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Lib Dems announce: Your pension to be protected by law

g7cs1s1aLib Dems announce: Your pension to be protected by law

The Leader of the Opposition and of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes, has welcomed the recent announcement that the Liberal Democrats are committed to protect pensions by law.

Lib Dem Pensions Minister Steve Webb has confirmed that pensioners would be guaranteed to earn at least an extra £790 per year by the end of the next Parliament under the party’s manifesto plans.

These changes mean the state pension will be worth at least £131-a-week by 2020, up from just £97.65 four years ago.

On hearing the news, Cllr Sykes said:

“Thanks to the Triple Lock guarantee that has been introduced by the Liberal Democrats in government, the basic state pension has been raised each year of this Parliament in line with average earnings, prices or 2.5%; whichever has been higher. The triple lock was a key demand from the Liberal Democrats in Coalition negotiations.

“The means the state pension is £440 higher per year in 2014-15 than if it had increased in line with earnings from the start of this Parliament, and worth over £800 a year more in total.

“Only the Liberal Democrats are committed to write this guarantee into law, giving pensioners more certainty that their pension will continue to rise in future”.

Announcing the plan, Lib Dem Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:

“A decent income in retirement for pensioners is central to the Liberal Democrat vision of a fair society.

“For decades, successive Labour and Conservative governments allowed the state pension to decline after Mrs. Thatcher broke the ‘earnings link’ in 1980. Our manifesto promise of a ‘triple lock’ has been implemented every year since 2010 and means that the state pension is already a higher share of the national average wage than at any time since the early 1990s.

“But if we are serious about having a decent state pension we need to go further. That is why the Liberal Democrats will guarantee in law that in each year pensions will rise by the highest of wages, prices or 2.5%.”

The Liberal Democrat plans are in stark contrast to the Labour years, which on one occasion saw Gordon Brown increase the state pension by just 75p-a-week.

The triple lock guarantee would ensure an increase in the value of the state pension of at least £790 per year by the end of the next Parliament.

Youth grant application

For an application form email Jodie Barber – details at bottom of this post.

This year there are changes to the process so please read through the application carefully.

The grants are available for Young people’s activities within Oldham for young people aged 11 – 19 (up to 25 for young people with disabilities)

The maximum that can be applied for is £1000.

The applications can be completed by an adult but MUST be accompanied with a supporting statement from young people who will benefit from the activity.

Application interviews are not being held anymore so please make sure you put as much detail into the application as possible so that the panel of young people can make well informed decisions.

The grants are only for activities that can demonstrate that they will contribute to the 3 priority outcomes identified by the Youth Council, these are:
• Improving the emotional well being and mental health of Young people.
• Promoting and providing young people with quality volunteering opportunities.
• Ensuring Young people lead healthy lifestyles.
The deadline for applications is Friday 8 August 5pm – Applications will not be received after this time.

Applications can be sent electronically via email – or you can print out the form and complete by hand – returning it to the address below
If you have any queries or would like further information please do not hesitate in contacting Jodie Barber.

Jodie Barber
Senior Youth Work Manager, Integrated Youth Services – Central team
Rock Street Resource Centre
Rock Street
Oldham
OL1 3UJ
0161 770 3117
Jodie.barber@oldham.gov.uk

Rochdale Road/Fraser Street

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At around 2pm this morning a car went through the front of a shop at the junction of Rochdale Road and Fraser Street in Shaw causing extensive damage (see photograph).

It is believed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

This is the same shop which was hit by a car a few months ago.

Building Control officers went out and assessed the site.

The car has been removed from the building, and contractors were called who have undertaken work to make the site as safe as possible and secured it.

Highways have closed the road. Insurance assessors will be coming out to assess the building on Monday.

Crompton Pool 1st July

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After being fobbed off for weeks since it’s closure in early May the council finally get round to issuing a press release saying it will not re- open.

The people of Shaw deserve better than to be treated like this.

Just £50k could have kept the Pool open for the hundreds of users, the swimming club and schools plus others.

Most people would regard that as good value and if this was elsewhere in Oldham Borough the cash would have been spent and the facility kept open.

However this is Shaw and Crompton and our Labour Council (and that is who have made this decision in secret) appear to not give two hoots about Shaw and Crompton and have just proved that again.

Response from Environment Agency re River Beal polution

I investigated the above incident (ref. 01250936) and can confirm it was a repeat of another incident that was reported to us earlier. I traced the source to pollution to the a distribution centre in Shaw. Despite clean up it does appear that oil was not effectively contained at the time of the incident. I have therefore asked the operators to deploy booms and absorbent pads at the outfall to soak up any residual oil and I hope that this will resolve the problem.

International Day of Peace 21 September

Copy of a suggestion to the Chief Executive and Leader of Oldham Council

Later this week (28th June) will mark the 100th anniversary of the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the event that plunged the world into the First World War.

