Following serious scenes of public disorder, at two successive meetings of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council (read more here), senior officers, working in tandem with Greater Manchester Police, have struck back.
Warning notices under the Anti Social Behaviour Policing and Crime Act, 2014 (read more here) have been served on a number of ‘protesters’ who disrupted the sessions from the public galleries.
Notable amongst those is Warren Bates, a troubled Failsworth pensioner whom self-admits to being the Borough’s biggest and most persistent public nuisance.
On his Facebook page yesterday, he displayed the first page of the letter he received from Oldham Council’s Community Safety Services (pictured above) which sets out both the wider behaviour of a group whom self-style as The Rabble (or Raja’s Rabble) and specific complaints made against him. Which, on any independent view, are seriously concerning and he can can count himself lucky not to have been arrested and charged with at least one public order offence.
But as one might expect from “Wazza”, as he is widely known on social media, and in local betting shops from which he is not yet banned following another assault incident, there is no contrition or apology or reflection upon the alarm and fear he may have caused, particularly to females in and around the Civic Centre. He was recently subject to a separate police complaint and Civic Centre ban over allegedly verbally assaulting a female council officer. In, or around, 2014 he was served with an ASBO over his conduct on the streets during a local election campaign.
Wazza is recognised as one of the closed allies and supporters of Raja Miah, a disgraced, unemployed conspiracy theorist from Mossley, Tameside, and a leading member of The Rabble. A cult-like group of axe-grinders whom faithfully recant a stream of, mostly, nonsensical posts and podcasts from the Region’s most infamous, persistent and mendacious liar. Based around a bizarre, evidence-free and now completely discredited core allegation that all Labour councillors in Oldham, over a long number of years, covered up child sex abuse in return for Asian block votes at local and general elections.
The names of the other ‘protesters’ who have been served with similar ASBO warnings, which include a ban from council meetings for a year, are expected to emerge on social media over the next week or so.
Several sources say at least one person has been arrested and interviewed under caution over their behaviour at the Civic Centre. The press office at GMP has been contacted in order to verify that fact.
The press office at Oldham Council has been asked to confirm how many ASBO warning letters have been sent out as of yesterday evening. Data protection laws will prevent them from confirming the identities of the recipients.
The measures to challenge disorder in the council chamber were agreed by all four Leaders of the political parties in Oldham: Cllr Amanda Chadderton (Labour) Cllr Howard Sykes (LibDem) Cllr Graham Sheldon (Conservative) and Cllr Brian Hobin (Failsworth Independent Party).
Page last updated Wednesday 27th July, 2022 at 1105hrs
Thank you for reading and a polite request: If you wish to make a contribution to the running costs of this website it would be very much appreciated. Donations can made securely, via PayPal at this link.
Corrections: Please let me know if there is a mistake in this article. I will endeavour to correct it as soon as possible.
Picture credits: Warren Bates/Facebook
Right of reply: If you are mentioned in this article and disagree with it, please let me have your comments. Provided your response is not defamatory it will be added to the article.
© 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 Media, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.