Author Archives: Fateha Khanom

Oldham residents asked to help shape health and social care budget

Oldham residents are being asked to share their struggles and successes in making healthy lifestyle choices as the GM region prepares to take responsibility for a £6bn health and social care budget.

The results of the Taking Charge Together campaign – launched today (Monday 15 February) – will help shape health and social care plans across Greater Manchester for the next five years.

People can join in the conversation about everything from exercise to mental health by going to and filling in a quick survey or by attending a community roadshow event being hosted Oldham on March 7 by Key 103.

The feedback will be used to help Health and Social Care bosses tackle some of the worst health outcomes in the country by:
•revealing insight into what the people of Greater Manchester believe blocks or enables healthy choices;
•helping health and care officials to design services that can deliver the greatest and fastest improvement in the region’s health and wellbeing;
•identifying great work in the region that can be celebrated and developed at scale across the region.

Oldham libraries become greater with access to millions more books for members

Oldham library users are now able to borrow books from other libraries across the region.

The borough and six other Greater Manchester councils’ libraries networks will operate a shared online catalogue system – giving access to 2.8 million books and other items held within the participating library services.

People in Oldham can now search for books in any of the participating councils’ collections, reserving items using their existing library card.

Manchester, Bolton, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Trafford and Oldham councils are all included in the shared Library Management System (LMS) scheme, as are Blackburn with Darwen Council – with Tameside joining later this year.

The Library Management System will make it easier for customers to find information and books, creating a single library catalogue for all the different areas.

Oldham Council Libraries cardholders will be able to access stock belonging to other participating library services*.

For more information about how the service works, visit:

Oldham College First in UK with New Social Media Initiative

Greater Manchester vocational education provider, Oldham College has launched a ground breaking service today in partnership with British company Miappi, to inform and engage students in a fresh and exciting way.

The new social media innovation, a social wall – Today at Oldham College, takes up the whole of the college’s web site homepage.

The social wall presents all the college’s social media activity in one place. The result is a constantly changing picture of what is happening in the vibrant learning community that is Oldham College. The information is drawn from the college’s social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. It includes pictures, video and stories featuring the work of students and staff, upcoming events and information about the college’s vocational education offer.

For further information, please click here:

New figures show Warm Homes Oldham is making a difference

Warm Homes Oldham is continuing to improve the lives and health of thousands of people across the borough, new government figures show.

In the last three years the borough has fitted the second highest number of home improvements and new energy saving measures, such as boilers, loft insulation and cladding, in the country.

The figures, from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, show that 170 households out of every 1,000 in Oldham have benefitted from an ECO grant to improve their homes.

With a total of 15,416 installations being completed this is the highest total in Greater Manchester.

Council deal looks to bring global brand to the borough

Oldham Council has agreed a deal that could bring an Audi dealership to the borough – representing an investment in the region of £8M and the creation of more than 80 jobs.

For further information please follow the following link:

Shopkeeper sentenced for underage alcohol sale

Oldham Council has successfully prosecuted a Chadderton shopkeeper who sold alcohol to children.

On January 27 Ibrar Razaq owner of Razaq News, on Victoria Street pleaded guilty to the offence at Oldham Magistrates’ Court following a test purchase.

The 34-year-old was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,883.

The prosecution follows a successful application by Trading Standards to review the shop’s alcohol licence.

Oldham Council Leader pledges: “The work goes on”

Oldham Council has confirmed the appointment of Jean Stretton as the local authority’s first ever female leader.

The Hollinwood councillor’s selection was approved at an ‘extraordinary’ meeting of Full Council tonight (January 27).

Cllr Stretton had been provisionally selected for the role by the ruling Labour group earlier this month.

She replaces Jim McMahon who is stepping aside to focus on his duties as the new MP for Oldham West and Royton following a parliamentary by-election in December.

Cllr Stretton, 57, had served as Deputy Leader to Cllr McMahon since June 2014.

She was raised on Alt Estate and educated at Alt Primary and Hathershaw Comprehensive schools. She has lived in Hollinwood since 1989 and was first elected as a ward councillor for the area in 2003.

