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Sykes seeks to pay Royal homage in Oldham parks and gardens

Rose varieties named after Her Majesty the Queen and her late husband HRH Prince Phillip should be planted side-by-side in Oldham’s major public parks and gardens as a tribute to our Royal Family, suggests Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE.

In a letter to Labour Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Amanda Chadderton, and Head of Parks and Countryside, Glenn Dale, Councillor Sykes feels that, as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated across the nation next year, such an action will represent a fitting tribute to mark ‘this milestone in the exemplary contribution of Britain’s longest-serving monarch, and her late and faithful husband’.

“Not only will the new rose beds be enjoyed by the many residents of our borough who already frequent our parks and gardens, but they will symbolise both our Queen’s incredible seven decades of public service, until recently with the Prince always by her side, and the continued admiration and gratitude of the people of this borough for the work and dedication of the Royal Family”.

Councillor Sykes also wants to get the borough’s residents involved in tree planting to mark the Platinum Jubilee, and has suggested a programme involving schools and community planting trees in our parks and gardens.

“Trees are good for the soul and for our environment. I think this would be a very special and wonderful project for our borough, and something that many of our residents would enjoy and value getting involved in.”

THURSDAY 24 JUNE 2021

The Lancashire Walling Association will be joining us for another day of Drystone Walling on Crompton Moor.

Come and try your hand at another day of dry-stone walling.  This is the perfect opportunity to have a go, and learn how to take down and re-build a dry-stone wall within the beautiful setting of Crompton Moor.  

No experience is necessary, and all tools, protective eyewear, and materials will be provided. 

Please dress, according to the weather, and you will require stout outdoor footwear and work gloves.  Please bring a packed lunch and something to drink.

We will meet in Brushes Clough car park, on Crompton Moor, for a 10:00 am start.

If you have any questions, please let us know by

email: cromptonmoor@gmail.com, or you can call us on 07792 156295. 

Kind Regards,

Marian Herod, Secretary – Friends of Crompton Moor, 07792 156295, www.cromptonmoor.co.uk

‘It’s time to ‘jump start’ electric vehicle charging points’, say Oldham Liberal Democrats

Oldham Liberal Democrats are concerned that Oldham is failing to keep up with the increasing demand for electric vehicle charging points as Britain makes the radical move to go green from 2030.

In January 2021, the Department of Transport reported 31 public charging points in Oldham, or 13 for every 100,000 people, less than half the UK average of 31; and this was four less than in October 2019. The energy company Centrica also identified Oldham as one of 126 local councils with no plans to install on-street electric vehicle chargers.

Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, is dismayed that Oldham is falling behind, especially as it is a Council and Borough committed to be carbon-neutral within ten years.

Commenting, Councillor Sykes MBE said: “For example, at a time when politicians talk about the need to promote the use of green public transport where possible, and green private transport where it is not, there is a disincentive if you are a commuter to do so.  In my own Shaw Ward, we have no electric vehicle charging points at the Shaw and Crompton Metrolink ‘Park and Ride’ despite this being the busiest station on the Rochdale – Oldham line.  Nor are there any at the Derker ‘Park and Ride’.”

“If you want to commute by tram to Manchester, and have an electric vehicle, then you must travel all the way to Hollinwood to access a charging point before you can travel into work.  All Metrolink ‘Park and Ride’ stations should have EV charging points installed as a priority. Anything else is just plain daft!”

Councillor Sykes also feels we need some forward thinking. “At a time when the Greater Manchester Mayor and Labour Leaders are proposing building thousands of new homes across the conurbation, I have yet to hear any talk about the provision of charging points for the many electric vehicles that will occupy them nor about the provision of on-street charging points.”

“We need to ensure that there are planning requirements to make this provision a given for new developments and to look at how we can make more charging points available in our town centres, workplaces, hospitals and retail and leisure parks.”

Oldham Liberal Democrats call on public to support Clean Air Day

This Thursday 17 June is National Clean Air Day, and Oldham Liberal Democrats councillors are asking residents of the borough to support the event to help improve our health and our environment.

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Oldham Liberal Democrats, said:  “Many people will have noticed the lack of traffic during Lockdown and many more people took up exercise, walking and cycling, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Now as we see the removal of the remaining lockdown restrictions, it would be great if we could avoid going back to our old habit of turning to our car for every journey.“

“Many of the short journeys we take in our daily lives, whether popping to the shops or for the school run, can be made on foot or on a bike, so why not resolve to do this from Clean Air Day”, added councillor Sykes. “If we all did this, even for just one or two days a week, it would make a huge difference to air quality and in turn this would improve our health.”

Visit cleanairgm.com to get involved.  You can join in by cycling or walking on the day and sharing your journey on social media using #GMCleanAirDay.  Follow @CleanAirGM on Twitter and Facebook for tips to get you moving.

Oldham Liberal Democrats join call for real investment in post-Covid education catch up for our children

Oldham Liberal Democrat Councillors have all joined a call to Prime Minister Boris Johnson for real government investment to be made in education to provide further tuition to school children to catch up on learning lost because of Covid-19.

Local Liberal Democrat Councillors signed the open letter to Prime Minister Johnson, which is being coordinated by the teachers’ representative body, the National Education Union.

Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, explained why they had done so:  “Although the government has talked a lot about ‘levelling up’, investing to tackle inequalities in Britain after Covid, it has singularly failed to do so when it comes to the education of our children. The government’s own Education Recovery Tzar resigned in protest because only £1.4 billion was made available for extra classes on the school day to enable children to catch up on their learning.  He wanted over ten times that – £15 billion.  Clearly then the government’s current proposals are inadequate.”

Councillor Sykes is also especially concerned about the welfare of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.  “Reductions in the Pupil Premium will have a real impact in  Oldham, which sadly remains one of the most economically deprived and educationally disadvantaged places in Britain,” he added. “Not only do we want to see no cutbacks, we want to see more money invested to give all of Oldham’s children an excellent education to equip them with the skills and knowledge they require for meaningful employment and a fulfilling life.”

Roadmap delay represents further blow to hospitality fears Sykes

Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, fears the Prime Minister’s announcement that Covid-19 restrictions will last another month will mean yet more local pubs being lost, unless further financial support is soon forthcoming.

“Whilst I understand that the Prime Minister has made this decision based upon scientific advice, the delay will put further pressure on hospitality business which have been impacted disproportionately by lockdowns and trading restrictions since March of last year”, said Councillor Sykes.

Last week, the British Institute of Inn-keeping estimated that 1 in 10 pubs nationwide was expected to fail if there was a delay in the easing of restrictions, and the trade body UKHospitality has said that the delay will cost the sector around £3bn in sales.

Councillor Sykes added: “Hospitality is one of the UK’s biggest employment sectors, and often the sector in which our young people begin their working lives.  Since March 2020, pubs and restaurants have been unable to trade for many months. When they could do so they have faced onerous trading restrictions because of social distancing, table service and early closing. They have also invested heavily to make their premises ‘Covid-safe’ and now employ more staff to serve at tables.

“This is why I believe the government needs to announce more financial support for our hospitality sector during this torrid time, such as extending furlough and the business rates holiday.  Pubs and restaurants are an integral part of our local  communities; we must not let them fall at the last hurdle”.