From / Date

To

Question

Response

Paul Turner 

 

By email 

 

 

Cllr Fielding

If the nine unelected Shaw and Crompton Parish councillors don’t find and co-opt 5 more people into the empty council seats in the allotted 35 days. Will OMBC dissolve the Parish council and call new elections for it?

The Council have been informed by Shaw and Crompton Parish Council  that the co-option process has been completed and there are no current vacancies.

Gerald Brierley

By email

 

Cllr Ur-Rehman

If more councillors used bikes would something be done about the sunken and blocked grids and the accumulated litter which makes cycling around the town so dangerous and hazardous?

The Council has planned maintenance regimes in place for both mechanical sweeping of channels and gully emptying - if one is aware of any specific locations that are considered to be a danger to cyclists then please report these through the normal channels for a request for service.

All adopted highways in Oldham are inspected and maintained in accordance with nationally agreed standards of identifying and then repairing defects – these national standards do take account that cyclists are a normal part of traffic on the highway in addition to motorised vehicles.

Gary Leese

 

By email

 

 

Cllr Roberts

Why are you doing nothing about the shocking state of the properties on Rock Street Oldham OL1 3UH where First Choice Homes Oldham are doing nothing about the shocking state of the properties plus the 3 councillor's for this ward are never available to help people.

 

I am aware of these flats and made enquiries about the Council’s actions at the time the issues were publicised.  The Council has not received any complaints directly from any other residents apart from Gary Leese.

 

Mr Leese has been advised Gary on many occasions that the residents of the flats need to complain to us and we have provided contact details.  This is to ensure that, should residents want to complain regarding any issues, we can get a clear picture of the issues to be able to assess them properly and to be able to take any further action if necessary.  To be able to access each flat to carry out an assessment without the resident’s consent, the Council would need to serve a formal notice on each flat.  This would be very intrusive, particularly with regards to inspecting flats that we have not received any complaints from and where there are no reported issues.   In addition with regards to the issues and photographs that Mr Leese has provided us there was limited action that we would take and advice has been given.   We did contact FCHO with regards to the blocked rain water gutters.   Mr. Leese was advised that if he was unhappy with the Service from FCHO he can go through their Complaints procedure, which I understand he has done.  We were informed that this was with the Housing Ombudsman.

 

FCHO is regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing and is independent of the local authority.

 

When we receive a complaint in relation to Housing Associations, we ensure that the complainant has informed the Housing Association.  If the matter is something that we can deal with we would then contact the Housing Association to determine if they are aware, what they have done and what they propose to do and mediate between the Housing Association and tenant, as was the case in this instance. 

 

Robert Barnes

 

By email

 

 

Cllr Ur-Rehman

What measures is Oldham Council taking to tackle anti-social behaviour in the Borough's parks?

The majority of Oldham’s parks unlike other authorities are maintained throughout the day by static gardeners giving the public the reassurance that staff are on hand to deal with any anti-social issues that may arise, as well as being the first point of contact for visitors. During the evening and weekend First Response visit the parks on a mobile basis to ensure as far as possible acts of Anti-social behaviour are dealt with swiftly.

Oldham’s parks are some of the best that you will find across the country and when possible any damage/ vandalism that is identified when the gardener returns to work are dealt with immediately to avoid copycat incidents taking place. This ensures that our parks remain a welcome and positive experience for all visitors

Usama Bambar

By email

 

Cllr Roberts

Our new campaign to end homelessness by covering essential costs for people on the streets or at risk has just launched with the website www.realchangeoldham.co.uk. As someone who has recently been homeless and now living with Real Change Oldham partner De Paul, thank you for the support the Council has already shown. How else does Oldham Council think the Council and its members can help spread the word about this new way to give to people who are homeless or at risk in Oldham?  

Real Change Oldham is a new local partnership that aims to ensure no one stays or becomes homeless due to a lack of money for essential items that we might all take for granted. It will support some of our most vulnerable residents and give them practical support to cover essential costs needed to help end or prevent their homelessness and does this by combining donations from the local community to buy bigger things that make a longer-term difference to people’s lives.

 

Donations go directly toward practical items people need to build their lives away from the streets: things like ID to register with a landlord, bus fares to get to key appointments or money for the electric meter to settle into their new home.

