Diggle News has now become part of inSaddleworth

We’ve still got all the same Diggle News stories, all the great photos, but now also have all the extra features of inSaddleworth like Notices, News, Business Directory, Events and Galleries

TfGM Statement: Update on Get Me There app    

Since Monday 3 September, some get me there customers have been experiencing trouble buying and displaying tickets on the app.

This is a nation-wide technical fault affecting the back office systems of TfGM’s supplier Corethree, who developed and manage the get me there and other mobile ticketing apps, which are experiencing similar problems.

Our supplier is currently investigating the root cause of the fault and we apologise for the inconvenience this is causing.

In the meantime customers are advised to:

App users wishing to purchase daily single or return tickets via the app should do so outside of peak times (07.00-09.00 and 16.00-18.00) – anyone wanting to buy during peak times is advised to use a ticket machine instead

  • Anyone wishing to purchase a weekly or monthly ticket can do so outside of peak hours
  • Those with a valid get me there ticket can still access their tickets by turning their phone to airplane / flight mode before loading the app
  • Follow @MCRMetrolink @OfficialTfGM and @mygetmethere and visit www.tfgm.com for the latest information and advice

Refund advice:

  • Anyone who has a valid ticket they have purchased via the app and has had to buy a paper ticket or has experienced duplicate payment will of course be refunded – please visit tfgm.com for more information

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is continuing to work closely with Corethree to try and resolve the issue.

Transport for Greater Manchester’s Customer Director, Stephen Rhodes, said: “First and foremost I’d like to apologise for the continued disruption and inconvenience this is causing our customers.

“This is a problem affecting multiple ticketing apps and thousands of bus, tram and rail customers up and down the country and we continue to press for an urgent resolution.

“Until this is resolved I’d encourage users of the app to follow our social media channels and visit our website for the latest information and advice relating to get me there.”  


More than 600 job-related opportunities will be on show at the annual Get Oldham Working (GOW) jobs fair.

With a variety of jobs, apprenticeships and work experience openings on offer from employers across the borough and beyond, this is a great chance for residents who are either looking for work or a new challenge, to present their CVs to their potential new boss. Sainsbury’s, Metrolink and Mitchells & Butlers, will be amongst some of the employers attending the event alongside Manchester Airport Academy, Housing Units, Primark, Greater Manchester Police, the North West Ambulance Service and many more.

Training opportunities will also be on offer for anyone looking to develop their skillset in a range of fields, from introductions to IT to basic Maths and English courses. So whether you are job hunting for the first time, looking to return to work, or you are searching for the next step in your career, this free event is for you – just turn up on the day, no booking is required.

The event runs from 1-5pm on Thursday 20 September at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Oldham, OL1 1QJ. Pay and display parking is available just outside the venue and Oldham King Street Metrolink stop is just a 2-3 minute walk away.

Staff from the GOW team will be on hand to advise about jobs, careers and access to training across a wide range of sectors within Oldham. There will also be plenty of space to complete any job applications that you pick up on the day, with additional support available in case you get stuck with any questions.

Councillor Shaid Mushtaq, Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills, said: “It’s not often you find a huge amount of employers under one roof offering so many fantastic work-related opportunities – including more than 600 jobs.

“Our jobs fair benefits everyone, no matter what you current circumstances are. So if you’re looking for work, a new challenge or even some work experience to aid your university applications, I would urge you to come down and speak with as many employers as you can.

“Make sure you bring an updated CV and plenty of copies with you on the day so you can hand them out. Dress like you would do for a job interview too – it helps to make a good first impression.”

The Get Oldham Working jobs fair is run in partnership with Jobcentre Plus (Department for Work and Pensions), the National Careers Service, Ingeus and PeoplePlus.

Saddleworth in Bloom 2018 Results

The judging of the Annual Saddleworth in Bloom competition took place on Tuesday 31st July 2018. The panel of judges consisted of the Chairman of the Parish Council and the Chairman’s Lady, Councillor Rob Knotts and Mrs Lesley Knotts, the Vice Chairman of the Parish Council and the Vice Chairman’s Lady, Councillor Paul Fryer and Mrs Aileen Fryer and the Clerk to the Council, Pam Bailey. Paul Bailey accompanied the judges and took photographs of all the entries.

