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I’m at a warm Oldham full council where I’ll be bringing you live updates throughout the evening #LDReporter
The Oldham youth council are here to present their motion on knife crime. They say it is not a London based problem. More than 2,000 young people voted in a survey to make it the priority in Oldham, over homelessness
From surveys done by youth councillors, 14% did admit to having carried a knife. Half of these suggested they carried a knife for legitimate reasons, such as for Duke of Edinburgh Award or for eating their lunches, but the other half felt they needed it for protection.
But they add current awareness and education is working for young people, but only for 'people who do not pick up knives anyway'. It is a perception of places being unsafe rather than 'real lived experience' that leads to young people carrying weapons
Council leader Sean Fielding is rising to speak. "The council fully appreciates and supports the concerns you've raised as part of your motion." He says that the council has had to make difficult cuts, as have GMP. "The most important thing is that we keep our young people safe"
He says they recognise that reduced youth offer may have resulted in young people being drawn into anti-social behaviour or criminality.
Deputy council leader Arooj Shah is now speaking to announce that the leader has allocated £100k for investment into the youth offer in Oldham over the next 'couple of years'. She says it's outrageous that the gov has them 'over a barrel' to make cuts
The fund will be used to tackle social isolation and raise aspirations around young people, but also to tackle the stigma around 'youth culture'. Lack of services to youth have led to 'youth culture to be criminalised', she adds
They will try and find more funding opportunities to support youth services. "We will not allow this government to fail our young people," Coun Shah says
Cabinet member for children's services Amanda Chadderton says they are right to say that knife crime is becoming an 'epidemic'. "You've only got to look at the MEN with the trial that's ongoing with the young man that was stabbed."
Lib Dem Cllr @garthharkness welcomes the motion for their group. "Our school community was affected recently by the death of one of our ex students by knife crime," he says. 14pc of young people saying they carry a knife is 'extremely worrying'
Lab Cllr Steve Williams said in the good ole days people used to punch people in the face and 'knock a few teeth out'. He says (I think) the difficulty is to change people's mindset around carrying a knife
We're now moving onto council question time beginning with public questions, which lasts for 15 minutes. This section used to be 30 minutes ...
A woman is speaking about Ferranti technologies based in Oldham, & owned by Elbit Systems, an Israeli-based defence company,
Oldham Peace & Justice want to know if it has provided weapons to Israel for use of attacks in Gaza. They manufacture 'laser guided bombs and drones'
Leader Sean Fielding says they are not aware that any of the weapons manufactured at Ferranti have been used in Gaza.
Mr Brown is asking for an end of the 'one way system of secrecy' about councillor complaints. He says there is 'abuse' of the data protection act and cllrs have a duty to the public. Council leader Fielding has answered saying due process has been followed
Former Indy (Ukip) cllr Warren Bates is speaking; 'good evening remainers', he begins. He appears to be digressing from the public question he submitted ahead of the meeting
He is demanding an apology from Howard Sykes for comments he made previously about Brexit and 'swivel eyed loons' which he says are an offence to Brexiteers
Cllr @howard_sykes who leads the Lib Dem group, is responding. He says his comments were directed at the politicians that brought them to this point, not to any of the voters in Oldham
Mr Brown who asked an earlier questions has been challenging Cllr Chris Gloster (a regular occurrence at Oldham full council) from the public gallery and the meeting has been adjourned. He has been escorted out by security
Here Mr Brown is being marched out of the building, as he continues to challenge Cllr Gloster and other Lib Dems
We're back in the chamber now, and after all that palaver it has brought an end to the section for public question time, and we are moving on to opposition questions
Cllr Sykes is asking about the Travelodge that has been confirmed for Oldham Mumps. He is worried that the 'bright lights' of Manchester will be easily accessible from the Mumps tram stop, and the local offer needs promoting
A discount scheme could be introduced for hotel guests to keep the 'tourist pound' in Oldham, Cllr Sykes suggests
Cllr Fielding says that every one of the 60 bed hotel will be spending their money in Oldham and it will be a 'catalyst' for the town centre
Cllr @howard_sykes' second question is about bringing back public drinking fountains. He praises London Mayor Sadiq Khan's policy of bringing them back and says the same should be done in Oldham, and across Greater Manchester
In reply Cllr Fielding says it is a 'sound suggestion' and he will commit to looking at in Oldham, and also recommend that 'Andy B' and the other 'Andy' (Andrew Western)* look at in Greater Manchester

Cllr Elaine Taylor is asking about members of the public recording conversations with officers and elected member without their knowledge, and asks what the policy is around this
Cllr Arooj Shah says there is no policy and recording is not illegal, although it is 'uncomfortable'. Officers and cllrs should ask the legal service teams if they have concerns about conversations being recorded without their consent
Now Cllr Eddie Moores is asking how many appeals were submitted for secondary, primary school places, how many were successful, how many schools will be exceeding their planned admission numbers because of appeals
In reply, Cllr Shaid Mushtaq says that there were 393 appeals secondary, 69 withdrawn, 313 heard to date, 11 ongoing. Primary: 123 appeals, 30 withdrawn, 76 heard to date, 17 to hear.
