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Countryside Volunteer Rangers Crompton Moor – Sunday 22 September

Owing to holiday commitments, this month’s task is being held this Sunday, 22 September 2019; the task is to cut back the overgrowth on our previous completed drainage on the access road, strimmer being made available by the Countryside Service.

Unfortunately, the current weather forecast for Sunday is light rain and a gentle breeze, likely temperatures of 17º/19º and 9 mph winds; hot & cold liquids, appropriate  clothing & footwear and a packed lunch if you are up for the day appear to be order of the day, as it is intended that we will be on the lower part of the moor.

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.

For those of you that have not already done so, please could you let me know if you intend to join us.  

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

Kindest Regards – Edward John Fulton (aka Ed / Eddie). Countryside Volunteer Ranger, (Mob) 07961 107860 [Calls may be recorded], (Text) 07961 107860, (Fax)  01706 61813 (E) , (E)

My two allowed questions at tonight’s Oldham Council meeting – 11 September 2019 – OAP Tram Charge, and when will Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Proposals be available and be debated

Q1 Leaders Question – OAP Tram Charge

Madame Mayor, I want to bring to your attention the rather unpleasant and underhand news that the Greater Manchester Combined Authority are planning to tax the elderly residents of this Borough before they can even board a tram.

Pensioners who currently enjoy free travel on public transport across Greater Manchester are being forced to pay an annual fee if they want to travel from A to B on Metrolink.

The new Charge will be £10, whereas before it was free!

This new tax will be live as early as January 2020.

I hope we plan to communicate this to our elderly residents in the Borough? 

We must also think about if this new strategy should be means tested and not rolled out to everyone regardless of their own personal circumstances.

The national law states free travel for the over sixty fives on buses, but from next year any pensioner wanting to claim free travel on the Greater Manchester Train and Metrolink Tram network will be forced to pay an annual administration charge.

This £10 charge is simply a hidden Labour stealth tax our elderly. 

OAPs now must pay for TV licences and struggle with heating and other bills in winter.

Information freely available on the NHS website says hundreds of thousands of elderly people are cut off from society and suffer from loneliness.

This applies especially the over 75s as over one million of these older people live alone.

This begs the sad question, why did the Labour party at the last full council meeting in July say they want to maintain free TV licences for the over 65s but now plan to charge pensioners for claiming their rightly entitled free travel?

Please explain this to me because I know a lot of people will be just as puzzled as I am.

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE

Q2 Leaders Question – Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Proposals

Madame Mayor, it is widely known, that the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), will build on large chunks of Oldham Borough’s untouched and finite Greenbelt and green spaces including our valuable Protected Open Space.  

This is a persisting issue in the Borough and there have been mass demonstrations and organised protests against these proposals.

This wide-ranging plan will decide the future of the Borough for generations.  

I have yet to hear which Oldham Council meeting will discuss the proposals detailed in the framework and for the Council to discuss and agree the terms laid out in the strategy.

Given the importance of this subject, it would be wise, in the Liberal Democrats opinion, that Oldham Borough have a special one item agenda Council meeting about the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

Can the Leader confirm when the much promised GMSF proposal will see the light of day?

Can the Leader confirm that Oldham Council will hold a special one item agenda Council meeting to discuss, agree and comment on published GMSF proposals?

And that there will be consultation on when that meeting might be held and a significantly long notice of when it will be held?

If there is no special meeting planned, which ordinary meeting of Council, will this important matter will be shoe horned into?

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE

Liberal Democrat heads shake at Greater Manchester Labour charging OAPs £10 to ride on public transport

Liberal Democrat Councillor Howard Sykes MBE has criticised Labour bosses in Manchester for their hypocrisy.  Pensioners who currently enjoy free travel on public transport across Greater Manchester are being forced to pay an annual fee if they want to travel from A to B.  The new Charge will be £10, whereas before it was free.  This tax will be live possibly as early as January 2020.

Councillor Sykes MBE commented:  “Pensioners currently enjoy free train, tram and bus travel weekdays, on weekends and public holidays.  This is a great way to enable older people access to the full network free of financial burden.” 

“This £10 charge is simply a Labour shakedown to stealth tax our elderly.  OAPs now have to pay for TV licences and struggle with heating bills in winter, this is unfair and misguided policy.”

The Labour led Greater Manchester Combined Authority wants to introduce the £10 annual charge from 2020 to make all its concessionary travel schemes more consistent.  GMCA currently charge a £10 administration fee for other concessionary schemes, such as the recent so called free pass for travel for 16-18 year olds.