Oldham’s Child Sexual Exploitation report to be released Monday – reaction

Oldham’s Child Sexual Exploitation report to be released Monday – reaction

Borough news, domestic abuse and violence, fairer council
Oldham Liberal Democrats have said that due care must be taken with responses to the independent inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Oldham, to be released on Monday, and it “must be viewed in the knowledge of the terrible and lasting impact CSE has had on the lives of many of this borough’s most vulnerable young people”.  The report is being released with a background of serial failings of the senior management of Greater Manchester Police, including the botched introduction and inadequacies of the now-abandoned iOPS computer system, and the force being placed into special measures. Liberal Democrat spokesperson Sam Al-Hamdani said: “People must know that Oldham Council, the police, and the services that they rely on have changed, and will continue to change, so that others will not have…
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Foster carers left months without reply as Oldham Council slammed for inaction

Foster carers left months without reply as Oldham Council slammed for inaction

Borough news, health and social care
Oldham’s foster carers have been left waiting months for a response after raising concerns about the cost-of-living with senior council figures. Shaw representative and Liberal Democrat Opposition Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE called the situation “shameful” as he and his colleagues called for answers on behalf of local foster carers. Oldham Council has so far been unable to provide answers to foster carers in the Borough who have raised concerns about making ends meet during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. (See attached letter which is one of many councillors have received at the end of March/early April). Councillor Sykes said: “This is an incredibly stressful time for foster carers who are rightly raising concerns about Oldham Council’s policy towards supporting them financially. Other local councils offer foster carers reimbursement through council…
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Save Our Rivers: Liberal Democrats call for Sewage Tax on river polluters

Save Our Rivers: Liberal Democrats call for Sewage Tax on river polluters

Borough news
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat councillors have called on government ministers to tax water companies responsible for over 750,000 sewage dumps over the last two years. Last year the Environment Agency found that every river in England suffered from pollution. All local rivers including the Beal, Irk, Medlock and Tame rivers failed the most recent chemical pollution tests carried out by the agency. Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader and Leader of the Opposition councillor Howard Sykes MBE said, “It’s despicable that the Conservative government has allowed these harmful sewage dumps to happen in the first place. The very least a responsible government would do is to make these polluting companies pay for the clean-up. This pollution has a lasting effect on eco-systems for aquatic, bird and insect life not to mention the effect…
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Bees under threat: Liberal Democrats call for pesticide ban

Bees under threat: Liberal Democrats call for pesticide ban

Borough news, environment
Liberal Democrat Leader and Shaw representative councillor Howard Sykes MBE is campaigning against the use of pesticides that are harmful to bees. Pesticides containing neonicotinoid thiamethoxam are known to be extremely damaging to bees and other insect life. Last year, the government overturned a ban on pesticides containing neonicotinoid thiamethoxam. Use of thiamethoxam had previously been banned within the European Union but Britain’s departure from the EU paved the way for the ban to be lifted. Councillor Sykes said, “British Bees are already in danger and that makes the government’s decision to overturn this ban so disappointing. Bees are essential to the local environment as pollinators and conservationists are clear that the use of this pesticide will threaten not only bees, but also wildflowers and the human population itself as…
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‘Keep Clean Air Zone free’ say Oldham Liberal Democrats

‘Keep Clean Air Zone free’ say Oldham Liberal Democrats

Borough news, environment
Liberal Democrat Opposition Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has called for common sense as Andy Burnham’s war of words with the government over the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) continues. The Greater Manchester Mayor is locked in a bitter stalemate with Conservative ministers after he rejected Government proposals to limit the Clean Air Zone to Manchester City Centre only. Councillor Sykes said, “It’s about time we had some common sense instead of bickering between Mayor Burnham and the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats want to see people’s jobs and income protected at a time when many are struggling. Keeping CAZ free is the best way forward if we want to protect jobs during the cost-of-living crisis. “If the Conservative government force a charging zone on Greater Manchester then the area affected by…
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Conductors on trams needed tackle anti-social behaviour and restore user confidence

