldham Council showed that in November 2020, 1137 private homes were empty, many for long periods of time. Government figures published in December 2020 also show that 5,421 households were on Oldham Council’s housing waiting list. Councillor Howard Sykes MBE said: “Homes which remain empty for a long period of time are often neglected and fall into disrepair, leading to an area becoming blighted and driving down neighbouring property prices. At a time when families on the Council waiting list are in desperate need…
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Starter gun sounded for the ‘new son’ of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework – the ‘Development Plan for the Nine’

Starter gun sounded for the ‘new son’ of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework – the ‘Development Plan for the Nine’

Borough news
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority will consider approving in principle a proposal to develop a new plan to build homes across nine of the ten districts of Greater Manchester at a meeting of its Executive next Friday (12 February). Surprisingly no specific timescale is given in the report for the plan’s production, but the Government requires a local plan to be in place by December 2023. The previous Greater Manchester Spatial Framework proposals were abandoned at the end of last year after Liberal Democrat Councillors in Stockport led the charge to withdraw that authority from the controversial plan. Oldham’s Leader of the Opposition, Liberal Democrat Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, hopes that the leaders of the nine remaining authorities, eight of which are Labour-led and one Conservative, will use this new…
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Aid cut makes a mockery of ‘Global Britain’ promise

Aid cut makes a mockery of ‘Global Britain’ promise

Parliamentary news
Responding to the Chancellor's announcement that the foreign aid budget will be cut, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran said: “Today the promise of ‘Global Britain’ became hollow. Shirking away from our global responsibilities by cutting development spending during a worldwide pandemic is short-sighted and wrong. “The Liberal Democrats enshrined the 0.7% in law precisely so it was flexible with the economic reality. By changing the law the Government is breaking its promise to the British people and to the world’s poorest. “The Liberal Democrats will always stand up for the life-changing power of UK aid, and I will work cross-party to oppose this callous move.”
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Creation of Brownfield Fund welcome, but will fail to ‘scratch the surface’

Creation of Brownfield Fund welcome, but will fail to ‘scratch the surface’

Borough news
The Oldham Liberal Democrats have welcomed the creation of a so called new £400 million Brownfield Land fund, from which £81.1 million will be made available to the 10 Greater Manchester Authorities over the next five years, but say the overall investment ‘won’t scratch the surface’ when compared to the cost of remediating former industrial land in our City Region to make it fit for housing. Alongside publishing a new White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ last month, the Conservative Government restated its so-called commitment to building new homes on brownfield sites first; an approach the Oldham Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for years. Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, explained: “According to Department of Trade figures, the UK has approximately 1,000,000 acres of contaminated land, much of…
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