Voters in Saddleworth elect councillors to represent them on Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council. The council has responsibility for a range of services, including bin collection, roads and local schools.
There are 20 wards in the Oldham borough and each elects three borough councillors, with one up for election each year. Saddleworth is made up of three wards – Saddleworth North, Saddleworth South and Saddleworth West and Lees – and residents vote based on where they live (check your polling card).
You have one vote for your preferred candidate in your ward and the one with the most votes wins.
Here, the candidates say why you should vote for them, in their own words.
This year’s local elections are quite simply in your hands, and you have a choice. To re-elect local sub postmaster and Saddleworth South Cllr Graham Sheldon and elect a strong local Conservative team in Sean Curley for Saddleworth North and Pam Byrne for Saddleworth West and Lees, who have a five-point plan:
1. Council Tax: The Conservatives will freeze council tax and extend small business rate relief, for residents and businesses.
2. Markets: Tourism is a vital part of the Saddleworth economy. So we want to make our markets a great attraction. We would support the expansion of the longstanding traditional Uppermill Wednesday market and press for financial incentives and discounts to encourage new stallholders.
3. Highways: Call for an urgent review of our roads. So many of our side roads are in a terrible state and in desperate need of repair. An urgent review is needed before any more accidents occur.
4. Rail: To consider using land off Oaklands Road Greenfield as an extension to car parking for railway users. To provide disabled access and general pedestrian access to both platforms by re-opening and modifying the existing tunnel under the railway tracks.
5. Rural areas: We believe there is more to the borough than just Oldham. We believe rural areas have become “an afterthought” for too long. We want to review the council’s relationship with rural communities and work to prevent urban sprawl and sporadic development.
Saddleworth has many good things to shout about. We shall always put local people first, and petty party politics second.
Saddleworth North: Catherine Hunter lives with her partner Andrew and works for an insurance company. She is active with her local church, and regularly volunteers with Street Pastors. She is keen to see the next government stand up for our NHS, reversing the privatisation of health services. She is also concerned about the serious damage fracking could cause to our landscape and our health.
Catherine says: “At a local level, through Street Pastors, I have seen the impact of austerity on council youth services and on the Police, and I feel Oldham Council needs to take a strong stance to protect our local community in the face of the challenges coming from Government.”
Saddleworth West and Lees: Chris O’Donnell lives in Lees with his wife and four children. Over the last 20 years, he has worked as a youth worker and social worker in various services in Oldham including Oldham youth Service, Oldham Youth offending Team, Mahdlo, the NHS and several schools. Chris currently teaches at a high school in Manchester.
He maintains his involvement in youth work by being a board member of the Greater Manchester Youth Network and leading various residential youth activities.
Chris is passionate about social inequalities and the environment and looks forward to a time where people and places are collectively valued over individual and corporate profit.
Independent: Lesley Brown: Saddleworth North
I’m 64 years old, Saddleworth born and bred. My parents owned the Waggon Inn Uppermill before moving to Greenfield where I attended Shaw Street School then Uppermill Secondary Modern before studying hotel management at Hollings College, Manchester. I moved to Diggle in 1979. I have run a vegetarian cafe for the last quarter of a century on the campus of Manchester University.
I was a former governor at Saddleworth School and currently Chair of Saddleworth Civic Trust. I am also a member of Dobcross Brass Monkeys where I attempt to play percussion. I have two daughters and two grandchildren.
I am deeply concerned about local issues and have been a strong supporter of the campaign to keep Saddleworth School in Uppermill. I have also campaigned in the past against over development in Saddleworth and the need for a new Diggle Station.
The best interests of Saddleworth are all too often being ignored because of Oldham party politics. Saddleworth needs an independent voice.
Independent: Helen Bishop: Saddleworth West and Lees
I am a 38-year-old mother of three, originally from Greenfield, now living in Lees.
I am a qualified Psychologist and Criminologist and have worked as a youth and community worker for seventeen years. I am passionate about ensuring support and safety for young people and other vulnerable groups and have recently helped to establish a voluntary Youth Service, based in Greenfield.
Four years ago I stood for the parish council on the back of a shocking lack of public consultation over Churchill Playing Fields. I want to ensure this type of reckless behaviour cannot take place in the future.
The ‘consultation’ around the new Saddleworth School has seen a similar mishandling, which has resulted in resentment and an acknowledgement that the wishes of the Saddleworth community are not recognised by Oldham Council.
I will campaign tirelessly for a strong, independent Parish Council, which responds to the needs of the community. I will also push for powers to be devolved to Saddleworth, in particular planning applications.
It is time Saddleworth found its voice. I will represent and safeguard the community to the best of my ability.
Saddleworth North: Peter Heatley: I live in Failsworth with my partner Elaine and son. I am a self-employed accountant and parent governor at Failsworth School.
I have the life experiences and skills which would make me a good councillor, representing and fighting for what is fair and right.
I hope the public will demonstrate their trust and vote for me, not just because I am a member of the Labour Party but foremost as a person that cares for his constituents and would get involved in the Saddleworth spirit.
Saddleworth South: Ian Manners: Greenfield resident, member of: Residents Association, Whit Friday Bands Committee, USDAW and Co-op Party. Solicitor, school governor. Keen fell runner.
Wants Saddleworth to share in Labour’s revitalisation of Oldham. Stands for sensible, sensitive progress, the best in local community services and the implementation of Labour’s local manifesto pledges: creating job opportunities, fair employment, the Living Wage; investment in new schools; helping students go on to college and work; extra care for older people and new home adaptations for those with mobility problems; investment in roads.
Saddleworth West and Lees: Adrian Alexander: As councillor here for the last four years, I have already achieved so much, including fixing roads both adopted and unadopted and improving care for the elderly in nursing homes.
I’ve put my £3,000 ward allowance back into the community through projects with churches, young people and schools.
I want to carry on all this work I have started and do more.
With changes to devolution of power, we will have more say over getting the best services for local people. I also want to tighten up on landlords and tenancy agreements to make sure residents are getting a fair and safe deal.
Saddleworth West and Lees candidate Stephen Barrow is a community campaigner with many years’ experience.
Married for 36 years with two grown-up children, he is a hard-working governor in two local schools and an active member at his local church. Stephen will work closely with fellow Liberal Democrat Cllr Sedgwick as they share a commitment to working hard for the area. Stephen will stand up for Saddleworth West and Lees as your local Councillor and looks forward to working with local people and businesses to achieve the best for the area.
Alan Belmore, candidate for Saddleworth South, is campaigning on the issues that matter to local people. An accountant living in Greenfield, he has challenged Network Rail over the planned six-month closure of the road bridge at Greenfield station and fought Labour-controlled Oldham Council over their land grab of Saddleworth’s open spaces for massive housing development.
Alan recently successfully campaigned for the council to ensure the high street paths in Uppermill are on the routine gritting maintenance programme.
Experienced Councillor Derek Heffernan is standing again in Saddleworth North. Derek has represented Saddleworth in Oldham for 20 years and Higher Springhead on the Parish for 28 years.
A retired civil servant, he is well-known for fundraising, especially for Macmillan Cancer Support, the Mayor of Oldham’s Appeal and the Saddleworth Chairman’s Charity Appeal.
I am Ian Nurse, your UKIP candidate for Saddleworth West and Lees. Having lived in Lees for the past ten years, I have a good understanding of local issues.
I am now retired and would like to spend my time giving something back to this community. I am interested in planning issues, encouraging small businesses and the welfare of people in this ward. I have a particular interest in protecting green spaces and will be campaigning strongly against the proposed sale of land at Lees Park.
I am Harry Moore, your UKIP candidate for Saddleworth North. I am married with a son and daughter and have strong links with the Methodist Chapel in Delph. I help to carry the banner on Whit Friday. I have lived in Delph all my life. I am a committee member of the local angling club and very keen on conservation.
I support UKIP because they have policies for local people including local homes, oppose wind farm developments, spend money on local services and scrap HS2.
I am Ray Booth, your UKIP candidate for Saddleworth South. I have lived in Oldham for over 30 years. I think the other parties have lost touch with the British people. They have given our democracy and money away to the EU. UKIP have policies that are a real alternative to those on offer from the tired old parties.
Nationally we would stop wasting your money on EU membership and on foreign aid and locally we would protect green spaces, introduce local referenda for major developments such as the Saddleworth School and reinstate weekly bin collections.