New kids on the block

This is a version of a post that appeared on Facebook yesterday (15th October), edited for syntax errors and to avoid defamation claims or committal proceedings for contempt, writes Neil Wilby. The profile behind it describes ‘The Old Hammer‘ (TOH) as ‘a new news outlet for Oldham. Coming soon for the 2022 local elections’. “FirstContinue reading “New kids on the block”

Councillor’s luxury car stolen from outside Party HQ

A newly elected, highly controversial Oldham Metropolitan Borough councillor has reported his car stolen from outside the Failsworth Independent Party HQ in Lord Lane, Failsworth. In a statement broadcast on Facebook on 30th September, 2021, Cllr Mark Wilkinson and his wife, Kathleen Wilkinson, the Party Chairwoman, said: “To any of our friends that live inContinue reading “Councillor’s luxury car stolen from outside Party HQ”

Disgraced hyper-local party mired in yet more controversy

Scandal-hit Failsworth Independent Party, never far from headlines in the local, regional and national press, face more controversy as two of their more recent bids to silence their opponents and critics appear set not only to fail, but backfire spectacularly. The thrust of much of the press coverage, and several articles elsewhere on this website,Continue reading “Disgraced hyper-local party mired in yet more controversy”

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”

Former Council leader joins the fray

In a week of unusually high drama, even by Oldham Council standards, the issue that dominated the news scene, locally, was the Leader’s extraordinary written response to a call by an Independent councillor for an ’emergency recall’ of Full Council. The news of both the misconceived ‘open letter’, posted by Cllr Brian Hobin on hisContinue reading “Former Council leader joins the fray”

Drinking in last chance saloon?

Following the publication on Friday 13th August, 2021 of a widely read, and shared, exclusive, elsewhere on this website (read here), a ‘peace meeting’ was arranged between Cllr Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and Cllr Brian Hobin, Group Leader of the three-member Failsworth Independent Party. It followed the posting on-line of aContinue reading “Drinking in last chance saloon?”

Independent party betrays locals over green belt election pledge

Much has been written elsewhere on this website over the past six months about the Failsworth Independent Party (FIP), their manifest failings and the exceptionally poor conduct of their elected representatives and chair (read just one example here). Most notably, in the past few days they have, again, launched an extraordinary attack on Oldham CouncilContinue reading “Independent party betrays locals over green belt election pledge”

Independents demand ’emergency’ recall of Council

In an extraordinary letter addressed to the chief executive of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, Helen Lockwood, the Group leader of the troubled Failsworth Independent Party (FIP) has demanded an emergency recall of Full Council, writes Neil Wilby. The communication was copied to three journalists and another unknown individual. It was also published on a FacebookContinue reading “Independents demand ’emergency’ recall of Council”

Disinformation discolours local elections

This article is an adaption from a post on the Valent Newsletter blog, a site dedicated to ‘dealing with Disinformation/Misinformation/Fake News…..and online manipulation’. Full credit is given to both Valent and the author, Hamish Falconer. His article is linked here. It’s sub-heading is ‘A QAnon-style campaign helps topple a council leader’. There are a significantContinue reading “Disinformation discolours local elections”

Legal letter stuns Party Leaders into silence

On 27th April, 2021, an article published elsewhere on this website (read in full here), and headlined ‘A Dirty Business‘, revealed, exclusively, an acrimonious dispute between the Leader of Oldham Metropolitan District Council and a fledgling political party in his local ward, writes Neil Wilby. Just a couple of days earlier, the sniping on theContinue reading “Legal letter stuns Party Leaders into silence”