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Let no primary school child go hungry, say Liberal Democrats

Healthy school meal

The Leader of the Opposition and of the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has contrasted the recent attempt by the Conservative Government to curtail the entitlement to free school meals from children from the country’s poorest families to his own party’s policy.

Councillor Sykes said: “The Conservatives seem to be on their own in wanting to change the rules to prevent children from households receiving Universal Credit from getting a free hot meal at school every day.  This would hit Oldham especially hard as Oldham Borough has the single greatest number of Universal Credit recipients in the UK.  Many of these will be parents with children and, as I highlighted in a question to the Council leader at our last full Council meeting (28 March), Oldham features at the top of national figures for child poverty and food poverty.”

He added:  “The Conservatives mean spiritedness is in marked contrast to the generosity of the Liberal Democrats.  It is our policy to provide free school meals to every child in every state primary school, whatever their age or their family’s financial circumstances.  This will remove the stigma that is sometimes wrongly attached to claiming a free school meal and it will mean that no child will attend classes hungry, so they will be able to focus on their studies and not on their stomach.  This will help to tackle Oldham massive under performance in education.”

Request for bus shelters on Eastway, Shaw – refused

Request for passenger shelters on Eastway, Shaw

Further to your request for passenger shelters at the existing bus stops on Eastway, Shaw, stop reference ED1791 & ED1453.

Firstly, may I apologise for the lengthy delay in responding, as this was an oversight on my behalf.

When considering whether a site is suitable for a shelter we need to ensure that the footway width is wide enough to accommodate a shelter and also maintain enough room for pedestrians, the minimum recommended footway width is 2.2m.  The footway width at ED1453 which is located outside Asda is 1.77m wide, therefore, the footway is not wide enough to accommodate a shelter.

With regards to the stop sited at the gable end of property number 2/2a Eastway opposite Asda, ED1791, this stop was installed due to Market Street being closed one day a week, Thursday, to accommodate Shaw Market.

Since the installation of the stop TfGM have received a number of requests from the resident of 2a Eastway for the stop to be relocated due to lack of privacy, noise and vibration and passengers blocking access to the shop whilst waiting for the bus.

I have visited the site with representatives from Unity Partnership and GM Police and we are unable to find an alternative location for the stop.  With regards to the shelter request, due to the presence of a vehicular access/garage adjacent the stop this would result in the passenger shelter having to be positioned at the kerb edge in front of the shop window/doorway.  It was concluded that the shelter and waiting passengers would obstruct sight lines for motorists egressing from the adjacent service road and that the proposed shelter would undoubtedly receive objections from the resident, therefore, the site was deemed unsuitable for a shelter.

I trust the above information is sufficient, but please let me know if you require any further information.

Clair Leeming, Route Development Officer, Transport for Greater Manchester

Liberal Democrats back real help for the homeless

The Oldham Liberal Democrats are backing real help for the homeless and those applicants who remain stuck on housing waiting lists.

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group and Leader of the Opposition on Oldham Council, has recently discussed the matter at the party’s spring conference in Southport where housing policy was debated.

Commenting, he said:  “I am pleased to report that Liberal Democrat councillors successfully tabled a motion that was accepted by conference as party policy allowing Councils to be able to scrap the ‘right to buy’ and the housing borrowing cap.”

Councillor Sykes added: “Scrapping the automatic ‘right to buy’ will mean that no more council and housing association properties will be sold.  Scrapping the housing borrowing cap will mean that Councils can borrow more to build a greater number of homes for rent, replacing some of those sold under ‘right to buy’.”

He concluded:  “The adoption of this conference resolution demonstrates once again that the Liberal Democrats have practical, achievable policies on housing that will help ensure everyone has an affordable place to live that they can call home.”

Crompton Moor – OCS Volunteer Ranger Event Sunday 10:30am 29 April 2018

Here it is again, and our planned task if you can spare your valuable time for this Sunday, 29 April 2018, is to carry on with arboriculture task in Great Meadow; we have three bowsaws, one wood saw and three loppers, so pending the numbers that take part it may prove to be handy on a just in case basis to bring what tools you have available.

The current weather forecast doesn’t look too bad at the moment but cool, being ‘light cloud and breezy’, likely high / low of 10º/5º and breezy at 11mph so please ensure you wrap up well, have your favourite hot liquids, the appropriate clothing, footwear and a packed lunch if you are up for the day; however, being in the Great Meadow forest should help.

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.

I look forward to seeing you in the Crompton Moor Car Park ~ 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 661813, (E) , (E)

Why vote Liberal Democrat in the Oldham Council elections on May 3?

Council finance has been hammered by Conservative Government cuts.  Some local services are now in real danger of collapse.  The eight Liberal Democrat Councillors have spoken out against the cuts; the Conservatives and UKIP stayed silent.

We are the only opposition to Labour’s 44 councillors (out of 60), challenging decisions that hurt our Borough’s residents, and proposing practical solutions instead.  UKIP and the Conservatives say nothing, do nothing and often vote with Labour.

We want Oldham Council to get the basics right – clean streets; potholes filled; and an end to fly-tipping and crime.

We declared ‘war’ on Civic Centre waste to free up over £650,000 for highways improvements, youth services, tackling fly tipping, and public safety measures to help make our streets cleaner and safer.  Labour voted against our proposals, UKIP and the Conservatives did not even bother to turn up to the meeting!

The Liberal Democrats put people and communities first.  Voting Liberal Democrat means opposing Labour’s land grab of our irreplaceable green belt, supporting sound finance and reliable public services, and electing councillors who will deliver the services you expect whilst squeezing much better value from your Council Tax.

It also means you will elect a local councillor who will always be on your side!

Polls are open 7:00am – 10:00pm on Thursday 3 May – you DO NOT need your poll card in order to vote.

Liberal Democrats welcome benefits U-turn by callous Conservative Government

The Oldham Liberal Democrats have welcomed the recent Conservative Government U-turn on the payment of Universal Credit and housing benefit to those under 25. These benefits will now be restored to these young people.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE said:

“Although this eventual change of heart amongst Conservative ministers is to be welcomed, we must not forget that for many months young people were left in poverty without a roof over their heads.  Some will have become destitute and homeless as a result of their original decision.”

“In contrast to the callous Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats believe that young people are our future – they should not be marginalised and demonised in this way, but supported to make a successful transition into adulthood and independent living.”