The following categories were judged:

  • Small Garden (under 125 square metres);
  • Medium Garden (over 125 but under 250 square metres);
  • Large Garden (over 250 square metres);
  • Container Garden;
  • Community Garden; and
  • Best Blooming Pub.

The judges’ decision was as follows:


Small Garden                           Jean Phillips, Grotton

Medium Garden                       Dr Eammon and Pauline O’Daly, Uppermill and William Dean and Eileen Lousin, Dobcross (joint winners)

Large Garden                           Glynis Bruce, Denshaw

Container Garden                     Ann Smith, Dobcross

Community Garden                  Outram Mews, Uppermill

Best Blooming Pub                   The Old Bell, Delph

Highly Commended:

Small Garden                            Les Chapman, Delph and Christine Foy, Greenfield

Large Garden                            David Haines, Grasscroft

Container Garden                     Brenda Whitehead, Delph

Community Garden                  Anne Coude, Greenfield

Best Blooming Pub                  The Old Original, Scouthead


Small Garden                           Mr and Mrs P. McCarthy, Springhead

Best Blooming Pub                  The Swan, Dobcross

The judges commented that the standard of entries was very high and their decision had not been easy. However, the number of entries was, again, disappointingly low which could have been due to the effects of the very bad winter and/or the extremely dry summer. They offered their thanks to everyone who took part and said that they hope to see an even bigger competition next year. The Clerk added that a review of the format of the competition will be undertaken to try to encourage more people to enter next year.

Operation FireWatch underway in the Peak District National Park

Authority staff assisting firefighters in tackling the Tameside moorland fire in the Peak District National Park.

The Peak District National Park Authority has implemented Operation FireWatch in collaboration with the Moors for the Future Partnership.

Staff from the National Park, partner organisations and volunteers are in place at moorland vantage points throughout the National Park to look out for fires.

The hot, dry weather means that ground conditions on the moors are extremely dry and the risk of fire is high.

Residents and visitors are asked to be extra vigilant to help prevent moorland and grassland fires.

Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “With the hot weather set to continue over the next few days, the risk of further fires is a real concern.

“We have implemented Operation FireWatch to keep a close eye on conditions on the moorlands and we are urging everyone to get involved by doing everything they can to help prevent fires starting. We have put fire risk warning notices at moorland access points to remind everyone of the dangers but we need people enjoying the moors to observe a few basic rules:

“Leave your barbecues and fire-pits at home. Don’t drop cigarette ends or matches. Take glass bottles and litter home with you. Don’t light fires or barbecues on or near moorland. Report fires immediately to the fire service by phoning 999.”

Fire-fighters have been tackling an extensive moorland fire in the north-west of the National Park, near Stalybridge, Tameside, since Monday (25 June) – some 2,000 hectares of moorland habitat has been destroyed. Working with fire-fighting team and other partners and moorland managers, the National Park Authority is providing staff, vehicles, supplementary equipment, logistics support and local access expertise in the hard to reach places.

Sarah Fowler added: “As we have already seen this week at Tameside, in these dry conditions moorland fires spread very quickly and are devastating to the landscape, lethal for wildlife and a threat to people and homes.

“It’s breeding season for nature at this time of year on the moorlands; we have birds nesting on the ground – plover, curlew and lapwing, insects such as the bilberry bumblebee, mountain hare and other mammals, and reptiles like the tiny common lizard. Many of these species are rare or under threat – it’s vital that we all do what we can to protect them and prevent any more fires breaking out.”

The fire at Tameside is the third moorland fire in the Peak District National Park in 2018. In May, around 40 hectares of moorland were destroyed at the Goyt Valley and five hectares of moorland were damaged by fire at Big Moor, near Baslow.

The Peak District National Park Authority and Moors for the Future Partnership are working closely together with partners, including moorland owners and managers, to assess the long-term risk of wildfires on the moors as part of a shared long-term vision for resilient, sustainable moorlands in the National Park.

Greater Manchester announces plans for ‘Beelines’ – the UK’s largest cycling and walking network

Chris Boardman

Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, has unveiled an innovative new plan to create a city-region-wide cycling and walking network made up of more than 1,000 miles of routes, including 75 miles of Dutch-style segregated bike lanes.

