Dunwood Park Cafe

McGrother Building, Dunwood Park, Shaw

Following a tender process, Pure Innovations have been selected to operate the café within the McGrother Building, Dunwood Park.

They will provide a community focused café.  Heads of terms have been agreed with the proposed operator and the Council’s Legal Dept has been instructed complete the new lease.

Currently the building only has temporary planning permission to operate a café and this had expired.  Pure Innovations have submitted a planning application for a permanent change of use to a café and the decision should be confirmed by the Planning Dept towards the end of the year.

Also as required an application has been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their consent to this new letting and café operator.

It is hoped that the new café will be open early in the New Year and Pure Innovations are looking forward to working with all the local groups and communities to promote the use of Dunwood Park and encourage further visitors to the park.

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.”

Liberal Democrat concern at rise in Royton regeneration costs by 50 percent or £1 million

Liberal Democrats; following a recent Freedom of Information reply; are concerned that the costs to refurbish Royton Town Hall and Library have risen rapidly and could soon spiral out of control, without proper checks being put in place.

Commenting Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Opposition and of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, said: “At the September meeting of the Cabinet, Labour Councillors agreed a near fifty percent increase in the budget for this project from £2 million to £2.976 million (in part 2 of the meeting – which is confidential and not in public).“

“I am worried that this will be just the first of many increases that the Cabinet will have to consider,” added Councillor Sykes.  “This is all too typical of Labour regeneration projects – they are often late, over budget or never happen, and sometimes we have a combination of all three.”

“Everyone will remember the £9 million plus being spent on the Princes Gate project, now years behind schedule and still no preferred development partner announced; the over £400,000 frittered away on the abandoned Hotel Futures project; and the Oldham Town Hall refurbishment, which whilst being welcome, was four times over budget.  Earlier this week we he have been told plans for a new Coliseum Theatre have been axed – we have yet to find out what this has cost council tax payers.”

Notes – text from email FOI reply 7 November:

Dear Councillor Sykes,

Thank you for your FOI request below. I can confirm that prior to the Cabinet meeting on 17th September, £2m had been earmarked from the capital programme for this project. Following the decision at the meeting of the Cabinet on 17 September, £2.976m is now earmarked for this project.


This was originally planned for the w/c 22 October.

The Oldham Borough Council hereby gives Notice that no person shall cause any vehicle to proceed in that part of Smallbrook Road, Shaw from its junction with Milnrow Road to its junction with St Joseph’s Close.

The restrictions are required to facilitate carriageway resurfacing and will be in force between the hours of 9.30 am and 3.30 pm for a period of 5 days from the date of this notice or until the works are completed, whichever is the lesser period

The alternative route for vehicles affected by the restriction shall be via Smallbrook Road, Duchess Street, Fraser Street, Rochdale Road, Crompton Way and Milnrow Road, in both directions.

Bus stop information see link: Bus stop info Smallbrook Road closurer

For further information please contact Matt McGreal on 0161 770 1955