November 2017
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Officers from Greater Manchester Police have been presented with awards for their actions whilst on duty during a night of severe flooding in 2016.

The officers, from the forces Oldham District, were unanimously voted winners of the Government & Public Sector Journal’s ‘Above & Beyond’ Awards by an independent awards panel for their actions that night.

The flooding, in Saddleworth near Oldham, caused extensive damage to many homes and businesses in the area as well as major disruption transport and local services.

The GMP officers worked throughout the night helping residents with a major clean-up operation, sometimes using their bare hands as well as brushes and shovels to remove huge amounts of debris. The officers also assisted homeowners by moving their furniture and other personal items to safety.

The certificates were presented by Bryn Hughes, father of PC Nicola Hughes who was killed on duty in Manchester, and Chief Superintendent Neil Evans.

The award winners were Sgt 2282 Toby Knight, PC 15570 Liam Rasch (no longer with GMP), PC 15361 Blair Patterson, PC 1315 Jordan Heaton, PC 15355 Julian Maynard, PC 15574 Donna Youngjohns, PC 15677 Mark Foster, PCSO 66103 Lee Lockwood and PCSO 62643 Wayne Turley.

Speaking after the awards ceremony in Oldham on Wednesday 8 November, Chief Superintendent Neil Evans said: “Sometimes police officers come in for criticism for various reasons, but as seen here with the GPSJ awards today the work they do for the community is truly amazing.

“In this case the police officers and PCSOs have shown just how much they care and have definitely surpassed what was required of them on the night.

“It’s also good to see these types of awards that recognise these actions that are above and beyond duty, I congratulate all those involved.”

Bryn Hughes said: “I am proud to be giving these awards out today and I know Nicola would also be the first to commend these officers actions, such a well-deserved award.”

The GPSJ awards are judged on merit by an independent panel of journalists, broadcasters and politicians, the panel members are; Andy Carter, Cleland Thom, Debbie Abrahams MP, Donal MacIntyre, John Stapleton, Nigel Pivaro and Steve Nolan.

The presentation was made at the Odeon Cinema in The Old Town Hall, Parliament Square, Oldham.

Saddleworth and Lees Christmas Lights Switch-Ons 2017

Christmas Lights Switch-Ons 2017

Greenfield – Saturday 25 Nov 7.00pm
Springhead – Friday 1 Dec 6.00pm
Uppermill – Saturday 2 Dec 4.00pm
Lees – Saturday 2 Dec 4.30pm
Delph – Saturday 2 Dec 5.30pm
Grotton – Sunday 3 Dec 6.30pm
Diggle – Sunday 3 Dec 4.30pm
Denshaw – Sunday 3 Dec 6.00pm
Lydgate – Thursday 7 Dec 6.00pm

Remembrance Services Around the Borough

Photo: ©StuartColemanRemembrance Sunday services will be taking place at venues across the borough, held in conjunction with branches of the Royal British Legion.

Residents, uniformed services and representatives of all organisations are encouraged to attend the services and there will also be opportunities to place wreaths on the memorials.

Councillor Cath Ball, Deputy Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Cooperatives, with a special responsibility for remembrance services, said:

“Our residents have the deepest respect for those men and women who have given their lives for peace, security and freedom. I hope as many people as possible will take the time to reflect and attend a local service. Please also support the Royal British Legion’s annual campaign and wear a poppy with pride.”

The council’s website – – features an online ‘Roll of Honour’ containing the names of the many borough residents who lost their lives serving their country from the First World War onwards.

The Oldham Remembers website is being kept up-to-date with stories, names of soldiers who fought in the war and images of Oldham’s past. It aims to bring people from across the borough together online in remembrance and can be found at A toolkit, events guide and a resources page is available on the site so residents can research their own family histories.

Email if you have any information you would like to see on the website.

Oldham Remembers will be honouring Victoria Cross recipient Private Walter Mills VC on Monday 11 December with a Service of Dedication and unveiling of a Memorial Stone. The service will take place from 11am in Oldham Parish Church followed by the unveiling of the Memorial Stone in the church grounds.