Conductors on trams needed tackle anti-social behaviour and restore user confidence

Borough news
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat councillors have renewed their calls for Metrolink conductors/staff presence to be put in place on the Rochdale – Oldham line after it emerged that fear of anti-social behaviour preventing people using Metrolink, something the Liberal Democrats have said for several years now (2018). Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Shaw representative councillor Howard Sykes said, “The Metrolink is a huge asset for our communities. The continuing failure of Metrolink and Oldham’s Council to tackle anti-social behaviour has led to residents telling us that they are afraid to use the tram.” Last month, a report from Onward UK gave a damning insight into the realities of travelling around Oldham by tram. One respondent to the Onward UK study confessed they felt as though “you take your life into…
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Oldham falls behind as demand for electric vehicle charging points grows

Oldham falls behind as demand for electric vehicle charging points grows

Borough news, environment
Council plans to increase electric vehicle usage across Oldham Borough have been labelled as “ineffective and empty words” by Oldham’s Liberal Democrats after it emerged that Oldham has just 36 charging points and has missed key opportunities to expand its supply. Oldham Liberal Democrat councillors have previously raised concerns about the Labour controlled Council’s strategy for electric vehicles, pointing out existing plans would not be good enough if Oldham is to reach the key target of 3,000 charging points by 2025. Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE said: “Labour have dragged their heels on this for too long now. We have Mayor Burnham rolling ahead with Clean Air Zone plans that will make electric vehicles ever more important, but lack of action from our Labour controlled council has…
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Oldham recycling rates are the worst in Greater Manchester and 231st in the country

Oldham recycling rates are the worst in Greater Manchester and 231st in the country

Borough news, environment
Oldham Council has been slammed for its pitifully low recycling rates. Data from LetsRecycle.com shows that, in Oldham Borough, only 36.7% of household waste was sent for reuse, recycling or composting last year. Labour controlled Oldham council ranks 231st on the national recycling league tables and is tied with Manchester City Council as the worst local authority in Greater Manchester for recycling. The best local councils in the country are St. Albans, South Oxfordshire, Three Rivers District and Vale of White Horse District Council Councils. All four are run by the Liberal Democrats. Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE said: “These figures are a disgrace. Residents expect the council to be leading on recycling. People want to do their bit for the environment, but these figures show that…
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Oldham Council shamed by staff survey results

Oldham Council shamed by staff survey results

Borough news, fairer council
A survey into council staff satisfaction has exposed a culture of slipping standards at Oldham Civic Centre, with 50% of council workers saying they would not recommend Oldham Council as a place to work. Liberal Democrat Group Leader and Leader of the Opposition, councillor Howard Sykes MBE said, “These results show that a long-term culture of falling standards is developing under Labour’s leadership of Oldham Borough Council. The Labour administration has failed to get the basics right under successive council leaders and we now have a mountain to climb to get our staff back on board.” Sykes’s comments come after 2021 staff survey data revealed that the council’s performance as an employer had dropped sharply across the board when compared with the last staff survey which was completed in 2016.…
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How much public money have you wasted on Clean Air Zone signs Mr Mayor?

How much public money have you wasted on Clean Air Zone signs Mr Mayor?

Borough news, environment, road safety
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader has criticised wasteful clean air signs after Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham was forced to backtrack on his plans for a £60 per week Clean Air Zone. Shaw Councillor and Leader of Oldham Liberal Democrats, Howard Sykes MBE said, “Everybody can see the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) for what it is, a complete and utter shambles. In recent weeks, we’ve had the spectacle of Mr Burnham going cap-in-hand to the Government asking to be allowed to scrap the charges from his Clean Air Zone. This U turn is welcome but why did he not do this in the first place? This is just months after he announced plans to implement Europe’s largest clean air charging zone. And just weeks after he had to scurry around Greater…
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