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Work With Us To Improve Life On Crompton Moor

Your Shaw Councillors have been working closely with volunteer groups to improve Crompton Moor over many years, but are sometimes hindered by anti-social behaviour.

This ranges from people going up to the moor to camp, light fires, use drugs/alcohol.  With this in mid, we have been working over the past twelve months to activate new powers to enable Oldham Council and Police to take action when people damage and mis-use the moor.

These new powers are activated using a Public Space Protection Order.

What will the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) do?

Agencies have raised concerns, echoed by the local community regarding the behaviour of some individuals using Crompton Moor who are setting fires, littering, injuring wild life, allowing dogs to run wild and causing damage to plant life.  There have also been a number of incidents which are Anti-Social in nature including verbal abuse and threats to legitimate users of the Moor.

Local Councils now have the power to put in place Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) to help manage such issues and we completed the first round of consultation earlier this year.

Why are we consulting again?

The PSPO then went to a panel at the Council who made a number of small but significant recommendations primarily regarding dogs during the nesting season.

The panel have asked us to consult again as they have recommended we include a clause regarding dogs on leads during the nesting season to protect our nesting birds.

We have also become aware of issues around nitrous oxide usage and psychoactive substances by young people, which have also now been incorporated into the order.

How can you get involved?

You can tell us your views about the order by taking part in the consultation in any of the ways below:

At Crompton Library from Monday 16 October 2017.

On line at:

https://www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200321/crime_and_safety/1720/public_spaces_protection_orders_-_proposed

There will also be volunteers out on the Moor from the Friends of Crompton Moor Group and the Volunteer Countryside Rangers, talking to people about the PSPO, so if you are a moor user – why not keep your eyes open and have a chat if you are approached!

RESTORATION OF HEATHLAND SATURDAY 14TH OCTOBER 2017 10:30 AM

COME ALONG AND JOIN US FOR OUR NEXT TASK…. RESTORATION OF HEATHLAND

SATURDAY 14TH OCTOBER 2017 MEET IN BRUSHES CLOUGH CAR PARK AT 10:30 AM

The task will be to remove birch saplings, from within the heather, in the Brushes Clough spoil heap area.

The spoil heaps, and quarry area, are an important habitat known as lowland heath, which forms an open landscape.  It’s characterised by the presence of dwarf-shrubs of heather, bilberry, and various mosses and lichens. It’s a priority for nature conservation, because it is an internationally rare and threatened habitat.

How is it threatened?

Heathland was originally a man-made habitat, created through the grazing of animals; regular cutting of birch for fuel, and bracken for animal bedding. Historically, these activities maintained the open nature of heathlands, and prevented them from developing into woodland.  Without management, the trees will eventually return and the heathland will be lost.

 Why is it important?

The range of conditions associated with lowland heath supports an extraordinarily rich variety of wildlife; one of which includes a staggering 5,000 species of invertebrates, making it an important habitat for a variety of birds.

 What can we do to help?

 We need to reduce the number of birch saplings to allow the dwarf-shrubs of heather, bilberry, mosses and lichen to survive.

This is also an opportunity to have a go with a ‘Tree Popper’; a great tool which lifts the trees out of the ground with little disturbance to the vegetation around it.  This really does make it much easier to remove the trees.  Easy to use and no digging necessary!!

Clothing to suit the weather conditions, and sturdy boots for the uneven ground, are advised.

For further information please contact: Marian Herod – Secretary, Friends of Crompton Moor 

Tel: 07792 156295  

Email: cromptonmoor@gmail.com       

Liberal Democrat Leader calls for Council to sign Ethical Care Charter

The Leader of the Opposition and Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to Councillor Barbara Brownridge, the Cabinet member with responsibility for social care calling on Oldham Council to sign the Ethical Care Charter championed by the trades union UNISON.

Councillor Sykes explains: “I was pleased when, in January 2014, Oldham Council adopted a new ethical care policy in the purchasing and delivery of social care in our Borough.  There were many things in it that were very positive, such as no fifteen minute visits and a service ethos that revolves around the needs and wishes of the person receiving care.“

“However the Charter has still higher standards and I would like to see this Council sign up to them – not only so those receiving care in our Borough can be even more sure of receiving the best care possible, but also to make sure that this care is being delivered by well-motivated staff receiving good pay and with excellent working conditions.”

In his email, Councillor Sykes highlighted where the current policy was not quite up to the standards sought in the Charter:

“Care providers appear not to be specifically committed to paying their staff the National Living Wage as opposed to the Oldham Living Wage.  This is despite the fact that in n December 2013, the Oldham Liberal Democrats sponsored a motion that was supported by all Councillors where Council agreed to seek the National Living Wage for the staff of contractors, arms-length organisations and agencies engaged in contracts with the Council.”

