OLDHAM Council’s leader Cllr Sean Fielding has defended his “hot air” remarks made during a heated debate at last month’s full Council meeting.
Cllr Fielding’s comments came as he clashed with OMBC Leader of the Opposition Cllr Howard Sykes over controversial homes plans, the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.
They were immediately condemned by Shaw and Crompton Parish and Saddleworth Parish Councils.
He also accused the Parish bodies of being “self-indulgent” and has now said: “It’s Council Taxpayers who have to raise the £263,000 a year to pay for the Parish Councils of Shaw and Crompton and Saddleworth.
“It’s my job to question whether this is fair on residents living in these areas and if it’s a good use of their money.”
However, Cllr Fielding, who ousted former OMBC leader Jean Stretton back in May, added: “When I made these comments during Full Council it wasn’t my intention to offend Parish Councillors and I certainly do not question their commitment to their communities.”
He also confirmed he has accepted an invitation to meet Saddleworth Parish Councillors at one of their upcoming meetings.
As the Correspondent went to press Cllr Fielding was due to take park in a Question Time style event at Oldham Sixth Form College as part of Local Democracy Week.
Alongside him on the panel were Cllr Sykes for the Liberal Democrats and Saddleworth Parish and Borough Cllr John Hudson for the Conservatives.