OLDHAM ROAD SAFETY SCHEME

Shaw and Crompton’s Liberal Democrat Councillors highlighted an issue to the Highways Department and we are pleased to report that funding has been secured to address serious road safety issues that have been identified along Oldham Road.

The frequency and severity of road traffic accidents, coupled with the average speed of vehicles, was a serious cause of concern for us and as such, measures will now be taken to address these issues.

Over the last couple of months you will have noticed the vehicle detector cables across the road. The reason for this is that a new speed survey was required. It looks very likely that this section of Oldham Road could qualify for the introduction of safety cameras. The data has now been collected and the report has been sent to the Safety Camera Partnership for approval.

Obviously, if we have any further information about when the speed cameras will be installed or any other issues relating to the road safety scheme, we will let you know.

Labour Council slammed for failing to open new £33M school on time

Date: 1st September 2012

MEDIA RELEASE

Labour Council slammed for failing to open new £33M school on time

Councillor Howard Sykes, Liberal Democrat Group Leader and Leader of the Opposition on Oldham council, has slammed Oldham’s Labour Council for only just informing parents and pupils that the brand new Newman RC College on Broadway will not be ready to receive pupils next week as planned.

“Parents will recall that the Building Schools for the Future programme was a shambles when the Lib Dems took over control of the Council in 2008,” stated Cllr Sykes.

“The so called plans for a single Catholic Secondary School were not worth the paper they were written on with no site to build on and even sketcher plans on what would be built. There are now trams running though the so called site Labour wanted to build this new school on and there was always going to be – that shows how well developed Labour’s plans were that we inherited back in 2008.”

“We as a new Lib Dem Administration met with the Bishop and agreed a way forward and rescued this matter and got in back on track. Now this programme is back in Labour’s hands they have failed to ensure the school opens on time, they should hang their heads in shame and this does not boad well for the other major school projects that are also currently under construction,” he added.

“Whatever the reason for the delay by the contractors, Balfour Beatty you would have thought that Oldham’s Labour Council would have made sure that this £33 million building would be completed in time for the start of the new school year,” stated Cllr Sykes.

“The rumour mill for weeks has been speculating it would not be open on time and they have left it to the last minute to inform pupils and parents when they could have come clean on this weeks ago! Parents have busy lives and this last minute approach leaves them no time to sort alternatives.”

“This will affect parents and carers who will have to look to changing their working patterns or childcare arrangements because the young people will be off school for a further week. I shall be seeking assurances that all the other schools that are part of the Building Schools for Future/Academy project open on time and stick to budget,” said Cllr Howard Sykes.

Ends/

Copy of letter sent to parents is below:

29th August 2012
People Communities & Society
Executive Director Commissioning including (Director of Children’s Services) Level 10, Civic Centre, West Street , Oldham Telephone Number 0161 770 4200. E Mail: michael.jameson@oldham.gov.uk

Dear Parent
On behalf of Oldham Council and Newman College, I regret to have to inform you of a delay in the completion of the new school building on Broadway.
Originally the new school was to open to students in Year 7 and Year 11 from Friday, September 7 and then to every pupil from September 10.

I must now inform you that the new College will be able to welcome children in Years 7 and 11 on Monday, September 17 at 8.55am – and then all pupils from Tuesday, September 18 at 8.55am.

This delay is because – despite continued monitoring and intervention – the building contractor, Balfour Beatty Construction, has not been able to meet the agreed completion date to enable Oldham Council to hand the buildings over to the College.

We all realise how frustrating this news will be and unreservedly apologise for the delay and inconvenience, which is beyond our control.

The College has been liaising around the clock with Oldham Council officers who are assisting to ensure that Balfour Beatty complete all the outstanding works.

We’re working closely together to look at any possible assistance we could put in place during this extra period of enforced closure – such as the provision of leisure opportunities, for example.

Obviously it is essential that these works are completed before we can allow public access – the safety of pupils, parents and staff remains our top priority.
We must have full confidence that these fantastic new buildings are completely safe for pupils and staff and that all facilities are fully operational from ‘Day One’.

The transformation from what has been a building site to the state-of-the-art building which Newman College is, requires significant cleaning. It also requires us all to work with Balfour Beatty to complete the necessary equipment testing, training of staff and familiarisation with the building.
In the longer-term, of course, we are hugely excited at the fantastic new learning opportunities and facilities which this £33 million College will offer your children.

