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Chatsworth Close – footpath/back gate & steps rear of Buckstones School

I am pleased to report the above steps will be improved and remodelled during the summer school holidays and a hand rail will also be provided.

Hopefully this should make it easier for all users.

I asked the council to look at this problem when approached by users of these steps.

Funding for these works has come for the small delegated budget councillors Rod Blyth, Mark Alcock and I have direct influence over.

Beal Lane, Shaw-Temporary Road Closure, commencing Mon July 22nd 2013 for 2 weeks

Temporary road closure to part of Beal Lane (Jubilee Street to Metro Crossing).

This is due to road and footway resurfacing/reconstruction.

Below are the details of when road is closed:

7am – 7pm, Mon – Fri and Sun if required.
5am – 8pm, Sat.

Pedestrian access along Beal Lane and to the Metrolink station will be maintained at all times.

Delivery access to be maintained to distribution centres at all times except for the Saturday closures.

The road will be open to traffic at the end of each working day.

Alternative Route: Beal Lane/Grains Road/Hillside Avenue/Buckstones Road/Milnrow Road/Crompton Way/Rochdale Road/Beal Lane, in both directions.

Please note the dates / times of the closure at Beal Lane as it will not be closed for the entire two week duration of work. The two Saturday closure dates have been agreed in advance with the distribution centres, who have arranged that no deliveries will take place during the agreed hours of working.

It has been arranged that deliveries to the distribution centres will be able to get through the closure along Beal Lane from Shaw Town Centre during the weekday closures; this in effect means that it will not be necessary for HGV delivery vehicles to use the diversion route at any time.

All other vehicles will use the diversion route.

If you have any questions regarding the work please direct them to Nigel Molden at or 0161 770 1952


As usual Market Street will be closed for the above event; the diversion route will be Beal Lane, East Way and then Greenfield Lane/High Street.

Different to previous years the fun fair will be located on the Kershaw Street Car Park and NOT the Market Car Park (Westway). The 3 hour parking limit on this and other car parks will be suspend for the above event.

Temporary traffic signals between Smallbrook Road and Bridge Street

The temporary signals will be employed between Smallbrook Road and Bridge Street commencing Monday 20 May for four weeks, Monday to Friday off-peak only (9.30am – 3.30pm) and are required as part of the carriageway resurfacing works.

Also, it will be necessary at the end of the work to put in place a full road closure. I am urgently seeking details about this and as soon as I have any will post them on my web site.

If you have any queries regarding the work please contact Nigel Molden at

Emergency Contact & Telephone Number in the Event of Traffic Signal Failure: John Dunn: 07831 386470

Liberal Democrats outline 12-Point Plan to help disabled facing welfare reform in Oldham Borough

Last month, Oldham became a pilot area for a whole raft of sweeping reforms to welfare benefits introduced by the Government.

Welfare reform has led to several benefits being merged into one new Universal Credit claimed on-line, on the introduction of a new Local Council Tax Support Scheme, in a reduction in housing benefit for many in under-occupancy, and on the creation of Local Welfare Provision.

In Oldham, it is estimated that welfare reform will affect up to 17,000 citizens of ‘working age’ who depend wholly or in part on welfare benefits for their income; many of these residents will have a disability or a serious health condition.

Oldham Council will be a key player in the administration of welfare reform.

The Leader of the Opposition and of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes has today published a paper to Cabinet member for Finance, Councillor Abdul Jabbar, and senior Council officers outlining 12 practical measures that the Liberal Democrat Group believes the Labour Administration should adopt to mitigate the impact of welfare reform on one particularly vulnerable group – the disabled.

In issuing this document, Councillor Howard Sykes said:

“Disabled people are a particularly vulnerable group and amongst those most likely to be worst hit by welfare reform.

Liberal Democrats in Oldham would like to see disabled people exempted from many of the provisions of welfare reform, as pensioners have, and we will lobby Government to make this so .

However, whatever the rights and wrongs of welfare reform, the reality is that it is here to stay in one form or other as any Government in power will need to address the ever spiralling benefits bill.

One of my concerns is that, in the rush to prepare for the introduction of welfare reform, agencies and officers may have paid insufficient attention to the needs of the disabled.

Oldham is a pilot authority for welfare reform – by establishing best practice here we can set a standard for other authorities introducing welfare reform from October.