The ‘Beelines’ network will be the largest joined-up system of walking and cycling routes in the UK and has been developed with all 10 Greater Manchester local authorities.

Once built, the network will better connect every community in Greater Manchester, benefitting 2.7 million people and making cycling and walking a real alternative to the car.

The proposals, which are subject to formal approval by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on Friday 29 June, also include plans for 1,400 safer road crossings on the majority of routes and 25 ‘filtered neighbourhoods’, where priority will be given to the movement of people and where more public spaces to sit, play and socialise will be created.

People in Greater Manchester make around 250 million car journeys of less than one kilometre each year – the equivalent of a 15-minute walk or a five-minute bike ride.

A large proportion of these trips are school runs. In the Netherlands, 50% of children cycle to school every day – in Greater Manchester the number is less than 2%. Beelines aims to make walking and cycling the natural choice for short journeys.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Greater Manchester has a long history of doing innovative things and our approach to Beelines is no different.

“This proposal is bold and I make no apology for that. If we’re to cut congestion and clean up our air, decisive action is needed. I want to make Greater Manchester one of the top 10 places in the world to live and it’s action of this sort which will help to deliver that promise.

“I’ve no doubt that Chris Boardman and the 10 local authorities which make up Greater Manchester will do us proud and make journeys on foot or by bike the first choice for local trips.

“This will help to tackle congestion and it will help to tackle poor air quality, as well as boosting people’s health and fitness levels.

“We have £160m to get us started and we have a plan that has something in it for every single person in Greater Manchester.”

Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “I’ve been massively impressed by the political will of all of Greater Manchester’s 10 authorities to come together to make this plan a reality.

“It’s not really about people using bikes and walking – it’s about making better places to live and work by giving people a real choice about how they travel. In doing so, we’ll make the city -region healthier and more prosperous.

“We’ve seen from other global cities that these methods work and the benefits are there for all to see – we simply can’t afford to be left behind.

“So now the hard work begins and we’ll be working closely with all local authorities and partners to deliver this plan as urgently as possible.”

Government Minister for cycling and walking, Jesse Norman MP, added: “The great city-region of Manchester is setting a fantastic example with this project. I commend Chris Boardman and his team for their energy and focus in making it happen.

“This is a really exciting plan to encourage more people to cycle and walk. But at the same time, it will improve air quality, reduce congestion and improve health, by giving local people real alternatives to driving.

“Earlier this year we awarded Greater Manchester nearly £250m as part of the Government’s new Transforming Cities Fund, and I am delighted to see it being put to good use.

“Greater Manchester is already a great place to live, but this initiative plan will make it even better. I hugely look forward to seeing how this work progresses.”

Maps showing the proposed plans for each local council area in Greater Manchester have today been published on the Cycling and Walking Commissioner’s page on the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)’s website. The proposed routes and crossing points have also been published on open data website mappinggm.org.uk, where interested members of the public can collaborate on the plans for their area.

The plans represent the first version of the network that could be built over the next five years. An updated version of the Beelines map will be published later in the year.

Chris Boardman added: “Beelines will connect the quiet streets of Greater Manchester and lead in the most direct way to new crossing points to get people across busier roads.

“People using these routes will see new, distinctive signage which will be a marker of quality and will encourage them to take more journeys by bike or on foot.

“Beelines will be lined with zebra crossings at every side road, encouraging people to cross roads with priority and without fear.

“Planners, engineers and, most importantly, local people in each council area led on creating the first draft of these plans, which will evolve in the months and years ahead. By involving local people from the very first stage, and enabling them to inform the details of each proposed route and crossing, we’ll get the outcome they need, not what we think they need.

“That’s why we’ve taken the decision to create the first draft then immediately make it available to the public. This will be Greater Manchester’s network and it’s important that residents’ voices are the loudest, that they own it from start to finish.”

The plans published today have a combined budget of around £500 million and represent a first step in the planned £1.5 billion investment. Andy Burnham made the decision in March to allocate £160 million of the government’s Transforming Cities Fund to the project, which brings the total spend on cycling and walking in Greater Manchester to around £15 per head.

This funding is at levels seen in cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam, where cycling and walking make up 25% of all journeys.