Cllr Elaine Garry is asking about Jean Purdy (IVF pioneer who I've written much about recently) - bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan…. She wants to know what progress has been made to remember her
Cabinet member for health, Cllr Zahid Chauhan says they are 'sorry' to Jean Purdy, Sister Muriel Harris and other women that they could not be recognised for their work at the time, adding it was 'wrong'. "It's not one person who brings success, it's always a team"
Lib Dem @garthharkness is asking about funding to the Whit band contest which were funded by the district executives to the tune of £15k - and is asking for assurance that the funding will continue from the central pot and for the marshals at Dovestones
Cllr Fielding said that funding is assured if members commit to do so
He is now addressing the impact of town centre regeneration, telling members the Old Town Hall development has generated over 100 jobs and taken a liability off the council's hands
Failsworth West Cllr Peter Davis is asking about the cuts to mobility scooters included in the budget for this year. He says they had agreed to look for alternative sources of funding and asks for an update
Cllr Zahid Chauhan says there has been interest and they are currently accepting applications to provide scooter and wheelchair access in Oldham town centre
Lib Dem Cllr Chris Gloster says there is a safety camera in his ward which does not work (he's not disclosing the location) and needs to be upgraded to a digital camera
Cllr Ateeque Ur-Rehman said he is at a 'loss' as to why Cllr Gloster has not been responded to by TfGM with his concerns about the camera
Now Cllr Moores is asking another questions about the introduction of primary care networks* and asks how this will fit in with the Oldham local changes and the system of social prescribing in the town.

Cllr Zahid Chauhan says they are 'one step ahead' with already having clusters in place which link GP practices and other health bodies in local areas, and they hope primary care networks will slot on top of that.
Cllr Liz Jacques is now asking the last question. She says she has a resident who is particulary concerned about air quality concerns around Hollinwood Junction (mmm right next to my place of work 🌫️🤢)
Cllr Ur-Rehman is explaining the green policies that are being introduced to tackle air quality, which is a major problem across Greater Manchester and a contributory factor to over 1,000 deaths across the region
Lib Dem Dave Murphy is asking whether the council has put in for funding for tree planting across the borough. Cllr Ur-Rehman says a bid has gone in to plant more than 500 trees - and they are exploring the idea of 'green fencing'
Cllr @howard_sykes is asking about St Paul's in Shaw, which he says will see them left with an empty building. Cllr Fielding says he is happy for Cllr Sykes to nominate it to be included for housing in the future.
Lib Dem Cllr Sam Al-Hamdani is asking 'what can be done about what is going on in the planning department' following the Knowls Lane and Hodge Clough planning applications - in relation to the minute about carbon neutrality by 2038
Cllr Fielding says it is the most 'tenuous' comment made on the minutes of a meeting, but says that concerns about planning process will be responded to individually
Lib Dem Cllr Hazel Gloster is asking about conductors on trams and what progress has been made. Cllr Steve Williams says the feeling on the police and crime panel says they are looking at where 'bobbies' can be placed on the routes
Now we're moving on to the motions of the administration, and looking at Section 21 or 'no fault' evictions where people can be evicted without cause. Cllr Valerie Leach says that they are now the single biggest cause of homelessness in England
She says they welcome the gov's announcement to scrap these, and the council resolves to work with the Unfair Evictions Campaign led by Generation Rent, the New Economics Foundation and renters’ unions, to bring about the swift abolition of Section 21 no-fault evictions.
Council leader Sean Fielding says that the biggest cause of complicated case work comes from constituents who are evicted through these Section 21 notices and have nowhere to go
He says there is a wider effect, and talks about 'churn' in the private rented sector. He is seconding the motion.
