Liberal Democrat Leader Disappointed Bulky Bobs Free Service Still a Secret

The Leader of the Opposition and Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jean Stretton, to express his disappointment that the new Council website still fails to mention that Bulky Bobs provides a free collection service to many of the Borough’s most disadvantaged residents.

Councillor Sykes said: “Last year, I discovered in a report that went to the Council’s Cabinet a hidden provision in the contract between Bulky Bobs and Oldham Council in which the elderly, disabled and pregnant residents can still access one free bulky waste collection every year.

“That this provision existed was a surprise to me and a surprise also to the Leader of the Council when I asked her at the September 2017 meeting of the full Council to promote it.  Councillor Stretton kindly agreed to do so and I was disappointed to see that there is still no mention of the free service on the Council’s website despite it being recently revamped to improve its accessibility to residents.

“Many of our elderly, disabled and pregnant residents are struggling day to day on a low income and being faced with a charge to remove their bulky waste makes it harder for them to be able to act responsibility and dispose of their bulky items properly.  If no one eligible knows about this free service how can they take it up?  I have written again to the Leader asking her to ensure that officers take action to rectify this as a matter of urgency.”

Liberal Democrat Welcome Crackdown on ‘Van and Man’ Fly-tipping

The Leader of the Opposition and Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has welcomed a recent government announcement the new powers and guidance will be given to Councils to enable them to crack down further on fly-tipping.

As part of a consultation, the Government has announced plans to allow Councils to issue fixed penalty notices of up to £400 to householders who are found to have ‘failed to take all reasonable measures’ to ensure that anyone they employ to take away their household waste has a proper licence.  Local authorities will also be told not to charge householders who dispose of their DIY waste at municipal tips.

Councillor Sykes said:  “Fly-tipping is the bane of the lives of my constituents and an issue that features highly in the letters and emails of complaint I receive as a Councillor.  The same is true for my Liberal Democrat colleagues.  In the UK there are now over one million instances of fly-tipping every year.  It is a blight on people’s lives and a blight on our environment, and it costs local authorities big money to clear it up; money that could be better spent on elderly care and fixing roads.”

“Many instances of fly-tipping occur because inconsiderate householders try to dispose of their bulky items on the cheap by employing shadowy ‘van and man’ operators without the proper bona fides to do the job properly for them, said Councillor Sykes.  “These reckless and selfish individuals have no hesitation in disposing of the items alongside the public highway or in our Borough’s beauty spots, rather than paying the required fees to dispose of them at a public tip.”

“Householders need to be aware that if waste is illegally dumped by the cowboy operators they employ that there will be consequences.  Our enforcement officers rigorously investigate any instance of fly-tipping and if a connection is made to a householder they – as well as the operator – will also be prosecuted for their irresponsibility,” he added.  “The government’s proposal gives Councils more power to fine householders who fail to make any reasonable checks that the person they are employing to remove their waste has the necessary authorisation.”

“My advice to householders is to ask to see their licence before employing them.  You can also check the Waste Carriers, Brokers and Dealers register held by the Environment Agency online at https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/index , advised Councillor Sykes.  “If you are in any doubt, please do yourself and everyone else a favour and just don’t do it.”

408 bus service protected with minor routing changes

As people are aware this is a subsidised service that is important to many local residents.

This change will take effect from 28 January 2018.

The current contract for this service expires in January 2018 and has been reviewed to ensure the continued best use of TfGM funds and to ensure a service continues.

To ensure best value for money is achieved and to maintain an hourly service, the route of the Monday to Saturday day-time service will revert to that prior to September 2016, operating as a clockwise loop via Wren’s Nest, Buckstones and Shaw Metrolink Stop.

Although the bus will show Shaw, Wren’s Nest as the destination, the majority of passengers wishing to travel to Buckstones or Shaw Metrolink Stop will be able to remain on the bus at Wren’s Nest (there will be a 2 min layover), and continue on the return journey via Buckstones to reach their destination.

Passengers wishing to travel from Shaw Metrolink Stop or Buckstones towards Wren’s Nest will be able to use service 435 which continues to serve this section of route in both directions.

New rout map follow the link: Proposed service 408 route map

New timetable below:

The evening and Sunday journeys which continue from Oldham to Stalybridge will continue to follow the existing route.