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YOUR TOWN YOUR VILLAGE YOUR FUTURE The Conservative Manifesto for the Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council Elections on Thursday 22nd May 2014


YOUR TOWN, YOUR VILLAGE, YOUR FUTURE

YOUR FINANCE OUR PLEDGES Five Pledges For Sounder Finances 

We have set out below five pledges which we believe will help keep money in peoples pockets in these tough times. After Labours 3.5% Council Tax rise it is only right that we back the Freezing of Council Tax for 2014-15.

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We will deliver a Council Tax Freeze for 2014-2015. We believe that residents are taxed enough already. We will introduce a 5% cut on all Special Responsibility Allowances and introduce a further 5% cut for all Basic Councillor Allowances.

We pledge to deliver value for money by driving out waste and cutting costs in order to deliver more for less, to make every penny of taxpayers money go further.

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We will cut the Council Leaders and Chief Executives Pay by 10%. Under Labour the Council Leaders pay was increased by 10%. We will cut it by 10%.

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We will work with the private and third sector to finance development initiatives in partnership with the council. Not only reducing the ÂŁ150million accumulated debt under Labour, but Boroughwide investment without any further borrowing or debt/deficit. Page 2


YOUR TOWN, YOUR VILLAGE, YOUR FUTURE

YOUR ENVIRONMENT OUR PLEDGES Four Pledges For A Greener Borough 

We believe that we must preserve our local environment for future generations. We also believe that residents should not be penalised for trying to do their bit through recycling. We believe that our pledges encompass a common sense approach.

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We will introduce incentives to recycle more by working with residents and local businesses via the RecycleBank initiative, providing residents who recycle in the Borough with reward vouchers to spend in local shops, supporting local economy.

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We will always be the strongest advocates of our Green Belt, it is what makes our Towns & Villages special. That is why we pledge to protect it from unnecessary development.

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We will always campaign against plans introduced by Labour to introduce bin taxes.

We will focus our efforts on putting more street cleaners out on the beat, helping to protect our town centre, parks, villages, open spaces, shopping centres and other key locations from fly tipping and litter. We want to keep our Borough cleaner, greener and safer.

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YOUR TOWN, YOUR VILLAGE, YOUR FUTURE

YOUR COMMUNITY OUR PLEDGES Seven Pledges For A Stronger Community 

We believe in communities and we believe in the Big Society. We believe that people and organisations can get on with helping deliver services and local community projects. We believe in a strong, vibrant and free society.

We will establish an “Oldham Big Society Board” where the Council, residents’ groups, local charities and voluntary groups can work together to enhance the delivery of 1 services in the Borough. We will continue to improve the facilities and opportunities available in our wonderful and Open Spaces across our Borough. 2 Parks We will explore all opportunities to secure external funding to support community and investment in our Borough’s play areas. 3 initiatives We will introduce the “Oldham Youth Scheme” for all 7 to 17 year olds to allow them to earn recognition for community or charitable work and win regular prizes to support 4 their efforts.

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We will work with local Post Offices to explore opportunities for council services to be available to these offices, providing residents with local contact points and helping support vital local facilities. We will work to ensure money is directed towards our frontline services, by driving out waste and finding more efficient and cost effective ways of working with community 6 partners through shared working arrangements.

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We will support local residents in the fight against planning incursions and will defend against illegal activity from all sectors of the community. Page 4


YOUR TOWN, YOUR VILLAGE, YOUR FUTURE

YOUR BOROUGH OUR PLEDGES Six Pledges For Stronger Borough 

We believe in a strong mobile society. To make sure we build upon past successes we must keep a high standard in public transport, housing and services so residents can travel, live and use services in a safe and clean environment .

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We will continue to work with Metrolink and will campaign for the best possible outcome for our residents in both the short term and long term.

We will campaign for improvements to Bus Stops and National Express Bus Stops making stops safer & cleaner for passengers. We will lobby every level of government and business to fight for these improvements.

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We fully support the work of Parish Councils and Resident Associations. We pledge to do all we can to enhance the delivery of services for the benefit of local residents by looking at devolving powers and funding.

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We will never forget the service of our Armed Forces as they fight in the name of Queen and Country. We will therefore honour all those who have fallen in the line of duty by annually marking Armed Forces Day.

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We are committed to the provision of good quality housing across the Borough’s portfolio and we will instigate a full and comprehensive review of our Sheltered Accommodation provisions.

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We will support and encourage not just the devolving of power to local town halls but also the devolution of Council Tax Receipts to spend on their own communities.


YOUR TOWN, YOUR VILLAGE, YOUR FUTURE

YOUR BUSINESS OUR PLEDGES Six Pledges For Businesses 

We believe that businesses in our towns and villages need the Council to work with them and not against them. That is why the Conservatives will work with businesses to reduce the burden which the Council may unintentionally put upon them.

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We will conduct an annual Oldham Business Audit with businesses across our Borough, listening and responding to their feedback.

We believe in strong relationships with the Federation of Small Businesses and Chamber of Commerce and will be close partners as we work together for our Borough.

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We will continue to develop a Town Centre Strategy to build on the work by past administrations have done to date. We will support local retailers and encourage more people to our town centre and shopping parades across the Borough.

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We will work with “The Big” employers of our town to promote the local economy for the benefit of all local businesses.

The Government has legislated to allow councils considerable discretion to reduce business rates. Indeed the 2012 Finance Act allows the Government to subsidise discounts by up to 50% if councillors can demonstrate that a reduction is in the interest of local taxpayers.

