Stop the threat of Fracking in Oldham

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE and the Oldham Liberal Democrats have consistently campaigned on environmental issues, locally and nationally.  At a time when climate change activists are taking to the streets to campaign against the negative effects of climate change.  Councillor Sykes MBE reveals the Council’s weak policy when it comes to shale gas extraction (also known as Fracking).  Councillor Sykes MBE has challenged Council Bosses on their Fracking position.

Oldham’s Fracking policy within the 2013-2020 environmental strategy is incredibly vague.  Within the document, shale gas extraction is mentioned as something the Council will consider. There is a possibility fracking can take place locally.  No Fracking currently takes place in Oldham Borough, but this weak policy means it might happen soon.

“We have green countryside and a stable water table in the North West of England.  Let us not be the Councillors who destroy livelihoods for future generations in the pursuit of short-term financial gain.”

“I strongly believe this Council’s environmental strategy does not go far enough.  I think Oldham Council must take a clearer position on this issue that can wreak havoc to our environment.”

Councillor Sykes MBE goes further to call for a Boroughwide ban on fracking.  He says Oldham Borough Council needs to tighten up the ambiguous policy on fracking locally and calls upon the Council Leader to take a stance.

Liberal Democrat conference outlined ambitious UK strategy on climate change, young carers and business reforms

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE has welcomed plans agreed by Liberal Democrat Conference 14th-17th September 2019, which he attended, to tackle economic, social and environmental problems.

The conference held last month in Bournemouth debated net zero-carbon emissions in the UK by 2045.  It also aimed to tackle the ever-growing number of Young Carers who are still missing out on important life skills due to heavy care responsibilities.  Conference voted to draw clear support guidelines for Young Carers and declare a series of initiatives to combat the UK’s carbon footprint.

The Liberal Democrats also backed a radical tax shake up for businesses.  Liberal Democrats have already brought the issue forward locally in Oldham Borough at the July 2019 Council meeting.  They want big companies to pay their fair share just like everyone else and reject Conservative proposals to turn Britain into a ‘tax haven’ exclusively for the rich.

Councillor Sykes MBE says these manifesto ideas are an absolute necessity:

“Giving local councils a legal duty to become carbon neutral is vital.  The Liberal Democrats have started this conversation.  Now it is time to act.  We want to decarbonise every element of society and preserve this world for the next generation.”

“Everyone knows current business taxes are too complicated, misleading and easily avoided by large multinationals.  Everyone should pay their fair share!  This is especially poignant when families are struggling to make ends meet have to pay tax as well.”

“I applaud the thousands of Young Carers up and down the country for the commitment to who they care for.  The level of support these young people get from councils and the government is still not good enough.  I am proud the Liberal Democrats have a plan to tackle these issues.”

Link to the Climate change emergency motion:

Link to the Business tax reform Motion:

Link to Supporting young carers Motion:

Liberal Democrats seek assurances about allegations of child sexual exploitation dating back to 2013

Oldham Liberal Democrat councillors are aware of allegations currently circulating on social media with regards to historic child sexual exploitation and the suggestion of a subsequent cover up by senior Labour councillors and council officers dating back to 2013.

Consequently, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats’ on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE has raised the matter the Chief Executive of Oldham Council Dr Carolyn Wilkins on the 9 September 2019, to establish how the Council intends to deal with these allegations in order to restore public confidence. 

Councillor Sykes said:  “Although no contact has been made by anyone making allegations, it is only right and proper that in view of the scale and momentum of these allegations that they properly investigated and refuted, confirming the outcome of the 2013 investigation.   Alternatively, if there were failings and/or fresh evidence comes to light, that the appropriate authorities take action, be that with regards to serving or former councillors, council officers or any other individual’.

On Thursday 26th September 2019, Councillor Chris Gloster, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, who is a trained safeguarding lead in Oldham met with the Chief Executive Dr Wilkins, Rebekah Sutcliffe, Strategic Director of Reform, and Councillor Sean Fielding, Leader of the Council Administration to seek reassurance that these allegations were not being ignored and to establish what steps were being taken to address them.

Councillor Gloster said:  “As a result of this meeting I am pleased to confirm that two separate independent investigations are to take place, one looking at the Council’s response in 2013, and a review of the criminal allegations by Greater Manchester Police’s Major Crime Review Team.  It would be inappropriate to comment further whilst these reviews are taking place but as the Opposition it is our role to hold the Council to account and we will expect to be fully briefed as to the outcomes and ensure the investigation is both rigorous, clear and transparent’.

Green bin collections Derwent Drive area of Shaw and Crompton

I have been informed the Council has approx. one hours work outstanding in the Derwent Drive area of Shaw and Crompton.

This was due to an incident at the tipping facility in Rochdale on Thursday resulting in all the vehicles being diverted to Bury and therefore putting them behind on all rounds.

They have managed to catch up some time today but still have some collections to complete – residents are advised them to leave their green bins/caddies out and we will return Saturday/Monday.