We will ignore for now the patronising nature of a consistently ageist Greater Manchester devolution agenda whose inclusion think-tanks can only come up with providing a place for old people to sit as a demonstration of their age friendliness.
Oldham Council leader Jean Stretton is the GM Lead on Equality, Fairness and Cohesion under Mayor Andy Burnham. We had a fair idea when she was announced in the role what this would mean for the wider citizens of the borough of Oldham. We already have a Labour Council obsessed with ploughing disproportionate spending and a never ending deluge of positive policies into the central Oldham wards. To give the leader of this discriminative council license to play the devolution equality card was always going to lead to skewed priorities. Today Andy Burnham & Jean Stretton are visiting the Fatima Women’s Association to talk about their experience of ageing issues as they are one of the funding recipients for part of the £10.2m ‘Ambition for Ageing’ programme. Our problem with this is the group is based in St Mary’s the ward with the lowest rate of OAP’s in Oldham just 8% of the population in the ward are 65 or older, 55% less than the England average and almost 50% less than the Oldham average. In Saddleworth, Crompton and Royton North over 20% of the resident populations are over 65, Labour Oldham have a singular perspective on all spending and potential award opportunities.