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Oldham Council open book of condolence for Manchester attack

Oldham Council has opened Books of Condolence in memory of all those tragically killed and injured in the terror attack at Manchester Arena.

A Book of Condolence is now open at Royton Town Hall on Rochdale Road and another is based at the Civic Entrance (formerly Rochdale Road reception) at the Civic Centre on West Street in Oldham Town Centre.

Members of the public are invited to show their solidarity by recording their tributes and thoughts in the days ahead.

The book at Oldham Civic Centre is available for signing on weekdays (only) between 7am and 5pm. Royton Town Hall is currently open on weekdays (only) from 9am to 5pm.

These hours could be extended dependent on public demand.

An online Book of Condolence for the borough will also be launched later today on the Oldham Council website at www.oldham.gov.uk

OMBC aim to bloom as Champion of Champions

Oldham Council (OMBC) are launching their annual Bloom and Grow campaign in a bid to be crowned ‘Champions of Champions’ in the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom UK Finals.

This year OMBC has entered North West in Bloom and has also accepted the nomination to compete in Britain in Bloom, the Champions of Champions category. The nomination is in recognition of their work in recent years. Only six others are competing in the category and they hope to be crowned one of the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful areas in the UK. Oldham’s entries aim to showcase the best the borough has to offer.

The Council have previously won Best City* in the North West six times and are hoping to build on this by winning again this year. The centrepiece will be the ‘WOW’ bed located in the town centre and this will be the main focus for this year’s displays.

The theme for the 2017 campaign is ‘Greening Grey Britain’. It aims to focus on conservation and wildlife and hopes to encourage residents to grow plants, wherever possible, across the borough.

This year, residents and businesses will be encouraged to enter one of five competitions where those with green fingers can show off their skills, gardens, green spaces or open spaces. To enter, just send OMBC pictures of your pride and joy – big or small. Furthermore, businesses can show off their flowering buildings and facades by entering the ‘Best Blooming Business, Pub or Restaurant Competition’.

In the photography competition, photographers can submit pictures of the borough. They don’t need to be a of a high standard and can be taken with any camera, including smartphones.

All competitions are free to enter and aim to showcase the beauty across Oldham beyond. The best entries will win various prizes and the deadline to enter all the competitions is July 7th.

Helen Lockwood, Executive Director, Economy, Skill and Neighbourhoods, said:

“Bloom and Grow is all about celebrating our communities, green spaces, villages and landscapes across Oldham. Over the next few months Oldham Council’s Bloom and Grow team, residents and partners will be delivering some inspiring displays, community projects and making environmental changes.

“We all need to work together and do our bit for the community – even if that’s just picking up a piece of litter each day or placing a few hanging baskets around your property or business.”

You can enter the competitions via:

Our online web form at www.oldham.gov.uk/bloomandgrow

Email your entries to: Bloomandgrow@oldham.gov.uk

Tag photos on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag: #OldhamBloom17

For more information about how you can take part in Bloom and Grow and details of how to enter any of the competitions visit: www.oldham.gov.uk/bloomandgrow

Fun drawing app brainchild of brainy child

A seven year old boy from Oldham is the brains behind a new fun interactive drawing app. Freddie Dickson who lives in Moorside, came up with the idea, with a little help from his parents Kathryn and Oliver.

Kathryn, along with husband Oliver owns and manages two soft play centres in Oldham. They spend their working days amongst the hubbub of busy play centres but at night want quiet time with Freddie. Looking for a family orientated game to play, they started out with pen and paper describing and drawing things in the room but soon ran out of things to draw. They bought a book on how to draw but it was too technical and certainly not fun and it was Freddie who chirped up with “if only the computer could show us what to draw”.

Mum Kathryn said: “When Freddie suggested it we laughed but then thought why not? They say necessity is the mother of invention, if the app doesn’t exist let’s make it!”

Kathryn and Oliver met with a technical whizz and a graphic designer to build the app and create the images. They then tested the app, which they named Describe n Draw, on friends and family who loved it.

The game is simple to play and the app simple to use. The describer describes the first stage of the image to the drawers (a part reveal of a bigger picture). The players then draw what they hear. When done, the drawers move on to the next stage, and the next, until they reach the final stage and see the reveal screen, showing them the completed image and what they have heard and drawn. They are often and usually very different!

