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No First Bus services Monday 24 and Wednesday 26 January 2022

All of First services (except Vantage V1 & V2 and school services) are cancelled due to industrial action on Monday 24th and Wednesday 26th January 2022.

All dedicated school services are expected to run and details of routes can be found on the Transport for Greater Manchester website here.

The Vantage V1 and V2 services based at our First’s depot in Bolton for routes from Leigh and Atherton to Manchester Royal Infirmary are unaffected and will operate as normal.

Customers with pre-bought tickets for both dates will be given a refund or replacement tickets to use for future travel. Click the link at the bottom of this email to find out how to claim.

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Holocaust Memorial Day in Shaw and Crompton – Thursday 27 January 9:30am

You are all invited to attend Shaw and Crompton’s Holocaust Memorial Day which is being held on Thursday 27 January, 9.30am at Crompton War Memorial.

The theme this year is ‘One day’ Holocaust Memorial Day is One Day that we put aside to come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may be One Day in the future with no genocide. We learn more about the past, we empathise with others today, and we take action for a better future.

All are welcome at the service. The service only lasts 30 minutes; there are some readings by local councillors and a faith leader from Shaw and Crompton. To finish the service, we lay stones as is customary within the Jewish faith.

Mark Lane, Shaw closed for two days from 25 Jan 22

Access for residents is to be maintained.

No person shall cause any vehicle to proceed in that part of Mark Lane, Shaw – From its junction with Road Knowl for a distance of 40 metres in a north westerly direction 

The restrictions are required to facilitate United Utilities works and will be in force for 2 days from Tuesday 25th January 2022 or until the works are completed whichever is the lesser period

 

Councillors deeply disappointed that the Dunwood Park Café, Shaw will close

Shaw councillors were informed of the closure of the café in Dunwood Park a few days ago but were asked not to share the information until staff and the Park Friends group were informed.  This has now happened.

“This is a great loss to the local community, and we will be doing all we can to find another user, like we did when the last operator pulled out,” stated Shaw councillor Howard Sykes on behalf of all his colleagues.

“Pure Innovations who operate the café have been up front about this and will continue to operate it until July 2022,” he added.  “Hopefully this gives the council time to make alternative provision.”

Pure Innovations (PI) re-opened Dunwood Park Café in March 2019, with two key objectives.  The first to provide a project for our clients all of whom have a disability, to contribute to and develop new life skills, a place to meet people and feel part of the local community in which they live.  Along with providing the local community of Shaw a welcoming café environment with quality produce at good value to purchase whilst spending time at Dunwood Park.

Over the last three years PI have received much support from the local community and even during the pandemic once re-opening the café continued to offer a takeout service to many people using the Park. The challenges PI face in the main relate to the fact that we have been unable to attract clients that have wanted to spend their time within the café environment, this along with increased operating costs will mean the cafe is budgeted to make a significant financial loss across 2022/2023.

As a Charity that’s main purpose is to support people with Disabilities, they are unable to absorb the budgeted loss and it is with regret will be closing the café in July 2022.

PI said: “We would like to thank our customers, the Friends of Dunwood Park and all the local councillors for their support.  And wish all the very best in finding an alternative operator for the café.”

Conductors are still what is needed on Oldham tram line says Sykes

Liberal Democrat Councillor Howard Sykes MBE has once again made the call for conductors to be introduced on the Oldham Metrolink network.

He made his call again at a meeting of the Rail and Metrolink Committee on Friday 14 January in response to a detailed report on the trams detailing amongst other things crime and anti-social-behaviour (ASB).

“It was November 2018 when Oldham Council agreed with the Liberal Democrat suggestion for conductors and still nothing has happened,” stated councillor Sykes.

“I welcome the proposal to provide CCTV at some tram stops in Oldham and other schemes to tackle ASB and make the trams safer.  However I am worried this will not be enough and will also just displace activity away from these five town centre stops to elsewhere on the network such as Derker/ Shaw & Crompton/Hollinwood and Failsworth for example,” he added.

“What we need to fully restore public confidence and increase numbers using the network is uniformed conductors, or whatever they want to call them, on all trams at all times.  The presence of a conductor would mean that passengers (and Metrolink staff) will be ensured safer travel and that fare dodgers will be caught and deterred, stated councillor Sykes.  “This common-sense solution and has been applied successfully elsewhere, in Sheffield, Birmingham and Blackpool for example.  We need it on the Oldham line now!”

GMP miss decision deadline on failing IT system

A decision on the failing multi-million pound iOPS system has still not taken, despite Manchester’s chief constable saying that one was due to be made in December.

The computer system, which has cost over £29 million to implement – although the exact figure may never be known – still has major flaws, particularly in the “Police Works” system, which is used to track investigations. Chief Constable Stephen Watson, who was landed with the unenviable task of managing the problems when he took over in 2021, organised an ‘Options Review’ of the system earlier this year, and had stated that a decision would be taken in December.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “This whole thing has been shambolic. Delay after delay, review after review, problem after problem.