The Liberal Democrat Group has issued a policy paper to Councillor Jabbar, Cabinet Member for Finance, and the Labour Administration outlining 12 practical measures that the authority should adopt to support disabled people in our borough faced with welfare reform.

I hope that, after a period of reflection, we will have the opportunity to meet with them to discuss the document and identify how we can take these measures forward.

This bi-partisan approach is identical to that which we have taken as a party in supporting the Administration on a number of issues, most recently the campaign to combat loan sharks”.

A Summary of the Liberal Democrat 12-Point Plan follows.

Oldham Council can support disabled people faced by welfare reform:

1. By ensuring that those disabled social tenants who ‘under-occupy’ and who require overnight care from non-resident carers are granted an additional bedroom under the size criteria.

2. By awarding housing benefit for an extra bedroom for a disabled child unable to share.

3. By adopting a new Discretionary Housing Payment policy that provides for indefinite payments to make up rent shortfalls where social tenants with disabilities occupy ‘significantly adapted properties’.

4. By ensuring the DHP also meets rent shortfalls for disabled people requiring an extra room for medical equipment.

5. By exploring the creation of a Hardship Fund to support disabled people with rent shortfalls who are not able to access additional bedroom entitlement or the DHP.

6. By developing a support package for disabled people moving home.

7. By offering the 12-month instalment scheme for Council Tax as a default scheme to new payers.

8. By promoting the Disabled Band Reduction Scheme to those occupying adapted properties.

9. By promoting the Disabled Band Reduction Scheme to those who are ‘severely mentally impaired’ or their careers, support workers and family members.

10. By exploring the creation of a Hardship Fund to support disabled people with Council Tax arrears.

11. By arranging direct payments of rent and Council Tax for disabled and ‘vulnerable’ clients eligible for this facility.

12. By ensuring that Local Welfare Provision meets the needs of the disabled and vulnerable.

If anybody would like a copy of the full report please email me directly.

Struggling to pay your Council Tax?

Get payment advice at your local event

If you are worried about paying your Council Tax or struggling to make payments, don’t ignore the problem.

At your local drop-in session you can get advice and support, as well as discussing payment options that will help make it easier for you to manage your budget.

At the events we can help you to:

Set up a Council Tax direct debit.
We will help you fill in a form so that the payment is made each month directly from your bank account. Remember to bring your bank details with you.
Open a Council Tax Jam Jar Account with Oldham Credit Union.

A Jam Jar Account helps you to manage your budget and prioritise your spending. Opening an account will also give you access to fair loans and savings. To set up an account you will need to bring two forms of identification with you, which must include your name, address and signature.

Acceptable documents are:

Rent book
Tenancy agreement
Mortgage letter or statement
Birth Certificate
Utility Bill, i.e. gas, water, electricity, telephone
Driving Licence
Union membership card
Work’s identity card
Wage slip
Bank card
Bus pass with photograph
Medical card

The two nearest events are taking place on:

Tuesday 7 May:
2pm – 5pm
Crompton Library
Farrow Street East, Shaw OL2 8QY

Wednesday 8 May:
9am – 12noon
Oldham Library
Greaves Street, Oldham OL1 1AL

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, don’t ignore the problem. Contact us urgently to discuss payment options T: 0161 770 6622 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.

Visit: Access Oldham, Civic Centre, Oldham 8.40am and 5pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30am to 5pm Wednesday

Crompton Moor – walkers take care

I have been asked to circulate this by a regular user of the Moor.

During the last few weeks I have noticed a increasing number of mine workings coming to light along the old tramway at the coal limits at the rear of the masts.

This tramway runs along the route of Pylon ZPA 41 to ZPA 42. It runs to Huddersfield Road under the cables. If you walk on this route it’s advisable to keep to the path and any dogs under control.

These workings are shafts, and are 3ft to 6ft wide and range from a sink up to 6ft. There is one about 100ft or so on your right as you walk down towards Huddersfield Road, its flooded I nearly lost one of my dogs in it this afternoon.

I have no way yet of knowing how deep the water is I will wait until it starts to dry out and see. The water stinks like aluminium sulphates, but this shaft was not there last year.

I will log them all over the next few weeks and report them to OMBC and the Coal Authority