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Liberal Democrat Leader seeks renewed action on danger roads

The Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has recently written to the Deputy Leader of Oldham Council, with responsibility for highways, Councillor Arooj Shah, asking for a review of the circumstances in which highways are repaired when they become damaged and potentially hazardous.

Councillor Sykes explained why he feels a review, and more prompt action on repairing worn road surfaces is needed:

“Government guidance issued to all local authorities in November 2016 states that Councils must ‘investigate’ instances where road surfaces have been eroded by at least 40mm, but there is no legal requirement placed upon Councils even then to repair them promptly.  In Oldham, the policy is at least to consider potholes deeper than 40mm to be eligible for repair, but one issue is that many roads in my own district of Shaw and Crompton do not even have a top surface that is 40mm thick; they can be worn away to the cobbles and present a real danger to cyclists and motorists, but as the ‘threshold’ can never be reached no action is taken.  This cannot be fair or right.”

By way of constant, the threshold for the repair of pavements is lower at 25mm.

Councillor Sykes has asked for a Council review of the road erosion threshold to ensure that any road surface that becomes hazardous is repaired.  He added:  “I fully appreciate roads will still have to be prioritised and not all will be able to be repaired with the resources the Council has, but we should look to address the danger that any worn road surface represents to the public, and not simply operate to some arbitrary ‘threshold’.”

Councillor Sykes’s letter to Councillor Shah reads (no reply or acknowledgement as of today):

From: Howard Sykes
Sent: 14 August 2018 14:58
To: Cllr A Shah <>
Cc: Howard Sykes <>
Subject: Road surface repairs

Dear Councillor Shah,

I am writing to you to request that you review the current threshold applicable to the repair of road and footway surfaces in the Borough.

At present, the road surface has to be eroded by at least 40mm to become eligible for repair.

In my district of Shaw and Crompton, this has meant that many roads have remained unrepaired, presenting a constant hazard to drivers and cyclists, as erosion has not reached the threshold but the road surface has become pot-holed and dangerous.  By way of constant, the threshold for the repair of pavements is lower at 25mm.

I fully appreciate roads will still have to be prioritised and not all will be able to be repaired with the resources the council has.  Many roads have a top course that is less than 40mm so it can be totally warn away and down to the cobbles in some cases.  This cannot be fair or right.

I would like you to undertake a review of the road erosion threshold in this Borough to ensure that action is promptly triggered whenever any road surface becomes hazardous.

I look forward to your response with interest.

Best wishes.

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE

Pencil Brook Culvert Repairs – construction starts Sept 18 for 12 weeks – update

Update of News Letter issued in July 2018

Since the issue of the newsletter last month and the Drop-in session on the 25th July, we have carried out another CCTV inspection of the culvert running through the Valley Rise wooded area and into Lower Fields Rise.  This has revealed that since the last CCTV inspection in 2015, the culvert has significantly deteriorated in two sections within the wooded area.

We had hoped that the culvert could be repaired using a cured in place lining technique.  This involves inserting a resin impregnated sock it the pipe and curing it with ultraviolet light.  Unfortunately two sections of the pipe of over 100 metres in length are in such poor condition now that they cannot be repaired in this manner.  Indeed the condition of the pipe in the worst area is so bad that collapse could be imminent.  It will be necessary to dig down and replace sections of the pipe. The pipe is 6 metres deep and this is a difficult task which will require much heavier plant and equipment.  It will also be necessary to stockpile arisings to backfill the trench.

Earlier this year we visited site with Nik Anderson, the Oldham Council, Senior Arboricultural and Countryside Officer, who has responsibility for managing the woods.  We reviewed the tree removal and pruning works that would be necessary to complete our works.  At this stage we had assumed that some excavation to replace pipes would be necessary.  The extent of the pipe replacement will now be greater than originally envisaged and the plant and equipment needed for the work will be bigger and heavier.  We will revisit site with Nik Anderson to review the clearance work that is required, and the reinstatement and replanting that will be needed.

Due to the nature of the heavy plant required and the increased scope of work, for safety reasons it will necessary to close the wooded area to pedestrian access for the duration of our work.  We would expect that this would be for up to 12 weeks in duration.

We apologise for the inconvenience this work will cause and would assure you that we will reopen the woods as quickly as possible. It is vital that this works takes place quickly as the consequence could be collapse of the pipe which would result in serious local flooding. For your information photographs of the pipe condition from the CCTV survey have been included on the rear of this newsletter.

•           Commence construction works early September 2018
•           Complete construction works in woods November 2018


Oldham Countryside Volunteer Rangers – Crompton Moor Sunday 19 August

As there is no event on the last Sunday this month, we are introducing an interim event this coming Sunday, the 19th which I hope you can attend, carrying out fence repairs on the moor.

The current weather forecast is a light rain and a gentle breeze, likely high / low of 20º/13º and breezy at 8/9 mph so bring the sun cream and ensure you have your favourite hot & or cold liquids, the appropriate clothing, footwear and a packed lunch if you are up for the day.

Meantime, if you have any issues that you may wish to discuss prior to Sunday, please do not hesitate to email (on either address) or text / phone me on 07961107860.

Please could you let me know if you intend to join us on the day, so that I can make the appropriate plan of work, and to ensure the correct material and or tools are available on the day.

I look forward to seeing you in the Crompton Moor Car Park ~ 10.30 on Sunday. Thank you.

Edward John Fulton (aka Ed / Eddie), Countryside Volunteer Ranger, (Mob) 07961 107860 [Calls may be recorded], (Text) 07961 107860, (Fax)  01706 661813, (E) , (E)


For up to 5 days 9:30am – 3:30pm

This is for the gas main connection (Royton and Crompton School).

Roads affected: Shaw Road (Royton) from its junction with Spring Vale Way for 30m SW.

The Closure was previously planned for the week beginning 13 August.  The excavation will be plated over and the road will be open to traffic other than between 9.30 am – 3.30 pm on the days the notice is in force.

For further information please contact Patricia Kitchen (Future Unity Solutions) on 01924 918 915

Issues with tractors and trailers and other vehicles

I am regularly contacted about the above so have drawn together the following information below so residents can report matters direct to the appropriate agency.

It is only via such reports these matters get any priority attention.  I would encourage all with concerns to do so.


If vehicles are causing an obstruction, residents should report times and number plates to the Police.  This can be done online, through 101 number, online live chat or via Crimestoppers.

  • 101 Number
  • CrimeStoppers: Tel: 0800 555111
  • GMP Live Chat: and select the live chat link at the bottom of the page.

Land fill, waste importation, state of the land

Environmental Agency: Concerns over land fill, waste importation, state of the land.  Residents to report as much information as possible.  Witness statements, photographs etc. Tel: 0800 807060

Tractor or trailer issues

DVSA: Tractor or trailer issues, operator’s license, vehicle registration numbers.  Tel: 0300 123 9000

DVSA, North West Region, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, Broadgate, Broadway, Chadderton, Oldham, OL9 9XA

Free summer activities in Shaw and Crompton

Young people are a top priority for the District Executives and your local Councillors have committed funding to ensure that children and young people in the area are kept busy over the summer months. We work closely with youth service providers all year, Full Circle, Youth Detached Team and Mahdlo, and are committed to improving services to improve the well-being of our young people wherever we can.

This year, your Shaw and Crompton Councillors have funded weekly youth sessions in High Crompton Park and school holiday activities at both George St playing fields and High Crompton Park, and over the summer holidays, there will be a weekly session in both Dunwood Park and High Crompton Park.

We hope families in the local area will come along and take part and also take time to enjoy our beautiful parks.