 

There are lots of ways Oldham Council and its members can help in raising awareness of the Real Change Oldham campaign:

 

  • If people are worried about homelessness, then let them know this new way to give is available.
  • Everyone can share the campaign on their social media pages by going to the website and following the footer at the bottom of each page.
  • Introduce the Partnership to a business or community group you are in touch with who you think might want to get involved
  • If you have a newsletter, facebook page or public facing location, get an image or poster from the homelessness team and get it posted.
  • If you have a community event, conference or team activity, invite someone from the campaign along to talk about what they’re doing.
  • Hold a fundraising event like a bake sale or run so the campaign can raise funds to cover essential costs for people like Usama who asked this question.
  • Real Change Oldham is looking for volunteers with connections to entrepreneurs and businesses in the borough to get the word out about how they can contribute to ending homelessness in our area.
  • Become a Real Change Oldham Ambassador and use your networks and connections to inspire others in the business community.

 

By becoming involved in this partnership approach to ending and preventing homelessness together we can bring about Real Change in Oldham

 

Geoffrey Hargreaves

Via Facebook

 

Cllr Ur-Rehman

Yes why are you not enforcing the traffic free High Street. Taxis are accessing High Street via Lord Street turning left at the Barclays Bank. Only buses have legal access there. The signage is clearly visible and there is even a camera after the Nationwide Building Society?

It is recognised that there are some operational issues associated with the current arrangements; however,  alleviation of this activity relies on Police enforcement owing to the matter being a “Moving Traffic Offence” .

 

In light of this, a bid is currently being prepared for funding from the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Fund to remove traffic from the area by proposing to divert it from Lord Street along Rock Street towards St Mary’s Way as part of a proposed overall town centre traffic movement plan.

 

Ruth Bouzidi

By email

 

Cllr Roberts

I am at a loss to understand how plans have been approved for a Volkswagon Dealership on land to the rear of Burnley Lane when no residents on Fernhurst Street have been consulted, this development will seriously impact on our quality of life, it is totally unacceptable and I woild like some answers, as would my neighbours and landlord. The access for this development is at the side of our house from the by pass and the additional heavy traffic will be an added nuisance.

 

How can something this size be passed without consultation?

Planning permission was granted for a car showroom 6th June 2019 at this site after the application was heard and agreed at Planning Committee. The way vehicles should enter and leave the site was subject to lengthy discussions with the Council's Highway Engineer. The final recommendation was that there should be a single, in-bound direct access from Chadderton Way, retaining the exiting lay-by on this frontage, and a separate exit onto Farm Street, which then links onto Chadderton Way. Vehicles using the site therefore should not access via Fernhurst Street.

 

This application was advertised in the press, by site notice and via 43 notification letters which were sent to the occupiers of neighbouring residential properties in Burnley Lane, Fernhurst Street and Bronville Close. The application was therefore clearly consulted upon, in line with the Council’s Statement of Community involvement.

 

2 letters of objection were received on construction access, light, noise and overlooking impacts on resident’s amenity, loss of property value and loss of access from rear gardens onto the site. Whilst noting these views, Members concluded that none of these issues would sustain a reason for refusal or that the scheme was likely to create highways safety issues or affect the highways network severely. In these circumstances, they approved the scheme as they considered it was sustainable development.

 

Lesley Husband-Lambert

via Facebook

Cllr Roberts

Why are there more hmo or halfway houses opening in South Chadderton?

The Council does not commission half way houses. Any private landlord can apply for a HMO license and. as long as the license conditions are met, we must grant that license.

 

The Council has recently undertaken work with a private landlord in the South Chadderton area with regards to using a licensed HMO for the purposes of longer term temporary accommodation. As we all know, homelessness is increasing not only in our borough but across Greater Manchester and also at a national level. The Council have a statutory responsibility with regards to providing help, support and advice to those households that find themselves homeless or threatened with homelessness.

 

The accommodation in South Chadderton is for people who are homeless and whom the Council owes a statutory responsibility. This is not a half-way house.  The accommodation has been renovated by the landlord to a high standard to meet HMO licensing conditions. The accommodation has CCtv and is staffed 24 hours per day 7 days per week and provides support to the tenants. The tenants who are placed in the accommodation undergo an assessment by the Council prior to any placement. By entering into an agreement with this landlord, the Council are able to control who the tenants are.

 

As homelessness is on the increase – the Council has to increase the accommodation options available to meet demand ensuring compliance with statutory responsibilities.

 

Kay Faulkner

By email

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cllr Roberts

Given the process in which this decision was approved- the video is on you tube and this clearly shows a number of procedural irregularities, please can you let me know if an internal investigation is being held?

