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Reporting Team

Ruby Anstee – Editor
Stuart Littleford – Reporter
Allan Roach – Reporter
George Wilson – Reporter and IT

Past Articles

Proposed Beer Walk Sums Don’t Add Up

The 2011 Beer Walk.

Questions have been raised about the reason for cancelling next year’s Saddleworth Beer Walk. The walk, which helps to raise thousands of pounds for good charitable causes, has been axed because of lack of finance for policing and marshals.

Paul Steele, a Diggle resident put in a Freedom of Information request earlier this year, and found that this summer’s Beer Walk cost approximately £4,800 for policing.

However, the estimate given to the Saddleworth Round Table […]

Delph School Safety Zone Cost More Than £100,000

Denshaw Road outside Delph School.

The safety zone set up by Oldham Council outside Delph School ended up costing £104,238.

The figure was revealed to Delph parish councillor Ken Hulme under Freedom of Information laws.

Cllr Hulme, an Independent who has been a long-standing critic of the zone, described the sum as “staggering” and has called for an immediate investigation.

The zone features a variety of measures aimed at slowing down traffic on Denshaw Road, including vehicle-activated road signs, […]

Revealed: What The Expert Said About Churchill Fields

Saddleworth Runners juniors using the Churchill Fields track.

An expert brought in by Oldham Council to assess the state of Churchill Fields said the site was “clearly very difficult with many obstacles to overcome.”

Agronomist John Hacker of Professional Sportsturf Design inspected the area between Greenfield and Uppermill back in January, and his report has been released to Saddleworth News by Oldham Council under Freedom of Information laws.

Mr Hacker listed gas and water mains, sewers, and stones from […]

Crash On A635 Isle Of Skye Road

Two vehicles were involved in an accident on the A635 Isle of Skye Road on Wednesday afternoon.

Police were called to the incident between Greenfield and Holmfirth shortly after 4:30pm, and found a red Ford Mondeo and a Jeep Commander partly blocking the road after a collision.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said there were no reports of any injuries, but there was some debris spread around the carriageway. Officers from West Yorkshire Police assisted GMP at the scene.

The […]

Exclusive: How Much The Mayor Of Oldham Costs

The current Mayor of Oldham, Cllr David Jones, attending the recent Twestival event in Oldham.

The role of Mayor of Oldham has cost local taxpayers more than £800,000 over the past five years, Saddleworth News can reveal.

The job is traditionally carried out by a senior councillor. He or she acts as an ambassador for the borough at functions and events, and also presides over council meetings.

Between 2005 and 2010, a total of £812,123 was spent on the […]

Exclusive: Schools Axe Cost Council £278,000

Saddleworth School's current location in Uppermill.

The government’s decision to scale back its school-building programme cost Oldham Council more than a quarter of a million pounds, Saddleworth News can reveal.

The total amount of money spent by the council and lost forever was £278,777. That includes fees paid to designers, architects, builders and consultants.

The planned new Saddleworth School at Diggle was one of the projects which was shelved. No precise figures are available for how much of the […]

Councillor Welcomes A62’s Improved Safety Record

The junction of the A62, Doctor Lane and Platting Road in Scouthead.

A councillor who has long campaigned for better safety measures on the A62 Huddersfield Road has welcomed the reduction in accidents on it.

Cllr Derek Heffernan, who lives close to the road in Austerlands, said he was “delighted” at the improvement.

Last year, there were just three crashes in which someone was injured on the A62 in Saddleworth and Lees. That compares with an average of more […]

Exclusive: A62 Loses Its Reputation For Danger

The junction of the A62, Doctor Lane and Platting Road in Scouthead.

The Saddleworth road often described as one of the most dangerous in the country now has a much improved safety record.

Figures obtained by Saddleworth News show there were just three accidents last year on the A62 Huddersfield Road in Saddleworth and Lees. That compares with an average of more than seven per year between 2000 and 2009.

During 2010, the most serious incident on the A62 […]

Exclusive: Another Fall In Saddleworth Road Crashes

The aftermath of a crash in Delph last summer.

The number of accidents on the roads of Saddleworth and Lees fell once again during 2010, Saddleworth News can reveal.

Figures obtained under Freedom of Information laws show that there were 42 crashes in which someone was injured, down from 50 the previous year.

But the figure is now less than half what it was a decade ago. In 2000, there were 89 accidents across Saddleworth and Lees, and the […]

Oldham Says Website Saved From Axe

The Oldham Says website.

The controversial Oldham Says website is going to be allowed to continue, despite low visitor numbers. An Oldham Council panel made the decision after hearing evidence about it at a recent scrutiny meeting.

The publicly-funded website, which contains information about local crime and anti-social behaviour issues, was launched last year. In October, Saddleworth News used Freedom of Information laws to reveal the site was attracting fewer than ten visitors a day.

According to documents presented […]

Exclusive: Number Of Moorland Fires More Than Doubles

A fire burns on Rishworth Moor in April. (picture: Gary Richardson)

The number of fires on moorland in our area more than doubled last year, according to figures obtained by Saddleworth News.

There were 42 blazes on moorland and heathland in the borough of Oldham in 2010, compared with just 16 in 2009.

It was a similar picture across the whole of Greater Manchester, with 154 moorland fires last year, significantly higher than the 2009 tally of 68.

The […]

Council And Uni Defend Second Life Project

Our local council and university have defended their involvement in virtual online world Second Life. Both Oldham Council and University Campus Oldham said neither paid any money directly into the joint initative, which cost £10,000 and ended earlier this year.

As part of the scheme, a virtual ‘Second Oldham’ was created online and in 3D, in the hope it could be used to help promote the borough. In the words of developer Second Places, a “virtual space station” was constructed […]

Council Says It’s Ready For The Snow

A grit bin in Delph. There are another 601 of these around the borough of Oldham.

With snow likely to hit Saddleworth over the coming hours and days, Oldham Council has insisted it is “fully prepared” to deal with bad weather. Meanwhile, an investigation by Saddleworth News has revealed how our local councils have stepped up their efforts to prepare for winter following last year’s record cold snap.

Oldham Council has said it’s now got more than 7,000 tonnes […]

Exclusive: Just 10 Readers A Day For Official Oldham Website

A publicly-funded website aimed at residents in Saddleworth and Oldham is getting fewer than ten visitors a day, Saddleworth News can reveal. Oldham Says was launched earlier this year in an attempt to keep people better informed about crime and other local issues, but has proved to be a flop.

According to figures obtained by Saddleworth News under Freedom of Information laws, Oldham Says received just 2,548 unique visits in the six months to the end of September. With a […]