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We will continue with free parking in our Borough’s car-parks. We will also look at a grace period for people parking on yellow lines when popping into local shops. Page 6


YOUR TOWN, YOUR VILLAGE, YOUR FUTURE

YOUR COUNCIL OUR PLEDGES Six Pledges To Cut The Costs Of Democracy 

We believe in Democracy, but we do not believe that the costs should keep on increasing, It is after all not public money but taxpayers money. We will also make the Council more transparent and more accountable to those who pay for it.

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We will scrap the Borough Life Newspaper and introduce a monthly eBoroughNews for every resident who wants to be connected with regular news on activities across our town.

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We will continue to review and monitor all Council properties and vital assets to make sure they offer value for money for residents. Our assets must work for the best of Oldham residents.

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We will work, when we can with all political parties to seek the best outcome for our Borough. We will look at all options in trying to implement our manifesto. We will publish the voting record of every Councillor for every item on resident sensitive Planning and Licensing Committees. We will publish all Council spending over ÂŁ500 in the continued pursuit of transparency and will look at further ways to expand transparency. We will be seeking a full review by the Boundary Commission on the number of Councillors across the Borough, making the case for a reduction in the total number.


YOUR TOWN, YOUR VILLAGE, YOUR FUTURE

THE CHOICE AT THIS ELECTION Despite there being a Coalition in Parliament, locally the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have very different views about where our Borough should be heading. It is only the Conservatives who are offering a real alternative to the Liberal Democrats. Locally there seems to be little difference between Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

CONSERVATIVES

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Conservatives will not revalue your Council Tax Band at all. We believe that any revaluation of your home would result in your Council Tax trebling or even quadrupling. We are against a comprehensive revaluing of Council Tax bands.

The Liberal Democrats though their so called Mansion Tax would have to introduce a comprehensive Council Tax Revaluation. Instead of the rich paying more everyone will pay more.

The Conservatives will Cut the Chief Executives The Liberal Democrats have no plans to cut the Pay by 10% (£21,600), how is it right that the Chief Executives Pay by any amount. Chief Executive of Oldham Council is paid more than the Prime-minister of the UK. We will introduce incentives to recycle more by The Liberal Democrats have no such initiative. working with residents and local businesses via the RecycleBank initiative, providing residents who recycle in the Borough with reward vouchers to spend in local shops, supporting local economy. We believe in extending free car parking to other parts of our Borough and Town centre. We believe that free car parking will boost local businesses.

Lib-Dem Leader Councillor Howard Sykes questioned how much revenue was being lost as a cause of making the car parks free. No Free Parking from the Lib-Dem’s.

The Conservatives believe that our local greenbelt is worth protecting. That is why we believe that sensitive planning decision votes should be publicised and recorded for residents to see how Councillors voted.

The Lib Dem’s have no such commitment.

We will oppose any attempt to introduce road tolling such as a Congestion Charge in Oldham or Greater Manchester. The Conservatives were the only Party who opposed the original Congestion Charge in 2008.

The Lib Dem’s have made no such commitment to opposing future Congestion Charging. Labour the Lib Dem’s supported the Congestion Charge.

We will cut the Borough Life News Paper and reduce he amount of Council Literature produced. We believe that all this literature is a waste of Taxpayers money. We will move to email and e-news updates.

The Lib Dem’s have no firm or concrete proposals to implement changes in the amount of Council literature produced.

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YOUR TOWN, YOUR VILLAGE, YOUR FUTURE

THE CHOICE AT THIS ELECTION The Conservatives want to Freeze Council Tax, put more street cleaners on the street, Cut the number of Councillors, Reduce Waste and Increase Transparency. Or there is Labour who have Increased Council Tax, Increased the Debt, Closed Shaw Baths and want to spend £500,000 on Statues and not Services.

CONSERVATIVES

LABOUR

Conservatives have frozen Council Tax in 2011 and 2012. Our freeze is worth £72 each year . That is £144 which has been kept in peoples pockets over two years.

Labour rejected a Council Tax Freeze for 2013 and decided to increase Council Tax by 3.5% . Labours reckless spending may mean another increase in Council Tax in 2014.

The Conservatives want to put more street cleaners out on the beat in our Borough. We believe that keeping our Borough clean and safe is important.

Labour cut the number of street cleaners and have had to back track due to the increased risk of fly tipping and litter related crime.

We will be seeking a full review by the Boundary Commission on the number of Councillors across the Borough, making the case for a reduction in the total number.

Labour have constantly opposed plans to reduce the number of Councillors in Oldham and still oppose such plans now.

We want to devolve power to committee. We Labour have no plans nor any intention of believe that any new committee must be open, increasing transparency. transparent and accountable. That is why we support the publishing and recording of all decisions made on these committees. We will explore all opportunities to secure Labour oppose private sector involvement . external funding to support community initiatives and investment in our Borough play areas. We will review plans by Labour to spend £500,000 on statues for the town centre. We believe that in these hard pressed times that services must come before statues.

Labour think that £500,000 is not a lot of money and that it is well spent on statues for Oldham.

The Conservatives believe that Shaw Baths must be allowed to transfer from council ownership to the local community. We do support the opening of the new leisure centre in Royton, but we believe that if the community can run Shaw Baths then they should be able to get on with running it.

Labour held a poor consultation process and as a result Shaw Baths was earmarked for closure. Labour have no further plans for the Baths in Shaw.

We will support any local school which wishes to attain academy status in the Borough.

Labour oppose schools moving to academy status.

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Oldham Conservatives Manifesto 2014  

Oldham Conservatives Manifesto 2014

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