The first list of routes and crossings that will be built in this financial year will be published at the end of July. All 10 local authorities are now working with the GMCA and TfGM to identify sites where work can start quickly.

Salford City Council’s ambitious proposals for Chapel Street East are one of the first schemes to be submitted to the new Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge fund. They will create an environment where walking and cycling are attractive alternatives to driving and will support the sustainable development of city centre of Salford. The scheme is modelled on the best Dutch streets including continuous footways and cycle tracks, implied zebras, traffic-calming, streets trees and planting.

Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor, said: “Salford has been investing in our award-winning traffic-free cycling and walking network for many years but recognises we need to do more and welcome the Cycling and Walking Commissioner’s proposals. It’s also great to see the Greater Manchester Mayor’s commitment to spend £160 million on walking and cycling over the next four years. With this level of financial commitment, we should be able to positively encourage more active travel in Salford and across Greater Manchester. We are confident that our ambitious plans for Chapel Street East are of the right quality and design to enable people to choose walking and cycling over using cars.”

To find out more, visit the Beelines pages on the TfGM website at www.tfgm.com/beelines.

Jo Taylor receives Above and Beyond Award at Diggle Blues

Jo Taylor receiving her Above and Beyond Award from Dave Wood at the Diggle Blues Festival on Sunday 10th June at Diggle Band Club.

Jo’s remarkable achievements are testament to her determination and strength of will. Having had treatment for primary breast cancer 11 years ago and after being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer 4 years ago, she now supports cancer patients from across the whole of the U.K. and worldwide with peer-to-peer health advice through her web site, After Breast Cancer Diagnosis (ABCD).

Jo firmly believes (and there is written evidence to support this) that through exercise and fitness, debilitating cancer treatments can be enhanced. This improves chances of recovery and remission and significantly supports living with and beyond for both primary and secondary cancer patients.

Jo said, “I’m delighted to get the award and I hope it will inspire and motivate cancer patients to adopt a mindset that helps them to go way beyond what they thought they could achieve.”

Dave Wood, Diggle Blues Festival organiser said, ” Jo is an inspiration. Just over 11 years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer, at a time when she had a 5 month old baby and a two year old son. Rather than retreat into self-pity she pushed forward and started After Breast Cancer Diagnosis. This took incredible strength, stamina and determination. Her work helping patients make informed choices has been tireless.

“In addition to advice, Jo also runs retreats promoting the benefits of exercise and positive thinking. She encourages wellbeing both physically and mentally through Nordic walking, cycling, running, relaxation and yoga.

“Jo’s fundraising for ABCD exceeded £3500 last year. In addition, she completed the Manchester to Blackpool cycle ride four times whilst fundraising for Christies (once in the middle of chemotherapy).  She has raised, over the past four years, £20,000  for charity.

“Her preparatory work and conferences took her to Lisbon, Madrid, Copenhagen, and Paris. She has lobbied government and met with the previous Shadow Health Secretary, Heidi Alexander and her own MP, Debbie Abrahams.

“Jo attends The Christie for treatment every three weeks and has been doing that for four years. She has had numerous chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Jo admits to being “a bit odd” but to many she comes across as selfless, brave and inspirational. I’m very proud to recognise her with the Above and Beyond Award.”

For more information about ABCD and Jo Taylor visit: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Saddleworth Group of Artists Annual Summer Exhibition 2018

Artist – Janis Bowie “ Uppermill beyond the Viaduct “ Acrylic on canvas and 80cm x 60 cm

Well known local artists will again be exhibiting their work for the Saddleworth Group of Artists Summer Exhibition at the Saddleworth Museum from Saturday 9th June to Sunday 7th July

Always a popular show, the exhibition will be comprised of up to fifty works, with styles ranging from photorealism to expressionistic. Most paintings will be on sale.

The group, founded in 1950 by watercolourist Ellis Shaw and friends, is currently comprised of around sixty enthusiastic members. Some are full-time professionals but all are seriously committed to their work.

Recent Lottery funded the refurbishment of the Saddleworth Museum has transformed the existing museum with improved access, enhanced displays and exhibitions and an engaging learning programme, all ensuring the museum’s future for many years to come.”

Striding Edge (Towards Patterdale). Artist Pamela Durrans

Check out our website – www.saddleworthartists.co.uk.