Remembrance Sunday Services, in conjunction with Branches of the Royal British Legion, will be held as follows:


War Memorial, opposite Old Town Hall commencing at 10.50am.  A procession will assemble at New Radcliffe Street at 10.20am and proceed to the War Memorial at 10.30am. All ex-service and civilian organisations are invited to accompany the Mayor. Crosses may be placed in the field of remembrance adjoining the War Memorial.


War Memorial in the Old Town Hall Gardens, Middleton Road, commencing at 10.55am.  A procession will assemble at the Chadderton Reform Club, Middleton Road, Chadderton at 10.00am and proceed to the War Memorial at 10.30am.


War Memorial commencing at 10.55am.  A procession will assemble at the Royal British Legion Club, Newtown Street, Shaw, at 10.30am proceeding to the War Memorial at 10.40am.


War Memorial, Oldham Road, commencing at 10.55am.  The parade will assemble at the Failsworth Health Centre at 10.10am proceeding to the War Memorial at 10.30am prompt.


War Memorial commencing at 10.55am.  A procession will assemble in Thomas Street at 10.10am prior to proceeding to the War Memorial.


Royton Park commencing at 10.55am.  Uniformed services to assemble at rear of the Co-op, on the car park off Radcliffe Street at 10.30am prompt. March off at 10.40 am to the Memorial at Royton Park.  March past Royton Town Hall afterwards.


St Chad’s Memorial, Uppermill, on Monday 6 November 2017, commencing at 7.15pm and at the Pots and Pans Memorial on Sunday 12 November 2017 at 10.55am.

Commuters warned of two days of strike disruption

Commuter disruptionCommuters and travellers in Greater Manchester should allow more time for their journeys next week with bus and rail staff set to take industrial action.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has prepared travel advice ahead of the strike action which is planned for Monday 6 and Wednesday 8 November.

Areas and services set to be affected include:

  • On Monday: First Bus services operating from the Rusholme depot
  • On Monday and Wednesday: Arriva North West bus services in Bolton and Trafford
  • On Wednesday: Northern Rail (Arriva Rail North) services.

No Northern Rail services will run before 7am and after 7pm on Wednesday and there will be a reduced service between these times. The majority of Arriva North West bus services are also not expected to run. The First Bus strike is not expected to have a significant impact as it only affects a small number of services.

For more information about the industrial action please visit:

Alternative rail routes and roads and the Metrolink are expected to be busier on affected days as passengers change their journeys, particularly in the morning and evening peaks.

TfGM’s Events and Operational Co-ordination Manager, Ryan Carter, said: “We are taking action to reduce disruption to the transport network as best we can, but we know it will still be very busy.

“Our advice is to plan ahead now. Can you travel at a different time, or does your boss allow you to work from home? Can you get into work a different way – by bus, tram, bike or foot? It could not only get you from A to B faster but help other people who simply don’t have a choice.

“We will be working hard on the affected days to monitor the situation and will be doing everything we can to keep Greater Manchester moving including having as many Metrolink trams in service as possible.”

TfGM has taken action locally to help people who have to travel on the days of the strike, including;

  • Ensuring as many Metrolink trams as possible will be in service
  • Deploying additional staff on Metrolink and at key bus stations to help commuters
  • Publicising various park and ride sites to allow customers to complete their journeys by different transport options
  • Working with bus and other train operators to maximise capacity across the network, particularly on the busiest commuter corridors
  • Enhanced monitoring at its network control centre so traffic flows can be optimised by altering signal timing
  • Working with local highway authorities to temporarily suspend roadworks where possible on the region’s main commuter routes.

For information on public transport across Greater Manchester visit, call 0161 244 1000 (7am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-8pm at weekends and bank holidays) or follow @OfficialTfGM on Twitter.


Oldham Council have been snowed under with entries for their ‘Name a Gritter’ competition and now are ready to reveal the winners.

Recently they asked school children from across the borough to show ‘true grit’ and come up with fitting names for the seven new additions to their gritting fleet.

