Hyper-locals falling apart?


After another calamitous election campaign, controversial hyper-locals Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth (POAS) has seen the defection of yet another of its small cohort of candidates.

Following the departure of Paul Goldring, Ronald Bailey and Gary Tarbuck, before the 2022 elections, the latest to exit is Rachelle Wood-Moore, who stood for election to Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council for the first time and secured 307 votes in the Crompton ward poll, won by the popular Liberal Democrat incumbent, Cllr Dave Murphy.

In a prepared statement, Rachelle says:

“My local goals and POAS’ aims are sadly incompatible at this present time, but are not ruled out for the future.

“My aims are to improve Crompton and Shaw’s Parish Council, led by the Liberal Democrats, and to concentrate on bringing our community together, commencing locally. Whereas POAS’ main goals are to improve Labour-run OMBC.

“In brief, but not forgetting many other prioritise and local issues……

“I am a local resident of Crompton. My aims are the exact aims of my neighbours and community.

To mention some:-

“Stop the destruction of our precious, historical buildings, loss of amenities, Greenbelt, improve our remaining amenities and increase infrastructure.

“Obtain our promised, new Health Centre and incorporate a blood clinic due to the closure of this much needed facility at Royal Oldham Hospital.

“Stop the Clean Air Zone in smaller towns and villages, if not altogether which would be preferred.

“Stop wasteful spending! Audit expenditure.

“Help support financially struggling households.

“Increase council revenue without the need to increase council tax.

“Increase public safety and reduce anti-social behaviour and illegal drug crime.

“Better strategies that I have devised can be incorporated to solve housing shortages, traffic congestion, public safety and yet still provide revenue for public needs and essentials”.

It is understood that Rachelle will now campaign, and stand for election, as an Independent candidate. Two of the sixty councillors in Oldham already carry such status. The other hyper-local entity in the Borough, Failsworth Independent Party, now have five seats.

But Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth, formerly known as ‘Saddleworth First!’, once again failed to win any seats at the latest local elections, matching their record in 2019 and 2021.

Their Party Leader, Paul Errock, also stood, unsuccessfully, alongside fellow founder member, Debbie Barratt-Cole, in the December, 2019 General Election. Ms Barratt-Cole was very recently ‘disowned ‘by POAS, having declared her allegiance to the actions and policies of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (better known as ‘Tommy Robinson’).

‘Boots’, as Paul Errock is more popularly known, has previously, and very publicly, aligned himself to the same Tommy Robinson, but appears to now disavow the association.  He has been offered right of reply. No statement regarding Rachelle’s exit has been posted officially by him or his Party.

Page last updated at 0815hrs on Thursday 12th May, 2022

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© Neil Wilby 2015-2022. Unauthorised use, or reproduction, of the material contained in this article, without permission from the author, is strictly prohibited. Extracts from, and links to, the article (or blog) may be used, provided that credit is given to Neil Wilby, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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