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Oldham born Strictly Star Kelvin Fletcher tops the table with dancing skills

Oldham born Strictly Star Kelvin Fletcher is doing Oldham proud!  BBC viewers from up and down the have been impressed by TV’s Strictly Come Dancing favourite Kelvin Fletcher and partner Oti Mabuse dancing the Rumba this Saturday.  Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Opposition on Oldham Borough Council congratulated the fantastic dancing score and talent of local lad, Kelvin.  Chosen to replace a last-minute drop out from the competition, Oldham’s eyes are strictly glued to Kelvin.  The celebrity has become a much-loved representative in the competition watched by millions.

Councillor Sykes MBE commented on Kelvin’s performance: “Kelvin Fletcher is an award-winning actor, writer, model and racing driver who acted for 20 years in the long running television soap opera Emmerdale.  He sets a good example as to what someone locally can achieve in Oldham Borough and we all need to get behind him to win!”

“Kelvin is also a professional racing driver, I hope he inspires others in his current race to the top.  From glass collecting in a local pub, to drama classes in the Borough, it is heart-warming to see someone local set such a good example to the rest of the nation.  So, come on Oldham let’s make sure we vote for Kelvin, not just because he is local, but because he is first class dancer and deserves to progress to the final and hopefully then to win!”

Millions missing from electoral register could mean less cash for councils and other public services

Research published by the University of East Anglia says there is no efficient tool to know if people are missing from the electoral register.  The report notes that up to eight Million people could already ‘be missing’ from the register in the UK.  

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE fears thousands of pounds will be lost by Oldham Council and other public services like health, police and fire.  Population and electoral register figures have a huge say on how much money public bodies can receive or access.  Liberal Democrat Councillor Howard Sykes MBE wants to know how many electors the Oldham Council thinks ‘are missing’ from the electoral register in the Borough.

Councillor Sykes MBE says: “If we appear to have less population in the eyes of the Government, this will leave Oldham Borough and its citizens short changed.  People will also lose out on a say in forthcoming General Election, local elections and any referendums.  Councils need to be working hard at getting people registered at this important time in our history.”

Transport bosses challenged to boost tourism in Oldham Borough

On tram stations across Oldham Borough there are very photogenic scenes of Didsbury park in south Manchester advertised to Metrolink passengers.  These are part of a recent tourism drive.  Councillor Howard Sykes MBE applauds the strategy to advertise different parts of the region and contacted Transport for Greater Manchester to see how they can build on this.  He wants Oldham Borough to get a fair share of the benefit.  This is so that local businesses and people can profit from additional foot fall.

“Right across Oldham Borough we have a rich industrial heritage.  Impressive architecture and areas of astounding and unique rural beauty are our daily gift.  I have asked that adverts supporting Oldham’s tourism and first class countyside might appear on Metrolink platforms across Greater Manchester.”

“It is an honour to be a local councillor in Shaw, a very green area much loved by nature seekers internationally and locally.  Plans should be made to include as much as Oldham Borough, with all its hills and heritage, into this huge marketing campaign.”

Liberal Democrat idea to reduce air pollution around schools


Councillor Howard Sykes MBE asks for special restrictions to be placed on vehicles waiting outside of schools.  This is to reduce air pollution.  Restrictions apply at peak times in other parts of the UK to reduce air pollution in problem areas.  Councillor Sykes wants to trial this locally for Oldham Schools.  This could successfully reduce traffic and encourage more families to walk and cycle to school.  The Greater Manchester Clean Air plan is unclear when it comes to its school’s policy and the Liberal Democrats want Oldham to lead the way.

In the current version of the Greater Manchester Clean Air plan, the only mention of schools is a couple of sentences saying Greater Manchester Combined Authority should find ways to help people use their cars less.  There is no detail to how our many schools in Greater Manchester will be a part of this clean air plan.

Councillor Sykes states: “I am not aware of any schools within the Borough that operate such a clean air scheme.  This would be a good idea if we want to be ahead of the rest of Greater Manchester on environmental issues and healthier lifestyles.”  

“I feel very strongly that Oldham Council could inspire the region by starting our own public campaign on clean air.  We have a rich history on tackling these issues going back to tacking the famous ‘pea soup fogs’ we use to have making Oldham smokeless in the 60’ and 70’s.  Oldham Borough declared a climate change emergency this September.  Actions speak louder than words, this is a practical suggestion we should at least try.”