For now, please again note those new opening dates:

* Children in Years 7 and 11 on Monday, September 17 at 8.55am;
* All pupils from Tuesday, September 18 at 8.55am.

Please also keep checking the College and Oldham Council’s websites and other Social Media – such as the College’s Twitter account – for updated information. You can also call Julie Walton on 0161 770 8732 or 0161 770 1249 if you have any further queries.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding in this matter.
Yours sincerely,

Michael Jameson Mike McGhee
Executive Director Commissioning including Director of Children’s Services
Headteacher The Blessed John Henry Newman RC College

Welfare Rights Service

The public can access the service in a number of ways

Via the website the public can find an online referral form on the Welfare Rights page.

By phone on 0161 770 6655 between 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday. The Contact Centre will provide basic benefits advice and where appropriate make a referral to the Welfare Rights Service or Citizens Advice Bureau as appropriate.

Through Access Oldham – the Customer Services Officer will provide basic signposting advice and where appropriate make a referral to the Welfare Rights Service or Citizens Advice Bureau.

In all instances the Welfare Rights Officer/s will aim to make initial contact with the customer within 2 working days of receipt of the referral.

Local Banks help out Disaster Fund

After some direct intervention by myself people can now make direct donations to the Disaster Fund at both Yorkshire and Royal Bank of Scotland Banks in Shaw.

Many people had contacted me to ask why there was nowhere in Shaw after a few quick calls to the banks concerned I am pleased to report they were more than willing to help.

Yorkshire went live last Wednesday and RBS on Friday.

Barclay’s are now also accepting donantions! 🙂

TEMPORARY TRAFFIC SIGNALS OUTSIDE 96 OLDHAM ROAD, SHAW

It is necessary to provide a new clean water service connection at 96 Oldham Road, Shaw. The work will commence on Tuesday 31 July and should take 2 days to complete. The road crossing will be undertaken in two halves with the trench back filled and reinstated at the end of each day.
 
The signals will operate off peak only (9.30am – 3.30pm)

Questions asked at Oldham Council meeting 11th July by Shaw Lib Dem Councillor Howard Sykes

Metrolink 3A

Would the Leader of the Council like to provide details to the public of this Borough on when the Metrolink 3A line to Shaw and Rochdale will be complete?

Could he outline what he and the Council are doing to get a firm date and will he try and ensure people get more than a couple of weeks’ notice.

Following the series of delays prior to the completion of the tram line to Mumps earlier this year, which was some 12 months behind schedule, could he also help scotch the rumours that further delays are in the pipeline and by doing so could he therefore confirm that the line to Shaw and Rochdale will be complete and opened on schedule?

If he cannot give us a firm date now can he suggest when he might be in a position to offer such a firm date?

Short answer was no he could not – I will continue to pursue this at every opportunity – Cllr Howard Sykes

Gulley cleaning

Could the Leader confirm that the level of programmed gulley cleaning has been significantly reduced in this Borough since his administration took over the Council in May 2011?

Could he also confirm the cleaning service is now almost exclusively a reactionary service and that funding allocated by the last Lib Dem administration for regular inspection, cleaning and prevention routines has been cut?

In the last few days the Borough has experienced considerable flooding problems throughout the Borough; evidence suggests that flooding events can only be exacerbated and, in some cases actually caused by cuts in the gulley maintenance regimes.

Would the Leader therefore agree that increasing severe weather events being experienced in this country, due to climate change, make it more essential than ever to ensure our gulley systems are cleaned regularly and are operating at peak capacity?

And will he re visit the current provision of gully empting as it is a false economy in the long term, is causes even more damage to the highway network and increases the potential for accidents.

Vague and evasive answer not worth printing – Cllr Howard Sykes

Dirty streets

Could the Leader of the Council confirm that his administration have overseen Oldham Borough losing its hard fought status as the having the cleanest streets in Greater Manchester?

Would the Leader of the Council agree with me that despite the sterling efforts of our frontline staff, the Borough’s streets are becoming dirtier?

Would he also not agree that the withdrawal of street cleaning services; promotion of self help and, community participation under the banner of the ‘Co-operative Council’ is failing to keep our streets and open spaces to a standard the public expect?

Vague and evasive answer not worth printing – Cllr Howard Sykes