OLDHAM councillors under fire for a lack of accountability have agreed to meet a residents’ association which was threatening to report them to the Local Government Ombudsman.

George Kay, chairman of the Roxbury and Roundthorn Residents’ Asscociation in St Mary’s ward, hit out at its three councillors Shadab Qumer, Aftab Hussain and Ali Aqeel Salamat for not holding surgeries where voters can air their concerns.

Following publication of 80-year-old Mr Kay’s concerns in The Oldham Times on July 26, he has now been contacted by all three councillors and the local police asking to meet members of the association.

The next meeting of the association is due to take place on September 13 at the Salvation Army Church in Roundthorn Road, but Mr Kay said he was trying to rearrange it as the councillors and police cannot visit on that day.

Mr Kay said: “I am very pleased the councillors have responded to my comments, although it is a pity it needed a story in The Oldham Times to prompt them to get in touch.

“This is a very isolated pocket of the St Mary’s ward. I have recently found out that other areas of the ward – Clarksfield and Glodwick – are benefiting from £1 million of EU funding supplemented by Oldham Council for schemes in those areas. So far, we haven’t had a look itn.”

Mr Kay’s original concerns arose when he attended an Oldham Council meeting in a personal capacity.

Then, he said: “In the past three years, the residents have not had any public notices of any of the three councillors holding surgeries for the benefit of representation and when I asked them why not, he told me it was because he got his sources of referral from the mosque.

“That is all well and good, but I am a Christian and don’t attend the mosque and would like to feel that issues I raise on a regular basis are being dealt with in an even handed manor.”

In response, Oldham Council leader Sean Fielding said there was not statutory obligation by councillors to hold surgeries and added that their council representatives “had other sources of referral”.