Row over removal of Saddleworth grit bins

OLDHAM Council has been blasted for ‘putting the public at risk’ after deciding to remove grit bins.

But it has hit back, claiming some are being taken because the ward’s representatives do not fund them.

Saddleworth North Liberal Democrat Councillor Garth Harkness has hit out after the authority opted to go ahead with the removal of several from Delph, two in Diggle and one in Denshaw.

That came after it initially paused original plans as Saddleworth Independent told how 32 in the North and South wards would have been taken away.

Saddleworth North Liberal Democrat Councillor Garth Harkness has hit out after the authority opted to go ahead with the removal of several from Delph, two in Diggle and one in Denshaw.

A wider consultation was promised after leader Cllr Arooj Shah ordered a review.

But Cllr Harkness has responded angrily after learning the plans will go forward.

He said: “What an absolute joke.

“Oldham council tried to just remove the grit bins and when called out gave some warm words about a pause and consultation.

“Well, here we are a couple of months later. Ignoring all the concerns raised and removing the same grit bins proposed in August.

“I was asked on September 23 for comments and the email was exactly the same proposals we had been told was happening in September.

“This time it was supposed to now be a consultation. I made exactly the same comments as before.

Grit Bin Removal – Cllr Garth Harkness

“Winters in Saddleworth are harsher than other parts of the borough but no consideration for the residents here.

“So residents will be put at risk as Labour’s Oldham council doesn’t think road safety is an essential service.

“I opposed these cuts but they are ploughing on regardless – this is not a consultation, it is lip service.”

After Cllr Harkness’ criticism, Oldham Council responded saying the bins are being removed as they are either in the wrong place or already on a primary gritting route.

But Cllr Chris Goodwin, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, also said members not paying for refilling is a reason.

He told Saddleworth Independent: “The council places grit bins where they are needed most.

“A review of the locations of grit bins has been undertaken and the majority of bins will remain in place or be relocated to an improved, nearby location.

“The bins that are being removed are either incorrectly located, due to being on a primary gritting route, or are not being used because local councillors, such as Cllr Harkness, do not fund the refilling of those bins.

“All councillors were consulted before any final decisions were made, taking their views on board, and explaining fully the reasoning why the bins were being removed.

“Bins that are sponsored by local councillors will continue to be serviced.

“Residents can check to see where their nearest grit bin is and find out whether they live on a primary or secondary route via the council’s website.”

2 Replies to “Row over removal of Saddleworth grit bins”

  1. What a disgrace when you consider the levels of council tax paid by Saddleworth residents whilst those areas with a higher number of council tax benefits claimants get all the services.

  2. Anyone who’s had previous experience of any of OMBC’s consultations with will be less than surprised by this development.

    I can still, recall being invited to another such consultation about the future of the LINK Center several years ago. The whole thing was a complete farce, the builders were already booked to gut the building and turn it into commercial office space even as we were being, “consulted,” about it’s future, (which had already been decided,) and the consultation itself was no such thing; it was simply a crude marketing exercise aimed renting out the soon to be commercialized office facilities.

    That said the other parties only needed to win two seats at last local elections to end the Labour groups virtual monopoly on power and influence and they couldn’t do it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *