The photos below show Oldham’s thriving town centre on a Friday afternoon, as you can see all those many tens of millions spent by the council are yielding dividends as demonstrated by the upbeat retail experience and the bustling crowds. Odd that these empty premises are just a few metres from the £39.1 million old town hall cinema but they never appear in any photos. In contrast to the upbeat reflection’s of the local government network these pictures paint a depressing picture of Oldham. In his response to the GM spacial framework proposal (GMSF), MP Jim McMahon practically pleaded with the GMCA to plan for more offices in Oldham town centre because the retail trade relied on the council buildings and educational establishments. Established businesses and retailers are not persuaded to invest in Oldham by well meaning council funded puppet and light shows. Businesses with a model will research the area, crime, people and disposable income. Oldham town centres fate is linked to the council’s failure to build a robust economy and the relentless expansion of indigenous and migratory deprivation, economic inactivity and reliance on benefits. Take away all the council funded building work, grants and incentives and you are left with practically no private development or investment. Why did I take the photos today, it was because this is the last time I will visit the town centre. I have gradually reduced my personal spending as the town centre became less and less desirable and finally made the decision to leave the gym I have used for eleven years. The council will continue a policy of discriminate disproportionate town centre spending but it will never get a single directly spent penny of mine ever again.
We also noticed this week Mr McMahon constantly championing his part in exposing the failing Collective Spirit free school. He however forgot to mention the GM university technical college in Oldham town centre, another “gamechanger” development opened during his tenure as council leader, which had no students at all achieving C or above in both maths and English GCSE. Although the scheme was not his he gave it his full support and his deputy Abdul Jabbar positively gushed about it “The new facility will help to transform vocational training and is a radical and visionary step forward for the whole borough.” Not going to get that saint Jim of Oldham statue in parliament square if your schemes and schemes moved forward on your watch keep underachieving. Perhaps group’s like foxdenton & district protection group really should now consider using our MP’s list of failure’s to challenge the viability of other destructive schemes he promotes.