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Reporting Team

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

Past Articles

Saddleworth Councillor Becomes Mayor Of Oldham

Cllr Richard Knowles and his wife Valerie, in the official mayoral portrait. (picture: Oldham Council)

Cllr Richard Knowles is the new Mayor of Oldham. The former Liberal Democrat leader of the council, who lives in Greenfield and represents Saddleworth South, will serve in the role for the next 12 months.

He took over from Cllr David Jones at yesterday’s annual council meeting at the Civic Centre. Cllr Knowles has spent the past year as Deputy Mayor.

Cllr Knowles revealed […]

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 […]

Council Coalition Gets Budget Through

Cllr Len Quinn: voted with Labour

The Liberal Democrat/Conservative administration which runs Oldham Council had its budget for the coming financial year passed tonight, but only just. Deputy leader of the Tory group, Cllr Len Quinn, quit the party to vote with Labour, as the coalition’s majority was cut to just two.

Cllr Quinn, who represents Chadderton North and was once in the Labour Party, said he would now be sitting as an independent member of the council.

Up […]

Letter From Cllr Jack Hulme

Below is a letter to the editor sent by Cllr Jack Hulme. He’s the leader of the Conservative group on Oldham Council, and a member of the Liberal Democrat/Conservative administration which controls the council.

I’ve reproduced the letter in full. If you would like to respond to the points made in the letter, you can either leave a comment below this post, or send an e-mail by clicking on the Contact option at the top of this page. If you […]

Tories Call For Cut In Councillors’ Allowances

Kashif Ali, pictured during the general election campaign.

The Conservatives in Oldham East and Saddleworth have called for a sharp cut in the allowances given to each member of Oldham Council. The party’s local spokesman, Kashif Ali, said he’d like to see an “immediate” 20% reduction, and he’s also threatened to “name and shame” councillors who refuse such a cut.

Mr Ali, who finished a close third behind Phil Woolas and Elwyn Watkins in the Oldham East and Saddleworth […]

Council Leader Defends Taking The Plane

Cllr Howard Sykes

The leader of Oldham Council has defended his decision to fly to and from a meeting with Government ministers in Bournemouth earlier this month. Cllr Howard Sykes said taking the plane was cheaper and faster than the equivalent train journey.

Cllr Sykes was responding to a public question at last week’s full council meeting, put by Saddleworth Parish Councillor Ken Hulme. Cllr Hulme queried the decision to fly, recalling that previous Lib Dem council leader and […]

New Oldham Council Cabinet Revealed

Cllr John McCann has the Regeneration and Environment portfolio.

Two Saddleworth councillors have been included in Oldham Council’s new Cabinet, which was announced by council leader Howard Sykes today. Cllr John McCann takes on the Regeneration and Environment portfolio, while Cllr Brian Lord has been given the Corporate Services brief.

They’re among nine Liberal Democrat members of the new Cabinet. The leader of the Conservative group, Cllr Jack Hulme, joins them following […]

Lib Dems And Tories Agree Oldham Deal

The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives shake on it after agreeing a deal to run Oldham Council. Left to right: Cllr Lynne Thompson, Cllr Howard Sykes, Cllr Jack Hulme, Cllr Len Quinn. (picture: Liberal Democrats/Conservatives)

The Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have reached a deal to run Oldham Council for the next year. Councillors from both sides unanimously backed the agreement tonight, less than a week after their national parties formed a coalition government at Westminster.

The agreement was thrashed […]

Lib Dem/Tory Deal Moves Closer In Oldham

With Conservatives and Liberal Democrats now sharing power at Westminster, the two parties are moving closer to a deal in Oldham too. The Lib Dem leader of Oldham Council, Cllr Howard Sykes, said today that the “framework for an agreement has been established.”

Following last week’s elections, both the Lib Dems and Labour have 27 seats on the council with the Conservatives on five and one independent. Therefore, the Tories hold the balance of power.

Negotiations have been taking place […]