Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader calls for reinstatement of Dovestones volunteer rangers

Borough news, Saddleworth News
The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to the Chair and Chief Executive of the Peak District National Park Authority calling upon them to reinstate the volunteer ranger service at Dovestones Reservoir. Commenting councillor Sykes said:  “The volunteer rangers freely gave their time and commitment to looking after our countryside and wildlife, and keeping visitors safe.  At a time when we have seen more moorland fires and increasing visitor numbers at Dovestones, it must defy common sense to abolish a service, which must cost the Parks Authority very little financially, but which represents a lot of extra  ‘boots on the ground’ looking out for fires and for people.  I hope that my letter provokes a rethink and that we shall see…
Read More
Liberal Democrats back call for No Moor BBQs

Liberal Democrats back call for No Moor BBQs

Borough news
As yet another wildfire ravages Marston Moor, Saddleworth North Liberal Democrat Councillor Garth Harkness is backing the No Moor BBQs campaign of the British Mountaineering Council for a complete ban on disposable barbecues, and wants to see more action and powers to tackle the arsonists who deliberately or inadvertently set fire to precious moorland. Councillor Harkness is standing for election again next month and intends to take this issue up as a priority if returned to office. “We have all seen the devastation caused by idiots who start fires deliberately or irresponsibly use and leave disposable barbecues,” Councillor Harkness said. “Too much of our precious and beautiful moorland has over the years already been lost to this madness and along with it sadly much of our wildlife.” It is estimated…
Read More
Liberal Democrats say NO to threatened loss of Peak District National Park

Liberal Democrats say NO to threatened loss of Peak District National Park

Borough news, Saddleworth News
Local Liberal Democrats are continuing to lead the fight to protect our public green spaces. Oldham and Saddleworth Liberal Democrats are saying NO to Conservative Government plans to replace the local management of National Parks with a so-called National Landscape Service, states Saddleworth North Liberal Democrat Councillor Garth Harkness. The Conservative Government is expected to make an announcement shortly (may be after May 6) on the future of National Parks, like the Peak District, as well as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty after a two-year delay following the Glover Review in 2019. 17 April marked the seventieth anniversary of the Peak District National Park, and Councillor Harkness is greatly concerned about plans to scrap, or downgrade, the National Park Authorities in favour of a centrally controlled and distant National Landscape…
Read More
Extra step to improve safety at Dovestone

Extra step to improve safety at Dovestone

Borough news
There have been concerns over parking at Dovestone with extensive yellow lines implemented and enforcement action taking place. There has also been the use of BBQs which risk huge fires. Following discussions with the marshals, Liberal Democrat Councillor Garth Harkness has highlighted another concern. Councillor Garth Harkness said: “Last year I called for irresponsible people lighting BBQs on our moorlands to be hit in the pocket to be fined £1,000. Since then we have had a Public Protection Order introduced. While I think the fines are modest it is welcomed progress, as are the extensive yellow lines and the collaborative work done at Dovestone to help address the safety concerns. “There is also another problem which has emerged and that is motorists attempting a right turn when it is dangerous…
Read More