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OBE for Ex-Oldham Mayor Cllr John Hudson

Oldham Council is sending its congratulations to Councillor John Hudson who has been made an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.

The Saddleworth South member has served the local community in a wide range of capacities for more than 40 years and he is honoured for his public, political and charitable services in the list officially published at 22.30hrs on December 29.

Cllr Hudson – who celebrated his 78th birthday on Christmas Eve – highlights the contributions other people have made to enable him to make his mark on local life. “I realise that I am only a flag bearer – you can’t do public service unless you are backed by the public,” he said. “My wife, Kathleen, my family and the people of Saddleworth and at all kinds of local organisations and group are the ones who really deserve an award. I simply couldn’t have done any of the things that I have without their support and understanding, so the praise goes to them.

“I thought I was too old for this sort of thing to be honest, so I was very shocked when I found out about it and checked it was right. There have been many people who have made fantastic contributions to Saddleworth and Oldham and have gone without recognition like this, so for me to be given an OBE at this time in life is humbling. I’m amazed that an ordinary person like me has got this award. We are blessed to live in a wonderful place here, so I hope this news brightens everybody’s day and they know this award is for them, not me.”

John was born in Mossley and worked at Joseph Clare’s Dyeworks in Greenfield during the 1950s. It was there that he met his wife to be, Kathleen, before moving to Greenfield when they married in 1960. John worked in local government at Mossley, Audenshaw and Trafford Councils before managerial roles at Littlewoods, based at Earl Mill in Hathershaw.

He first entered local politics in 1971, initially standing as a Labour councillor. After a six-year break he switched to the Conservative Party and – in 1977 – was first elected as a Saddleworth Parish councillor: a position he holds to this day. John was also elected as representative for the former Saddleworth East ward on Oldham Council from 2002 to 2006. From 2008 he then served as a Chadderton Central ward member before coming back to represent Saddleworth South from 2012 onwards. He was also the agent for Geoffrey Dickens, the former MP for the (then) Littleborough and Saddleworth seat and stood in the high-profile three-way marginal by-election following Mr Dickens’ death in 1995.

John was elected to the office of the Mayor of Oldham for the municipal year 2013/4 and – accompanied by Kathleen as Mayoress – they put in a staggering amount of energy and time into hosting visits, attending local schools and engagements. They raised a total of £50,468 for local charities and good causes, impressing everyone they met as ambassadors for the borough. Beneficiaries of that year included the Terence O’Grady Social Club, Christie’s at Oldham, Oldham Music Centre, Oldham Support Group for Carers in Autism, Oldham Theatre Workshop and the Oldham Liaison of Ex-Servicemen Fund.

John has two daughters, Claire and Deborah, and one granddaughter, Courtney. Earlier this year he received a special honour to mark 40 years’ continuous service on Saddleworth Parish Council. This has seen four spells as Chairman and is an unbeaten record for continuous service. During this time he has also raised a further £59,500 for the Chairman’s charities. This remarkable feat was marked at the Civic Hall in Uppermill in April this year. The upstairs ballroom was renamed ‘The Hudson Suite’ in his honour with an engraved plaque and a framed dedication. A citation to his long service was also hung in the Council Chamber.


Oldham Council workers have once again embraced the season of goodwill by donating 415 presents to local young people who might otherwise receive nothing.

For many of us Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year but to some young people in Oldham it could be just any other day. Sadly, not every child gets a visit from Santa at Christmas but thankfully there’s a team of elves at Oldham Council who donate and wrap gifts for those who don’t have any others to open.

The Operation Christmas Child campaign sees council staff donate a gift which is then given to a local child or young person who is in need. The initiative is a real team effort every year with staff across all Oldham Council departments coming together to put a smile of the face of those who need it the most. Those taking part are given a tag with a first name, age and gender on it. They then buy a gift for their young person. A team of Oldham Council volunteers then wrap the gifts and make sure the young people receive them in time for Christmas.

Cllr Jenny Harrison, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Safeguarding, said: “It goes without saying that thanks go to all those who have carefully selected and donated a gift.

“Some of our young people wouldn’t receive a single gift on Christmas Day if it wasn’t for the kindness of colleagues within the council and partners. May I thank our officers who organised the appeal and other staff for their kindness. On Christmas Day, those involved will have brought a smile to the face of a child in difficult circumstances.”

Saddleworth Christmas Illuminations Results 2017

Saddleworth Christmas Illuminations 2017

The judging of the Annual Saddleworth Christmas Illuminations competition took place on Wednesday 6th December 2017. The panel of judges consisted of the Chairman of the Parish Council, Councillor Nikki Kirkham, Parish Councillors John Hudson and Pam Byrne and the Clerk to the Council, Pam Bailey.