After a ‘snow’ start the number of entries snowballed by the day and they eventually ended up with dozens to choose from including Super Salty, Salty Gritty, Gritinho and Bear Gritter.

The ‘magnificent seven’s’ names – including a few famous ones – can now be revealed for the first time.

The winning names, along with the young people who came up with them, are: Winston Chur-chill (Evie and Alice Hobson); Brad Grit (Heidi Malinowski); Gritiana Grande (Eryn Middleton); Snowbee One Kenobi (Frederic Oldham); Nick Gritshaw (Sam Caunce); Leonardo de-ice-io (Nicole Delaney) and Basil Salty (Adam Saville).

The gritters have now been branded with the winning names on the front of the cabs and as soon as the cold weather starts residents will be able to look out for the vehicles as they travel around the borough spreading grit and salt.

They will now join Nicole Saltslinger – a favourite with residents and the ‘gritterarati’ – helping to keep Oldham’s roads free of ice and snow.

Councillor Fida Hussain, Cabinet Member for Environment Services, said: “We’d like to thank these seven youngsters for coming up with such great names.

“We’re delighted with how well the competition took off and it’s been really well received.  As in the past it was intended as a bit of fun and it has really captured the imagination of our young people – including every member of one school class entering.

“From our opening tweet and Facebook post more than 45,000 people engaged with us in one way or another.

“Here in Oldham we’re usually hit quite hard when the snow and ice begins but we have an excellent team who work tirelessly to keep the roads clear and the borough moving.

“Our gritters play a vital role in that so we can have a bit of fun running competitions like this whilst teaching young people about road safety.”

To keep residents fully informed of any developments the Oldham Council website – – will be updated continually and feature the latest news on school closures, gritting routes, locations of grit bins and grit sales.

The First Response service will use its Twitter account @oldhamalert to inform followers of school and road closures or incidents.

These will also be retweeted for residents using the Council¹s account @oldhamcouncil and updates will appear via the local media.


Plan ahead to avoid any unexpected travel spooks this weekend

Commuters are being advised to plan their journeys to avoid any scares ahead of a busy weekend of sporting and spooky events taking place as Greater Manchester celebrates Halloween.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has been working hard to help those travelling into the city centre and areas of Trafford to make their journeys as easy and as stress free as possible.

A travel advice page is available to help commuters with their travel plans.

As well as Manchester United hosting Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford, large crowds are expected for Halloweekend, taking place across the city. A Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest event takes place at the Etihad on Saturday and heavy metal legends Metallica play the Manchester Arena on Saturday evening.

The size and locations of the events mean that public transport and the road network in the region will be busier than normal.

There are also some changes to Metrolink services on both days, affecting the Bury, Rochdale and Manchester Airport lines.

There will also be no direct trains running from Manchester Piccadilly to Leeds over the course of the weekend due to Network Rail improvement works.

TfGM’s Transport and Event Planning Lead, John Fryer, said: “We want everyone coming in to the region for these events to have a fantastic time. We have the skills, expertise and experience to manage these large scale events and have a thorough and detailed plan.

“However, we are expecting large numbers of customers to travel and our advice is to plan ahead, think about your travel options and allow extra time for journeys.

“Whether you’re flying in on the Witch Way or travelling in the midnight hour, there’s nothing scary about travelling this weekend and our plans mean there’ll be no gremlins across the network.”

For information on public transport across Greater Manchester visit, call 0161 244 1000 (7am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-8pm at weekends and bank holidays) or follow @OfficialTfGM on Twitter.

New Sunday Bus service for Saddleworth

In September a new Sunday bus service was introduced to Saddleworth – the 355. This new service replaces the Sunday 353/354 service. The 354 bus only ran from Ashton to Uppermill on Sundays meaning that residents of Dobcross, Delph and Denshaw were not able to use that service on Sundays.

The 355 provides a direct link running from Denshaw through to Ashton. Running every two hours, the bus connects Denshaw, Dobcross and Delph. These villages previously had no Sunday service to Ashton and Denshaw had no Sunday service at all that connected with other parts of Saddleworth.

