Buckstones Road, Shaw – section of road closed near Hillside Avenue 8am – 5pm for up to five days from 19 November

The Oldham Borough Council hereby gives Notice that no person shall cause any vehicle to proceed in that part of Buckstones Road, Shaw from its junction with Hillside Avenue for a distance of 192 metres in a north westerly direction.

The restrictions are required to facilitate carriageway resurfacing and will be in force between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm for a period of 5 days from 19 November or until the works are completed, whichever is the lesser period.

See link for details of section of road to be closed: Buckstones Road Shaw – 19 November plan

The alternative route for vehicles affected by the restriction shall be via Buckstones Road, Milnrow Road, Crompton Way, Oldham Road, Heyside, Higginshaw Lane, Shaw Road, A62 Huddersfield Road and A672 Ripponden Road, in both directions.

Liberal Democrat Leader welcomes Government Retreat on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and Leader of the Opposition on Oldham Council, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s change of heart on the timescale for the introduction of the promised £2 maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in betting offices.

In last week’s budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond decided to put off the introduction of the changes until October 2019.  This decision caused the resignation, in disgust, of Sports Minister Tracey Crouch MP and criticism from Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Commons Treasury Committee.

Councillor Sykes said: “Only in July Oldham Council supported a Liberal Democrat motion calling on the Government to introduce a £2 fixed stake.  These machines, which are often located in the high streets of Britain’s most deprived towns and cities, are destroying lives, destroying relationships and, in some cases, literally killing people.”

A threatened rebellion by backbench Conservative Members of Parliament over the issue has forced Prime Minister Theresa May, already beleaguered over her Brexit plan, to backpedal on the introduction date and the £2 stake will now be introduced in April of next year.

Councillor Sykes added: “The Chancellor said that he made his decision because of his concern for the impact on bookmakers’ jobs, but I think this was more a case of the Chancellor not wanting to give up the tax raised by this activity.  I am glad that Mrs May has changed her mind and said that the £2 stake will now be introduced in April 2019 as the change cannot come soon enough.”

“An estimated two people take their own lives every day because of problem gambling,” said Councillor Sykes.  “We need to put more resources into gambling addiction treatment rather than squeezing yet money from problem gamblers, who are often amongst the vulnerable people in our society.”

Liberal Democrat Leader says a good start but more needs to be done to promote free Bulky Bobs Collections for the infirm and others

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and Leader of the Opposition on Oldham Council, has welcomed the news that there have been more free Bulky Bobs collections in the first ten months of 2018 than in the same period in 2017.

This improvement has been the result from Councillor Sykes raising his concerns with the former Council Leader Councillor that the fact that Bulky Bobs still offers one annual free collection to certain residents was not being promoted by the Council.

Bulky Bobs was reappointed contractor for the service at the start of this year and it was promised there would be more promotion of the free service as part of this.

Councillor Sykes said: “This important free service was not being publicised by Oldham Council to those that were eligible for it; it was one of the best free deals that no one could see.  I only came across it by chance.  Eligible residents include those who qualify for an assisted bin collection, or who have a physical disability, are infirm because of their age, or are pregnant.”

Numbers obtained by Councillor Sykes show that there were 84 free collections between January and October 2017, but 148 between January and October 2018, nearly doubling.

However the request for a free collection can only be booked by telephone, Councillor Sykes is disappointed that there seems to be no on-line service.

Councillor Sykes added: “I am glad that the promotion is starting to work.  We need to continue to get the message out to those who are eligible to take up the free service.  However, I cannot understand why in this day and age when increasingly people access all kinds of services on-line, including more and more council services, that there is no dedicated email address/web form to which a request a collection from Bulky Bobs.”

“This is hardly a major channel shift,” stated Councillor Sykes.  “I would urge Bulky Bobs and Oldham Council to get with the 21st Century and advertise at least a dedicated email address for booking, and for now I can only urge anyone who is eligible for a free collection of bulk items to please ring 0161 770 6644.”