Impact not in doubt
Date published: 19 September 2013
FROM boosting residents’ satisfaction rate three-fold to securing the £83million arrival of Metrolink, it’s safe to say Charlie Parker has made an impact in Oldham.
When he joined the council from his role as director of investment and performance at English Partnerships in 2008, Mr Parker had a five-year plan for Oldham.
Resident satisfaction rate was only 23 per cent — the lowest in the country. By 2012 this had risen to 63 per cent.
The married father-of-two — a longstanding season ticket holder at Manchester City — has also presided over rapid improvement in a range of council sectors, from children’s services to recycling. And it hasn’t been an easy task.
He inherited a tough position at Oldham Council, with a budget shortfall of more than £20 million and many areas underachieving.
Over the past five years, the management team he appointed has delivered savings of £140 million.
Recycling rates have more than doubled, the council’s fostering, lifelong learning and music services have been rated outstanding, and Oldham was even crowned best city at Britain in Bloom last year.
The housing team won Strategic Local Authority of the Year in 2012 and children’s services are now rated excellent — a huge jump from its zero rating in 2008.
Under his leadership, Oldham has welcomed a host of regeneration and investment projects, from the transformation of the Old Town Hall to new leisure centres in Oldham and Royton.
The country’s first National Hospitality Training Academy — named Hotel Future — is also planned for Oldham town centre.
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