“Nor do care providers appear to be required to reimburse homecare workers for travel and the other expenses associated with their employment (for example, mobile phone charges), nor to ensure that they are offered membership of an occupational sick pay scheme or enjoy the opportunity to meet co-workers to share experiences.”

“I have asked Cllr Brownridge to revise the Council’s Ethical Care Approach to ensure that it reflects the remaining aspirations in the UNISON Charter and then to sign it, joining thirty other Councils across the UK which have done so.”

“After all, don’t we all want the best care for our loved ones, delivered by staff who are properly rewarded for the vital work that they do?”

Copy email below

From: Howard Sykes
Sent: 27 September 2017 15:26
To: Cllr B Brownridge
Cc: (A) Kay Gibson (kay.gibson@oldham.gov.uk)
Subject: Ethical Care Approach to the Procurement and Delivery of Domiciliary Care

Dear Cllr Brownridge,

As you will be aware, in January 2014, Oldham Council’s Cabinet adopted a new Ethical Care Approach to the Procurement and Delivery of Domiciliary Care.

The new approach was approved to take effect from 7 February 2014 for a period of three years, with an option to renew for two years.

I have recently become aware of the Ethical Care Charter championed by the trades union UNISON (savecarenow.org.uk/ethical-care-charter).

Having compared the two documents, I was pleased to see that the approach adopted by this Council in 2014 reflected many of the aspirations outlined on this document for the procurement of domiciliary care, but not all.

Particularly in relation to the treatment of employees:

Providers appear not to be specifically committed to paying their staff the National Living Wage as opposed to the Oldham Living Wage.

This despite the fact that in December 2013 full Council supported a Liberal Democrat sponsored motion to pay our own staff the National Living Wage at the earliest possible time, to commit itself to “Seeking the same wage rate for the staff of contractors, arms-length organisations and agencies engaged in contracts with the Council.”

Although providers have to pay for travel time, they appear not to be bound to reimburse homecare workers for travel expenses and the other necessary expenses associated with their employment (for example, mobile phone charges).

In addition, the Charter wants all homecare workers to be covered by an occupational sick pay scheme to “ensure staff do not feel pressurised to work when they are ill” and to have the opportunity to meet with co-workers to limit isolation and promote best practice. There appears to be mention of either of these in the Ethical Care Approach.

As the Council’s Ethical Care Approach appears not to have come back to Cabinet for renewed approval, nor be listed as Approved under Delegated Decisions, I would suggest that this would be opportune time to look to revise the Ethical Care Approach to ensure that it reflects the remaining aspirations in the UNISON Charter?

There would then surely be no impediment to this Administration joining the thirty other Councils across the UK which has signed the Charter?

Such an action would be provide further reassurance to residents that this Council is fully committed to delivering excellent homecare services and to the exemplary treatment of homecare workers.

I shall look forward to receiving your reply.

As always happy to discuss if you wish.

Best wishes.

Howard

Metrolink Fare Hike represents another Blow to Hard-Up Passengers

The Leader of the Opposition and Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has condemned the decision by the Labour-controlled Greater Manchester Combined Authority to increase Metrolink fares by almost 6% from January of next year, well above inflation, as “another blow for hard-up passengers”.

Councillor Sykes represents Oldham Council on the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.

“This decision made by the Labour Leaders of nine of the Greater Manchester local authorities, with the support of the Greater Manchester Mayor and the Tory leader of Trafford Council, shows how out of touch they are with the financial situation of many tram passengers.  This increase comes on top of an increase of 3.6% in fares on our railways which were introduced in July of this year.”

“This is the first of three years of pain as Metrolink fares will be steadily increased year on year, but the pain will not end there as from January 2021, fares will increase annually by 1% above inflation.”

“Labour complains constantly about Tory austerity and wage freezes in the public sector and then hits passengers who are feeling the pinch with unremitting fare increases.  This is simply not fair – Metrolink is in profit.  We should be encouraging more passengers to use the service and cracking down on fare evasion to increase revenue not hammering the fare-paying passengers who already use it.”

Councillor Sykes is also concerned about the impact this increase may have on our environment:  “I repeat the comments that I made in advance of the rise in rail fares in July.  Price hikes discourage rail use and encourage passengers to get back in their cars increasing air pollution and traffic congestion – this is not good for us or for our planet or Greater Manchester.”