Cllr Sam Al-Hamdani is rising to support the motion. He says it is an 'outdated' law and one that needs to be done away with.
Here is my colleague @NickStathamLDR's piece about no fault evictions. Stockport council have also called on them to be scrapped asap manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-m…
Cllr Amanda Chadderton says it should be acceptable for people to live in conditions where they have cockroach infestations, and damp, mould and cold. She says there is a 'perfect storm' around housing in this country, and landlords are taking advantage
Cllr Martin Judd says that 'Jackie', a mum on Universal Credit with three kids, was told her landlord wanted to issue a Section 21 eviction when he wanted to sell the house. "Why on earth should we allow landlords to play monopoly with people's lives?" he says
Cabinet member for housing, Hannah Roberts @hulmeroberts says that sadly too many people in the borough don't live in housing that is considered fit for habitation
The motion has been agreed
We've now moved onto the second motion which is being moved by @CllrJStretton calling on the government to fund TV licenses for the over-75s after the BBC announced that it will only be available to pensioner households who receive pension credit
Cllr Ateeque Ur-Rehman is backing the motion, and calls on the government to reinstate funding for the BBC that previously covered free TV licenses. The motion is carried with a Lib Dem amendment
We're moving on to motions from the opposition groups. Cllr Howard Sykes is presenting the first motion which is calling on making a Commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He asks if people have had time to research them in advance...
The goals form part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which seeks to eradicate extreme poverty, address inequality and injustice, and promote sustainable development and peace.
Cllr Martin Judd is backing the Lib Dem motion, and Cllr Cath Ball tells the chamber they are looking to set up an Oldham poverty truth foundation - like the Leeds organisation. Some families have received up to 15 days of food from food banks this month, she says
The 17 goals of the UN include ending poverty in all its forms everywhere, ending hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Cllr Abdul Jabbar is supporting the motion, but then starts talking about a certain coalition. As I have already stated I am vetoing these political knockabouts and am going to get a cup of tea.
The motion is carried unanimously
We're moving to the second opposition motion from the Lib Dems about restoring government funding for brownfield housing development but they only have five minutes to present it. Cllr Howard Sykes says that green belt building is happening because the funding has been slashed
The motion has been voted through - as has another motion about adopting the Fair Tax Declaration, which was done without debate as they are out of time
And now we're moving on the the housing strategy, which was presented at the last cabinet meeting. Cabinet member for housing @hulmeroberts is presenting, telling the chamber that there will be 'consequences' for not building enough homes in the borough
"Demand is high," she says. There were a massive 13,000 enquiries for just 18 rent to buy properties in Royton North. Eighteen!!
Cllr Roberts says they are taking action, including the empty homes scheme and a bond scheme for private landlords and residents. With 'good quality' council homes provided through PFI contracts with Great Places
The new strategy will see them 'innovate' with a variety of policies, including providing equitable loans to older people to allow them to make adaptations to remain in their own homes.
She says the strategy will make the most of the 'resources we have to make Oldham a fit place for all to live in'. Cllr Fielding says they are now looking to build more bungalows
They are going to use money from the Housing Revenue Account to build new homes, Cllr Fielding says.
The housing strategy has been agreed.
Cllr Roberts says she is interested in following a Blackpool style model of getting a private developer to buy up poor quality homes which will then be refitted and rented out as social rent by the council
Cllr Abdul Jabbar is now presenting the last motion on the agenda, on Climate Change and Green Oldham. "We only get one chance at getting climate change right," he said, "And we don't want to let down our children's future."
Cllr FIelding says that since 2013 carbon emissions from Oldham council have more than halved. Tree planting figures are 'astonishing' when compared with other similar local authorities, he adds.
They haven't declared a climate emergency tonight, he adds, but they have declared a 'green new deal'. Eliminating single use plastics, and leading towards carbon neutrality. He is seconding the report
Cllr Cath Ball is talking about EU project 'Red Wolf', the catchy 'Rethinking Electricity Distribution without Load Following'. It combines solar, battery storage and storage heaters. They are piloting this with the new homes that will be built by First Choice homes in Sholver
LD Cllr Chris Gloster asks if the authority is considering following the lead of Warrington council to invest in solar farms outside the borough to generate an income
@CllrDaveMurphy is priasing the impact of the three weekly bin collections, witha more than 40% increase in recycling rates. He says they wouldn't want to go back to the previous system
The council has agreed the report and we move onto the final item, which is moved and passed. And that's the end of the meeting!
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