Mayor Burnham set for Dovestones visit

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 25 July 2019

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will visit Dovestones to hear concerns surrounding the beauty spot.

Mr Burnham's visit is likely to be in September.

He announced his intention to visit Oldham at an 'Ask Andy' public question time session supported by a team of senior officials, including GMPs chief constable and Sean Fielding, Oldham Council’s leader.  

Mr Burnham promised to visit Dovestones more than 17 months ago after demands to authorities for more “boots on the ground” to tackle problems at the Greenfield site.

Doctor Andrew Taylor, chair of Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents Association, who met the mayor, highlighted concerns in Dovestone and Chew Valley including fires, parking, anti-social behaviour and planning concerns.

Said Dr Taylor: “The Mayor readily accepted his attendance could add great weight behind the efforts of the marshals, paid and voluntary, the ground staff from RSPB and UU, other volunteers and the Fire Service, who have all stepped up their game to keep the area free from fire.  

“His presence would help validate the financial support need for the ongoing protection of the area and hopefully reinforce the message to the public that the area is valuable and is monitored. 

“He also expressed readiness to listen to residents’ views on the proposals for housing development on the Fletchers Mill site.  

“Mayoral support for local proposals chimes well with his earlier view on the value of local involvement in planning."

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams, who recently visited Dovestone, said: “I will do everything in my power to make sure Government offer support.”

And Cllr Fielding underlined the council’s commitment to provide funding for the Dovestone marshals, who patrol the area during busy weekend periods.

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