Join the 'Big Oldham Conversation'

Date published: 13 October 2021

People across Oldham are being invited to have their say in the 'Big Oldham Conversation'.

The new campaign aims to engage with with residents and businesses across the borough, and will involve in-person meetings at the heart of communities, to find out more about the local issues people really care about.

Issues such as littering, public transport, anti-social behaviour and plans for Oldham's future are expected to come up, though the council say no topic of conversation is out of bounds.

As part of the Big Oldham Conversation, people are also being asked for their views on the new-look town centre, and responses will be taken into account when the next stage of proposals are drawn up. A new online consultation is set to go live soon - with an opportunity for everyone to have their say.

Cllr Arooj Shah, leader of Oldham Council, said: "When I talk to people from across Oldham, one thing I keep hearing wherever I go is that people want to have more of a voice in the future of their town. And that is absolutely as it should be.

"As Council Leader, my job is to prioritise those things that people really care about; make sure their Council Tax is spent wisely; and listen to people from all our diverse communities when making decisions about the things that really matter.

"Many people feel they haven't been listened to; that decisions are taken without consulting with people who live and work here; and that even when they do take part in public consultations, the end result is already a done deal. That's not how things are going to be from now on.

"That's why I'm launching the Big Oldham Conversation. I'm going to be going out into communities across Oldham, listening to what people have to say - and then going back and telling them what has been done as a result. And as part of the Big Oldham Conversation, we're also going to be asking people across the borough what they think of the big plans for our new look town centre, involving changes to the Spindles, the all-new Tommyfield Market,and the creation of our new town centre park."

Harry Catherall

Big Oldham Conversation public meetings will be taking place across the borough from next week, with everyone invited to attend a Meet the Leader event in their area before the end of March 2022.

At each event, to be held in the heart of communities, people will be invited to meet Cllr Shah and Chief Executive Harry Catherall and ask questions on whatever local issues they choose.

Invitations are now going out to people living in Hollinwood, where the first session will be held, with sessions to run for people living and working in every ward across the borough over the next few months.

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