Ex Oldham Mayor says second lockdown would do “irreparable damage”

A FORMER Mayor of Oldham believes there should not be a borough wide lockdown if cases of coronavirus continue to rise.

The threat of a Leicester-style local lockdown rose after Oldham’s infection rate more than doubled from 57.8 to 107.5 per 100,000 of population with 255 new cases between August 2 and 8.

Cllr Arooj Shah

Latest data from Public Health England shows Saddleworth North and South wards along with St James’ have the current lowest rates across the borough.

Hollinwood, Saddleworth South and Royton North have suffered fewest positive cases during the pandemic.

Deputy council leader Arooj Shah says any new lockdown would affect every ward.

She has also stressed any decision would be made by the Government and not the local authority or the police.

Oldham’s cases are the highest across Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs.

Recently Wigan has had the lowest infection rate but local calls to be separated from the area-wide lockdown imposed on July 31 were declined.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said: “I think it’s impossible to start breaking one borough off and separating boroughs out because Greater Manchester is an interconnected place”

Cllr John Hudson

However, now veteran Saddleworth South councillor, John Hudson OBE, on behalf of Oldham Conservative group, has written to Oldham Council chief executive, Carolyn Wilkins, asking for a narrower lockdown.

Cllr Hudson claims a borough wide lockdown: “Will do irreparable damage.

“Residents of the borough will lose their livelihoods as a result of another lockdown,” he said. “We agree messaging is important.

“It helps change behaviours and actions which in the long run helps reduce the infection from spreading.

“So, will the council deploy more targeted messaging in areas where there are hotspots in order to change behaviours and improve understanding of the risks?

“Should we not target those areas with high infection rates like they do in South Korea and areas with a potential lockdown on a street to spree basis not borough wide?

“No matter where in the borough the rate spikes we believe targeting is more effective. We ask that you look at his and if not explain clearly why not.”

Councillor Shah previously stated: “It’s really important for people not to be complacent.

“We’ve seen cases across Oldham. Of course, rates are higher in some areas but no-one of us can be complacent about this as we all move around in the local area.

“You may be living an area with few cases but are in contact with someone from an area where there is There can’t be that complacency.

“People need to take it really seriously and act like they, God forbid, have Covid-19 or that the people around them have.

“If people don’t act now, it will be days – not even a week – before what could be a local lockdown.”

Oldham Council’s website confirmed over the 28 days leading up to August 7, the ward with the highest rate per 100,000 was St. Mary’s.

The wards with the lowest rates were Saddleworth North, Saddleworth South and St. James’, where data is not displayed due to low numbers.

Overall, throughout the whole pandemic, the ward with the highest rate was St. Mary’s. The ward with the lowest rate was Hollinwood.

Covid-19 Cases per 100,000 population over the last 28 days to 7 August 2020 and all time by Oldham Ward

Ward Last 28 days (rate per 100,000) Overall (rate per 100,000)
Alexandra 275 1291
Chadderton Central 179 1073
Chadderton North 177 956
Chadderton South 261 1071
Coldhurst 434 1214
Crompton 107 855
Failsworth East 185 750
Failsworth West 87 749
Hollinwood 138 624
Medlock Vale 327 1089
Royton North 61 661
Royton South 92 953
Saddleworth North * 763
Saddleworth South * 630
Saddleworth West and Lees 147 921
Shaw 119 1097
St Mary’s 633 1848
St James’ * 745
Waterhead 272 1192
Werneth 418 1657
Oldham Overall 219 1042

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