Council Leader defiant after vehicle attack

Date published: 15 July 2021

Oldham Council Leader, Cllr Arooj Shah has responded to the fire attack on her car yesterday.

In a full meeting of the council last night, Cllr Shah addressed the incident after a supportive comment from Liberal Democrat Leader, Cllr Howard Sykes MBE.

Before an environmental question, Cllr Sykes made a direct reference to yesterday's fire: "It would be remiss of me to welcome Cllr Shah to this meeting, and I'm sure everyone would join me in condemning what she's had to experience recently, and to show those people we are conducting the business of council here tonight. Good on her for that."

In an emotional response, the Council Leader thanked Cllr Sykes for his support and addressed the chamber about the incident: "The last 24 hours have been very difficult and I can't say the attack outside my family home hasn't affected me and the people I love because it has.  But what I am clear about is that whoever was responsible, and for whatever reason, I will not be diverted from the task in hand.

"Our town is facing some of it's biggest challenges yet and as we emerge from Covid, the fragile nature of our economy and society will be tested to the limits.

"My sole focus is on the town and it's people.

"I came into public life because I demand better for every man, woman and child here.

"To realise better that will require all the energy I and everyone in this chamber, and more wider into the council and our partners, have in us.

"So let's get on with the task in hand.

"I would like to thank him for standing and supporting the exactly the good of what Oldham is."

The Council Leader was met with applause by fellow members after her statement.

Police have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the deliberate vehicle fire in Oldham which saw the Council Leader's car destroyed.

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