This service is part of the work Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) are doing following the Saddleworth Transport Survey carried out last year. Other projects are currently being worked on that may be introduced in the future.

The 355 is designed to provide a bus service and bus links that are not currently served, allowing direct journeys to people in Denshaw who otherwise would not have a direct bus to Ashton or any bus to Saddleworth.  Furthermore it provides another option to people wanting to go to and from Delph and Dobcross on Sundays.

The 353 and 354 are still running on Monday – Saturdays and the 355 provides a Sunday service that covers all the areas covered previously on Sundays as well as Denshaw.


Oldham Council’s ‘Big Bang’ bonfire celebrations are returning for the sixth year and the free event planned to be the biggest and best yet.

Oldham Edge will again host the family-friendly event which this time promises a ‘Feast of Fire’ to light up the skies, above Oldham, on Thursday, November 2.

This year’s firework display is organised by ‘Fantastic Fireworks’, double winners of the British Fireworks Championship. They will be taking centre stage with a pulse-racing, choreographed display.

Headlining the event is Flame Oz, the UK’s premier fire act which has performed in more than 40 countries. They will be performing a spectacular ‘glow show’ display followed by a high energy fire dance and juggling extravaganza.

New to this year’s Big Bang are Raijin Storm whose ancient Japanese guardians will be drumming up thundering rhythms to delight and entrance audiences of all ages in a dynamic and interactive display.

Elliot Eastwick, popular local breakfast show DJ from our event partners Revolution 96.2, will guide the crowds through proceedings.

The Oldham Edge site will open from 5pm, starting with a funfair and food stalls, with the main event at 6pm.

Oldham Council is continuing the tradition of giving one lucky child the chance to push the button and launch a fireworks display that will be visible from every corner of our borough from around 7pm.

Councillor Jean Stretton, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “This is the sixth year that we’ve held the Big Bang in Oldham and once again we’ve lined up another stunning array of entertainment. The event is absolutely free, fun and safe for families and we can’t think of a better way to mark Bonfire Night. Don’t just turn up for the fireworks though – you can get on site from 5pm onwards to enjoy the fairground and food stalls, plus an amazing stage show of fire and light.”

To enter your child in our free prize draw to start the firework display, simply visit The Big Bang webpage at

All town centre car parks owned by Oldham Council will be free of charge from 3pm on the day.

The event – the local authority’s largest annual celebration – aims to discourage smaller groups of people from holding unsupervised bonfires which can put extreme pressure on emergency services. Plans are shared with Greater Manchester Police and the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service to help maximise public safety.

Some items – especially alcohol, sparklers and fireworks – are not permitted on site and will be confiscated. Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Local weather will be closely monitored in the run-up to the event. If conditions are thought to pose any threat to public safety then some aspects could be cancelled.


It’s the end of an era in Oldham….After years of service keeping Oldham’s roads free of ice and snow gritters Freddie Salted; Grittersaurus; Goliath; Walter the Salter; Gritterbug; Gritney Spears; Gritanator and Thor have retired to the big depot in the sky.

In the course of their duties it is estimated that the incredible eight clocked up more than 1.2 million miles, more than five times the distance from the earth to the moon, keeping Oldham’s roads snow free. Roads cleared have including some of the highest in the region. In that time they have put down more than 20,000 tonnes of salt which is around the same weight as 5,000 Asian elephants.

Oldham are keeping the newest member of their fleet, Nicole Saltslinger, who is a favourite with residents and was named by children in a competition last year.

To ensure she doesn’t feel too alone the gritter will be joined this year by seven new gritters and Oldham Council are asking, once again, for young people to ‘prove their salt’ and come up with a name for each of them.

If you would like to take part in naming the gritters just visit and leave your suggestions along with your details. You can send in one name or as many as you want, Oldham is hoping for an avalanche of entries.

Once the winning entries have been chosen the gritters will be branded with their new names. Winners will be  invited to be photographed alongside the machine they have named.

The competition is open to all school age children aged 16 and under, who either live in Oldham or attend a school in the borough. The competition’s closing date for entries is noon on Sunday, October 22.

