Liberal Democrats welcome Extra Cash for Community Safety

The Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council has welcomed recent news that an extra £100,000 will be awarded to Oldham Council for community safety from the Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester.

Commenting, the Leader of the Opposition and of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, said:

“We welcome this extra cash from the Deputy Mayor, but £100,000 will not go very far, so it is a real shame that this Council’s Labour Administration chose to reject our budget amendment in March this year that would have made six times as much money available over two years, £650,000, to tackle environmental crime and pay for Closed Circuit TV and alley gating schemes.  This commitment reflected the importance that we as Liberal Democrats place on making our communities safer.”

“Perhaps Labour will use the £100,000 to restore the cuts they have made in youth service funding so that districts like Shaw and Crompton can have their local services restored to provide young people with positive activities to help prevent the boredom that leads a minority to resort to anti-social behaviour and crime in our communities?” He added.  “This was a cut that the Liberal Democrats also wanted to overturn in our March 2018 alternate budget.”

Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet and team announced for 2018/19

The Leader of the Opposition and of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has today announced the appointment of his Shadow Cabinet Team and membership of outside bodies and committees for 2018/19.

Councillor Howard Sykes said:  “I am looking forward to once more leading the opposition team on Oldham Council. The Council will have a new Labour Leader and a reshuffled administration.”

“Voters can rest assured that the Oldham Liberal Democrats will remain constant in opposing waste and inefficiency and in always speaking up for fair treatment for our citizens and for value-for-money and common sense,” he added.  “As ever, the Liberal Democrats remain the only party holding Labour to account on Oldham Council, and we shall continue to take that responsibility seriously.”

Shadow Cabinet Members: 

Name of Councillor Portfolio
Howard Sykes MBE Economy and Enterprise (Opposition Leader)
Hazel Gloster Education and Culture
Julia Turner Children’s Services
Garth Harkness Employment and Skills
Derek Heffernan Health and Social Care
Dave Murphy Neighbourhood Services
Diane Williamson Policing and Community Safety
Diane Williamson Housing
Chris Gloster Finance and Corporate Resources (Opposition Deputy Leader)

 Official Spokespersons / Lead Members on Boards and Committees: 

Name of Councillor Board / Committee
Howard Sykes MBE Transport for Greater Manchester Committee
Chris Gloster Audit Committee
Diane Williamson Overview and Scrutiny Board
Garth Harkness Performance and Value for Money Committee
Hazel Gloster Planning Committee
Chris Gloster Licensing Committee
Diane Williamson Standards Committee
Howard Sykes MBE Health and Well-being Board
Dave Murphy Petitions and Traffic Regulation Orders
Howard Sykes MBE Commons Registration
Howard Sykes MBE Selection
Hazel Gloster GM Scrutiny Pool

District Executives: 

Name of Councillor District Executive
Diane Williamson Chair, Shaw and Crompton
Garth Harkness Official Spokesperson, Saddleworth and Lees


UPDATE Food and Garden Bin Collections 11 May 2018


Please be aware that there are pockets within Shaw and Crompton that have not have received their scheduled food and garden collection by end of today.

I am told this is due to the increased amount of garden waste which has been placed out for collection this week.

Residents are advised that they will be back to undertake collections tomorrow (Saturday 12th May) and residents should therefore leave bins out for collection.

Oldham Council Liberal Democrat Opposition Leadership Team announced for 2018/19

At a Group meeting held on 9 May, the Oldham Borough Liberal Democrat Group appointed, unanimously and un-opposed, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE as their Leader and Councillor Chris Gloster as their Deputy Leader.  The Group also elected its other officers for the year.

Councillor Howard Sykes said:  “I am grateful to my colleagues for their unanimous support once more for my work as Group Leader.  Sadly the former Deputy Leader John McCann lost his seat in last week’s local elections and I shall miss his expertise and enthusiasm, but I am looking forward to working with our new Deputy Leader, Chris Gloster.”

“I am also pleased to welcome my new ward colleague, Councillor Hazel Gloster, to the group, and to welcome back Councillor Dave Murphy.  They both have proven records of working for the people of Crompton and Shaw and I know that they will make a real difference.  The Liberal Democrats remain the only real opposition party holding Labour to account on Oldham Council.”