Soon we shall rightly begin our commemorations to mark the selfless sacrifice of so many Britons in this terrible war, but I am writing to you at this time because I also feel passionately that we should take whatever small steps we can to promote peace.

You may be aware that in 1981 the International Day of Peace was established by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. Each year it is observed around the world on 21 September.

On this day, the UN General Assembly asks all combatants to cease hostilities, and invites all nations and peoples to hold commemorative activities and events to help strengthen the ideals of peace and raise public awareness of the day.

As a small step to promote peace, I would like to ask the Council to take a lead in helping to galvanise events across the borough to mark this year’s International Peace Day and to make this an annual effort.

My suggestions are that the Council looks to:

• Host, in conjunction with partners, an annual event in the town centre to which all communities, organisations, and residents be invited to commemorate the day

• Invite representatives from the United Nations Association (United Kingdom) and Peace One Day, a UK-based charity which has been instrumental in promoting the International Day of Peace. to attend this annual event

• Display the United Nations flag at the Civic Centre and on other public buildings to mark the International Day of Peace

• Ensure that information about the day and its significance appears on the Council’s website and in public libraries

• Ask youth club and religious leaders and the Head-teachers and Principals of all schools, academies and colleges in this borough to day in an assembly or event at their establishment on the most practical day that falls nearest to 21st September in each year

The Oldham Liberal Democrats will be very happy to co-operate with the Administration and with Council officers to make the programme a meaningful annual celebration of peace.

I shall look forward to your reply and am of course happy to discuss this further at Group Leaders etc.

Crompton Pool Latest 16 June

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Crompton Pool Latest 16 June

My most recent correspondence on the matter, and extracts of just some of my earlier correspondence

Dear Ms McManus,

Can I formally request a copy of the papers/reports/email or any other information that has gone to the members of the CIPB about this matter, either under my right to know as a councillor or leader of the opposition or under a Freedom of information request.

Also under the above please inform me which councillors are on the Board and therefore making this decision/recommendation.

Also please confirm when the information was submitted to them for consideration.

I do hope the above will be supplied promptly, by return or within 24 hours at the very latest, and I will not have to chase this matter up as I have with every other email I have sent since the Pool closed on the 6th May.

I await your comments with interest as do thousands of residents in Shaw and Crompton and further afield who use Crompton Pool.

Regards.
Councillor Howard Sykes MBE

NOTES:
Capital Investment Programme Board – CIPB is a Board of Cabinet members, which meets to coordinate /discuss all capital projects and programmes within the council. It is an advisory board, which assists either a delegated decision, or a decision which needs to go on to cabinet/ Council for approval.

I was promised some clarity on this issue on the 15th May – I am still waiting and on every occasion I have to chase the Council.

From: Heather McManus
Sent: 14 June 2014 12:31

The matter is still with CIPB for consideration. As soon as I hear from members I will let you know.

From: Howard Sykes
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2014 12:22 PM GMT Standard Time

Now the 13 June.

Hopefully you will now have some clarity about this matter over a week after your email 5 June.

Users, groups and the people of Shaw need and expect to be kept informed about this issue.

You must know what the problem is now and an idea of what it will cost to fix and who might do that work.

I cannot understand the delay.

It is well over a week since I last asked about this (3 June) as still no information for the public, swim club, schools, etc. etc.

When will we have a time frame for getting the pool open again?

Or is it as people suspect you want to keep it closed to save money?

I and thousands of people await your response with interest.

Howard Sykes

From: Neil Consterdine
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 11:01 AM

Consideration of the options will be considered this week via CIPB. We are hopeful to have a decision by the end of the week.

Neil Consterdine
Oldham Council
Head of Youth and Leisure

From: Howard Sykes
Sent: 29 May 2014 18:25

What is the timescale for the decision please?

I.e. tomorrow, next couple of days, next week, next month?

Many thanks in anticipation.

Howard

From: Neil Consterdine
Sent: 21 May 2014 16:24

The facility had to be closed because of damage to the hot water tank. This meant the pool water could not be kept at the correct temperature.

We are committed to keeping the pool open and are now assessing a repair option to ensure this happens. We will issue an update on this as soon as we possibly can to service users, partners and residents.

Neil Consterdine
Oldham Council
Head of Youth and Leisure

From: Howard Sykes
Sent: 20 May 2014 18:48

Dear Mr Consterdine,

So it is now a week on from your last email and considerably longer since the pool was closed (Tuesday 6th May).

No update or any additional information I am aware of.

Can you please let me and colleagues know the latest situation please and when the pool will re-open.

I await your comments with interest as do hundreds of my constituents, many of which have been in contact with me and colleagues.

Best wishes.
Councillor Howard Sykes