Oldham Lib-Dem leader calls again for special Council meeting to discuss green belt homes plan

Date published: 29 July 2020

The Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to the Leader of Oldham Council to ask once more for a special meeting of the full Council to be convened to consider a one-item agenda – the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and its impact on the Oldham Borough.

Councillor Sykes first asked the leader for such a meeting in the Full Council meeting in September, 2018, and again in December of that year. 

Council minutes have since recorded that the matter is ‘in progress’. 

Councillor Sykes’ patience has seemingly worn thin and he is concerned that time for further meaningful debate on the issue is fast running out.

He said: “The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework will, aside from Coronavirus, have one of the greatest impact of any issue on Oldham and its people, and this impact will be felt for 20 to 30 years. 

"Under the current plans of Labour’s Greater Manchester Mayor and the Leaders of the ten Greater Manchester local authorities, thousands of new homes will be built across the Oldham Borough over two decades.

“Many of our Borough’s residents were rightly up-in-arms about the proposals to build most of these new homes on our precious and irreplaceable Green Belt, and Oldham’s Liberal Democrat councillors joined them on protest marches and by objecting strongly in writing in response to every consultation and by raising questions in Full Council. 

"I now feel it is time for Oldham’s Labour administration to bring the latest proposals before the elected members who represent the people, and it must be at a one-item Council meeting.

"As this is such an important issue, there should be time for proper debate without the distraction of other business.”

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