Council Leader makes crisis meeting U-turn as Mayor throws her ‘under a bus’

In the wake of a damning and widely reported child safeguarding report, beleagured Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council announced that an Extraordinary Meeting will take place on Monday 27th June, 2022 at the Civic Centre (read more here). This followed a press conference hosted by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), who first commissioned region-wide ‘AssuranceContinue reading “Council Leader makes crisis meeting U-turn as Mayor throws her ‘under a bus’”

Controversial ex-councillor may to be removed as candidate in 2022 election

Politics in East Lancashire is rarely dull and today is no exception. Following publication overnight of the list of candidates who will contest the local elections in Oldham next month, an objection to one of them has already been raised with the Returning Officer, Harry Catherall.  Section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 statesContinue reading “Controversial ex-councillor may to be removed as candidate in 2022 election”

Countdown to local polls begins as Council issues formal Notice of Election

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council issued its Notice of Election yesterday (28th March, 2022) to set the clock ticking towards polling day on 5th May. (read full Notice here). Nineteen of the twenty wards in the Borough will see candidates fight for one seat. In Medlock Vale, two seats will be contested following the shock resignationContinue reading “Countdown to local polls begins as Council issues formal Notice of Election”

Puffs of white smoke slow to rise

Much has been written both on this website and elsewhere in the media about a disgraced hyper-local political party that sprung up in early 2019 in a suburb to the north east of Manchester, writes Neil Wilby. The latest article about the Failsworth Independent Party (FIP) was published as recently as Friday 25th February whereContinue reading “Puffs of white smoke slow to rise”

Another leaked section of Assurance Review identifies more police and council failings

On Thursday, 3rd February, 2022 the author of this article, Neil Wilby, received an email from Khazir Rehman (or Kaiser as he is much more commonly known) as part of the follow up to an article published earlier that day that reported on a libel and harassment claim in which he was the unsuccessful defendantContinue reading “Another leaked section of Assurance Review identifies more police and council failings”

Lowest of the Lowe

On 22nd December, 2021 Bolton-based The Oldham Times belatedly, and dramatically, reported on two peripheral matters that had been discussed at a Full Council meeting seven days earlier, writes Neil Wilby. The headlined screamed: ‘Oldham Council probe after allegations of leaks to ‘malicious blogger‘.’ and, setting aside the absence of any interrogatory process that mightContinue reading “Lowest of the Lowe”

Council reveal their detachment from controversial information rights tribunal

A recent information access request to Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council has produced another surprising revelation from a public authority that appears not to take the relevant statutory framework, and matters flowing from it, at all seriously enough. Indeed they were exposed within the past three months as deceiving a local politician in order to frustrateContinue reading “Council reveal their detachment from controversial information rights tribunal”

Conservative leader falls down his own trap

  At the last Full Meeting of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, held on 8th September, 2021 the various question time sessions proved a little more controversial than usual, writes Neil Wilby. Following an article published elsewhere on this website last month (read here), reporting calls by Council Leader, Arooj Shah, for more public engagement andContinue reading “Conservative leader falls down his own trap”

Council parts company with another senior executive

Troubled Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council has announced that Helen Lockwood is set to leave the local authority. This is the first visible effect of the very recent appointment of interim chief executive, Harry Catherall. He took office on 26th August, 2021. Helen is joining Bury Hospice, which this year celebrates its 30th Anniversary, as chiefContinue reading “Council parts company with another senior executive”

Extraordinary Council meeting set to rubber stamp top officer appointment

Following an exclusive posted elsewhere on this website on 17th August, 2021 (read here), Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council sits this evening in an Extraordinary session, starting at 6pm, to consider a motion approving the appointment of Harry Catherall as interim chief executive. The proposal to bring Harry out of semi-retirement was considered by the Council’sContinue reading “Extraordinary Council meeting set to rubber stamp top officer appointment”