“We keep getting the excuse that many police forces have problems bringing in new IT systems. Well, I asked at the last Oldham Council meeting how many police forces had had as many problems as GMP, and it’s a very simple answer. None.

“Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes has again said that PoliceWorks continues to be a very serious problem for the police. It’s not just a problem for the police – it’s a problem for every victim of crime who has been let down because this system is not fit for purpose.”

A new report – delayed from October – is now due to be presented to the GMCA on February 7.

Councillor Al-Hamdani continued: “It has taken years to get to this point, and the decision making process is being dragged out further and further. Bev Hughes said in 2020 that ‘no stone would be unturned’ in looking into this. Well, it seems too long has been spent turning stones over, and not enough time making decisions.

“I feel sorry for the officers and staff who want to help people, but have been left struggling because of this expensive failure. More than that, I feel sorry for the people who currently feel there is no point reporting crimes because nothing will happen. We need systems that work, so that people regain confidence in the Police.

“PoliceWorks Doesn’tWork.”

Hopefully re-think about Clean Air Zone is on the cards

Councillor Howard Sykes as welcomed the recent re-think about the Clean Air Zone and called for this on 11 January.

Burnham must keep his promises: clean air and no job losses | Howard Sykes (mycouncillor.org.uk)

Below is a statement about the matter from TfGM which is posted in full.

“GM Clean Air Plan – latest position Further to last week’s update, a press release has been issued to update on the recommendation going to the Greater Manchester Air Quality Administration Committee next week on 20 January. The press release can be read in full.

https://cleanairgm.com/news/emerging-evidence-about-vehicle-supply-chain-highlights-need-for-government/

The report going to the Committee will be published

https://democracy.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=409&MId=4782&Ver=4

In summary, emerging evidence from businesses and trade has highlighted significant challenges related to supply chain issues and inflation. Based on this evidence, there is a fundamental concern that these global and national factors may impact on the ability of local businesses and individuals to upgrade, and whether the current financial support package agreed with government is sufficient.

The Committee will therefore be recommended to seek permission from the Secretary of State to pause opening of phase two Clean Air funding support at the end of January 2022 – which was due to open for vans, and GM-licensed taxis and private hire vehicles.

This is to enable an urgent and fundamental joint policy review with government to identify how a revised policy can be agreed to deal with the supply issues and local businesses’ ability to comply with the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.

The report confirms that the first phase of the Clean Air Zone due to launch in May 2022 – applying to buses, coaches, HGVs and taxi and Private Hire vehicles which are not registered in Greater Manchester – should go ahead, including the ongoing provision of funding support for HGVs and buses to upgrade. Ahead of the press release, a statement from Eamonn Boylan was issued which you can read here. An update will follow on latest status following the Committee meeting.”

Final national reports into child sex abuse released in time to be included in Oldham joint workshop

The final two reports of the Home Office-sponsored Independent Investigation into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) are due to be released on February 1 (Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks) and March 1 (Residential Schools).

Following conversations between Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani, senior Council management, and the Managing Director of Children & Young People, it has been agreed that following the publication of the report into CSE in Oldham at the end of this month, the Oldham Children’s Safeguarding Partnership will undertake a joint workshop with the Adult Safeguarding Partnership, which will include learning from IICSA, and inform the development of Oldham’s Complex Safeguarding Strategy.

Councillor Al-Hamdani said: “The Council must be ready to accept the outcome of the report into CSE in Oldham. This is just one of the ways in which it will take practical action to ensure that children in the borough are better protected in future.

“The evidence presented to IICSA has been harrowing, and it is vital that every Council in the country learns from the mistakes of the past.”

Councillor Al-Hamdani has written again to Oldham Council’s Managing Director for Children and Young People to ensure that the final reports will be taken into consideration at the workshop. The Liberal Democrat group on Oldham Council ensured that any relevant recommendations from the IICSA reports would be implemented in the borough.

 “We expect the report into historic CSE in Oldham to be extremely thorough, and from seeing previous similar reports elsewhere, it is likely to be sobering reading,” continued Councillor Al-Hamdani.

“These crimes cut to the heart of a community. They break down trust, and leave people feeling betrayed. We have been working to ensure that the Council is changing its practices for the better, even before the report is issued, and will continue to do so long after this report has come out. Everyone must be vigilant to ensure we are protecting survivors of abuse, and ensuring more people are protected from this in the future.”

Holocaust Memorial Day in Shaw and Crompton – Thursday 27 January 9:30am

You are all invited to attend Shaw and Crompton’s Holocaust Memorial Day which is being held on Thursday 27 January, 9.30am at Crompton War Memorial.

The theme this year is ‘One day’ Holocaust Memorial Day is One Day that we put aside to come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may be One Day in the future with no genocide. We learn more about the past, we empathise with others today, and we take action for a better future.

All are welcome at the service. The service only lasts 30 minutes; there are some readings by local councillors and a faith leader from Shaw and Crompton. To finish the service, we lay stones as is customary within the Jewish faith.