Saddleworth Museum, High St, Uppermill, OL36HS Tel. 01457874093.

Entry to the exhibition gallery is free of charge.


Roll-up, roll-up for the greatest show in town as Festival Oldham returns for 2018.

The borough’s annual free celebration of art, entertainment and street theatre takes place on Saturday 26 May, 11am to 4pm in Parliament Square and the Parish Church in Oldham Town Centre and Gallery Oldham.

This year the festival takes on a circus theme and is part of Circus250, a national celebration marking 250 years of circus.

Oldham has a rich history of circus performances and the Coliseum Theatre actually began life in 1885 as the Grand American Circus and Hippodrome.

To mark this rich heritage the town will be welcoming over 100 of the very best circus, variety and music performers to Oldham this late May Bank Holiday weekend. See the unusual, bizarre and unbelievable feats of Doctor Diablo’s Sideshow – including amazing fire-eating, escapology and contortionism.

Circus Sensible and their beautiful blue and yellow big tops will transform the Parish Church yard into the ‘The Circus Gardens’. This is a chance to watch spectacular performers from around the world and have a go at juggling, stilt walking, plate spinning and much more.

Oldham’s resident circus elephants Hessi and Kalli will be exploring Parliament Square, these loveable cheeky elephant sisters love meeting new people and getting up to mischief. A beautiful giant lion will be prowling the streets accompanied by her faithful assistant who will beckon forth all who wish to meet the spirit of the pride.

Look out for the larger than life circus ringmaster and the amazing aerial acrobatics of Circus Vee at Gallery Oldham. Also, keep an eye out for Tiddles the Circus Tiger – the brand new Oldham Theatre Workshop street theatre show.

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood and Co-operatives, said: “Festival Oldham is always a real crowd pleaser and one of the highlight of our events calendar. It attracts a huge crowd every year and this year’s circus theme promises to be something really special. We look forward to welcoming people to this spectacular, free event.”

For more information visit www.visitoldham.com or call 0161 770 3070.

Bus passengers update about changing fares

Local Link, Ring and Ride and school bus passengers are set to see a number of changes to the fares they pay.

The changes, which TFGM say will help support essential services and invest in ongoing transport network improvements, will see the following fares increase:

  • Local Link (from 1 June): single fare increase from £2.50 to £2.60, weekly ticket increase from £20 to £20.80, concessionary single fare increase from £1.20 to £1.25 and a concessionary weekly ticket increase from £10 to £10.40.
  • Ring and Ride (from 1 June): concessionary fare increase from £1.20 to £1.50.
  • School bus (from September): single fare increase from £1.30 to £1.35, return ticket increase from £2.20 to £2.30 and a weekly ticket increase from £7 to £7.30.

TFGM say Local Link and school bus fares are increasing in line with inflation, while Ring and Ride fares are increasing to help maintain the existing level of service to customers following a funding reduction to Greater Manchester Accessible Transport Ltd (GMATL) – which operates the Ring and Ride service.

The Ring and Ride fare increase was discussed during a consultation process with users and charity groups. Stakeholder consultation sessions were held in September 2017 and public surgeries were held in April 2017 and April 2018.

According to TFGM, the feedback indicated that users would be willing to pay the revised fare, as they valued the service greatly and felt that it would still offer value for money.

TfGM’s Interim Head of Bus Services, Alison Chew, said: “Where commercial operators don’t run we have an important role to play in paying for services where there is a social need, so that access to education, healthcare and jobs is maintained.

“We strive to ensure that they provide the best possible service while also representing value for the public purse.

“We recognise that there’s never a good time to increase fares but the changes are needed to ensure these vital services can continue to operate without any detriment to customers.”

For information on public transport across Greater Manchester visit www.tfgm.com, call 0161 244 1000 (7am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-8pm at weekends and bank holidays) or follow @OfficialTfGMon Twitter.

Saddleworth Round Table give support to Dobcross Youth Band

Young musicians are looking good as well as sounding great, thanks to a generous donation from Saddleworth Round Table.

Members of the group donated £875 to Dobcross Youth Band, which has paid for a smart new set of polo shirts for the youngsters to wear at fundraisers and other events. Chairman Richard Foster made the presentation at a rehearsal at Dobcross Band Club as the players celebrated their recent first place in the youth section of the Holme Valley Brass Band Contest.

