Since taking over leadership of Oldham Council in May after the previous leader Jean Stretton was ousted by a political coup which was orchestrated by key members and influencers of the Oldham Labour group, Sean Fielding has spent most of his public facing time lauding schemes started under his mentor Jim McMahon’s administration. The latest scheme to receive his praise is the huge Foxdenton development which bares no resemblance to the scheme which controversially was granted planning permission to build on central Chadderton’s last remaining sizable green area. Planning permission was granted against residents wishes under the proviso it was to be primarily employment led and would create 4,000 much needed new jobs, it would also have a secondary development of up to 380 new homes. It is now six years later and the development has not secured a single business tenant or built a single employment space, as a consequence job projection numbers have fallen by half to 2,000 and the number of homes to be built has increased by 32%. This development has now become housing led as many suspected it would and a site sales office has been set up to sell homes which are being built before a new road to serve the site has even been completed which was a condition of the development. The new Council leaders video is entitled “Oldham: An aspirational place to live, work and invest. Oldham Council Leader Sean Fielding visits the £100million Broadway Green development” According to Mr Fielding people are only leaving Oldham because of a lack of quality new high-spec housing in the area, of course this is nonsense and Oldham stands alone in Greater Manchester as the only borough where more UK nationals are moving out of the borough than are moving into the borough. Let’s take a look at Mr Fielding’s claims that Oldham is an aspirational place to live, work and invest.
- Oldham schools are at capacity due to the highest birthrate in Greater Manchester and record international migration. The borough is currently creating between 80% and 670% more new school places than every other authority area in Greater Manchester other than the City of Manchester.
- Oldham has the second busiest major A&E department in England.
In the last year Oldham has seen the highest increase in violent crime in ll of England.
- Oldham has three times more people on the social housing waiting list than Bury, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford & Wigan and a third more than the city of Manchester.
- Unemployment in Oldham increased by five time the Greater Manchester average in the last year. Oldham’s largest private sector employer Shop Direct is relocating to the Midlands.
- Oldham jobs have paid the lowest average salary in Greater Manchester for 12 consecutive years.
- Oldham’s Town Hall Cinema had no private investors & was built entirely with public sector finances totalling over £40 million.
- All the private sector businesses involved in the failed Hotel Future project pulled out leaving the Oldham public £420,000 out of pocket.
- M&S pulled out of the public funded Prince’s Gate development despite having bespoke premises built, being given £9 million and 6 months rent free by Oldham Council.
- The private sector delivery partner for Prince’s Gate version 2 was supposed to be announced by Oldham Council in July 2017 but it never happened.
As partners in the development Oldham Council are destroying central Chadderton’s last undeveloped large green area. We took this video to show the development conditions residents are living with which is scheduled to last anything up to 12 more years, yes you read correctly 12 years. As well as the three current sets of building work featured the wastewater plant behind Foxdenton Lane is also being doubled in size to become Oldham’s only sewage works, we could not find a vantage point to take any footage. Socialism in full flow here in Chadderton where the politicos dump on the areas with the lowest financial dependency footprint in Oldham to subsidise an unsustainable central Oldham that is wholly responsible for housing shortages, school place shortages and more than half of Oldham’s entire working age benefit bill.