WHEN Cllr Arooj Shah became the new leader of Oldham Council in May, she said her top priority was to clean up Oldham’s streets and come down harder on fly-tippers.
Having tasked council officers with determining what more resources are needed, she has now taken senior Council figures on a walkabout of some of Oldham’s worst-affected streets.
Cllr Shah was joined by Chief Executive Dr Carolyn Wilkins OBE and ward councillors Dr Zahid Chauhan OBE, Shaid Mushtaq and Mayor Jenny Harrison, where they visited the Villa Road area in Hathershaw on June 7.
The group looked at how litter and fly-tipping was blighting the area and discussed what further actions the council could take to change the situation.
Cllr Shah said: “Everyone in Oldham should feel good about where they live, but when people drop litter or, even worse, discard things like old sofas, it leaves our streets looking unloved.
“While our street cleaning team do a great job, and we prosecute fly-tippers whenever possible, it sometimes seems like they’re swimming against the tide.
“I thought it was important to show our senior officers the state some of our streets are in.
“Ultimately we need to see behaviour change from those who show disregard for our borough, and cleaning up will be a real community effort.
“We already have lots of great community groups doing their bit, but I want the Council to be taking a leading role.
“We can’t sit in the Civic Centre and hope things change on their own.”