 

Why are Oldham Council destroying our greenbelt, open spaces by approving new large scale housing developments , when there is considerable brownfield sites available in the borough to build on?

 

How does Oldham council think that the Thornley brook development that was approved on 1st july and the proposed stonebreaks development will deliver benefits to the community?  This will create significant congestion on Lees Road- we are taking between 700-900 additional cars on the road?  Current commute time at 8am is 25 mins, how will the increased in traffic be managed?  There are no other roads with which to manage the additional traffic?

 

With all of these developments in Saddleworth- what is Oldham council doing to agree a way forward for Saddleworth School?  Clearly no joined up thinking is going on here!

 

 

I attended the meeting of the Planning Committee on the 1st July and I saw for myself the passionate concerns of local residents opposed to this application. Having heard the statements made by all concerned ( the Council officers, objectors, local members and the applicant) and the lengthy question time which followed, I think that all the planning issues relating to the applications were explored  at the meeting and that the decision taken by Members was made in the light of this.

I know that objectors take a very different view, however, the scheme at Knowls Lane is proposed to be built on a site that is already partially allocated in the Local Plan for residential use. It also delivers a long-required Link Road that will ease congestion in the area – supported by the traffic model that was commissioned by TfGM and independently assessed. The Link Road is again allocated in the Council’s Local Plan. The scheme also produces over 60 affordable housing units, increasing by 118% the amount of general needs affordable housing available in this ward, as well as delivering 265 homes in an area that has produced just 161 homes in the last decade. The proposed number of homes helps the Council meet its considerable housing needs which are presented in some detail in the housing needs assessment supporting the new strategy which is to be discussed later in this meeting.. Finally, the scheme gifts land to the adjacent school to allow them to expand or develop a new playing field. Combined with clear and considerable economic and social benefits new housing brings, the development overall brings a substantial benefit package to Oldham.

 

In relation to the second part of the question, I’m afraid in Oldham - and indeed across all 10 GM boroughs - that we do not have enough brownfield sites to meet the Boroughs employment and housing needs which means we have to look at allocating greenbelt sites to meet statutory targets. The Brownfield Register which lists all available sites in the borough is updated annually and at the last revision rose to nearly 12,000 homes including 2,000 in the town centre.

 

Finally, in relation to Saddleworth School, the Council is hopeful that, before the end of the month, that last of the four school applications will be outside of the Judicial Review period, meaning demolition of the existing buildings and construction of the new school can start very soon. It is worth noting that the building process is being managed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency not the council.

 

 

Mr D Mason

By email

 

Cllr Ur-Rehman

Could you please ask the council and the Oldham Highways department if they would look in to adding some Traffic Calming measures on Sholver Lane? Just one speed hump on the lane is all the residents of Sholver Lane require.  At the moment there is a speed indicator sign, however is has not worked for months and it has not seen any reduction is the speeds on the lane.

Owing to the low traffic speeds and the absence of a significant road traffic injury collision record there are currently no proposals to introduce any additional traffic calming measures along Sholver Lane. However, should the situation change then an appropriate scheme will be drawn up for consideration in a future year’s budget.

 

In recent months the Speed Indicator Sign has recorded average speeds of 25mph and below in both directions. The battery operated temporary portable electronic indicator sign is currently being recharged for further deployment in the coming weeks.eddie

Syed Maruf Ali,

Via Twitter

 

Cllr Mushtaq

Oldham Tax payers money was given to Blue Coat and Crompton House School for expansion, so that residents of Oldham can access good/outstanding School. Can the Cabinet members for education share with us what percentage of pupils/students from Blue Coat and Crompton House attends from out of borough? What percentage of Muslim pupils attends Blue Coat and Crompton House School?

  • These are the recorded residential wards for all pupils on the January Census for both Blue Coat and Crompton House. The figures do not include 6th form students.

 

  • Blue Coat:
  • Jan 18: 61.7% of pupils lived in Oldham, 38.3% lived out of Oldham.
  • Jan 19: 64.4% of pupils lived in Oldham, 35.6% lived out of Oldham.

 

  • Crompton House:
  • Jan 18: 75.2% of pupils lived in Oldham, 24.8% lived out of Oldham.
  • Jan 19: 74.3% of pupils lived in Oldham, 25.7% lived out of Oldham.

