Author Archives: Fateha Khanom

Special meeting to select new Oldham Council Leader

Oldham Council is to hold a special meeting of Full Council to consider the appointment of the next Council Leader.

Jim McMahon officially stepped down from the post on January 15 , having held it since May 2011.

The Labour Group has since selected Councillor Jean Stretton, as their new leader.

An ‘extraordinary’ meeting of Full Council will then take place on Wednesday, January 27 at 6.30pm asking members to consider nominations for Council Leader. The Leader can then appoint a Deputy Leader.

As this is a special meeting there will be no ‘Open Council’ session enabling residents to submit questions on this occasion.

Members of the public can attend to observe proceedings in the Council Chamber and there is no need to book or signal your intention to attend beforehand.

The meeting will also be streamed live on our website at

Oldham Council awarded funding to tackle domestic violence

Oldham Council has today been given a share of a £3.5 million government grant to make sure that victims of domestic abuse get access to the support they need.

The £70,000 funding will be used to increase security at 25 properties in the borough which provide safe and secure temporary accommodation for the victims of domestic violence and their families.

Therapeutic play sessions will also be organised for children who have witnessed family members being abused.

Councillor Barbra Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said: “Tackling domestic violence and abuse is a priority for the council and our partners. It has a devastating effect on the victim but also impacts on the whole family.

“Children and young people who witness it can be emotionally and psychologically scarred for life. Research has shown those who are exposed to violence can suffer low self-esteem, become low achievers and even go on to become offenders themselves.

“In Oldham we are doing as much as possible to protect victims and families and this funding will help.”

Oldham Care and Support Christmas ring round 2015

Oldham Care and Support is set to ring up thousands of their helpline and response customers, many of which are vulnerable and elderly residents, to check they’re safe and sound.

The annual ring round started today (Monday, December 21) and continues until Christmas Day.

It will see various teams from Oldham Care and Support calling vulnerable and older people who may not receive any other services or support.

This year the Oldham Care and Support teams were joined by Oldham councillors and council staff who were giving their time to help ring round as part of the co-operative council approach.

Callers are speaking to residents to make sure they’re prepared for the festive period – for instance checking that their heating is working and that they have enough food and medicine.

It’s also a chance to reassure residents that they’re not alone over Christmas, and that the Helpline and Response line will remain open for 24 hours a day in case of emergencies.

Councillor Jenny Harrison, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Safeguarding, said: “This time of year can be really tough for elderly people, who may not be able to leave their home as it gets darker earlier or when it’s icy and cold.

“Also feeling lonely can be a huge risk to people’s wellbeing.

“The ring round is a great way to make sure that residents with limited mobility don’t feel abandoned. A simple phone call can make all the difference to make sure they’ve got enough to eat or that their home is warm enough.”

Lifelong Learning Service is outstanding – once again

Oldham Council’s Lifelong Learning Service has been officially rated ‘outstanding’ across the board – for the second time.

Ofsted awarded top marks, meaning the service has maintained the excellent levels it attained from its last inspection in 2009.

The service offers a diverse range of part-time courses for adults, helping learners to develop confidence, creativity, knowledge and skills and achieve qualifications which improve their employment prospects in the local job market.
The staff deliver courses across local venues, including Lifelong Learning Centres, schools, children’s centres, libraries and other community facilities.

Ofsted’s report highlighted the achievements of learners, with success rates being much higher than the national average.

They also praised the development of employability skills and the overall provision, including the creation of an environment where learners feel welcome, safe and valued.

Inspectors also noted the quality of provision, outstanding engagement with disadvantaged learners and the strength of leadership, management and governance.

Councillor Shoab Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “This report is a great endorsement of our Lifelong Learning Service.”

Enjoy Victorian Steampunk Saturday

Christmas shoppers will take a step back in time at Oldham Town Centre’s free Victorian Steampunk Saturday (December 19).

Christmas shoppers will take a step back in time at Oldham Town Centre’s free Victorian Steampunk Saturday (December 19).

All you have to do is roll-up, roll-up to enjoy side shows and magical street entertainment from 11am until 4pm.

Why not take a break from bagging last minute gifts and hop on board the beautiful pedal-powered flight of festive fancy that is The Flycycle Delivery Service?

Watch in wonder at the beautiful and the bizarre at The Palace of Curiosities, take part in Victorian circus workshops and be amazed at Festive Foxley, the merry magician on wheels.

Albot and The Gaslights will be there with their unique blend of music and comedy.

And remember to keep your wits about you as Dickens’ characters Fagin and Dodge will be there too getting into all kinds of trouble.

Plus free children’s face painting and Christmas storytelling takes place in Tommyfield Market Hall, which is also open now every day until Christmas Eve.

Historic and mysterious crest returned to former splendour

Conservation work has returned an historic and enigmatic Chadderton shield – which was discovered after years hidden away – to its former splendour.

Refurbishment workers at Chadderton Town Hall stumbled upon the broken and damaged crest under the building’s stage area – uncovering a mysterious piece (or pieces) of Chadderton’s history.

The shield contains the unofficial insignia used in the early days of the Chadderton District Urban Council* and before the current one which was constituted in 1955 as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Mystery not only shrouds why the shield was stored away in this location for many years – but even its origins.

In the 1950s doubts had been cast on its authenticity and experts commented that the design was one that the College of Heralds (often known as the College of Arms) would not have suggested.

The crest was taken to Gallery Oldham and has since been restored to its original grandeur by Heritage Project Management, on behalf of Chadderton District Executive

It is now out of the dark for all eyes to see and enjoy at Chadderton Town Hall.

Councillor Graham Shuttleworth, Chair of Chadderton District Executive, said: “This crest is a piece of Chadderton’s heritage, culture and identity. It is wonderful to see it restored to its former glory.”

Oldham Council saddened by death of Michael Meacher MP

Oldham Council is saddened to learn of the death of Michael Meacher – an Honorary Freeman of the Borough and MP for Oldham West and Royton.

Mr Meacher, a Labour MP and former minister, has died after a short illness.

The 75-year-old had been an MP since 1970 and retained his seat with a 14,738 majority at May’s general election.

In April 2013 he was awarded the title of Honorary Freeman of the Borough at Full Council in recognition of his outstanding service and dedication to the local community.

Mr Meacher served as an environment minister during Tony Blair’s first administration from 1997 and later spent time as shadow transport secretary and in other front bench roles.

Along with Sir Gerald Kaufman, Kenneth Clarke and Dennis Skinner he was the longest-serving MP in the House of Commons.

Mr Meacher was married to Lucianne and has four children and nine grandchildren.