Crompton Moor – bag it and bin it


Please Keep Your Dog under Control and if your dog fouls


[Oldham Council enforcement officers operate in this area]

Natural England provides the following advice when taking your dog for a walk in the countryside and on Open Access Land (Most of Crompton Moor is Open Access Land):

The Countryside Code has a special section dedicated to dogs and the importance of keeping dogs under effective control. This means that you:

• Keep your dog on a lead, or
• Keep it in sight at all times, be aware of what it’s doing and be confident it will return to you promptly on command
• Ensure it does not stray off the path or area where you have a right of access
As a general rule, keep your dog on a lead if you cannot rely on its obedience. On a bridleway or byway this could be especially important as you may meet horses and could be liable for damages if your dog causes an accident.

It’s always good practice (and a legal requirement on ‘Open Access’ land) to keep your dog on a lead around farm animals and horses, for your own safety and for the welfare of the animals. A farmer may shoot a dog which is attacking or chasing farm animals without being liable to compensate the dog’s owner.

However, if cattle or horses chase you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead – don’t risk getting hurt by trying to protect it. Your dog will be much safer if you let it run away from a farm animal in these circumstances and so will you.

Please also ensure you pick up after your dog – please ‘bag it and bin it’; Oldham Council enforcement officers do operate in this area.






Cllr Howard Sykes welcomes Lib Dem Promise to Create Northern Economic Powerhouse

Cllr Howard Sykes welcomes Lib Dem Promise to Create Northern Economic Powerhouse

The Leader of the Opposition and of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Cllr Howard Sykes MBE, has welcomed news that the Liberal Democrats will transform the North of England into an economic powerhouse, should the party form part of the next Government.

Lib Dem party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP announced at this week’s party conference that the party will boost transport infrastructure in the region by developing and implementing the “One North” proposals.

“One North” – a transport plan developed by key northern cities – will maximise economic growth across the region and will feature prominently in the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

Nick Clegg said at the party conference in Glasgow:

“For too long the North of England has been neglected by central government.

“To close the north-south gap we need better transport infrastructure in the region. This means better motorways and better railway connections.

“The Liberal Democrats will develop and implement the One North proposals advocated by local authorities across the region.

“We are putting our commitment to transport infrastructure at the front and centre of our election campaign in the north to help build a strong and powerful regional economy”.

Cllr Sykes, who represents Oldham Council on the board of Transport for Greater Manchester, warmly welcomed the promised investment:

“One North” will mean improvements to roads and railways for the residents of our borough meaning Oldhamers will enjoy better, faster journeys using the enhanced transport infrastructure. Rail users will be able to catch 125mph trains using a newly-electrified, trans-Pennine route linking Greater Manchester to the new High Speed 2 rail service between Leeds and Sheffield, whilst road users will also benefit from upgrades to and the expansion of the M62, M60, M56, M6 and M61 motorways”.


One North is a “strategic proposition for an interconnected north”, placing “a transformation of connectivity at the heart of an aim to maximise economic growth in the North”.

It was signed by the leaders of Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield City Councils and by the Mayor of Liverpool, and launched on 4 August 2014.

The vision of One North is based on six guiding principles:

•Benefitting the national economy by raising the North’s productivity and competitiveness;
•A multi-modal vision for both logistics and personal travel, recognising that road is the dominant means of travel in the North but cannot meet the burden of all expected growth;
•Rail is the fastest-growing mode and will have to play a much increased role in the decades to come;
•Anticipation of economic and population growth;
•Seeking to maximise value by prioritising investment that will deliver the best overall return to the taxpayer in terms of net national growth;
•Being transformational in intent, with the major capital expenditure required being justified by the economic growth.


I have just had confirmed that the signals at the above junction will be switched on tomorrow morning 2 October. There will be some minor addition works after the switch on.

There may be some continuing traffic disruptions for the next month or so, during the ‘bedding in’ period, but this is common with any junctions having had major modifications.

The junction and the local highway network will be monitored closely after the switch on date, and reviewed to optimise vehicle and pedestrian demand.


The delay was with the insurers waiting for a structural report which they now have.

Builders have been appointed and work has now commenced on site.

There are no time scales as of yet but the owner wants it completing ASAP as he is losing business.

Until such time as the work is complete to such a standard that allows the footways on Rochdale Road and Fraser Street to be re-opened to the general public, the temporary signals will need to remain in place on safety grounds.

With regards to the cost of the signals, this will be borne by the insurance company of the vehicle that caused the damage to the shop.

The signals are four way temporary signals where each leg of the cross roads operates in a four way cycle. This means that there will be a time lapse of between 2 and 2.5 minutes between cycles on each leg. This can give the impression to some motorists that the signals are not working when in fact they are.

The Traffic Management Company is called Amberon Ltd.

The contact name and telephone number is: Paul 07875 815 542 should the signals fail or stop working.

Councillor’s concern about Council Proposals for Shaw Market – hidden agenda?

Shaw Liberal Democrat Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, along with his colleagues for the area, has real concerns about Oldham Council’s so called proposals for the relocation of Shaw Market.

Councillors representing Shaw and Crompton together with local residents all want to see a thriving Market in our Town Centre with stalls selling a wide variety of keenly-priced, quality goods and with that “buzz” that a real Market has.

Local Councillors have been working hard for many years to get something done about the Market. We have been asking for investment in the Market and for measures to be taken to combat some of the anti-social behaviour that has been happening in this area at night.

Now against our express wishes, this Labour Council has chosen to ignore our views and consult on only two investment options.

1) To move the Market to Market Street and close it to traffic or
2) Move the Market to the Milne Street Car Park (immediately behind the Duke of York PH)

The option of redeveloping the current site is not even being considered as we wanted and local Councillors all oppose the Market Street option.

On the Market Street option: All of the Shaw and Crompton Ward Councillors have raised concerns that diverting traffic along Eastway will place the public in greater danger and will lead to traffic chaos.

Also how will traffic be prevented from driving up Market Street on the day it is closed?

Buses will be obliged to use Eastway in both directions on Market Thursdays and to make either a left turn onto Beal Lane and a right onto Milnrow Road or vice versa. Using Beal Lane will potentially bring these larger vehicles into conflict with the many heavy wagons that already use this roadway.

First Bus has confirmed that their existing services (58, 59, 181 and 182), amount to 13 vehicle movements in each direction every hour.

Moving the Market on to Market Street means that it would be impossible to have another Market Day or a different sort of Market on a monthly basis, like a farmers Market, even if there were the demand.

For both of the above reasons Local Councillors have dismissed this option.

And how many times does Oldham Council need to be told we do not want a pedestrian only (traffic free) Market Street? Last time they tried this there was uproar and the decision was reversed weeks later.

The Milne Street plan: This second proposal looks on the surface more sensible and was worthy of consideration and seeking traders and shoppers views on. This location would be close to both Aldi and Asda creating more foot fall and it doesn’t require any road closures or traffic diversions. The site also provides some room for an expansion in the number of stall-holders from the current cohort of some 14 loyal traders.

I believe though a third option – to revitalise the Market on its current site should still be on the table.

The consultation document to be issued by the Council to residents is clearly not going to include this option.

The Council has clearly stated that: ‘We will demolish the stalls on the existing market ground’ – no ifs or buts – ‘and the area would be used for car-parking’.

Local Councillors for years have called for action to address the anti-social behaviour that has occurred at night on the current site and now that this action by elected members, working with the police, Council officers, youth workers and the public, has started to get results; this Council is proposing to abandon the site altogether.

One might even think they want the existing Market site for some other purpose, possibly linked with the neighbouring Crompton Pool site?

Why else would you rule out the redevelopment of the historical site of Shaw’s Market, which will be by all accounts, the most cost effective and cheapest option compared to the others?”

Making the existing site a pop up Market and car parking the other six days, or moving it nearer to Asda and Aldi, again as a pop up and being car parking the other six days are the two options the people should be given to consider.

Local people need to be aware that their local Councillors do not support this consultation as it is incomplete and a sham as we have a real feeling people in other places have already decided the outcome.

This is a crying shame and Shaw deserves to be treated better. We want to make our position clear and would urge traders, shoppers and residents to do likewise.

Crompton Way / Milnrow Road / Linney Lane / Salts Street junction

Latest update from Highway engineers:

The Crompton Way / Linney Lane junction improvement project is now nearing completion. A significant amount of work has been carried out in a short timeframe; the contractors have worked several weekends to ensure the improvements are delivered as quickly as possible and to keep disruption to a minimum.

It is now evident on site how the new junction will look, with a large proportion of works completed. Installation of the new traffic signal will be completed this week with the existing road markings on the junction being removed and replaced with new road markings this weekend, weather dependant. Once these are in place the advance detector loops in the road will be installed and we are aiming for the traffic signals to be operational by the end of next week.

There may be some works to complete after this time in the area of the car park in front of the shops but these will be minor and will not disrupt traffic flows through the junction.

Lib Dem Opposition Leader receives Confirmation Parishes have Legal Powers to go Green


In July, the Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Cllr Howard Sykes MBE wrote to Lord Wallace, co-sponsor of the Deregulation Bill and Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords.

In his letter, Cllr Sykes asked Lord Wallace to ensure that the new legislation: “contains the necessary clauses to permit Parish and Town Councils to be able to sell electricity that they produce through investment in renewable sources”. It was generally understood that parish councils did not already have the necessary powers to do this.

Both the National Association of Local Councils and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Local Democracy were in support of Cllr Sykes’ position.

In an initial response, Lord Wallace invited Cllr Sykes to play his part in drafting the necessary amendment to the legislation, but on 1st September, after making further enquiries of fellow ministers, Lord Wallace wrote back to Cllr Sykes telling him that:

“The Government considers that Parish and Town Councils already have access to powers that allow them to sell electricity…As such, the concessions that you refer to are not necessary”.

Lord Wallace urges Cllr Sykes to: “use this correspondence to encourage all councils to use the general power of competence”. This will allow them to invest in renewable energy projects.

Cllr Sykes said: “I am delighted that, following my intervention, my Liberal Democrat colleague Lord Wallace and other Government ministers have responded so positively in confirming that parish councils have the legal powers to go green. This will allow parish councils to play a full part in the renewable energy revolution, and join with 5,000 other community groups that have already invested in green technology”.

“I have now written to the Parish Clerks and Chairmen of both the Saddleworth and Shaw and Crompton Parish Councils and the Chief Executive of the National Association of Local Councils giving them the good news”.



Councillors Rod Blyth, Mark Alcock and Howard Sykes.

Also Parish Councillors Aspinall, Farrell, Duffy, Hall, Stephens, Dodd, Robinson, Murphy and Wood will also attend.

7.30pm – 8.30pm, Lifelong Learning Centre, High Street, Shaw, OL2 8TB.

Thursday: October: 2, 9, 16


Dogs on trams – formal consultation now agreed by TfGM

imageTransport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has just agreed to formally consult with all interested parties re allowing dogs on Metrolink. Results due to be report back to meeting in January 2015 for consideration.

Further details from TfGM in due course.

I will also post information as and when I get any as I know many people have strong views on this issue.

Questions from Howard Sykes Lib Dem Leader and Leader of the Opposition to the Council Leader – Oldham Council 10 September 2014

Question 1 – Rotherham and child protection

My first question this evening concerns the tragic details revealed in a recent Independent Report commissioned by Rotherham Council about the failure of Children’s Services and other agencies in the Local Authority area to address child sexual exploitation over many years.

Professor Alexis Jay’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham covering the period 1997 to 2013 found there was a lack of scrutiny and challenge; a chronic failure of senior councillors, staff members and police officers to engage with the problem; and an inability of both councillors and the Local Safeguarding Board to monitor and challenge practices within the Council.

Whilst the Report focusses only on the failures of the agencies in Rotherham, previous cases show that these problems are not exclusive to one area and that every Local Authority needs to learn lessons from this report to ensure that its own services conform to best practice.

The Leader will recall that, immediately following the publication of Professor Jay’s Report, I wrote to both the Chief Executive and himself seeking reassurance that Oldham Council will be conducting its own review in light of the findings. I am pleased that the prompt response contained such an assurance.

This is not an issue from which to make political capital so I want now to state for the record that the Liberal Democrat Group will be fully supportive of such a Review.

But for the information of all Councillors in this Chamber, and concerned citizens who are listening or watching these proceedings tonight, I would like to ask the Leader when and how the Council will be conducting this Review, and when we might expect to receive the findings?

Question 2 – Community Health Champions

My second question concerns the health of our employees.

As a Local Authority and employer, we have statutory duties to promote public health and the health and safety of our employees.

This should extend to providing them with advice and support to adopt healthy lifestyle choices and to address behaviour that may damage their health.

I make here particular reference to smoking, an issue of great concern to Councillors of all Parties.

Smoking is the harbinger of death and chronic illness to many, but for a Local Authority it also leads to greater employee absenteeism and a loss of productivity, meaning serious financial costs for this Council.

It is therefore particularly in our self-interest to reduce the prevalence of smoking amongst its workforce.

The NHS Health Improvement Team is now recruiting Community Health Champions in workplaces to promote healthy lifestyle choices to co-workers and to address behaviour that can lead to ill-health, such as smoking.

The Council has established the Employee Supported Volunteering Scheme and I am convinced that this represents an excellent mechanism to recruit employees from all sections of this Council to train as Community Health Champions.

I believe the Council should establish a programme of work for these volunteers with measurable targets monitored by the team of the Director of Public Health covering initially the period to National No Tobacco Day 31st May 2015.

Will the Leader agree to take forward this proposal?

Question 3 – Honouring The Great War Heroes

My third question concerns our recognition of three local men who in the First World War won Britain’s highest military award, The Victoria Cross.

I am sure the Leader will recall the correspondence that he received last year from my colleague, the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr John McCann, requesting that local streets be named after local heroes.

Local Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has commissioned commemorative paving stones to be laid as a mark of honour and remembrance in the locality of every Great War VC winner.

In announcing the initiative, Mr Pickles said: “It’s our duty to remember the British and Commonwealth troops who lost their lives fighting in the Great War and we are determined to make sure their bravery for King and Country is not forgotten.”

Sentiments that I am sure the Leader will endorse.

Three paving stones will be received for local heroes John Hogan, of Royton; Walter Mills, of Oldham; and Thomas Steele, of Springhead.
Lest we forget their heroic deeds, please allow me to give a brief summary.

Sergeant John Hogan, of the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment, received his VC from King George V in 1915. He was awarded the VC for recapturing a trench near Festubert in October, 1914.

Private Walter Mills was awarded the VC posthumously after he was caught in a gas attack on the Western Front in December 1917. Despite being gassed, a truly horrible fate, he remained at his post alone, throwing grenades until the enemy retreated.

Private Thomas Steele served with the 1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders in Mesopotamia (now Iraq). He was awarded his VC for an action in January, 1917, when he helped a comrade carry a machine gun into position under heavy fire.

Can I ask the Leader if he and Councillor Ball will agree to work with me, Cllr McCann and ward members to identify new developments where these gallant men might have local streets named after them?

Howard Sykes
10 September 2014