Local Elections 2022: Saddleworth West and Lees

WHO will get your vote when Saddleworth and Oldham go to the polls on Thursday, May 5?

In the local elections, voters will cast their choice of who they want to elect to represent them on Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.

One seat is being contested in each of the 20 wards in Oldham, including three wards in Saddleworth: Saddleworth North, Saddleworth South, and Saddleworth West and Lees.

Each ward is represented by three borough councillors, with one up for election each year.

Residents who are registered to vote can have their say for the ward in which they live.

Find out more about the elections on Oldham Council’s website: www.oldham.gov.uk/elections. 

Here are profiles of the candidates standing in the Saddleworth West and Lees ward.


Alicia Marland, Liberal Democrats

Alicia Marland

I live in Grotton and have always worked hard for the area, most notably as chairperson of the Grotton Residents Association for over 20 years, running fundraising events for the Pavilion.

I am also a volunteer co-ordinator for Re-engage, a charity supporting isolated elderly people in Oldham, running monthly tea parties in my home. My day job is in the telecoms industry.

This is the first time I have stood for election. I am not a politician, but I decided to stand because I realised how much I have done in my community and I want to do more for all the villages in this ward.

I have simply been reaching out to let residents know that by becoming their councillor I will use my time to make real changes and improvements in the area. I don’t believe in talking down other candidates as that is not who I am.

When my children were small, the playground facilities in Grotton were in dire condition and were eventually burnt down. That started my work with Tom Beeley, my Liberal Democrat Councillor, to campaign for a new playground. Tom took on this challenge and in 2007 the new facilities were opened. This really opened my eyes to how much could be achieved by one or two people dedicated to improving the lives of others.

In 2022, I created crimewatch groups in each of the villages and this has brought the community together to look out for one another, be vigilant and tackle local issues by working together.

Ghazala Rana, Labour Party

Ghazala Rana

Coming from a Health and social care background, I am a very person-centred focused female.

I want to build and continue with the positive work the previous councillor has been doing by being committed to supporting and guiding residents at the best of my ability. Working with the different local groups and building positive relationships in the community is a focus that I am aiming to do.

Over the last few years, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected many emotionally and financially. I will be there to support and guide people to rebuild their lives, taking the small steps towards positive outcomes.

I will be working closely with local groups to develop and build on youth services, concentrating and building on the talents the youths of today have and hold, guiding them towards a positive future.

As Labour Oldham we aim to support those social care workers who went out and supported our most vulnerable residents in the difficult times over the last few years.

The positive outcomes of cleaning up Oldham is clearly showing, and we will continue to build on the hard work that people have put into achieving this.

Jonathan Ford, Conservative Party

Jonathan Ford

I was brought up on Birks Avenue, and it would be a great privilege to serve the villages of Grotton, Springhead and Lees as your borough councillor.

I am married and a father of two girls. I enjoy running and golf and am a season-ticket holder at Oldham Athletic.

If elected, I would work with you – the people that matter most, the residents of the ward – listening to your concerns, and campaigning on the issues you want me to.

With Knowls Lane and now Stonebreaks back under threat, I know losing precious green spaces is a key concern locally. My Conservative colleagues have been against this for many years – opposing Mayor Burnham’s Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and later his ‘Places for Everyone’ Plan and campaigning against overdevelopment. I’d join with them, and you, in that opposition every step of the way.

Traffic and road safety issues are also important, and I would look to promote traffic-calming measures and speed enforcement interventions, like cameras.

More broadly, I believe Oldham Council delivers bad value for money. Grotton, Springhead and Lees pays in its fair share, but seems to get pittance in return. I would fight for fair investment across the villages, but also against ever-increasing rates.

The Conservatives were the only Council Group to propose a council tax freeze this year, with Labour and the Lib Dems proposing plans for more to be taken from your pockets.

I hope to earn your support on Thursday, May 5.

Paul Shilton, Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth

Paul Shilton

Living in Lees, I have served my community in a variety of ways, professionally as a Biomedical Scientist at the Royal Oldham Hospital and a Constable in Greater Manchester Police, and both voluntarily and socially, assisting and organising various community projects, fundraising events, and charities.

As a resident I have worked tirelessly for the benefit of OUR community, but I want to achieve even more. Imagine what I could achieve as YOUR councillor.

My priorities will continue to be focussed on protecting green spaces; campaigning for road safety and traffic control; supporting local businesses; combatting littering and fly-tipping; reducing crime and anti-social behaviour; and maintaining and improving the wards infrastructure, such as, unblocking road gully drains and siting and refilling of grit bins.

No false promises, no false claims without evidence, just proven action.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.