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 South ward:
Brian Banawich, Green Party
I’m 58 and have lived in Saddleworth for several years.
I work as a learning mentor in a local school working with young people who have autism.
This is something I am passionate about as I have a son who has autism.
I am standing as a Green candidate as I believe the Greens have the best policies to tackle the many issues we now face, including protecting our environment and green spaces, a realistic transport policy and the will to address income inequality.
Locally, I believe we need to do much more to genuinely consult with residents on planning and transport issues within Saddleworth.
We need a dialogue on how best to provide housing that is suitable for and affordable by local people as well as the land, infrastructure and facilities for the work, social and cultural activities we need.
Helen Bishop, Independent
I was brought up in Greenfield and have been a youth and community worker in the village and surrounding areas for 22 years.
I have lived in the Saddleworth wards for my entire life and have built up significant knowledge about the area’s heritage, people and culture.
I have a fresh, transparent approach and a proven track record of supporting and delivering important services and projects.
I have been involved in a number of high profile campaigns and have had great success in drawing attention to the everyday problems faced by the community, such as flooding, crime and anti-social behaviour, lack of resources, over-development, traffic and parking.
I have developed some exciting new ideas to tackle these issues and have the knowledge, skills and experience to represent this community effectively, protecting its heritage and interests.
My ethos is to provide a vision for the community moving forward and to focus my time and energy on contributing positively.
Kevin Dawson, Liberal Democrats
I am a hard working Saddleworth Parish Councillor and believe in local decision-making and putting people first. Saddleworth has been neglected by Oldham Council.
Liberal Democrats are campaigning for a new Health Centre in Uppermill, affordable housing for young people, improved bus and train services, and better community and sports facilities.
We strongly support local shops and businesses.
Our Green Belt, open spaces and village heritage and environments are precious and must be protected.
Liberal Democrats strongly oppose Conservative Government proposals to stop local residents having any say about planning applications for new housing or other developments.
Simon Hodgson, Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth
As a resident of Saddleworth South, I share the disillusionment of the local community with their local councillors.
A recent issue in Greenfield compounded my feeling. After contacting the councillors, there was talk and concern, but no communication or follow up regarding the issue. Our councillors promised action but then went silent. Other residents echoed my concerns.
This disappointment has prompted me into action. I feel that the villages deserve better. There are many problems arising… we need councillors who do more than just nod their heads.
The people of Saddleworth stand to lose on a grand scale if we continue with the status quo. Things need to change.
The local election on May 6 gives you the opportunity to make this change. A vote for me, and Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth is the first step towards a brighter future for us all. The time has come to have your say and make a change.
Stephanie Shuttleworth, Labour Party
I am a Greenfield resident, born and brought up in the borough. I am a small business owner and champion of local enterprise.
I started my working life in a mill canteen before leaving the borough to attend university. On returning home after nearly a decade, I proudly relocated my brewery marketing business to Saddleworth and spend my free time supporting and enjoying our invaluable community assets.
I was honoured and delighted when the Labour Party chose me to be the candidate in my home ward of Saddleworth South. I love where I live and want to do my best for my neighbours and our families.
– Continuing the fight for improved infrastructure and accessibility at Greenfield Station
– A brownfield first policy for homebuilding
– Supporting community groups to reduce loneliness, particularly amongst older people.
Max Woodvine, Conservative Party
I am proud to have been born and bred in Saddleworth. I’m also appreciative of our landscapes and lifestyle, our village communities and cultures but also of our unique identity as a people and Civil Parish.
It saddens me to see Saddleworth being mistreated by Labour-led Oldham Council and I truly believe we would be better left alone, with the freedom to make our own decisions and determine our own future without external interference.
Considering Saddleworth contributes more than £20million a year in Council Tax, I will work with my Conservative colleagues to ensure our villages get better treatment from Oldham.
Money that is raised here should be spent here and not wasted on white elephants, executive pay and producing propaganda as it currently is being by Oldham Labour.
I am grateful to have the support of John Hudson. John has been a mentor, colleague and friend to me.
He has had achievements as a community and charity minded man and has a special place in the hearts of Saddleworth people.
I wish him a happy retirement but after almost 50 years of representing our villages he won’t be an easy act to follow.