‘New’ face at the top of borough council

SADDLEWORTH voters have a ‘new’ person in charge of their borough council after Arooj Shah returned to the top.

The former leader of the Oldham authority is back in charge after winning an internal Labour Party contest following her re-election as a councillor.

Critics may see the news as inevitable as Tuesday following Monday, especially after predecessor Amanda Chadderton lost her seat in Royton South.

Cll Arooj Shah

However, after a pitch that included trying to save a production theatre in the town following the closure of the Coliseum and building on the economic review she commissioned during her last tenure, she saw off competition from Cllr Peter Davis.

She also promised to take the Don’t Trash Oldham campaign even further by involving making the town greener and looking to reinstate district community councils.

Cllr Shaid Mushtaq has been appointed statutory deputy leader, with his number two being Cllr Elaine Taylor, who held the same role under the previous Leadership.

After being re-elected as leader, Cllr Shah – who won a seat in the St Mary’s ward – said trust is at the centre of her plans.

She said: “Being re-elected to lead the borough I love is one of the biggest honours anyone could hope to have.

“Not for title, office or status, but for something much than all of that – to chance to change the place I was born and raised in, proudly call home, and demand better for.

“When I see working people doing everything that’s asked but still not able to get by, they and their families have a right to demand change.

Amanda Chadderton lost her seat in the 2023 elections

“There is growing strain in households and it adds to an environment where division can thrive.

“If politics isn’t seen a force for better, something to believe in and something to vote for, all that’s left is the politics of division, where faced with little else voters vote against how things are, not what can be.

“I have a plan to rebuild trust, and that starts with answering this simple but fundamental question, ‘What does it mean to live a decent, fulfilled life in Oldham?’“

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