The Youth Band will still wear their traditional scarlet jackets for concerts and parades, but the polo shirts will be a comfortable alternative for less formal events.

Chairman Sue Crook said: “We are so grateful to Saddleworth Round Table for their wonderful support. The players are thrilled with the new shirts which will give us a more coordinated look at events where band jackets are too formal. It’s great to see community organisations working together like this.”

The Youth Band, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2018, has beginners and intermediate sections as well as the youth band and new players aged seven-18 are always welcome. Anyone interested should contact the band at dobcrossyouthband@gmail.com

Diggle School awarded ‘Good’ by OFSTED

Diggle Primary School has been given a ringing endorsement by Ofsted. The school has been judged as ‘good’ in all areas following a two-day inspection which took place in March this year.

Ofsted highlighted many strengths across teaching and learning; outcomes for pupils; leadership and management; early years provision; and personal development, behaviour and welfare.

Head teacher Sarah Newton said: “We are very pleased that Ofsted have praised our school. Their report reflects our commitment to excellent standards of care and education.”

Inspectors highlighted the school’s “inclusive and friendly atmosphere”, adding that pupils work hard and feel proud of their school. Pupils achieve well in writing, many older children develop a “love of reading” and leaders are “ambitious for the school”. Music was viewed as a particular strength, with an “impressive array” of opportunities for pupils, but children “make strong progress in many subjects”.

Diggle School, on Sam Road, has around 180 pupils aged four to 11, including children who travel from West Yorkshire every day. It shares a site with Diggle Dandelions pre-school, which has been rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Mrs Newton added: “We feel Ofsted’s report has given an accurate view, both of the school’s strengths and of our areas to continue developing. There is a huge amount to celebrate at Diggle School and we are immensely proud to be at the heart of our community. Our role is to create a happy, secure environment where children enjoy learning, feel valued and love coming to school. We have a clear focus on standards and we are passionate about helping children to fulfil their potential.”

For more information about the school, visit www.diggleprimary.co.uk

Make a date for the Dobcross Western Fete

Dobcross fete is riding into town again on 23 June with a ‘Yee haw!’ The popular annual fair which is organised by Friends of Dobcross School (FODS) will be a fully themed Wild West Fest complete with Rodeo Bull, Gold Panning and Horse Shoe Toss.

From 1 – 5pm, at Holy Trinity School, aspiring cowboys and indian’s can pit their wits against the Cowboy Bungee Run and Western Assault Course, race on Bouncing Broncos and slip down the Wild West Slide. They can try their hand at archery, climb Spirit Mountain and then take a well-earned break at the Watering Hole for drinks, BBQ food and ice-cream. Those who are feeling less energetic can kick back and enjoy ‘hoe-down’ with Oldham Music School, Infinity Dance and Holy Trinity Choir entertaining the crowds from the live entertainment stage.

There will also be a wide range of traditional side stalls including Pin the Badge on the Sherriff, Apple Bobbing and Bottle Tombola. Not forgetting the school’s Grand Draw generously supported by local businesses, with over 30 fantastic prizes including a helicopter flight and hire of a Ford V8 Mustang.

Chair of FODS Claire Hilton said “It is set to be a fantastic day, with fun for all the family. The event will raise money for the school to spend on much needed improvements to their practical area and library.

“Unlimited ride wristbands will be on sale at £10 per child ahead of the event, £12 on the day. These offer great value for money, with eight attractions included in the price. Entrance is 50p for children, £1 for adults, with a special family ticket on sale at just £3.”

For more information visit Holy Trinity C of E Dobcross Primary School

Local Election Results for Saddleworth

RESULT: Saddleworth North Ward

P Byrne (Con) 933;  J Eccles (Lib Dem); 882 G Hulme (Lab) 820; CON Gain Turnout: 33.98%

RESULT: Saddleworth South Ward 

H Bishop (Ind) 180  J Curley (Con) 1,215;  C Hunter-Rossall (Green) 103;  I Manners (Labour and Co-operative Party) 793;  J McCann (Lib Dem) 1,043; CON Gain Turnout: 40.49%

RESULT: Saddleworth West and Lees Ward:

S Al-Hamdani (Lib Dem) 737;  D’Adamo (Con) 842; V Leach (Lab) 1,042; LAB Gain Turnout: 31.36%


National Park grouse moors are a black hole for birds of prey

New paper confirms link between raptor persecution and driven grouse shooting in Peak District National Park

Goshawk and Peregrines in ‘catastrophic decline’ in the Dark Peak, where the most intensive grouse moor management takes place

Populations of goshawk and peregrine falcon are considerably lower in areas of the Peak District managed for driven grouse shooting in comparison to the rest of the National Park according to a new study.

