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Oldham: Hollinwood Cllr Hannah Roberts back in the council’s cabinet

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Hollinwood’s newest councillor has been given a position back on the council’s cabinet after her by-election victory last week.

Cllr Hannah Roberts lost her seat in Royton North back in the local elections just six months ago in May.

She had served the ward for eight years and was the housing cabinet member at the time of her election defeat.

A by-election in Hollinwood was then called following the death of former council leader, Cllr Jean Stretton, who died aged 64 in September.

READ > Tributes to former Oldham Council leader Cllr Jean Stretton

The Oldham Times: Cllr Jean StrettonCllr Jean Stretton (Image: Oldham Council)

After votes from the by-election were counted at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last Thursday night, Cllr Roberts was announced the winner in a narrow victory.

She polled 718 votes, beating the Conservative Party’s Kamran Ghafoor – who received 639 – by 79 votes.

READ > Former council cabinet member wins by-election

READ > By-election winner to ‘work hard’ and ‘support people’ through ‘hard winter’

The Oldham Times: Cllr Hannah Roberts, front and centre, with fellow Labour councillors following her victoryCllr Hannah Roberts, front and centre, with fellow Labour councillors following her victory (Image: Cllr Amanda Chadderton)

On Monday, Cllr Roberts, who has also served as the deputy cabinet member for early years, was named the cabinet member for neighbourhoods, a position previously held by Cllr Stretton.

She said: “I’m pleased to be returning to the cabinet, and to the council chamber, even if it is in the saddest of circumstances following the death of our friend and colleague Jean.

“I am absolutely committed to delivering the best possible services for the people of Oldham and will be working hard with my fellow members to get on with the job.”

Council leader, Amanda Chadderton, who has also held the position of cabinet member for neighbourhoods, added: “I’m delighted to have Hannah back on the council, and very pleased that she’s agreed to go back in the cabinet.

“Her experience, knowledge and attention to detail makes her a great fit for the neighbourhoods portfolio, and she’ll be a real asset to our borough.”

The Oldham Times: Council leader, Cllr Amanda ChaddertonCouncil leader, Cllr Amanda Chadderton (Image: Public)

Despite the by-election result, Hollinwood, along with the other 59 council seats, will be contested again next May as part of the “all out” elections in the borough.

Meanwhile, the borough’s Conservatives group said the result showed how much progress the party has made in Hollinwood.

Tory Cllr Dave Arnott said: “This was a very strong performance from our Conservative candidate, well respected local businessman Kamran Ghafoor.

“He should be very proud of the way he conducted the campaign that saw Labours majority fall from 558 in May 2021 to just 79 on Thursday.

“Kamran connected with the residents in Hollinwood, who had genuine concerns around local issues.

“Hollinwood is traditionally a Labour voting ward, but the party had to work extremely hard to hold on to what should have been a safe seat.”

The Oldham Times: Conservative candidate Kamran Ghafoor, centre, with councillors and the party's campaign teamConservative candidate Kamran Ghafoor, centre, with councillors and the party’s campaign team (Image: Oldham Conservatives)

Fellow Conservative Cllr Lewis Quigg, who acted as Mr Ghafoor’s agent, added: “We are understandably disappointed with the result, which was much closer than many, outside of the Conservative party had predicted, but it was an outstanding performance by our candidate and our campaign team.”

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