About Saddleworth Parish Council


Your Parish Council

Saddleworth Parish Council was formed during the local government reorganisation in 1974. Its boundaries are essentially the same as those of its predecessor, the Saddleworth Urban District Council, and the medieval Township dating back to the Saxon period. With this long history there is understandably a strong sense of local identity.

Like other Pennine parishes, it is large, at 7588 hectares, (29.3 sq. miles), predominantly rural with a population approaching 25,000.  The challenges facing Saddleworth today, primarily relate to the threat of over-development, attendant on rising land prices, the decline of a mixed local economy, the lack of affordable housing, and the expense of maintaining local services and infrastructure in a geographically large country district. But these are balanced by Saddleworth’s strengths; its largely prosperous, healthy, and well-educated local population and its strong community spirit, manifest in the large number of voluntary societies and organisations and communal festivals such as the annual Whit Friday Brass Band Contest, the Rush Cart Weekend, the Saddleworth Beer Walk and the Saddleworth Festival of the Arts.

The Council achieved Quality Parish Council Status in June 2005, This enables the Parish Council, in co-operation with Oldham MBC to assume responsibility for some services within the Saddleworth Area, currently undertaken by the principal authority. The Council meets monthly, usually on the fourth Monday of the month at the Civic Hall in Uppermill, the meetings commence at 7.30 p.m. and are open to the public.

The Parish Council is a member of the Saddleworth and Lees District Partnership, working closely with Borough Councillors and other partners on issues affecting Saddleworth and Lees. The District Partnership has some funding available to support local needs. It is intended that the level of funding will increase in future years.


The Council maintains the Civic Hall and Parish Cemetery. The Parish Council has a number of Committee and Sub-Committees to conduct the Council’s business, some of these are now joint sub-committees incorporating representatives from the District Partnership. The activities of the Council are funded through a precept included in the Council Tax collected by Oldham Council, the precept for 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 for a Band D property is £17.90 per annum.

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Planning and Development

The Parish Council is consulted, by Oldham Council, on all planning applications in the Saddleworth area. The Planning Committee consists of all twenty councillors and usually meets on the first Monday of each month. The meetings are open to the public, details of the applications to be considered at the meeting are available at the Council offices and by following the link below. Copies of the Plans, for each application, are available for inspection at the Council offices from noon on the day of the meeting.


Members of the public may, on application to the Clerk of the Council, at least one working day before the meeting, speak for, or against a particular application.


The Conservation Areas Advisory committee meet before each Planning Committee meeting. The Committee is made up of local people with an interest in, and knowledge of, Saddleworth. They consider all planning applications for listed buildings and those in the conservation area. Their recommendations are discussed at the Planning Committee.


The Council continues to be heavily involved with Oldham Council in the development of the Local Development Framework Core Strategy and Development Control Policies that will replace the current Unitary Development Plan.


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Environmental Issues

The Environment sub-committee, which includes representatives from the District Partnership deals with issues across Saddleworth and Lees. The Parish Council has been working in partnership with Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale since 2007 to deal with Himalayan Balsam. The project to reduce the quantity of this invasive weed has included a number of community events and work with local schools.


The Parish Council in conjunction with Oldham Council, the Ramblers Association, West Pennine Bridleways and a number of volunteers are undertaking a review of the condition of all the public footpaths and bridleways in Saddleworth.


A Community toilet pilot scheme has been developed in Saddleworth to provide clean, safe and accessible public toilets for residents and visitors to the area. Click here for the Community Toilets flyer

The sub-committee is also working with Oldham Council and the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority to identify ways of increasing recycling in the area.


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Transport and Traffic

The Traffic and Transport sub-committee was formed in May 2008. It deals with a range of issues including parking, highways maintenance and public transport. In December 2008 it expanded to include District Partnership representatives. The sub-committee also includes community representatives from the area, Greater Manchester Police and Oldham Council Highways Department.

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Affordable Warmth

The Parish Council has created a sub-committee to help people suffering from Fuel Poverty. The group includes representatives of the domestic Energy Alliance, Oldham Council, First Choice Homes, Saddleworth & Lees Information Network, Smithy Lane Patient Participation Group, NHS Oldham, AWARM and the Energy Saving Trust. A household in fuel poverty can be described as one which has to spend more than 10% of its income to achieve a healthy and comfortable temperature of between 18 and 21 centigrade in all main living areas.

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Special Projects

The Special Projects is responsible for the Saddleworth in Bloom and Saddleworth Illumination competitions. They supply of Christmas trees to be displayed on commercial premises across Saddleworth.


The sub-committee also makes donations to a number of causes throughout the year. These include Delph Youth Band, Delph Community Association, Churches Together, Saddleworth Chamber Concert, Winter Wonderland, Delph Senior Citizens, Diggle Blues Festival and the Underground Youth Project. If you feel your organisation could benefit please apply in writing to the Clerk of the Council at the Civic Hall in Uppermill, enclosing a copy of your latest statement of accounts. 


Financial assistance is also available from Hawkyard & Whitehead Educational Foundation and the Rochdale United Charities.



Health & Well-being groups

Parish Councillors are members of the District Partnership Health and Well-being groups