Kathryn said: “We think the core market is for families with children up to 10 years old who enjoy quiet time (although it can get raucous!) but we can see it has wider potential in the same way that other drawing games are enjoyed by all ages.“

Oliver said: “Someone said to me that board games won’t be around in 5 to 10 years which is a shame as it’s what we grew up on, but simple to use apps like this are with you everywhere as long as you have a smartphone or tablet and you can see the appeal of that over traditional board games.”

Freddie, who attends Hodge Clough Primary in Moorside said “It’s really exciting seeing this game we came up with on the iPad and on Mummy’s mobile. I can’t wait for my friends at school to see it and play it.”

The app is available on Android and iOS by searching for Describe n Draw.

Metrolink tram driver hurt in malicious attack

Greater Manchester’s new mayor has joined transport bosses in condemning a senseless act that left a tram driver injured.

At about 9.40pm on Monday 8 May 2017, a rock was thrown at an oncoming tram from a footbridge north of the Derker Metrolink stop. The rock smashed through the window, causing injuries to the driver’s face and chest.

The Metrolink driver managed to drive the damaged tram to the Shaw and Crompton stop, where he was met by emergency services and taken to hospital.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “After the attack on the tram last night, which injured a driver, I want to start by wishing him well in his recovery.

“Attacks on Metrolink will not be tolerated.  Recently we have seen far too many reports of missiles being thrown at trams and often through windows, injuring and frightening those on board.

“The consequences of last night’s incident were disgraceful but could have been even worse.  I’ll be working closely with Metrolink, TfGM, Greater Manchester Police and the Travelsafe team to ensure we are doing all that we can to end these attacks.  Nobody in Greater Manchester should be made to feel unsafe while travelling or at work.”

Managing director of Metrolink operator RATP Dev Ltd, Chris Coleman, said: “This is a targeted attack on the tram and a disgraceful act by an individual or group with a clear intent to harm. We will not tolerate any actions that put staff and customers in danger and we will do everything in our power to support police to find the culprit.

“We have a clear strategy in place to deal with issues of anti-social behaviour on the network. These types of incidents are not isolated to Metrolink and we are working very closely with local community leaders in the areas we operate to address and reduce these issues.”

Under the Travelsafe Partnership, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), the police and transport operators are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour on the tram and bus network and keeping the travelling public safe.

As part of a targeted response to recent incidents, officers have been undertaking visible patrols along the route. The partnership is also looking at other ways to tackle the wider problem, such as through engagement programmes.

Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, said: “I am astonished that someone has thought it acceptable to throw a rock from height towards an oncoming tram.

“This one reckless action has injured the driver and left him, understandably, very shaken.

“Make no mistake the consequences could have been much worse, not only for the driver but the passengers on board.

“We condemn such behaviour in the strongest possible terms and are working closely with the police, operator and other partners to tackle problems of anti-social behaviour along the line.

“It is important to note that anti-social behaviour is not a problem that is specific to Metrolink, or public transport more generally, but is a far-reaching issue that affects all areas of the communities we serve.

“Metrolink, our staff and passengers are as much a victim as anyone. I’d encourage the local community to work with us and the police to help prevent further incidents by passing any information about the incident or person responsible to the police.”

Funding available for local youth projects and organisations

Oldham Council is giving local organisations the opportunity to apply for up to £5,000 in funding to improve the borough for young people.

Oldham Council and the Stoller Charitable Trust are giving grants from the Kerrching Youth Opportunity Fund – a pot of money that aims to provide enjoyable leisure opportunities and activities to help improve health and wellbeing.

The fund is for 8 to 19 year olds, or up to 25 if the young people have additional needs. It is managed by Oldham Youth Council which decides who will be allocated money.

The theme of the funding is health and successful applicants must address at least one of these priorities:

  • Enables to achieve aspirations and expectations
  • Enables young people to be ready for work and lifelong learning
  • Enables young people to lead healthier and more active lifestyles
  • Enables young people to be involved in meaningful, enjoyable and positive activities
  • Enables young people to participate in decision making processes that affect their lives
  • Enables young people to be safer from harm

Marouf AhmedChair of Oldham Youth Council, said: “We are offering a maximum of £5,000 to groups in order to enhance ‘things to do and places to go’.

“We are particularly interested in applications that involve projects which improve health outcomes for young people.

“We are inviting nominations from all types of groups – non-profit organisations only – who currently offer activities and opportunities for positive engagement with young people in Oldham.”

Maggie Kufeldt, Executive Director of Health and Wellbeing at Oldham Council, said: “There are lots of great youth projects and organisations running across the borough but some may be finding things hard due to lack of resources or funding.

