Newsletter, March 2021

A brief summary of what’s in our March 2021 newsletter…

A year ago many of us couldn’t have envisaged still being in the grip of the Covid pandemic one year on. We report on Saddleworth’s Covid Heroes who have carried out outstanding work during the pandemic. We also report on improvements to local train services as well as a new Shop Local scheme for Saddleworth. Climate Change is another important issue and we talk about how food and agriculture can contribute and what we can do about it. We also report on a new scheme that we’re looking into which could cut casualties on our roads.


SPC – working on your behalf during the pandemic

Despite the disruption of the last year, Saddleworth Parish Council continues to work on behalf of the local community, holding our meetings via Zoom rather than in person for the time being. We very much hope that, with the advent of the vaccine, things may begin to return to something resembling normality in the not too distant future.

In the meantime, please keep visiting the Government’s website for advice on how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in addition to the latest changes and updates to lockdown rules: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

* * *

Half hourly train service gets Parish Council backing

Saddleworth Parish Council has backed proposals to increase the service from Greenfield Train Station to a half-hourly one, responding to a consultation from the Department for Transport.

Of the three options provided, only one would provide Greenfield with something close to its previous half-hourly service. Responding to a question from the Greenfield Rail Action Group, the Council unanimously supported this option, and will write to the Department of Transport to back this option.

We believe that a regular, frequent train service from Greenfield to Manchester is crucial for reducing traffic on our roads, and meeting our ambitions to be a zero-carbon community by 2035.

Whether it is used by commuters or students, for shopping or leisure, a half-hourly service will meet the needs of this community, and help to make life easier for residents.

The full report that contains all the consultation questions can be read at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/951401/manchester-recovery-task-force-public-consultation.pdf

* * *

Supporting charities while supporting local shops

Shop Local campaigns are all about helping small businesses to thrive – something that will be vital once the pandemic is over. Saddleworth’s own Shop Local campaign aims to help local shops get up and running again after the most difficult year for generations. Our Shop Local Scheme is on hold at the moment, due to the pandemic, but will be rolled out once lockdown restrictions are lifted.

20 Businesses across the Parish will receive Shop Local badges and a small stand to place badges and leaflets in. A collection box for the Chairman’s Charities will also be placed next to them so shoppers can support local charities at the same time as supporting local shops!

* * *

Recognising Saddleworth’s Covid heroes

It’s been a dreadful year, but some good things have come out of the pandemic. Here in Saddleworth we are so very proud of those heroes in the community who have carried out outstanding work during the pandemic.

Who are our Saddleworth Covid heroes? Generally they are people who’ve looked out for neighbours during the pandemic, doing the shopping and keeping a socially-distanced but friendly eye on the lonely, elderly or vulnerable.

We want Saddleworth’s Covid heroes to be officially recognised and have set up a scheme to award them with certificates. In an ideal world we’d hold a presentation to thank them personally but of course this isn’t possible at the moment. Certificates have been sent out in the post with a covering letter.

The pandemic isn’t over yet. So we would urge anyone who may live next door to someone who lives alone or is elderly or vulnerable to keep an eye on them, even if it’s just a phone call every few days to check how they’re getting along or an offer to pick up one or two items for them at the shops. A friendly voice at the end of the phone could be just what they need.

* * *

What are the ‘Fatal Four’?

Did you know that over 90% of crashes on our roads are due to one – or a combination of – just four factors:

  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Distraction
  • Speed
  • Drink and drugs

In 2019 Oxfordshire Council conducted a study into the so-called ‘Fatal Four’ and how to make local roads safer by warning drivers that ‘it’s not worth the risk’ through eye-catching signage supported by simple measures drivers can take which could save lives – for example taking breaks on long journeys to avoid tiredness and ways to avoid being tempted to use a mobile phone while driving.

SPC has been discussing the possibility of setting up a similar scheme in Saddleworth and we’ll be getting in touch with Oxfordshire council for more information on their scheme.

In the meantime, Oxfordshire Council has set up a very comprehensive web page with facts and figures about the ‘Fatal Four’ which you can find here: http://www.365alive.co.uk/cms/content/its-not-worth-risk

* * *

Take a Bite out of Climate Change

Local parish council Shaw and Crompton has joined a project called Take a Bite Out of Climate Change which shares the scientific consensus about how food and agriculture contribute to climate change, and suggests ways that individuals can help reduce the impact. The scheme also provides materials aimed at schools and the general public on how food choices contribute to climate change.

We’ll be talking to Shaw and Crompton parish council about their involvement with the initiative with a view to exploring how we may possibly work together to promote the scheme within our wider communities.

You can find out more about Take a Bite Out of Climate Change here: https://www.takeabitecc.org