“The voters who backed us can reassured that, under my leadership, we will continue as a Group to speak out and to work as a united team.  We will offer common-sense solutions to the Borough’s problems and challenge the Labour Administration to cut waste and provide the value-for-money services that the public wants.”

“As the Liberal Democrat Opposition, we shall also oppose further central government cuts to Council finances and fight plans by the Greater Manchester Mayor and Labour leaders to build thousands of houses on our irreplaceable Green Belt. And green spaces.”

The Liberal Democrat Group: Leader – Howard Sykes; Deputy Leader – Chris Gloster; Group Chair – Dave Murphy; Political Secretary – Garth Harkness; Treasurer – Hazel Gloster; Group Secretary – Diane Williamson.

Shaw and Crompton election results 3 May 2018

Many thanks to those who supported us in the elections on May 3.

Shaw Ward

Result: LIB DEM Hold

Turnout: 30.57%

Name of Candidate Party Number of votes
The Conservative Party Candidate 427
The Liberal Party Candidate 217
  Liberal Democrats 1,023
Labour and Co-operative Party 672

Crompton Ward

Result: LIB DEM Hold

Turnout: 32.25%

Name of Candidate Party Number of votes
Labour Party 628
The Conservative Party Candidate 541
  Liberal Democrats 1,359
Q Independent 102

Let no primary school child go hungry, say Liberal Democrats

Healthy school meal

The Leader of the Opposition and of the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has contrasted the recent attempt by the Conservative Government to curtail the entitlement to free school meals from children from the country’s poorest families to his own party’s policy.

Councillor Sykes said: “The Conservatives seem to be on their own in wanting to change the rules to prevent children from households receiving Universal Credit from getting a free hot meal at school every day.  This would hit Oldham especially hard as Oldham Borough has the single greatest number of Universal Credit recipients in the UK.  Many of these will be parents with children and, as I highlighted in a question to the Council leader at our last full Council meeting (28 March), Oldham features at the top of national figures for child poverty and food poverty.”

He added:  “The Conservatives mean spiritedness is in marked contrast to the generosity of the Liberal Democrats.  It is our policy to provide free school meals to every child in every state primary school, whatever their age or their family’s financial circumstances.  This will remove the stigma that is sometimes wrongly attached to claiming a free school meal and it will mean that no child will attend classes hungry, so they will be able to focus on their studies and not on their stomach.  This will help to tackle Oldham massive under performance in education.”

Request for bus shelters on Eastway, Shaw – refused

Request for passenger shelters on Eastway, Shaw

Further to your request for passenger shelters at the existing bus stops on Eastway, Shaw, stop reference ED1791 & ED1453.

Firstly, may I apologise for the lengthy delay in responding, as this was an oversight on my behalf.

When considering whether a site is suitable for a shelter we need to ensure that the footway width is wide enough to accommodate a shelter and also maintain enough room for pedestrians, the minimum recommended footway width is 2.2m.  The footway width at ED1453 which is located outside Asda is 1.77m wide, therefore, the footway is not wide enough to accommodate a shelter.

With regards to the stop sited at the gable end of property number 2/2a Eastway opposite Asda, ED1791, this stop was installed due to Market Street being closed one day a week, Thursday, to accommodate Shaw Market.

Since the installation of the stop TfGM have received a number of requests from the resident of 2a Eastway for the stop to be relocated due to lack of privacy, noise and vibration and passengers blocking access to the shop whilst waiting for the bus.

I have visited the site with representatives from Unity Partnership and GM Police and we are unable to find an alternative location for the stop.  With regards to the shelter request, due to the presence of a vehicular access/garage adjacent the stop this would result in the passenger shelter having to be positioned at the kerb edge in front of the shop window/doorway.  It was concluded that the shelter and waiting passengers would obstruct sight lines for motorists egressing from the adjacent service road and that the proposed shelter would undoubtedly receive objections from the resident, therefore, the site was deemed unsuitable for a shelter.

I trust the above information is sufficient, but please let me know if you require any further information.

Clair Leeming, Route Development Officer, Transport for Greater Manchester