“These grants can really make a difference to local projects and organisations which are passionate about improving outcomes for our young people.”

The deadline for applications is at 3pm on Friday 16 June 2017. You can request an application form by contacting pam.jennings@oldham.gov.uk or 0161 770 3116.

For further information or if you have any questions Please contact Jodie.barber@oldham.gov.uk

WILDFIRES highlight the vulnerability of the diverse and valuable South Pennines habitat

Following the incidents of wildfires on the moorland above Littleborough and Todmorden the South Pennines Fire Operations Group (FOG) has warned of the danger posed by wildfires, which can strike anywhere in the South Pennines, to endangered wildlife, farm livestock, valuable habitat and human health.

 

As good weather both dry out the peatland and encourages more people into the countryside the likelihood of wildfires increases at this time of year, explained Danny Jackson, FOG chairman. “Spring is a real danger period for moorland wildfires, which is why the partners working together through FOG, including firefighters and landowners, are asking members of the public to be extra vigilant when out in the countryside.”

 

“The negative impact of wildfires across the moors is widely recognised, including the economic impact on farmers through the loss of grazing,” said Danny. “The loss of habitat and the effect that these fires have on nesting birds, can also clearly be seen but in addition we want to highlight the hidden dangers; the pollution, the release of carbon into the atmosphere, and the impact on people’s health. Wildfire is the biggest single threat to our internationally rare blanket bog habitats that are the focus for the MoorLIFE 2020 programme funded through the EU LIFE programme and managed by the Moors for the Future Partnership. ”

 

Between October 1 and April 15 some controlled burning by landowners takes place, but a fire started outside of these dates is a wildfire and any person caught starting one can be prosecuted for arson. Dominic Furby, wildfire officer for the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the message was clear: “Please be very careful when you are out on the moors. Dispose of any glass bottles and cigarettes in a responsible manner and remember to use your barbecue at home rather than on the moors.

 

“If you see a wildfire please report it through the 999 service giving its location as precisely as possible. And we would also ask people to report anyone acting suspiciously. Until recently moorland fires were seen as a low priority but now the uplands are recognised as being as valuable as bricks and mortar. If the peat burns it can be very difficult to extinguish and these fast moving fires in off-road locations can be tiring for firefighting crews and resource intensive, which means that we may be stretched if fires occur elsewhere.”

 

Established by rural regeneration company Pennine Prospects, FOG brings together representatives from the three fire services of the area, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire; the area’s water companies Yorkshire Water and United Utilities, as well as individual landowners; the six South Pennines local authorities and Natural England.

 

Chris Dean, Head of Programme Delivery at the Moors for Future Partnership stated the importance of these areas for local residents of the South Pennines: “We are working with landowners, the utility companies and Natural England to restore blanket bog, reducing areas of bare peat and ensuring that these areas function retaining surface water, carbon and supplying clean water supplies through ecological restoration. Wildfire puts all this hard work and investment at risk.”

Saddleworth Turnpike Challenge 2017

Saddleworth Rotary and Clarion Cycle Club are once again running the Father’s Day Turnpike challenge, a 25 mile bike ride into the dramatic scenery of the Pennine moors.  The ride is fully supported with roaming Clarion riders and a van. There is a half way refreshments point  and at the end of the ride there is Joe Castles famous meat and potato or cheese and onion pie washed down with lashings of tea.  What a way to start Fathers day!

Ride Details

  • Start and finish at Diggle Band Club, Saddleworth, OL3 5PJ
  • 25 mile ride on A and B roads, which includes two moderate climbs onto the Pennine Moors
  • Half way refreshments/aid point
  • Roaming van and for mechanicals and returns to base
  • Start time is between 8:30 and 9:30 AM on the 18th of June
  • End of ride hot food, tea and cakes

Requirements

  • Road or Hybrid bike in full working order
  • Riders must wear helmets to validate insurance cover

Cost

  • On line application £12:50
  • On the day             £15:00

On-Line Application

  • Click on and follow the link

www.turnpikechallenge.co.uk

Mikron Theatre – In At The Deep End: An RNLI Story by Lawrence Peacock

Skipwick RNLI is all at sea. Crew members are hard to come by and Coxswain Darren’s management style isn’t helping. So when seventeen year old Shannon volunteers, it’s all hands on deck – particularly for Darren’s teenage son, Billy.