 

  • The LA 2019 census recorded the total population in Oldham secondaries as being 9% out of borough pupils.

 

  • The other school with a large out of borough population is The Coop Academy of Failsworth who had 25.1% of their population being registered as out of borough at the January 2019 Census.

 

  • The expansion at Crompton House has not yet impacted on pupil levels as it has not been opened.

 

  • The LA currently have the percentage of pupils due to join Crompton House in the expanded year 7 cohort for 2019 as 76.7% Oldham residents. Crompton House offered places to pupils based on distance due to the expansion of the school. Local non-church attending pupils were able to apply and be allocated a placement there. Previous to the expansion this was not the case. The last place offered on offer day was to a pupil on distance who lived over 1.75 miles from school.

 

  • We predict the new intake for Blue Coat year 7 will be 57.9% Oldham residents.

 

  • We do not record the religious status of pupils and this is not part of the school census programme

 

Louise McCallum

By email

 

 

Cllr Shah

What steps, if any, are being taken to address the horrendous decline in the hathershaw area? We have a district team but issues that have been being flagged up for years are still happening and getting worse. For instance, fly tipping, Alton street and the horrendous anti social behaviour and crime on there and the general state of the street, the landlord licensing scheme is supposedly in force in this area but the street is full of bad tenants?

How is this whole area being allowed to spiral further into decline each year? The decent residents are being failed.

The District Team works with the relevant services and partners (Police, Youth Offending Service, Community Safety Services, and associated Environmental Services) to address the issues that local residents raise in any neighbourhood.  Where specific reports about crimes or incidents are provided by local residents they are investigated and appropriate action taken, based upon evidence.

 

In the Hathershaw area, and specifically around Alton Street, there is an ongoing piece of work to change peoples behaviours, which takes time and can be hindered as people move in and out of the area.

 

The aim of Selective Licensing is to ensure that private rented properties are safe to occupy and are being managed properly.  Selective Licensing enables the Council to ensure that landlords have proper management arrangements in place including providing bins at the start of the tenancy, informing the occupiers of how to dispose of waste, and also to take action if their tenants are not behaving appropriately.

 

Paul Risby.

 

By Twitter

 

 

Cllr Ur-Rehman

I own Prestige car Repairs on Stock Lane in Chadderton. I am next to a Learning centre. I am sick to death of the road being used as a drag strip as idiot drivers cut through from Stockfield Road to Peel Street. It is only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured or maybe worse. Is there any plans for traffic calming measures to be implemented, if not i have now brought this too your attention and would appreciate you too look into it before it is too late.

Although there have been no road traffic injury collisions recorded along Stock Lane in the last ten years, the Council is in the process of reviewing the Road Safety record in this and the surrounding area to address inappropriate speeds and  the frequency of accidents specifically at the Stockfield Road / Peel Street and the Garforth Street / Peel Street junctions.

 

As part of this investigation the Highway Safety team with liaise closely with the GM Police in the development of the subsequent proposals.

 

Adam Ward

via Twitter

 

Cllr Shah

Are you making any more funding available to outdoor charities and organisations like ours? If so, when will this happen and/or what measures are you implementing to make this happen? If your not making any more funds available then could you please say why?

As part of our social prescribing offer in Oldham - £60k of money is being made available to access via the Fast Grants for community groups with ideas that support improvement in health and wellbeing.  This was successfully done last year with over 60 groups accessing the funds to tackle a range of community challenges like;

  • Sewing machines for a BAME women’s support group
  • A newsletter for a COPD/asthma walking group
  • Basketball kits for a local children’s team

The refreshed fund will launch at the end of the month and groups (constituted or non-constituted groups can bid e.g. a group of residents who just have a good community idea)  can bid for £50-500.  The application form will reopen on the Oldham Cares website at the end of the month – a press release and social media will announce it.

 

Charities seeking funding can approach Action Together, who can both assist with an individual funding search and signpost to other local funding.

 

Tony Martin

 

By email

 

 

Cllr Roberts

In light of the voting fiasco for the Hodge Clough application, on Monday 1 July, should the decision be declared void on the grounds of unfairness and procedural impropriety?

We are aware that there are many lessons that the Council can learn from the Committee meeting in question – these are being reviewed and implemented with support from legal and constitutional services.

 

We understand and acknowledge the concerns from the community about this planning committee. Following legal advice, we can confirm that planning legislation was adhered to, procedures were followed, and constitutionally the committee was compliant.