Entries had been invited for the following categories:

Best Shop Window;

Best Pub / Licenced Premises;

Best Residential Property; and

Best Community;

The judges’ decision was as follows:


Winner                                   NK Hair Studio, 78 High Street, Uppermill

Highly Commended                        Millgate Hair Studio, 5a Millgate, Delph

Commended                                    Pause a Second, 76 High Street, Uppermill


Winner                                   The King William IV, Chew Valley Road, Greenfield

Highly Commended                        The White Lion, 1 Delph Lane, Delph

Commended                                    Uppermill Conservative Club, High Street, Uppermill


Winner                                   Billy & Jess, 10 Heywood lane, Springhead

Highly Commended                        Peter Percival, 14 Clayton’s Close, Springhead

Commended                                    Lyndsay Ley, 60 Burnedge Fold Road, Grasscroft


Winner                                   Wake Up Delph

Highly Commended                        Clayton’s Close, Springhead

The prizes will be awarded at a presentation evening on Thursday 21st December.

As ever the standard of entries was very high and the judges’ decision had not been easy. The Parish Council would like to thank all those who took part in the competition and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

“Engines off at school gates!” urges Greater Manchester Mayor in clean air drive

TfGM Anti-idling campaign at Leigh County Primary School

Mayor Andy Burnham has called on Greater Manchester’s drivers to help tackle deadly air pollution by turning their car engines off at the school gates.

Pupils and teachers at Leigh Central Primary School helped raise awareness of the health dangers of keeping the engine running when parked up, which is a particular problem on the school run.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has launched a campaign to tackle some of the common myths about leaving vehicle engines ticking over. A recent study revealed that switching off the engine when at a standstill could help reduce air pollution during peak travel hours by as much as 30%. The harmful fumes pumped out by many vehicles don’t just affect people outside the vehicle – drivers and their passengers are exposed as well.

Hundreds of roadside signs will be supported by a webpage, advertising and social media campaign to drive the ‘Engine off when you stop’ message home – including the misconception that stopping and starting the engine wastes fuel.

Andy Burnham said: “If we could see the invisible exhaust fumes we all breathe in every day, I’m sure we’d be horrified. Air pollution is an invisible menace and one which our young people are particularly vulnerable to. That’s why I’m calling on those of us who make the school run to switch their engines off when parked near the school gates.

“Leaving your engine ticking over is something we’re all guilty of. You might worry it’s a waste of fuel to restart the engine, or that your car heating will run cold if you switch off. In fact, leaving the engine running wastes more fuel – every two minutes ticking over is the fuel equivalent of driving a mile. Air pollution is one of the most important challenges currently facing us all. It makes financial sense, environmental sense and good health sense to switch off and I hope this campaign drives that important message home.”

Greater Manchester’s lead for environmental issues and climate change, Councillor Alex Ganotis, added: “This campaign will help shine a light on a persistent problem in Greater Manchester. Switching off engines at the school gates will not only help to protect our young people but lead to real improvements in air quality in our region.”

Andy visited Leigh Central Primary School earlier in the year on Greater Manchester’s first Clean Air Day (Thursday 15 June), when he watched a video Year Six pupils made to raise awareness of the environmental issue.

Richard Houghton, Deputy Headteacher at Leigh Central Primary School, said: “We were very fortunate to be part of the Greater Manchester Clean Air Day Campaign last June which gave us a platform to raise awareness of the air quality around school.

“It’s great that the latest campaign has been launched from Leigh Central and we hope that this important message can be spread further so that our children’s health, and the environment, can benefit from better air quality. If everyone can make one simple change and switch of their engines when stationary, this can collectively make a big difference!”

Vehicle exhausts can produce harmful gases – and tiny particles of soot and other matter – that pollute the air and are linked to increases in asthma, allergies, heart and lung disease and cancer. It is estimated that air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of up to 2,000 people in Greater Manchester each year. The region has been in breach of its legal limits for nitrogen dioxide, one of the most harmful pollutants, every year since 2011.

Air quality is improving as TfGM, local councils and other partners are busy implementing the policies and measures in Greater Manchester’s Low Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan, but much more needs to be done.

Find out how to help clean up Greater Manchester’s air at www.tfgm.com/air.

Saddleworth Group of Artists Annual Winter Exhibition 2017

Artist: Ron Etherington. Medium – oil

Saddleworth Group of Artists Annual Winter Exhibition 2017 From Saturday 9th December – Sunday 14th January at Saddleworth Museum. Uppermill. Oldham. 

Well known local artists will again be exhibiting their work. Always a popular show, especially in the run up to Christmas, the exhibition will be comprised of around fifty works, with styles ranging from photo realism to expressionistic. Most paintings will be on sale. 

The group, founded in 1950 by water colourist Ellis Shaw and friends, is currently comprised of approximately sixty enthusiastic members. Some are full time professionals but all are seriously committed to their work. The SGA is a dynamic organisation, full of ideas to encourage interest and bring art to the public view. The group welcomes applications for membership or offers of new exhibition spaces.

So why not call in and take a look at the recently refurbished Saddleworth Museum and possibly find that very special and unique Christmas present amongst the art works on display. 

