NEVER mind Brexit ... could The War of the Roses break out at the local Saddleworth and Oldham borough elections in May?

Retired accountant Duncan Goodman has launched a bid to promote “the full restoration” of Saddleworth as an integrated part of Yorkshire.

Mr Goodman, aged 61, who was born in Bristol but live in Austerlands, sets out the proposals in a leaflet aimed at recruiting members to the new Saddleworth, Yorkshire & Proud Party.

And he envisages an Independent district council saying: “We have a bigger population than many district councils in England.”

The new party’s aims include: Campaigning for improvements which will benefit tSaddleworth residents , including but not limited to, transport, local facilities and social and health care; campaign for maintenance and safeguarding of environmental standards in the Saddleworth area; to be a voice of challenge to any decisions or interactions which will have a detrimental impact on the Saddleworth area.

Mr Goodman declares: “We would fight Oldham Council's decision, made last year to withdraw the Council Tax Support Grant from the Parish Council.

“If we are to maintain our current level of service the shortfall has to be met by increasing the Saddleworth Parish Precept as part of the money charged to Saddleworth residents' ratepayers.

“The total reduction of the Council Tax Support Grant over 2017/2018 is £16,000, or 40.52%. A further reduction of £10,000 is expected for 2019/2020, says the parish council.

“This funding is needed for the provision of services - footpath clearances, litter picking - which were previously provided by Oldham Council but withdrawn as part of their own budget saving.

“We have little influence on the one-party state that is Oldham Council, with only 2 1/2 out of the 20 wards representing Saddleworth on the council.

“And we do not believe the current Parish Council is fighting hard enough for Saddleworth, because nearly all the main parties' candidates on the parish council (where they sit voluntarily) are on Oldham Council were they receive considerable salaries and expenses.

“The social mix of people and their needs in Saddleworth is very different to the people of Oldham.”

He added: “I particularly appreciate the special feel of the area, its historic roots. wonderful countryside and the friendly, special people who live here.

“Saddleworth does not belong under the jurisdiction of Oldham which is a Lancashire town.

“There is little regard or attention given at Oldham Council to the needs of Saddleworth and it pays lip service to its historic roots.

“Saddleworth has had a Parish Council with additional powers such as planning, since 1866 and the area of Saddleworth makes up 56% of the land area of the whole Oldham borough yet it receives a very small amount of the large Oldham budget.

“Compare the amount of roads that need maintaining in Saddleworth in proportion to those in Oldham.

“People in Saddleworth still regard themselves as Yorkshire men and women and I believe they deserve to be governed by local Saddleworth people.

“As a first stage I believe they need people with a focus on Saddleworth as a Yorkshire area and an individual voice.

“Ultimately, I would love to achieve restoration of the former local government structure so Saddleworth is part of Yorkshire and will campaign for a referendum on this.”

For more information on the new party go to or call: 07470149744.