Council Offices, 23 High Street, Shaw, Oldham OL2 8RF
Tel: 01706 847590 e-mail:

The Parish Council met ten times during the civic year 2011-12 (monthly except August and April). In addition to its routine business, the Council:
• Opposed the closure of Beal Hey Recycling Centre
• Opposed the closure of Crompton Pool
• Requested that a bus stop be moved in Market Street, Shaw
• Received presentations on: Old Osram site, Refuge Street, Shaw; Laurel Bank Day Centre; a housing insulation scheme;

Much of the work of the Council is carried out by its Committees and Sub-Committees. The Planning and Finance & General Purposes Committees normally meet every month and the six sub-committees each meet between four and ten times during the year. All meetings are open to the public.

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council (OMBC) has a duty to consult the Parish Council on planning applications within Shaw and Crompton. Residents are able to make representation to the Parish Council; public participation is encouraged as views from people living and working in the area are important to the decision making process. The Parish Council Planning Committee makes a recommendation to OMBC who make the final decision.

The Parish Council Planning Committee considered 106 applications during the year of which 19 were recommended for refusal.

Community Events
The Communications & Promotions Sub-Committee is responsible for organising activities and events, many of which have become regular features of the town’s life. These include the Family Weekend and Vehicle Rally, held in summer each year, and which was its usual success in 2011. This year the Family Weekend will be held on Saturday & Sunday 23 & 24 June 2012, and planning is already well advanced.

Other events arranged by the Sub-Committee were: Parish Council Chairman’s Civic Service; Civic Reception; Crompton Circuit walk; Lancashire Day proclamation; Christmas Charity Market; Schools’ Christmas Music Festival; Spring Charity Market. Hanging baskets were placed along High Street, Market Street, and parts of Milnrow Road and Crompton Way; a decorated Christmas Tree was placed at Wren’s Nest, where the lights were switched on at the end of November.

An archaeological survey of Crompton Moor was completed during Summer 2011. A 20 page newsletter – “The Parish Matters” – was distributed to every house in the Parish.

A major aspect of the Council’s work is in the field of environmental improvement. The Council thanks all those who give their time, expertise and effort to assist the Parish through working with the Environment Sub-Committee. One of the many areas that has been concentrated on is invasive species that are threatening the ecology of the local environment, buildings and infrastructure.

There has been considerable effort put into the maintenance of public footpaths and bridleways and the refurbishment/replacement of stiles, or their substitution by Kissing Gates, while attempting to establish new, or to re-establish old, public footpaths. The maintenance and clearance of public areas for the benefit of the community has been another main focus.

During the year the Council was able to make 10 grants, with a total value of £2,144. The grant scheme will continue during 2012/2013.

There has been a steady increase of third parties using the building, eg Friends of Dunwood Park. New premises for use as Council Offices were identified and a recommendation for purchase of the leasehold was approved by the Council.

Approval to borrow sufficient funds for the purchase was obtained from DCLG. Negotiations have taken place regarding the terms of the lease. It was agreed to update the software used on the Council Office’s PC.

Staffing & Pay
The Sub-Committee met on two occasions (October 2011 and January 2012). The main work of the sub-committee is to oversee the Clerk’s appraisal and other associated matters such as pay award, annual increments, pension provision, and the Sickness Contingency Fund.

Law and Order
The Council continues to have great concern for law and order issues, in particular the policing of the area and the town centre, and takes all opportunities to bring these matters to the attention of the responsible bodies.

The Council is represented on the Royton, Shaw and Crompton Area Action Team.

Citizens Advice Bureau
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is an established part of the township. Previously based at the Council Offices, the Shaw Outreach deals with a wide range of queries from many Shaw and Crompton residents.

The Parish Council is happy to continue to fund this valuable service, which means that residents can receive advice locally. The service has been re-located to Crompton Library and is available every Thursday (9.30am-12.30pm & 1.30-4.00pm); no appointment is necessary.

During the year, residents have made enquiries at the Council Offices about a variety of issues. Depending on their nature, these have been taken up with Oldham MBC, or referred to Parish or Metropolitan Borough councillors. Matters taken up on behalf of residents have included things such as planning issues, housing issues or roads.

The Council seeks to continue the development of a pattern of civic life to benefit the whole community, by fostering different types of activities. It does not have the resources to organise and run all the varied events and projects which make Shaw and Crompton into a thriving community. Its policy is to assist other organisations within the Parish as much as it can.

For instance, many local charities are able to raise money through having stalls at Charity Markets; a wide range of organisations benefit from the grants that the Council is able to make to them; a number of groups use the Council Offices for meetings in the evenings. Other groups requiring help are encouraged to ask and, where possible, the Council will try to assist.

Dr Ray Hughes
Clerk to the Council

Consider the best of Committees urges Sykes

The following motion was tabled and debated at the Oldham Council meeting on 7th November.

The Localism Act 2011 makes provision for Local Authorities, subject to certain conditions, to replace the Leader and Cabinet or Elected Mayor models and allow a return to the traditional Committee based Governance System.

Despite the Act being on the Statute Books for many months, to date, this Council has not been afforded an opportunity to consider options for a return to what was a well understood and respected decision making system.

This Council believes that in the interests of democracy, openness and transparency, members of this Council should ultimately be offered the prospect of debating and determining (in a free vote) whether it would wish to see a return to a traditional form of Committee based Governance.

This Council further believes that this matter would benefit from detailed consideration and examination by Overview and Scrutiny who, by reporting back to the Council meeting on 6th February 2013 would allow, should Council should so determine, the opportunity for implementation in the new Municipal year.

