WHO will get your vote when Saddleworth and Oldham go to the polls on Thursday, May 6?
The candidates who are vying for votes in the local elections, Saddleworth Parish Council by-election and Greater Manchester Mayoral Election have now been confirmed.
In the local elections, voters will cast their choice of who they want to elect to represent them on Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.
One seat is being contested in each of the 20 wards in Oldham, including three wards in Saddleworth: Saddleworth North, Saddleworth South, and Saddleworth West and Lees.
There are different ways to vote in the elections: at your local polling station, by post or by proxy (appointing someone to vote on your behalf).
You will receive a poll card telling you where to vote if you wish to vote in person at your local polling station on May 6.
Significant efforts have been made to ensure that all polling stations are Covid safe. Voters and staff will be required to wear a face covering (unless they are exempt), observe social distancing and use hand sanitiser which will be made available. Voters can bring their own pen or pencil should they wish to do so.
Applications for postal votes and proxy votes had to be completed in April.
The verification and counts for local elections will commence at 10pm on Thursday, May 6 at various locations across Oldham. The count for Saddleworth South, Saddleworth North, Saddleworth West and Lees will be held at Oldham Sports Centre.
To find out more, visit Oldham Council’s website: www.oldham.gov.uk/elections
Here are the candidates standing in Saddleworth North ward:
Louise Banawich, Green Party
My education and career led me to make Greenfield my home and so feel very invested in the Saddleworth area.
Previously a University of Manchester research student (renewable energy), I’ve worked for the last 10 years teaching science in Further Education colleges within Greater Manchester.
I encourage students to become actively involved in recycling initiatives and anti-littering campaigns, being environmentally aware and the importance of conservation.
I joined the Green Party because I believe it is the only party committed to both social justice and environmentalism for the benefit of all and our planet.
We need Green voices on our local council to create positive ideas that will have a direct impact within our community.
My immediate concerns are more community policing and improved road safety especially around our local schools.
I believe more of the housing we build should meet the needs of local people, while protecting our vital green spaces.
Chris Green MBE, Reform UK
Reform UK is the renamed Brexit Party now we have achieved that goal.
Lend me your vote and see the difference. Here are the reasons why:
I have an antique shop in Delph so I’m always available to you.
Reform UK has no whip rules. The other parties do, their candidates have to follow the party political lines, not what is best locally.
Reform UK actively encourages our candidates to act for the benefit and requirements of our own wards because each has its own individual requirements and assistance.
We support equality, more input from the electorate, use of council funds with common sense and where local people want and need it.
I was awarded an MBE for services to business and social communities. Let me help to rebuild our businesses and communities in Saddleworth North.
We also intend to move towards decentralising government, towards equality of fund distribution, investment and decision making.
We need to rebuild locally our communities and businesses.
I’m local, I’m here to support you. A vote for me is a vote for you. @ChrisGr22302109
Connor Green, Labour and Co-operative Party
I am proud to be the Labour and Co-operative candidate for Saddleworth North.
At the last election you elected Cllr George Hulme as your first Labour Councillor, making clear that Labour is the only progressive alternative to the Conservatives.
If elected, I would work to improve our local transport network. I wholeheartedly support Mayor Andy Burnham in introducing bus franchising. This would bring routes and service frequency under local control. Saddleworth has been facing declining services and this would be a gamechanger in addressing this.
During my time working for the late MP Jo Cox, I supported work tackling loneliness and social isolation. I am passionate about this cause and would work with community groups here in Saddleworth to address it.
A second Labour Councillor working alongside Cllr Hulme, who has strong working relationships with the Council leadership and our local MP, would mean a strong voice for Saddleworth North.
Garth Harkness, Liberal Democrats
I live in Dobcross and care deeply for our unique villages. I have served as a Saddleworth councillor for nine years. I am committed to defend its interests because Saddleworth has to fight for a fair share of resources.
My achievements include getting 20mph limits – fought for since 2014 – defending green spaces, a long-standing campaign for a Saddleworth health centre identifying both land and building funding, a multi-award-winning defibrillator campaign, fighting for the new secondary school, highway improvements, 356 bus, restoring 350 direct route, fight for local decision-making, many proposals to the council including food for poorest children, hundreds of potholes and blocked drains fixed.
For nine years I have been seeking people’s views all year round. I’ve stood up for Saddleworth for the priorities you tell me to preserve and enhance our unique villages.
I hope you will support me to carry on and do more.
Luke Lancaster, Conservative Party
As a Parish Councillor and a community campaigner beforehand, I have worked on the day-to-day issues which you’ve told me matter most.
I’ve been involved in grassroots initiatives across our villages – including improving road safety and clearing litter – and have fought to protect our precious green spaces.
In just a decade, Oldham Labour have increased Council Tax by 28 per cent, so the choice at this election is stark.
Another Labour candidate who would blindly support squeezing Saddleworth like a cash cow. A Lib Dem who has abandoned us to pursue a parliamentary career elsewhere three times now.
Or electing me, a local Conservative councillor, who will be part of a stronger opposition to Labour and who has Saddleworth’s best interests at heart.
I am standing for election because I care deeply about Saddleworth and want to give back to the place I am proud to call ‘home’. I hope to earn your support for that reason.
Gary Tarbuck, Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth
Following 22 years of decorated Infantry service on the front line of the world’s most dangerous warzones, I rose to the rank of Company Sergeant Major in one of the British Army’s finest regiments.
I now want to be your representative, as your councillor, leading the fight on the frontline of the council chamber, fighting to resolve the issues and concerns that are a priority for you in the ward of Saddleworth North, a ward that I live in with my family.
I am regimentally proactive in getting things done and proud of my traditional values and high standards.
I will fight to stop the development of Saddleworth’s green space, improve the standard of medical facilities, improve the quality of road surfaces, effectively challenge lawlessness, anti-social behaviour, and the blight of speeding on our roads.
I have served our country, let me serve our ward.