WHAT are you voting for and who will get your vote when Oldham goes to the polls in the local elections on Thursday, May 3? Here are the three candidates standing in Saddleworth North:
Pam Byrne – Conservative Party
I have served on Saddleworth Parish Council for a number of years and last year represented the Parish Council as Chairman.
I am a governor of Saddleworth School and believe that we should have a school fit for purpose for our children here in Saddleworth and our children should receive their education here.
I have always been involved in the community – recently with Whit Friday Contests, the first Parish Council Allotments and the Saddleworth Literary Festival now involving most of the primary schools.
Rail and bus travel is a top priority and I have been involved recently to try to improve and defend these from damaging alterations. We need a better and more frequent service.
I serve on the Strategic Planning group preparing to defend and plan our future development here in Saddleworth. I want a brownfield first policy, so we can protect our greenbelt.
I was also chair the Saddleworth Communities Forum, which allows all the village groups to air their individual views and fix problems effectively in one place.
To represent Saddleworth North on Oldham Council would give me the opportunity to protect our greenbelt, our employment record (we have the lowest unemployment rate in the borough!), our heritage and to put local people first.
Only with your vote can you help improve and secure what is best about our area.
I will be a strong local voice on Oldham Council and I will always be a passionate advocate for Saddleworth.
John Eccles – Liberal Democrats
I am married, a semi-retired College Lecturer, formerly employed by British Gas. I have lived in Saddleworth for more than thirty years and have raised my family here. My children and my grandchildren have been educated here in local schools.
I have been an active member of our community for 30 years and I care deeply for our villages and I have seen a lot of changes.
The biggest threat to where we live is the development of large scale housing projects on many of our green spaces. Greater Manchester want more than 2000 houses to be built in Saddleworth and the Council are working with certain landowners to make this happen.
How will our crumbling roads cope? Our schools are already full; our only secondary school is falling apart and in desperate need of replacement. Our local doctors and health services are only just coping.
If elected I will:
• Back Liberal Democrat plans to spend £5 million more on our roads and pavements.
• Fight against over development and demand brownfield sites are used and fight to protect our precious green field sites.
• I will champion affordable housing which will allow our young people and their families to live here.
• Continue to campaign for the reinstatement of rail services at Greenfield.
• Campaign for a new integrated Health Centre and lobby for specialist services to be offered at the Heath Centre in Delph, so people can access services without the need for travelling into Oldham and beyond.
George Hulme – Labour Party
I am proud to have been selected as the Labour candidate for Saddleworth North in the upcoming election on May 3.
I have lived in Delph for most of my life and have been involved with Delph Youth Brass Band, Cub Scouts and Delph Library.
I attended Delph Primary, Saddleworth School, Oldham Sixth Form College and recently graduated from Aberystwyth University. I currently work in Debbie Abrahams MP’s office as a caseworker.
Working in Debbie’s office I have seen the damage that Tory cuts, enabled by the Lib Dems, have caused to people and services across Saddleworth North, and Oldham East and Saddleworth as a whole.
I want to ensure residents of Saddleworth North have their voices heard. I believe the best person to help have them heard by a Labour Council is a Labour Councillor.
I want to continue the great work of Nikki Kirkham who has been a fantastic Oldham and Saddleworth Parish Councillor.
After going to school for five years in a building that was falling apart, I am aware that a new Saddleworth School, one fit for the 21st Century, is a major priority. The only op-tion for the new school building, which ensures students continue to get a top quality ed-ucation and do not go to school on a building site, is the site in Diggle.
The more delays there are to this process, the more local young people and their families are being let down.
Please offer me your support on May 3.