The paper published in the journal British Birds found a significant association between confirmed raptor persecution incidents and moorland burning – a practice associated with the management of driven grouse moors. It revealed that populations of goshawk and peregrine falcons were in catastrophic decline in northern Dark Peak and yet increasing in the nearby southern White Peak, where virtually no driven grouse moors are present.

This is the first time the association has been shown between declining goshawk populations and moorland burning, confirming fears that driven grouse shooting and its associated raptor persecution is leading to the demise of this species in the park.

The RSPB’s Tim Melling, one of the authors of the paper, said: “In the Dark Peak, birds of prey are notable by their absence. This should be a stronghold for goshawks and peregrines, but sadly our data shows this area to be a bird crime hotspot leading to almost local extinctions of these species.

“Birds like peregrines – the fastest birds in the world – and goshawk – a striking and elusive hunter – are not only a vital part of the ecosystem but are a joy to behold. They should be in abundance here but sadly the Dark Peak is now proving a black hole for these birds of prey.”

The Peak District National Park was once renowned as THE place to see goshawks with up to 17 pairs in the Dark Peak as recently as 1995 but by 2015 this number had plummeted to just two, neither of which successfully bred. Goshawk was found to be twice as likely to successfully breed in the White Peak as the Dark Peak, and peregrines three times more likely.

The illegal persecution of birds of prey is a persistent problem throughout the UK. The RSPB is calling for the government to introduce a system of licensing for driven grouse shooting, and regionally the inclusion of practical measures in the Peak District National Park Management Plan to address this issue.

TV Broadcaster and Vice President of the RSPB, Chris Packham, said: “Our national parks should be awe-inspiring places filled with nature and beauty, providing a connection for people to the natural world. This isn’t the case in the parts of the Peak District National Park where driven grouse shooting predominates. We are being robbed of the magnificence of birds of prey by an industry out of time and out of touch with the majority of the British people. It is time to make the changes that are needed to return our National Parks to what they were meant to be.”

Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stockbridge and Species Champion for the hen harrier, said: “It is more than ten years since the issue of bird of prey persecution was brought to my attention and it seems that the situation has not improved, with the elimination of both goshawks and peregrines from my own parliamentary constituency. Regulation of driven grouse shooting is inevitable unless those who engage in the sport are prepared to tackle effectively law-breaking within its ranks.” 


No Petticoats Here: Award-winning singer, songwriter Louise Jordan tells the stories of inspirational women who challenged expectations

Dive into a world of drama, family shows, comedy, music and new writing at Oldham’s live@thelibrary summer season.

Oldham Libraries have a packed schedule with something for everyone at libraries across the borough from May to August.

There’s a whole host of events to mark the Suffrage Centenary, including the Revolting Women performance of the Suffrage story through the eyes of a less well-known Pankhurst, Sylvia, who fought for the vote alongside working women in the East End.

To mark Refugee Week (18-24 June, 2018), join the Manchester International Roots Orchestra for an evening of exciting new music. The unique, musically diverse orchestra aims to nurture musical collaboration between refugee and other culturally diverse musicians, and Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) students.

Children can help save the day in a fun interactive performance of Old McDonald and the Three Pigs Plus in just one of many family events throughout the summer.

There’s also a welcome return of Open Space Festival, showcasing the work of writers and performers from Oldham and across Greater Manchester.

Live@thelibrarylocal brings the fun straight to your community and there’s something for adults and children alike. You can go on an adventure in Charlie and the Lost Treasure or enjoy “I Don’t Know”, a thought-provoking one woman show for Dementia Awareness week.

The Small Cinema also returns to Oldham Library with a dementia-friendly screening of the classic romantic drama ‘Casablanca’ as well as other favourites.