She has held several Cabinet Member posts covering a wide range of areas that include housing, co-operatives and neighbourhoods, health and wellbeing, town centres, culture and tourism. She will now assume responsibility for regeneration, taking over this crucial brief from Councillor McMahon.

In 2013, Cllr Stretton was named ‘Community Champion of the Year’ at the C’llr Achievement Awards organised by the LGiU for what judges called her “inspiring work to help her community in Oldham recover following a gas explosion” in Shaw.

Married to John, she has two step-children, five grandchildren and a great granddaughter but describes herself as “a very, very young great granny”.

Amongst her other commitments. Jean is also chair of Oldham Credit Union, serves on the governing bodies of Oasis Academy Oldham and Limehurst primary and has been on the Contour Estate Board since 2003. She is also a keen supporter of Oldham Foodbank.

Accepting the nominations, Jean Stretton praised the work of Jim McMahon’s administration and pledged that Oldham Council’s improvement journey would continue under her leadership – delivering a firm message that “the work goes on”.

She highlighted the regeneration projects underway – like the transformation of the Old Town Hall into a cinema and family entertainment venue – as symbolising “so much about how we are moving and getting our priorities right”.

Cllr Stretton also talked about the need to focus more on “social regeneration”,pledging to do whatever is needed to implement the recommendations of the recent Oldham Education and Skills Commission report, saying that “better life prospects and fair and sustainable employment will be key to our prospects and wellbeing”.

She added that being Oldham Council’s first female leader would not define her leadership and she would represent every district and deserving cause in the borough.

“I am an Oldhamer born and bred. I want what’s best for this town, for its people and for our young people growing up,” she said.

“I am not afraid of hard work and I’m not afraid of a challenge.

“I will represent every Oldhamer – regardless of gender, sexuality, religion, race, creed, class or background. And I will do it because we all share the same aspirations. From Chadderton to Royton, and Failsworth to Saddleworth, we all want this place to succeed.

“No problem is insurmountable. With courage, determination and teamwork – with all of us doing our bit – Oldham can overcome anything that is thrown at us.”

Cllr Stretton will start a Leader’s Blog online next week which will be updated every Wednesday and can be found via the Oldham Council website at

Councillor Abdul Jabbar’s appointment as Oldham Council’s new Deputy Leader was also confirmed tonight.

A Labour ward councillor who has represented Coldhurst for 21 years, he retains his portfolio as Cabinet Member for Finance and HR.

Under his stewardship, the local authority has established itself as a leader in public sector finance and became the quickest local government body to publish its accounts in half a century in 2015.

Cllr Jabbar has also led on the low carbon and energy saving agenda with invest-to-save schemes designed to reduce emissions and create savings for the local authority and communities through strong partnerships.

Cllr Jabbar said: “I am honoured that colleagues have put their trust in me to serve as Deputy Leader and am looking forward to getting started.”

“These are crucial times for the borough and I will be working very closely with Jean Stretton to continue the great work that began under Jim McMahon.”

Former leader Jim McMahon OBE retains his Oldham Council seat as one of three ward members for Failsworth East.

Sporting champions open Oldham’s new £15million leisure centre

World champion boxing hero Anthony Crolla, Manchester United legend Paul Scholes and former Leeds Rhinos and GB rugby star Barrie McDermott all received a rapturous reception at today’s (Saturday, January 23) celebration event – along with England handball and netball stars who carried out demonstrations with Oldham Community Leisure (OCL) members in the centre’s eight-court sports hall.

Newly-elected Oldham West and Royton MP, Jim McMahon, unveiled a plaque, officially opening the flagship centre – funded by Oldham Council and managed by OCL.

He was joined by council staff, local councillors, sporting governing bodies, OCL and construction industry representatives.

Funding boost helps elderly residents become computer savvy

Research shows more than one million people living in the UK feel lonely, out of touch and cut off from society.

In an attempt to get more older people engaged in new technology and prevent digital exclusion, Chadderton District Executive has provided funding to Age UK Oldham to carry out computer classes in the area.

For further information, please follow this link: