Park heritage plan must focus on promoting culture, protecting nature, and growing local economy

Park heritage plan must focus on promoting culture, protecting nature, and growing local economy

Borough news
Liberal Democrat councillors have responded to a recent consultation on the draft heritage strategy for the South Pennines Park by calling for further measures to promote local culture, protect the natural and built environment, and grow the local economy in a sustainable way. The deadline for responses is 29 October. The South Pennines Park covers 460 square miles, including the Saddleworth district and Shaw, and stretches between the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales National Parks. In their response, the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group call for action to: Promote local culture: The Liberal Democrats want to see recognition of the work of the Shaw and Crompton and Saddleworth Parish Councils in supporting traditional heritage activities (such as the annual rush cart festival, the ‘world-renowned’ brass band contests, and the celebration…
Read More
Places for Everyone must not compromise Green Belt for anyone

Places for Everyone must not compromise Green Belt for anyone

Borough news
The Oldham Liberal Democrats have submitted their response to the consultation being conducted by the Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester outlining their opposition to his latest Places for Everyone plan.  Group Leader Councillor Howard Sykes MBE summarised the position of Liberal Democrat Councillors to the Mayor’s proposals: “We remain implacably opposed to any plan to build new homes on our open spaces; our view remains Places for Everyone must not compromise Green Belt for anyone.  We believe that the requirement for new homes can be met with our stated policy to build first and always on brownfield sites, to push for the completion of development on sites with existing planning permission for new housing, and to act with purpose to bring back into use our empty homes or to convert…
Read More
Liberal Democrats propose Local Plan to stop Green Belt development

Liberal Democrats propose Local Plan to stop Green Belt development

Borough news
Liberal Democrat Councillors will be proposing that Oldham Council refuse to participate in Labour’s ‘Places for Everyone’ plan and instead develop only a Local Plan for housing development to save the borough’s Green Belt. At the special Council meeting (from 6pm, Wednesday 28 July), Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Howard Sykes MBE will be proposing an amendment to the report presented to Council calling for withdrawal from ‘Places for Everyone’ and the creation of only a Local Plan. The amendment will be seconded by the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani. Councillor Sykes said: “Places for Everyone is simply the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework repackaged; it is still predicated upon the flawed assumption that it is right and necessary to build thousands of new homes on…
Read More
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),…
Read More
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…
Read More
Stockport Liberal Democrats deal blow to Labour’s Green Belt homes plan

Stockport Liberal Democrats deal blow to Labour’s Green Belt homes plan

Borough news
Last week, at a special meeting of Stockport Council, the 26 strong Liberal Democrat Group, led a charge to vote down the latest Greater Manchester Spatial Framework proposals in a nail-biting 26 to 35 votes.  The vote at this second meeting followed the request for an adjournment made by the Conservatives and Labour Groups at an earlier meeting to enable the two parties to seek a compromise that would enable the Tories to vote with Labour, but even after talks the Conservatives found the latest modified proposals still unpalatable. The proposals supported by Greater Manchester Labour Mayor and the ten leaders of the Greater Manchester Councils have been opposed by Liberal Democrats across the city region, and the Oldham group has also been at the forefront of local efforts to…
Read More
Why do we need GMSF? asks Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader

Why do we need GMSF? asks Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader

Borough news
Study finds more than 1.3m homes can be built on brownfield sites A recent study published by the countryside charity, the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has found that the government’s target of 300,000 new homes could be built every year for the next four years, and then some, on brownfield sites, leaving the Green Belt untouched. Responding the findings, Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Howard Sykes MBE posed the question: “Why then do we need the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework with the proposal by the Greater Manchester Mayor and his Labour colleagues to destroy vast swathes of our irreplaceable Green Belt with unnecessary housing?” The CPRE found that there are enough sites in England that have been previously developed, and that are available for housing, to…
Read More
Shaw and Crompton short-changed for third time in Labour’s Green Belt homes plan

Shaw and Crompton short-changed for third time in Labour’s Green Belt homes plan

Borough news, Campaigns
Liberal Democrat Councillors on Oldham Council remain bitterly opposed to Labour’s latest version of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework which has just been unveiled and will go before a special Council meeting to be held on Wednesday 28 October, prior to being open to public consultation. In this third version of their plan to build new homes, which forms part of the wider Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), Oldham Council’s Labour Administration has removed proposals to build on Green Belt sites in Royton North Ward, Failsworth East Ward and St James Ward, but have retained plans to build almost 1,000 new homes on Green Belt and green space sites in Cowlishaw and in the Beal Valley. Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, who is the Leader of the Opposition and represents Shaw,…
Read More
Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is the wrong plan, at the wrong time

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is the wrong plan, at the wrong time

Borough news
Liberal Democrats in Oldham and across Greater Manchester are calling for a halt to the Greater Manchester Strategic Framework, due to be published on 5 October 2020. In advance of the publication, Oldham Council has revealed their local proposals and there will be a full meeting of the Council to discuss these on Wednesday 28 October. Wrong plan Oldham Liberal Democrat Councillors recognise that we will need more homes in the Borough, and we want to build the high quality, affordable and energy efficient homes that people need, but not at the expense of losing our precious green spaces. During the Covid-19 pandemic, residents have been using our great outdoors for exercise and solace. This experience this year tells us, we need our open spaces more than ever. Our precious…
Read More
£400 million Brownfield Fund ‘welcome but not enough’, says Liberal Democrat Leader

£400 million Brownfield Fund ‘welcome but not enough’, says Liberal Democrat Leader

Borough news
“Welcome, but not enough” says the Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, in response to the recent Government’s announcement that £400 million will be made available to Mayoral Combined Authority areas, such as Greater Manchester, through a new Brownfield Fund. Commenting, Councillor Sykes said: “As the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group adamantly favours building new homes on brownfield sites, and as we have previously called on this government to provide the cash to do this, it would be churlish of me not to welcome any announcement of government money to make this happen, but we have yet to see how much of this money comes to Oldham and in any case Oldham’s share will not be nearly enough.” Councillor…
Read More