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 West & Lees ward:
Tony Cahill, Conservative Party
This last year has been terribly hard. We had to deal with a terrible pandemic and disruption to our normal daily lives.
But thanks to the NHS, HM Armed Forces and the Government, we have seen one of the fastest vaccine rollouts in the world and are on course for a much brighter future.
My work as a courier for the Health Service means I am travelling between hospitals and surgeries throughout Oldham, Lees and Saddleworth.
During my work, I have helped people by picking up their prescriptions and doing the shopping for elderly people who are housebound.
It has been heartening seeing so many others doing the same and helping others in their community.
I want to fix many local issues which have sadly been neglected by Oldham Council.
Whether that is repairing potholes, protecting our open green spaces from developers, stopping fly-tippers to cleaning up litter, fighting crime and anti-social behaviour. Grotton, Springhead and Lees deserves a better deal and better services.
Mark Kenyon, Liberal Democrats
I have lived throughout Oldham in Werneth, Friezland, Grotton, Clarskfield and Dobcross.
I’ve worked in corporate hospitality, then IT, and for the last 14 years I’ve been helping people and construction companies with green energy and heating – for the last three years as the owner of the company.
I’ve raised two sons in Oldham, the eldest now at university, the youngest starting GCSEs.
I’m passionate about using our council’s spending as a force for change. Favouring local business and jobs with the millions of pounds spent by our council would transform our town.
Voting for me this May is a vote for a local councillor with a local focus.
• Speeding and congestion aren’t just facts of life, they are something we can reduce;
• Littering needs to be tackled;
• We need to work together as neighbours to combat crime, increasing schemes such as Neighbourhood Watches, while GMP gets a grip.
Ken Rustidge, Labour and Co-operative Party
I am a Major in the Army Reserve with many years of service including duties in Iraq and during the Covid-19 pandemic.
I was a Secondary School Teacher and Trade Union Officer. With considerable life experience I am determined to use this to support local people.
I have a close affinity with Lees, spending much time as a child in the area with my father who was Surveyor and P.H.I. for the Lees U.D.C.
I closely support Mayor Andy Burnham and Saddleworth West and Lees Councillor Valerie Leach in their hard work and aims.
I strongly support the Lees Park Eco Centre and Growing Hub which provides training and facilities for residents and improvements in Lees Village Centre, such as more green amenity with the local investment fund.
I pledge to support schools and community groups, promote wellbeing, challenge inequality and support local businesses with the Lees, Springhead and Grotton Business Hub.
Paul Shilton, Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth
Living in Lees for 16 years I have served my community in a variety of ways. Professionally as a Biomedical Scientist at the Royal Oldham Hospital, voluntarily as a Police Officer in GMP and socially, assisting and organising various well attended community events, and being a committee member for the Save Our Valleys campaign and Grotton Residents Association.
I want to continue to serve my community by being YOUR councillor;
I want to be YOUR representative for a ward I care about and is my home;
I want YOUR opinions and needs to dictate the policies for this ward, not party political agendas;
My priorities will be to protect green spaces; enable the prosperity of local businesses; reduce littering and fly tipping; reduce crime and anti-social behaviour; and, to improve the infrastructure of the ward.
The VOICE of this community is the only WHIP I shall follow. VOTE FOR ME.