Can the station survive in this ‘me first’ age? Will eccentric fundraiser Hazel’s ideas ever turn a profit? And can Darren and Billy chart the choppy emotional waters closer to home?

With marvellous maritime music and fathoms of fun, join Mikron for a dive into two hundred years of lives at sea!

Saddleworth Live At The Millgate, Saddleworth on Tuesday 10 October 2017
Doors Open at 7:00PM
Starts at 7:30PM
Ticket Price: £12.00
Box Office: 01457 874644

3D Dynamos celebrate their 25th birthday at Oldham Athletic

On Saturday 29th April over 200 players ranging from under seven years to veterans made their way to Boundary Park to celebrate the 3D Dynamos 25th birthday.

Ten matches took place involving all age groups from 3D Dynamos including the Soccer School who are the future of the club; these friendlies from 9:30am until 2:30pm surrounded by all the excitement that playing at a big ground brings brought plenty of smiles from players and supporters. The experience was further enhanced with live announcements, support from a crowd of family and friends and encouragement from ex-Manchester City and Oldham Athletic player, Kenny Clemments.

Kenny, along with Steve Laithwaite, Carl Hirst (the current chairman) and the team managers, worked tirelessly to make the day a success. Kenny, who was choosing man-of-the-match for each game, remained glued to the football throughout. He did get some support around mid-day when ex-Oldham Athletic manager, Joe Royle, joined him to help award player trophies and medals.

A special award was given to Val and Dave Broadbent who started the 3D Dynamos in 1992 when they formed a junior team for their son to play in. Val said, ‘This is amazing and to think we started 25 years ago with only three teams.”

First team manager Steve Laithwaite said, “It’s been a fantastic day. Every player has experienced what it’s like to use the team changing rooms and run out onto a Professional Football pitch with the crowd cheering and music playing.”

3D Dynamos would like to thank everybody who has been involved for their kind help and support. Carl said, “Without the kindness and generosity of the sponsors and volunteers, none of this would have been possible.”

To the next 25…..

Oh When The Ds…..

Click here to see a gallery of photographs taken on the day.

For information about the 3D Dynamos click here.

Catalytic converter thefts on the increase in Saddleworth

Over recent weeks Greater Manchester Police have noticed an increase in the theft of Catalytic Converters in the Saddleworth North area. Consider the following crime prevention tips to prevent yourself becoming a victim.

How to prevent Thefts of Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converter or Cat theft is increasing; reports say it has increased by over 400% in the last few years. The problem is increasing as valuable precious metals that make up catalytic converters, metals such as platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold have increased in value. Thieves simply cut the catalytic converter from the exhaust pipe of a parked car and sell them on to scrap dealers.

Catalytic converters are also relatively easy to steal, very few vehicle owners are aware of this crime prevention problem and so don’t take crime prevention precautions. There are a number of crime prevention tactics you can consider to try and reduce the risk of becoming the next victim of CAT theft.

  1. The first step to preventing being a victim of this crime is understanding the issue. Research has identified that taller vehicles, including 4x4s and vans may be more vulnerable as their catalytic converters (CATs) are more accessible. These vehicles often have larger engines and larger CAT’s also.
  2. When away from your home try and park in well-lit busy areas. This may make your vehicle a less attractive target for a criminal as there is greater chance of them being seen and disturbed.
  3. Catalytic converter thieves will often target an area over a period of time. Be aware of local media to see if there are reports in your locality.
  4. If you can park your vehicle in a garage. This is an extra level of security for a thief to beat if they want to steal your catalytic converter.
  5. CAT thieves don’t want to be seen. Effective security lighting could help put off a CAT thief.
  6. Fit a catalytic converter anti-theft device such as the Armacat.. The Armacat is fitted to the catalytic converter using stainless steel collars, high strength dome head bolts and temper proof shear nuts.

An alternative could be the the Catloc, this is slightly cheaper in price. The manufacturers claim that the Catloc can be fitted to 99% of at risk vehicles.

  1. Consider installing CCTV devices. Modern CCTV has night vision capabilities and can be viewed on smartphones. A system like this will be a major deterrent to a criminal and could cost less than replacing a CAT.
  2. The metal shell of your CAT can be marked. If it is removed and the Police seize stolen CATs this may make it easier to return to you as stolen property.
  3. Be aware and encourage awareness amongst your community. If you see people working under vehicles be aware they may be attacking the CAT or stealing fuel
  4. If you operate a small fleet, consider obstructing access to vehicles with high ground clearance by parking lower vehicles close by.