Not exactly “Gateway to the Pennines” as Just two Oldham parks receive Green Flag awards in 2015/16 yet neighbour Tameside has twelve

Cash strapped Oldham Council cannot afford to enter it’s parks, other than Alexandra and Dunwood, for Green Flag awards but can continue to spend tens of thousands on Town Centre Britain In Bloom displays costing far more than it would to get Green Flag status for all the borough’s parks. These Britain In Bloom displays offer only a temporary distraction for any discerning shopper who soon realises that the majority of  Oldham’s limited Town Centre shopping occupies the cheapest end of budget retail. Labour leader Jim McMahon calls Oldham “Gateway to the Pennines” but when neighbour Tameside has twelve Green Flag parks & even Rochdale has six these are empty words. Oldham Council is great at Town Centre regeneration when they have free rein to spend money they do not have, a future being built on a mountain of debt is an uncertaine one. PFI debt and interest charges will cost the borough’s residents over six hundred and nineteen million pounds over the next twenty five years and Council loans stretch to at least 2078 meaning most Oldham residents will be dead before current debt is repaid.