Monday 14th November, Meeting with Councillor Jabarr
Why is it seen as acceptable to have to wait even longer for bin collections?
This is seen as a very important matter for the council as well as the community. There are 94 000 houses, flats, and apartment’s etc. that need to dispose their waste every week in the borough and due to budgets being cut it was becoming too costly for the council. Also, the council noticed that people were disposing recyclable material in the general rubbish which was costing the council 16 million pounds a year alone! So they delayed the collections as people became ignorant towards recycling (costing the council too much) and wanted to encourage the community to recycle more as currently the recycling rate is 37%. As a result, the council will save 1.5 million each year and it has a good impact on our environment!
Will there be adequate gritting done now the cold weather has arrived?
The highway maintenance staff have planned a very detailed and highly technical rota where they will check the weather forecast on a daily basis and grit the roads and streets. However, the budgets have been cut so the council can’t do as much as they used to.
What is the impact going to be of Brexit on Oldham?
It’s a really complicated matter and it’s too early on to understand and make predictions. However, the Council did get funding from the EU and it is a worry that this revenue source could come to an end in the next 2 years.
Is it possible to reduce bus fares for under 16’s?
Bus fares are controlled by bus operators not the council. There’s currently a petition going in the Houses of Commons about this and if it goes through successfully it will give power to the council. Personally, I (councillor Jabarr) thinks it should be free as fares are expensive which restricts young people in their wo.
Why the decision was made to build a new cinema complex costing £ 36.7 million in the centre of town when Oldham suffers from poor quality housing ?
It was a very hard decision for the council. Firstly, the town would ‘die’ without modernising so to bring it back to life they opened the cinema to make it vibrant. Also, there was no cinema in the Oldham borough. Furthermore, the Old Town Hall is a listed property and the council was paying millions just to keep it and they wanted to make use of it. As a result, the cinema complex was made. Moreover, the council will get money back through rents and business taxes.
Callum Dixon What made you choose the Labour party?
I lived in a terraced house when I came from Bangladesh to Oldham. I noticed the inequality in society and discrimination towards ethnic minorities which shaped my political values. I wanted to get involved and make a change. I got elected as Mayor and now I hold the significant role of Deputy Leader.
Haziq Majid Are you a Jeremy Corbyn supporter?
The Labour party is undergoing a very ‘interesting period’. He does support Mr Corbyn now but he didn’t at the beginning. Also voted for him the second time.
Carl Fitzgerald What are your thoughts on the recent allegations of online harassment and anti-Semitism made against Labour MP’s?
He takes this matter very seriously. His initial role is to help people who need help regardless of background etc. and is against any type of discrimination. Councillor Jabarr believes these matters should be investigated and dealt with and the Labour party always stands against any type of discrimination.
The Marks and Spencer’s construction plan was also discussed. 700 houses are built each year and the council want to build aspirational homes to make people be proud of where they live.
By Safah Mahmood