Check out our website – www.saddleworthartists.co.uk

Saddleworth Museum, High St, Uppermill, OL36HS Tel. 01457874093
Entry to the exhibition gallery is free 

Diggle’s VIPs Turn on Christmas Lights

Competition winners: Cara Hamilton, Millie Tomlin and Jack Ellis

Diggle’s very important pupils (VIPs), winners of the Christmas art and writing competition organised by the Diggle Community Association, turned on the village Christmas lights on Sunday 3rd December following the annual carol singing and procession through the village. (See here)

Before walking with Diggle Band from the Band Club to the Christmas tree site at Warf Mill local residents, parents and children were treated to a fabulous ensemble of carols by the Diggle School Infant choir who with their actions and songs totally captured the hearts of everybody watching.

Rev. Duncan Rhodes led the Christingle service at Wharf Mill and following the switch-on of the Christmas tree lights, Diggle Band led the procession on to further celebrations at The Gate.

Special thanks go to Diggle School, the Diggle Community Association, Diggle Band and Band Club, Cllr. Nikki Kirkham, Rev. Duncan Rhodes, The Gate and everyone who helped on the day. This year’s event raised over £100 in support of the Children’s Society.

Diggle’s Christmas Competition Winners

Jack Ellis, Key Stage 1

There has been a great response to the annual Diggle Community Association (DCA) Christmas competition from the pupils at Diggle Primary School. The standard of writing and drawing has been exceptional and, for the DCA judges,  it has been extremely difficult choosing the winners.

The joint winners from Key Stage 1 are – Jack Ellis for his hilarious picture of Santa hanging on for grim death, to his sleigh, as the reindeer rush to their next delivery and Cara Hamilton for her picture of the tree site with Diggle Band accompanying the Carol singing.

The winner from Key Stage 2 is – Millie Tomlin who wrote a beautifully crafted and entertaining poem about how Santa’s Christmas goes disastrously wrong and is saved in the nick of time by some quick thinking Diggle children.

On Sunday 3rd December (see Diggle Lights Switch-On), Jack, Cara and Millie will be invited, as guests of honour, to switch Diggle’s Christmas lights on.

Millie Tomlin, Key Stage 2

Millie Tomlin, Key Stage 2


Oldham Council is informing residents that some bin collection dates will change over the Christmas period.

This year there will be no bin collections on Christmas Day (Monday, December 25). Instead put out the bin that would have been due to be collected on that day – plus your green bin/food caddy – on Saturday, December 30.

There will also be no bin collections on Boxing Day (Tuesday, December 26). If that is your usual collection day then this year there will be an earlier collection for you on Saturday, December 23. Remember to also put out your green bin/food caddy.

There will be no bin collections on Monday, January 1 (New Year’s Day). If your collection date should have been on New Year’s Day put out the bin that would have been due on this date, plus your green bin/food caddy, on Saturday, January 6.

Your green bin/food caddy will also be collected as normal on Monday, January 8.

If you are unsure which bin would have been due, please check your collection calendar or use the online post code checker at www.oldham.gov.uk/waste If your collection day doesn’t fall on any of the above dates then simply put your bins out as usual.

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said: “Due to the way Christmas falls this year we’ve had to make a few changes to bin collection dates, so we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible. Over the coming weeks we’ll be delivering leaflets to households in the areas affected and we’ll also be sending out reminders via our social media channels. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the arrangements so you know when to put your bins out for collection.”

After the festive period you can help dispose of your Christmas tree in a number of ways. You can put it in your green bin – just chop it into small pieces, remove the wooden block from the base of the tree as this is too big to be composted and take off any lights and decorations.

Alternatively, take it to your local tip or to one of the following recycling ‘drop off’ points from December 28 until January 17:

  • Higher Memorial Park (car park), Joseph Street, Failsworth (open dawn until dusk)
  • Royton Park (car park) off Bleasdale Street, Royton. Anytime access
  • Werneth Park (car park) off Frederick Street, Werneth (open dawn until dusk)
  • Churchill Playing Fields (car park), Wellington Road, Greenfield. Anytime access.

You can also help Dr Kershaw’s Hospice as volunteers will be collecting trees over the weekend of the 13 and 14 January as a donation to the hospice. Just register online at  www.xmastreecollection.com or call them on 0161 624 9984.

All your Christmas cards, wrapping paper and cardboard packaging can be recycled using your blue bins or recycling bags.

If you have things that are too big to fit in your bin, you can:

  • Take them to Arkwright Street Waste and Recycling Centre, Oldham, OL9 9LZ – for free. Or to find your nearest tip, visit www.recycle4greatermanchester.com
  • Arrange for them to be collected by us. It is just £18.20 for your first three items and £8.20 for each additional item. To book a collection call us on 0161 770 6644.

Visit www.oldham.gov.uk for more ideas about where you can donate, swap or sell them.

All additional rubbish or recycling over Christmas can also be taken to Arkwright Street Waste and Recycling Centre.

Cllr Brownridge added: “Recycling rates are up in Oldham thanks to the efforts of residents. If we all do our bit then we can raise this even higher and save money on disposal costs at the same time.”

Diggle’s Christmas Lights Switch-On

Join us on Sunday 3rd December from 3:15pm at Diggle Band Club for Carols, mulled wine, minced pies and Diggle’s Christmas Lights switch-on.


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.