This Council therefore resolves that consideration of options for return to a Committee based Governance system for Oldham Council be referred to Overview and Scrutiny and that they be required to report back with recommendations to the 6th February 2013 Council meeting.

All Labour Councillors voted against this proposal and it was therefore defeated.

Questions asked at last Oldham Council meeting on 7th November 2012

It is a source of great regret and disappointment that the next phase of the Metrolink line through to Shaw and on to Rochdale will not be open as previously promised by December, some 12 months late!

Would the Leader join with me in expressing concern that the delay will lead to a further loss of goodwill from the public and significant potential revenue loss for Oldham Town centre and the conurbation of Greater Manchester by failing to latch on to the busy pre-Christmas retail period.

Would the Leader also agree that it had been possible for the line to be opened before Christmas and that it appears to me a policy decision has clearly been taken to delay the opening until the New Year, when it is clear that the line to Shaw and Crompton could even have been opened later this month?

Coliseum theatre refurbishment
The refurbished Coliseum has recently re-opened its doors to the public of this Borough and I would like to take this opportunity, as I am sure the Leader would also like to do, in welcoming the return of the Coliseum back to its home.

The Leader will remember and I am sure welcome, the actions of the previous administration which had the foresight and political will to set aside more than £1.4 million in 2010 for the refurbishment of the Coliseum Theatre.

Would he also remember that when the investment in the theatre refurbishment was announced, he responded publicly in less than enthusiastic fashion saying “Is this value for money — for the investment you are making?”

His sceptical tone was echoed by his Shadow Cabinet colleague responsible for Leisure who said “We still support the Coliseum but we have to look at the real price of it in the light of severe council cuts. We should be looking at a building or a site somewhere else in the town.”

Indeed the Leader may also remember that in September 2008 he called for the Coliseum to be located in the Oldham Town hall, a suggestion which only a year later, was described as a ‘pipe dream’, a sentiment, echoed by a former Labour Cabinet Member who said: “it was always a pipe dream.”

Would the Leader now accept that the proposals put in place by the previous administration to refurbish the Coliseum, therefore maintaining and retaining one of Oldham’s crown jewels was right and correct?

Oldham Town Hall
The re-use and redevelopment of Oldham Town Hall continues to receive a very positive response from all quarters.

I am sure the Leader would recognise the role of the previous Administration which, in 2009/10 set aside more than £700k to stabilise the crumbling building and make it watertight.

Would he also agree that the urgent actions we took some three years ago have provided the foundation for the current administration to take rejuvenation of the building to the next stage?

Something that was always in our long term vision and in fact I spoke in this chamber some time ago – and specifically about a cinema being located in the old Town Hall.
That vital investment of a little under three quarter of a million pounds turned back the tide of decades of neglect under successive Labour administrations.

In fact without that cash there would have been no prospect of using the building, because it was in imminent danger of major roof collapse – causing the whole structure to become unsafe – then it would have gone the way of the Park Road Warehouse – that is demolition!

Traditional Victorian Christmas Fair – Saturday 1st December 2012

Laurel Bank’s Victorian Christmas Fair

Traditional Victorian Christmas Fair, at Laurel Bank Day Centre, Kershaw Street, Shaw, Saturday 1st December 2012, 11.00 – 3.00pm

“Come and meet Santa in his Grotto”

Enjoy a festive drink and mince pie

Many Crafts, Fancy goods, Bric-a-Brac, Jewellery, Cakes, Tombola, Bags & Scarves, Festive Crafts & Gifts

Raffle, Games & Fancy Dress Competition

Metrolink works starting 14th October

I just thought I would let you know that MPT has applied for permission to do 9am -5pm working on Sundays starting from this weekend until 25th November to enable them to carry out the testing of the line from Mumps to Shaw

The works are classified as “quiet” in respect of the fact that they are running and testing trams rather than using heavy construction equipment. There might be hand tools and smaller equipment used so should not be too much of a problem (noise wise) for local residents.

Many rumours continue about the opening date which I try and seek some clarity on every week.

The ‘public promise’ is still Autumn, which I eventually managed to pin down as before 21st December!

I will do my very best to keep local residents informed – Howard Sykes.

Time is running out to claim your free insulation

Toasty Oldham – Time is running out to claim your free insulation

Loft and cavity wall insulation is now FREE* for all residents living in Oldham Borough.

The ‘Toasty Oldham’ scheme which is backed by Oldham Council is now even more appealing if you haven’t got round to having your home insulated yet.

But BE QUICK, government grants which help to subsidise this scheme are finishing at the end of 2012, after this time the unsubsidised cost is likely to be £350 each!

The best bit…

You don’t have to be on benefits or a certain age to qualify, if you’re one of those people who think ‘I’m never entitled to anything’, this is your chance to grab up to £700 worth of improvements to your home for free!

The scheme now even offers loft ‘top-ups’ for free too, so if you haven’t got the recommended 270mm depth of loft insulation, you should get it topped up now!

Over 10,000 people have already benefited from the scheme across Greater Manchester and it only takes an average of 21 days from enquiry to installation, and surveys are now also available in the evenings and most weekends.

Savings are more than you might think…

Typical annual savings are around £175 for loft insulation and £135 for cavity wall insulation (figures from the Energy Saving Trust).

How to take advantage of this great offer…

Call the Greater Manchester Energy Advice Service free on 0800 009 3363 or 0161 245 7638 (open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) or visit to book a free, no obligation survey for your home.

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.