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I have just received the contractors expected programme for completion of the above works:

The joint bay currently open in the grass verge on Blackshaw Lane near to its junction with Balmoral Avenue has been backfilled and is awaiting top soil to be placed.

The joint bay at the top of Blackshaw Lane near to its junction with Perth Street will have the last joint completed today and should be backfilled today, with final reinstatement taking place Wednesday/Thursday.

The joint bay currently open on Oldham Road near to its junction with Otmoor Way should have the jointing complete Wednesday.

A second joint bay will be opened on Oldham Road in the vicinity of no. 152 this morning. All the cables should be pulled through to this bay by Wednesday evening and the jointing will then commence with a view to close this bay down by Thursday evening.

The last joint bay, which was previously opened on Oldham Road near to its junction with Longley Street but temporarily shut down, will be re-opened Friday to allow the final jointing work to be completed over the weekend, with the reinstatement being completed Sunday/Monday.

As explained by Electricity North West at the presentation given to the District Partnership on June 3rd, in order to carry out the operation of pulling through the cable and jointing, it will be necessary to have three joint bays open at any one time. The last run along Oldham Road, between Bullcote Lane and the Big Lamp roundabout, will undoubtedly be the most disruptive.

The temporary signals along Oldham Road will be manned during the working day between 07.00am and 18.00pm and the operatives will be in touch using two way radios. While every effort will be made to minimise disruptions, unfortunately some disruption will occur.

Lib Dem Motion to prevent betting shops taking over the High Street

Date: 9th July 2013

Oldham Lib Dems have proposed that the Council write to Government ministers urging them to take action to introduce new legislation to curb the increase in planning applications for new betting shops in the Borough.

Councillor Howard Sykes, Leader of the Opposition on Oldham Council and Leader of the Lib Dem Group, and Cllr Rod Blyth, Shadow Cabinet Member for Social Care and Public Health, have proposed a motion to the next Council meeting on Wednesday 17th July outlining the concerns of the Liberal Democrat Group:

“This Council notes with great concern the proliferation of betting shops on our high street and the clustering of betting shops in particular areas.

Currently, under planning legislation, betting shops are placed in Use Class A2, grouped alongside banks, estate agents and other financial services. This means they can open up in any building that was previously in the A2 Use Class or the A3 (Restaurants and Cafes), A4 (Pubs and Bars) and A5 (Hot Food Takeaways) without the need for any planning permission.

The Portas Review, published in December 2011, proposed to change the planning use class of betting shops from Class “A2” to sui generis (a category all of its own). This would mean that every new betting shop would require full planning permission.

Regrettably under the 2005 Gambling Act enacted by the previous Labour Government, Councils are prevented from considering the existing number of gambling licences when approving a new licence.

This Council resolves to:

Ask the Chief Executive to write to the ministers with responsibility for this area – the Minister for Communities and Local Government, The Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles, MP and the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, The Rt. Hon. Maria Miller MP – requesting that the Government:

1. Repeals the relevant section of the 2005 Act so that Councils may consider the number of existing gambling licences when considering any new application for a licence

2. Implements the recommendation from the Mary Portas Review to make betting shops a separate Use Class for planning purposes.

– Work with other AGMA local authorities to establish a common approach to this issue”.

Cllr. Sykes said: “Liberal Democrats want to see Government adopt the recommendations outlined in the review commissioned from high street retail expert Mary Portas. Ms Portas made a strong case that betting shops should be in a planning class all of their own so that every new premises would require full planning permission giving time for proper scrutiny and offering the public and Councillors an opportunity to object.

At present, legislation enacted by the last Labour Government also prevents local Councils from considering the number of existing premises in an area when granting a new licence. Our motion also calls on Government to repeal this aspect of the current legislation”.

In support of his colleague, fellow Shaw Lib Dem Councillor Rod Blyth said: “Research has demonstrated a link between gambling addiction and a range of health and social problems including alcoholism, substance abuse and crime. We want to see a diverse range of shops on our High Street as part of a vibrant and attractive retail offer to attract a wide-range of customers to our district centres.

There have recently been high profile planning applications for new betting shops in both Hollinwood and Chadderton that have been opposed by ward councillors and by the public on the grounds that there are enough already and that having too many in one area causes a problem in itself”.

Lib Dem Motion to help lift closure threat to iconic Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)

Date: 8th July 2013

Oldham Lib Dems still remain concerned at any possible threat of closure to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.

Councillor Howard Sykes, Leader of the Opposition on Oldham Council and Leader of the Lib Dem Group, and Councillor, John McCann, Deputy Leader, have submitted a motion to the next Oldham Council meeting on Wednesday 17th July outlining the concerns of the Liberal Democrats:

“This Council notes with concern the potential closure of the Manchester Science and Industry Museum.

The museum represents not only a great free day out for our borough’s residents and their families, but is also a splendid educational resource.
Visitors and students, young and old, are reminded that Manchester was both a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution, but also the home of such revolutionary scientific developments as the mainframe computer.
Consequently, the museum represents both a tribute to the ingenuity of Manchester people, past and present, and an inspiration to our region’s future engineers, inventors and scientists.
The fact that it is located in a building itself of world historic significance would make its loss all the more bitterly felt by the citizens of this region”.
The motion pledges the Council to take some definite action in support of MOSI:

“The Council therefore resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to:
– The trustees of the Science Museum Group outlining this Council’s opposition to any threat of closure
– The three local Members of Parliament asking them to use every effort to oppose any threat of closure
– The other AGMA authorities and the GM Combined Authority asking them to join us in opposing any threat of closure”

Councillor Sykes said: “I believe that all three local party leaders are united in opposing the closure of this much loved and iconic museum.”

In advance of Council, on 13th June, I wrote to all three local Labour MPs asking them to sign Early Day Motion 196, which is sponsored in the House of Commons by John Leech, Liberal Democrat MP for Withington, who is a leading campaigner opposing closure.

Following my letter, Michael Meacher signed the Early Day Motion on 17th June and David Heyes did so on 24th June, joining MPs of all three main political parties in doing so.

Inexplicably to date, the Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, Debbie Abrahams, has yet to add her name to the motion, which appears to contradict her stated aim to “honour and celebrate, not destroy” MOSI, so I urge her to do so.”

For further information contact Howard Sykes

Note to Editors

Early Day Motion 196 – Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry:

That this House notes with concern the possible threat of closure hanging over Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester’s most popular visitor attraction; further notes the historic significance of the Museum’s location housed on the site of the world’s first intercity railway station in a part of the world’s first industrial city; welcomes the Manchester Evening News’ campaign to keep it open; and calls on Ian Blatchford and the rest of the London-based Science Museum Group to ensure that this cultural and educational landmark is not sacrificed for short-term budgetary gains.

Primary Sponsor – John Leech MP

Friday Waste Collection Shaw 12th July

Due to exceptionally high tonnages and participation there are a number of uncompleted collections.

Shaw, Crompton – Green Waste

Shaw, Comingled (brown bins and black caddies)

To ensure this does not have a knock on effect into next week there will be a a crew completing this work tomorrow morning.

Please leave your bins out for collection on Saturday 13th July.

A reminder of why you can’t trust Labour with our economy!

On David Law’s first day in office three years ago he discovered a letter left by the outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne.

It read, simply: Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam


It is a stark reminder of why Labour can’t be trusted with your money.

With the spending review coming up this week, you will see once again how the Liberal Democrats are clearing up the mess Labour left us and building a stronger economy in a fairer society.

Please share this image on Twitter and Facebook.

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