St Paul’s Methodist Church – update 12 March 19

Just a note to confirm that work has started this morning on the initial phase of making St Paul’s safe. As a consequence the site perimeter fence has been extended to allow vehicle access.  This arrangement will be maintained until further notice, it does not restrict pedestrian access.

For more information please visit:
Highways Contact Centre 0161 770 4325
Councillor Chris Gloster E: T: 01706 847709

St Paul’s Methodist Church – traffic diversion route – update 9 March 19


Due to the inconvenience the temporary waiting restrictions are creating for residents who live on the diversion route, a meeting has taken place with the Transport Managers at the Distribution Centres to see if alternative routes can be used through the centre of Shaw, in an evening period, when traffic flows have reduced.

The distribution centres have advised that an instruction has been given to their drivers to use a combination of Eastway, High Street and Westway from 8pm in the evening until 8am,  In view of this the legal order for the waiting restrictions along Beal Lane, Grains Road, Hillside Avenue and Buckstones Road is being amended to reflect the changes so residents can park near to their homes from 8pm – 8am.

Arrangements are being made to have the signs changed, which will hopefully be completed by Monday (11th March).  When the new signs appear , if you need the use of the highway to park you can do so between the hours of 8pm – 8 am.

Due to the use of Westway and Eastway in the evening period it will be necessary to prevent parking from 8pm – 8am along Westway ( High Street to Farrow Street East) and prohibit waiting at any time along the full length of Eastway.

For more information please visit:
Highways Contact Centre 0161 770 4325
Councillor Chris Gloster E: T: 01706 847709

St Paul’s Methodist Church – update 8 March 19


It can be found at:

This will be the primary point of contact for those who wish to have news of progress regarding the building and other matters.

The phone number should the lights at the junction of Buckstones Road/Milnrow fail to work correctly is:  Amberon on 0845 371 5050.


Just a quick note to thank you all for your support in making alternative arrangements for the diversion routes which we have had to put in place following the partial collapse of the chapel in Shaw.

As the vehicles are redirected through residential areas, with schools also along the routes, could you please reinforce the need to all your drivers to  reduce their speeds. We have had a number of reports from concerned residents which whilst they understand the need for the diversions are concerned at the speeds at which the vehicles are passing through which in turn necessitates the use of brakes.

Your help on this issue is again appreciated.

For more information please visit:
Highways Contact Centre 0161 770 4325
Councillor Chris Gloster E: T: 01706 847709

St Paul’s Building collapse – update supplied 25 Feb 19

Information supplied by Oldham Council in response to the questions local councillors and the public have asked.

The building is owned by the Methodist Church, who are responsible for the work and have taken the lead in repairing / making the building safe.

Officers from Building Control and Planning met with the Church and their Conservation Officer this morning (25th Feb 2019), and agreed in broad terms the extent of the emergency works.  This is currently being finalised by the engineers and architects.  Emergency works would be completed within two weeks.

The full programme of work is likely to require positive dismantling (“brick by brick”) of the front elevation in order to protect the heritage of the building and enable repairs.  The works will require an engineered scaffolding design to ensure health and safety on site, and are likely to involve use of a cherry picker and high reach appliance/crane.  Closure will need to be maintained for this work to take place.  It is likely that the left hand pavement on Chapel Street, will need to remain closed to allow the structural scaffold to be maintained.

The total duration of the works, and the period for which road closure will need to be in place are dependent on the detailed engineering decisions.  We will provide a further update on this once the plan is clarified.

Rochdale Road hasn’t been opened up on the south side for vehicles exiting Rochdale Road via, Crompton Way due to complexities in how the traffic light system operates.

In terms of the market there seems to be no traffic reason why Shaw market on Thursdays should not proceed as planned.

Any questions or issues can be directed through the District Team, who will co-ordinate the responses from different services (e-mail:

Building collapse St Paul’s Church, Rochdale Road, Shaw. Road now closed in this location and diversions are in force


At approx. 12.10 am on Thursday 21st February 2019, Building Control were notified by First Response of a partial collapse of the roof at Saint Paul’s Methodist Church on Rochdale Road Shaw. The building was formally the home of two nursery school but is currently unoccupied.

Initial response was from the local Fire Authority with Building Control attendance at site at 12.30am. Following a preliminary assessment of the building. Building Control made the immediate area safe. This required a road closure on the Chapel Street elevation and isolation with barriers, with information fed back thorough first response.

The during the early part of Thursday morning the Church was notified of the incident with Building Control requesting the attendance of their appointed Structural Engineers.

Following a more detailed inspection of the building by Building Control, and the Churches appointed Structural Engineers. The Council’s highways department were contacted to introduce local traffic management plan to allow a programme of work to be instigated to ensure the buildings safety. The current protection measures are those considered necessary by the Churches Structural Engineer to ensure public safety.

The traffic management plan is likely to be in place for the next few weeks while the works are underway. Whilst there is a restriction on local traffic in the area we are hopeful that day to day impact on local businesses and residents will be kept to a minimum.

Rochdale Road, Shaw has been closed between Crompton Way and St Mary’s Gate due to the collapse at St Paul’s Church; the closure is required for a two week period to allow the building to made safe but every effort will be made to re-open the road at the earliest opportunity.

General traffic will be diverted along Eastway, High Street and Crompton Way but the distribution centre traffic is being diverted along Beal Lane, Grains Road, Hillside Avenue and Buckstones Road; we have used this route previously when Beal Lane has been closed at the level crossing.  To ensure this route is available for use we are making arrangements for ‘no parking’ cones to be introduced along the diversion route together with temporary lights at the junction of Buckstones Road and Milnrow Road to enable the HGV’s to make the required turning manoeuvres.

I have attached a sketch of the proposed diversion routes.