Sheena Macfarlane, Head of Heritage, Libraries and Arts at Oldham Council, said: “Our modern libraries are so much more than book-lending services. Our staff strive to provide a wide range of services, facilities and information for residents of all ages and in many different ways. Live@thelibrary is the perfect celebration of just how much our libraries have to offer.

Amani Live: Amani Creatives will be showcasing some of the freshest new talent from the African diaspora and highlighting diversity, complexity and enduring cultural influence in Africa.

“This season, we have something for all ages and we’re supporting established and emerging local talent. I hope residents will come out and support these events with their family and friends.”

Booking is essential for all events including those without a charge.

Children under 12 months are free and accompanying adults must book a ticket to attend children’s performances.

Oldham Library is located on Greaves Street, Oldham, OL1 1AL (attached to Gallery Oldham).

For all event and booking information, download the full summer brochure at www.oldham.gov.uk/liveatthelibrary

To join Oldham Libraries visit your local branch or log onto www.oldham.gov.uk/libraries

Environment Agency reject revised environmental plan for new Saddleworth School

W.H. Shaw Pallet Works, Diggle

The Environment Agency (EA) reject, for a second time, the revised environmental plans for Saddleworth School re-development in Diggle.

The 4 year controversial Saddleworth School Saga in Diggle Oldham continues as the EA reject the revised Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) presented to the EA by InterServe Construction Ltd/WYG on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education.

The EA have rejected the revised 40 page FRA (Flood Risk Assessment) submission, stating in their letter to OMBC Planning dated 3rd April 2018 that it “does not comply with requirements set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and associated guidance”, “The excavation of the existing floodplain is not an adequate compensatory flood storage” and “we maintain our objection to the above application”. 

Cllr Keith Lucas, spokesperson for Save Diggle Action Group said, “Since our Judicial Review campaign victory (funded by local residents) where High Court Judge Mr Justice Kerr called OMBC council’s previous approval of the planning application “unlawful”, and also criticised the site selection process carried out by both the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) and OMBC, and determined that the new school could be built in Uppermill with the ESFA’s funding and that all the sites should be reconsidered properly against planning legislation and regulations, OMBC have completely ignored the High Court findings and created a wall of silence for anyone who have had genuine concerns about the infrastructural and environmental concerning about the re-location of Saddleworth School to Diggle from its present Uppermill site.

“What we are now seeing is that a statutory body like the EA questioning for the second time, OMBC and the ESFA’s site selection judgment in moving a 1500 pupil school and its associated playing fields onto a flood zone site. 

“This is in addition to The Victorian Society also objecting to the demolition of the Dobcross Loom Works buildings and the listed Link Bridge, in their letters to OMBC planning dated 30thNovember 2017 and 8thMarch 2018, “on the grounds that it would cause substantial harm to the Dobcross Works Office Building that could be avoided by exploring the Uppermill site as an alternative location for the proposed new school. The Victorian Society went on to recommend “that the current application and any others associated with this development are refused and the Uppermill site is explored as the preferred option for the new school development.”

“With two statutory consultees now objecting to the proposals to move the school to Diggle and InterServe Construction Ltd/WYG’s FRA not meeting the required National Planning Policy Framework standards, even on its second attempt, SDAG have to ask: What will it take for OMBC and the ESFA to really listen to Mr Justice Kerr’s judgment and the objections of two statutory consultees?

“We are all fully behind Saddleworth parents and pupils in getting a new school. If OMBC had listened to local public wishes for a new school to be built on the present Uppermill site in the beginning, a new secondary school would have been up and running by 2015.

“SDAG ask that OMBC please stop wasting considerable time and public money trying to move Saddleworth School to Diggle? It just isn’t achievable under planning legislation and regulations. We feel that an urgent enquiry is needed and that the public of Saddleworth get behind the appeal for the school to be rebuilt on its present site in Uppermill without any further delays.”

OMBC were not available for comment at this time.

Small dam fails above Diggle

Looking downstream through the breach

On Tuesday 17th April large amounts of peat flooded into Diggle Brook. The peat appears to have been released through a breach in the dam at Little Black Moss Reservoir situated at the head of the valley above Diggle Firing Range (Grid Ref: SE 0315 0861).

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