Councillor Fida Hussain, Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “Over the years our fleet of gritters have provided a great service to the people of Oldham. But due to wear and tear the time has come to replace them so they, and their drivers, can continue to play a vital role in helping to keep the borough moving during cold spells.

“Every time we’ve run a similar competition it has been well received by members of the public. Last year from a single tweet more than 70,000 people engaged with us in one way or another and some of the suggestions we had were fantastic. We even took the silly suggestions with a pinch of salt. Although this has all been a bit of fun it has also helped teach our young people about road safety and how we keep our roads safe in cold weather.”

To keep residents fully informed of any developments on Oldham’s roads, the Oldham Council website – will be updated continually and feature the latest news on school closures, gritting routes, locations of grit bins and grit sales.

The First Response service will use its Twitter account @oldhamalert to inform followers of school and road closures or incidents.

These will also be retweeted for residents using the Council’s account @oldhamcouncil and updates will appear via the local media.


Oldham Council has announced a full schedule of dates and venues for the public consultation on its plans for a new look town centre.

An ambitious regeneration masterplan across five strategic sites was recently unveiled at a launch event in the Egyptian Room at the Old Town Hall and was seen by hundreds of people. The plans centre on significant areas of publicly-owned land where many sites are under-utilised or have buildings coming to the end of their economic life.

Totalling around 21 acres in size, these include Tommyfield Market, the Civic Centre, Oldham Police Station, the former Oldham Sports Centre and Oldham Magistrates’ Court, and the current Oldham Coliseum Theatre. The masterplan seeks to change Oldham town centre to match our aspirations for it to be an even more vibrant place with high-quality attractions, an excellent cultural and shopping offer and a night-time economy making it stand out as a destination in Greater Manchester and beyond.

The benefits will be the building of new homes, 55,000 square metres of new/refurbished employment space and economic activity worth an extra £50million each year to Oldham’s economy.

Residents, businesses and partners are all invited to attend any of the ‘drop in’ sessions announced today and view the proposals in a mini exhibition, submit comments and ask questions.

Jean Stretton, Oldham Council Leader, said: “This is our biggest-ever forward planning exercise for Oldham town centre and it’s all about making sure that it is a place that has a clear plan for the future. Our consultation launch event at the Egyptian Room was very well attended and produced valuable feedback.

“It’s also important we take these plans around the borough – giving as many audiences as possible the chance to see them, have their say and help us to get this right. That’s why we’re trying to ensure there are consultation opportunities in every district and convenient places for the public to access. Every one of us has a stake in the future of Oldham town centre so we are asking all residents, partners, businesses and visitors alike to do your bit and help us to shape these plans.”

The schedule of consultation dates* can be found on the Oldham Council website at – and more will be added soon. Residents can also visit this address to have their say about the plans online.

Wed 11
Tommyfield Market
Thu 12
Staff drop-in session at Oldham Civic Centre
Wed 18
Chadderton Market
Tue 24
10am – 1pm
Crompton Library
Thu 26
10am – 12noon
Shaw Market
Wed 1
Tommyfield Market
Thu 2
1.30 – 3pm
Royton Market
Thursday 2
1.30 – 4pm
Royton Town Hall
Tue 7
Tesco – Featherstall Road, Westwood
Wed 8 Oldham Civic Centre*
*Drop-in session for residents and councillors from 4pm prior to Full Council meeting at 6pm
Fri 10
11.30am – 1.30pm
Egyptian Room, Old Town Hall, Parliament Square
Wed 15
Failsworth Town Hall
Fri 24
11am – 1pm
Chadderton Library and Wellbeing Centre
Thu 30
Delph Library
Sat 2
11am – 2pm
Brass Monkeys event – Oldham town centre*
* Consultation in Egyptian Room, Old Town Hall, Parliament Square
Wed 6
Uppermill Library
Thu 7
Staff drop-in session at the Civic Centre
Mon 11
Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre
Tue 12
10am – 12noon
Greenfield Library
Wed 13
Lees Library