See link: Rochdale Rd Closure Shaw

The blue route is for general traffic and the yellow one is the route that we have instructed the Distribution Centres HGV’s to take.

Me and my councillor colleagues Chris Gloster and Hazel Gloster have already asked the following questions:

  1. What is plan to make safe?
  2. Does this involve demolishing all or part of building?
  3. Who’s taking responsibility for the work.
  4. When is it likely to start?
  5. When is it likely to finish?
  6. Who is single point of contact to address issues/complaints to/from Councillors and public(building)?
  7. Who is single point of contact to address issues/complaints to/from Councillors and public (roads and diversions)?

As we get more information we will share with residents and businesses.  We all need to be thankful nobody was hurt in this collapse.

Oldham Liberal Democrats find more cash for Highways and Environmental Improvements, and to build a New Health Centre for Shaw and Crompton by cutting Civic Centre waste

The Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council will be presenting their alternate budget proposals to next week’s full Budget Council (27 February).

In their budget proposals for the coming financial year (2019/20), the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council have found more than £2 million more to invest in front-line services over the next three years largely by identifying more ways to save money at the Civic Centre.

This money would be used to pay for a further £5 million investment in the Borough’s highways over and above the £18 million proposed by Labour, including creating a £1 million fund dedicated to restoring pedestrian footways; create a new Environmental Task Force with a £500,000 investment to respond quickly and effectively to instances of fly-tipping, dog-fouling and littering; and pay to build a new health centre for patients in Shaw and Crompton.

The Liberal Democrats also want to reverse Labour’s proposals to cut the local budgets of Ward Councillors and Parish Councils to keep more money available locally to tackle the priorities of residents in the districts.

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition and of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Chris Gloster, who is Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance said:   “Our proposals will deliver better roads and footpaths, cleaner streets, better health care facilities for the residents of Shaw and Crompton, and keep more money in the budgets of local Councillors and Parish Councils to help provide responsive services for the people and communities that they serve.“

“We have found the money to do this by proposing some common-sense savings at the Civic Centre – better control by managers of staff recruitment, retention, and sickness, reduced spending on media and communications, removing car allowances from staff who drive 100 miles or less in a year on Council business, tackling sky-high spending on air travel, and cutting the number of Councillors from sixty to forty.”

Councillor Gloster ended: “I note that unlike the Liberal Democrats the Conservatives have failed yet again to table any alternative proposals. 

A summary of the Liberal Democrat savings and spending proposals see links below:

7a. Appendix A – Summary of Opposition Budget proposals

7. Liberal Democrats Budget Amendment Proposals 201920

Agenda details on public web site

Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader asks ‘Why can’t we use Lower Housing Figure to Save Greenbelt?’

The Leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP, to ask him whether it would in fact be permissible for the ten local authorities in Greater Manchester to use the lower figures for expected household growth published in 2016 to decide on the number of homes to be built in the conurbation under the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

Thousands of these new homes would be built on Green Belt sites in Crompton, Shaw, Royton and Chadderton.

Figures published by Mr Brokenshire’s own department in 2012 indicated that households in Greater Manchester would increase by 213,380 by 2035, or 18.75%, yet by contrast the more recent figures issued by the Office for National Statistics in 2016 offered a projection that the rise would only be 164,006, or 14.55%.  Amongst the ten local authorities in Greater Manchester, only Rochdale has a revised higher figure.

Councillor Sykes added: “Despite a massive difference of almost 50,000 households not requiring properties, the Conservative Government has continued to insist that the original figure stands, regardless of the adverse impact on our irreplaceable green belt. I have asked the Minister to confirm whether he is still of this view.  If we could adopt the lower figure we could save much of the Green Belt.”

For Oldham, there is an expected increase of 14,955 households, or 16.55%, predicted in the figure published in 2012, but only 12,368, or 13.81%, in the 2016 projections.

Councillor Sykes concluded: “That’s a difference of 2,587 properties less to build. Interesting that corresponds to almost all of the houses that the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework proposes be built by 2035 within Oldham on the Kingsway South, Beal Valley, Broadbent Moss, Cowlishaw and Hanging Chadder sites.  And if we were to increase the housing density on allocated brownfield sites in the town centre I am confident that we could make up the difference and save the Thornham Old Road site, and some others in the Borough too.”

Councillor Sykes concluded: “The Liberal Democrats in Shaw, Crompton and Saddleworth remain completely opposed to any encroachment of housing on Greenbelt and OPOL sites whilst brownfield sites remain available, but the Conservative Government has previously insisted that Greater Manchester Councils build more homes under the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework than the latest household growth figures indicate are required.”

The letter to James Brokenshire: James Brokenshire MP GMSF 19.02.19

Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader surprised at deficiencies in the collection of pothole data

The Leader of the Opposition and of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has been surprised to discover that Oldham Council officers do not record the number of potholes that are reported, nor the number of potholes that are repaired.

Councillor Sykes has written to Helen Lockwood, Deputy Chief Executive – People at Place at Oldham to ask why?

Commenting, Councillor Sykes said: “This information was disclosed in answer to a Freedom of Information request.  I am very surprised that we do not collect this data as surely we need it to determine how effective our road repair work is?”

“Last November (2018), the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group brought a motion to the Council meeting seeking a commitment to the Council to repair potholes posing a hazard to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, including those of less than 40mm depth.  Although Labour watered this down to a more generic commitment, with no guarantee that these ‘surface erosion’ potholes would also be repaired, there was cross-party support that a pothole or eroded surface posing a public danger would be repaired as quickly as possible.”

“So how can we be sure that all hazardous potholes are promptly repaired when we record neither the number of potholes that are reported by the public, nor the number of potholes that are subsequently repaired? I am looking forward to receiving Ms. Lockwood’s reply.”