By Emily Unia & Paul Lynch
By Emily Unia & Paul Lynch
Oldham Council is planning to celebrate the 75th VE Day anniversary through social media due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The anniversary of VE day, which commemorates the surrender of the German armed forces in World War Two, is on Friday, which will also be a bank holiday.
The council is planning a poetry stream and a singalong organised by its library staff.
Council leader Sean Fielding said:
Quote Message: VE Day was a victory over the far-right in Europe that was only achieved with huge sacrifice. Even in these unusual circumstances it is therefore important to mark the 75th anniversary to both remember this sacrifice and reflect on what it was that our ancestors were fighting against.
Quote Message: I’m sure Oldham residents will join me in commemorating the anniversary with the same commitment as we do for Remembrance Sunday. However, whilst we are still in lockdown, our celebrations will have to take place at home.
Oldham Council has praised the "massive team effort" of volunteers and staff in delivering PPE stocks to front-line workers in the borough.
The council set up a hub at Oldham Civic Centre which co-ordinates and distributes PPE, with many staff being redeployed there to help.
The council has also worked with firefighters and volunteers to distribute the equipment to hospitals and care homes.
Councillor Zahid Chauhan, cabinet member for health, said:
Quote Message: I would like to give a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to helping supply PPE in Oldham. Oldham is in a good position currently to support our vulnerable people.
Oldham Council has praised businesses and community groups in the area for raising money for their Covid-19 community response fund.
The council says £12,000 has been raised since the campaign started in April, but the total funding goal is £30,000, and the authority is asking businesses and residents for more support.
The fund is being used to provide telephone advice for self-isolating residents, as well as supporting community groups and food banks in the area.
Councillor Arooj Shah said:
Quote Message: This help is so vital at this time, and by us working together with a huge range of our voluntary and community groups, we can really make a difference where its most needed.
People could be banned from taking barbecues, fireworks and sky lanterns on to moorland in Greater Manchester, under new plans.
Oldham and Tameside councils are looking to introduce Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) on land which straddles both local authorities.
The councils said they want people to enjoy the countryside but "act responsibly".
A large blaze near Saddleworth Moor took three weeks to be put out in 2018.
By Matthew Bone
Political Reporter, BBC Manchester
Workers at Oldham Council will now be paid £9 an hour after bosses agreed to become a living wage employer.
The cabinet signed off on the plans, which will see the higher wage paid to all people employed by the town hall, including their suppliers and contractors.
It is not yet known how much more this will cost the authority.
Town hall leader Sean Fielding told councillors they were "politicians with values" not "accountants to balance the books at any cost" and "it’s very important that we set an example".
Local Democracy Reporting Service
Plans to build a new £27m theatre venue for the Oldham Coliseum have been scrapped after the council’s leader said it needed to spend its funds “more wisely”.
Plans unveiled in 2016 to relocate the historic theatre to a new 550-seat venue in the town's Cultural Quarter have now been withdrawn.
Council leader Sean Fielding said: “In the current financial climate we’ve got to spend our funds wisely and that means reviewing our works and costs to ensure we get the best value for money for the taxpayers’ of the town.
“A lot has changed since the idea was first discussed six years ago, including the costs involved, so at this stage we are not going to continue with the current proposals to build a new Coliseum on the Southgate Street site."
Later this month, the cabinet will be asked to consider a range alternative options including keeping the theatre in its current location on Fairbottom Street.