Village identity rekindled by new community group

THE IDENTITY of two of Saddleworth’s smallest villages is being rekindled by a brand new community group.

NEW COMMITTEE: Joan, Andrea and June
NEW COMMITTEE: Joan, Andrea and June

Austerlands, which has just two shops and a restaurant, and neighbour Scouthead are too slight to have their own associations.

But, encouraged by visionary councillors Derek Heffernan, Garth Harkness and Alan Roughley, residents have teamed up to form Scouthead and Austerlands Community Group.

With Joan Sykes as chair, Andrea Jakeman as treasurer, and June Taylor as secretary, the group held their first meeting in April to put together a plan of action.

Almost 30 residents attended and June said: “We met with lots of enthusiasm.

“As we are only just getting started there are lots of things we will be looking at but firstly it’s important to get people involved and to get everything set up.”

A vote was held to decide the name of the group before Celia Lesley volunteered to be deputy chair and ideas were suggested for development, including a constitution and a website.

Events including a bingo night, a quiz night, area tidy-ups, fashion shows, and sports events to create extra funds and bring the community together are also being planned.

The group also hopes to work with the Police and community services to improve the area’s safety, and to put up signage to target speeding in Heywood Lane and Thorpe Lane.

A £500 grant from the three councillors will help the group get on its feet and Cllr Roughley said: “The ladies who volunteered to manage the new group are to be congratulated. We wish them every success and will do everything we can to help them.”

Meetings will be held at Austerlands Cricket on the first Tuesday of every month at 8pm. The next meeting will be June 4. For more information or to get involved, ring June: 0161 270 9775.

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