SADDLEWORTH MUST learn to love its neighbours and join forces if it wants to move forward, says Parish Councillor and Oldham Mayor-elect John Hudson.
Cllr Hudson, of Greenfield, will take office on May 22 after serving the last 12 months as Deputy Mayor to Councillor Olwen Chadderton.
And after being Parish Council chairman a record four times and serving on the committee for more than 30 years, Cllr Hudson wants Saddleworth to keep up with his progress into the heart of the borough.
“Areas like Saddleworth can sometimes not want to be inclusive but I feel it is important that as it is run by the borough council it acts and feels like a part of it,” he said.
“You will always get someone who objects and I know it seems difficult for some people to be part of the borough – but it is the future.
“Saddleworth is unique and can be a bit parochial and sensitive about these things,” he declared. “However, at the end of the day it is working together and getting involved that is going to move us forward.
“I think it is a great thing we have a Parish Council and celebrate things like Whit Friday and the Rushcart Festival, which make us different to other areas.
“But to make the most of what we have, we have to do things together.
“It is no use sending our councillors to Oldham if they do not want to work with them. We need residents and villages, and other parties, all working together.
“I do not say it to upset people but there comes a time for change and we have got to step forward with the times.”
As Mayor, Councillor Hudson will act as an ambassador for Oldham and represent the borough at events and functions to help raise its profile and create links.
He will also chair council meetings – but has decided not to take part in any political votes – and will select charities to support throughout his year in office.
And after raising more than £78,000 for the Saddleworth Parish Council’s Chairman’s Charities, Cllr Hudson has set fundraising and volunteering as one of his mayoral priorities.
“I want to make sure people realise how important they are in the community and what they can do for charity work,” he said.
“What I believe is best is getting everyone involved in helping fundraise and volunteering and doing that throughout the borough.
“We can all work together regardless of politics, religion or age to really make a difference. I don’t go for plans and strategies – it’s about finding people who will just work together.
“All I’m asking is for people to try to work together and join forces to try to make this a better town and friendly place.”
With only a couple of months to go, Cllr Hudson admitted he is already looking forward to being Mayor and will work his hardest for the people of Saddleworth and Oldham.
“I am mayor for twelve months and in that time I will do everything that is humanly possible. You only get to be mayor once and I will do my absolute best,” he said.
“I am looking forward to the council meetings and livening them up a little, and I will try to bring a little bit of humour. I can’t be anything but myself.”
What do you think of Mayor-elect’s plans? Your view please by e.mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 07960 123879.