 

In light of this, we cannot support the request to overturn the planning committee decision.

 

Paul Liley

 

By email

 

 

Cllr Roberts

At the recent planning meeting on July 1st 2019 it was chaired by a chairman who at one point gave up his role as chairman to another member of the committee to lead the procedure because he did not know what the correct procedure for planning application voting was . Why did he lead the vote for approval of the application by being the first person to raise his hand for approval of the application?

Surely the chairman should not influence others and should only have a final casting vote if required.

 

Any Member of Planning Committee can put forward a motion or second a proposal at Planning Committee - including the Chair or Vice-Chair of the meeting. No Council procedure prohibits a Chairperson from moving a motion. As such, a chairperson moving a motion is perfectly acceptable at this Council

Michael Scholes

 

By email

 

 

Cllr Roberts

Considering the absolute shambles that the OMBC Planning Meeting of 1 July 2019 descended into,  the ineptitude of the committee chair,  the unprofessionallism of some senior Council employees and the costly legal expenses that the hard pressed Council Tax payers of the Borough will be forced to bare in these financially stringent times for the inevitable legal proceedings that OMBC will have to defend,  (probably unsuccessfully) will the full council meeting declare all decisions made at the above planning meeting of 1 July 2019 to be null and void,  and furthermore for all planning applications heard at said meeting to be invited for re-submission at a future date?

 

Thank you for your question relating to various matters from the planning committee meeting on Monday 1 July 2019

 

We are aware that there are many lessons that the Council can learn from this Committee meeting – these are being reviewed and implemented with support from legal and constitutional services, especially with regards to those in attendance in the public gallery and the protocols for speakers. 

 

Members selected for planning committee are there to make difficult decisions on behalf of the borough.  This is not an easy role to take and there are many challenges to try and balance linked with community impact, land use, housing need and planning policy, all of which need due consideration to enable decisions to be made.   

 

The Acting Chair was undertaking a difficult role, in difficult circumstances, with difficult applications to consider.

 

The Head of Planning did his job in providing advice to the Committee about local, regional and national planning policy position and the associated impact any potential decision. 

 

We do understand and acknowledge the concerns from the community about this planning committee. Following legal advice, we can confirm that planning legislation was adhered to, procedures were followed, and constitutionally the committee was compliant.

 

In light of this, we cannot support the request to overturn the planning committee decisions and we cannot sanction that the planning applications be resubmitted for consideration once again. 

 

Steve Glennon

 

Via Facebook

 

Cllr Ur-Rehman

Why is bad parking allowed on Whitebank Road on football match days (when Oldham Rugby play we have no problems) but since Avros have taken over the club the car parking as become a nightmare at the top of Whitebank Road it’s only a matter of time before someone is injured.

In recent months, Keepmoat have been using an area of Council owned land at the junction of Stag Pasture Road and Whitebank Road as a site compound in connection with their ongoing residential development in the area.

 

Keepmoat are due to leave the compound in the coming weeks and following their departure, they will be asked to improve the former compound to be used as additional car parking that would be managed by AVRO as part of their stadium site.  This area would provide a minimum of 20 spaces and go some way to alleviate some of the parking issues caused by visitors to the adjoining stadium.

 

In the longer-term, an area of land running parallel to Whitebank Road will become available again to provide additional parking which, would take parking on the site up to 180 spaces which, should be more than enough to cope with regular stadium use.

 

The reason for the delay in this is because when the pitch improvement works were carried out in early 2017, the Council entered into an agreement with Japanese Knotweed Solutions to treat all the knotweed throughout the site, with spray treatment continuing up until 2021.  Therefore, after 2019, we will be 2 years to go until the end of the 5 year programme of treatment.

 

In terms of the immediate situation there are very few restrictions in terms of yellow lines in the area so the public are free to park sensibly and safely. Parking enforcement officers have responded to complaints about issues here but on visiting have found no vehicles in contravention.

 

Susan Cottam

 

Via Facebook

 

Cllr Roberts

Why are you killing greenbelt when it couldn’t be any more apparent that we all need it, particularly for our health & wellbeing & mental health?

In Oldham - and indeed across all 10 GM boroughs - we do not have enough brownfield sites to meet the Boroughs employment and housing needs, which means we have to look at allocating greenbelt sites to meet statutory targets. The Brownfield Register which lists all available sites in the borough is updated annually and at the last revision rose to nearly 12,000 homes including 2,000 in the town centre.