Jim in a snapshot
- MP for Oldham West & Royton since 2015
- Shadow Minister for Local Government and Devolution
- Father of two living in the borough
- Local Councillor for 13 years with a track record of grassroots campaigning
- Council Leader 2011–2016 dedicated to fighting for fairness and setting a vision for the borough
- Awarded OBE for Services to the Community in Oldham (2015)
- Awarded Honorary Fellowship from University Centre Oldham for Community Leadership (2015)
- Named national Youth Voice Champion by the British Youth Council (2017)
My pledges to you…
- A strong local voice
- A champion for the borough
- An active constituency office
- Fighting for local investment and jobs
- Working for a Labour Government
A little bit more…
I am the son of a truck driver who taught me the value of hard work. He worked long hours to provide for me and my brothers and sister. My mum was strong, determined and had courage. I’ve inherited a strong work ethic and the energy to stand up and make a difference.
I grew up in the terraced streets of Miles Platting. We later moved to Cheetham Hill and then to Middleton where I completed primary school and went on to attend secondary school. I moved to the borough when we were expecting our first son Jack with my partner Charlene. Becoming a father made me look at the world around me in a different way. I wanted to do my bit to make it make it a better place. Today Jack has been joined by our second son Harry… and our dog Lola.
I’ve worked hard since leaving school at 16; From my first job pushing trolleys at a cash and carry, to a trainee placement at North Manchester General Hospital before eventually securing an apprenticeship as a technician. I’ve held down three jobs when setting up our home working as a technician during the day, delivering fast food in the evening and working at a newsagent on Saturdays.
I became a councillor in 2003 and was elected Leader of the Labour Group in 2008. I’ve been fortunate to have been supported by an amazing group of councillors and members. Together we moved from opposition to control the council with the highest number of Labour councillors in the councils history.
That didn’t happened by accident. We didn’t wait for government to fix Oldham. Our vision for a better Oldham has laid the foundations for the future with flagship schemes like the Old Town Hall cinema, now open for families to enjoy. We are in the middle of our regeneration plan and I pledge to continue to play a role in these important schemes behind the scenes as the boroughs Regeneration Ambassador.
I never had the opportunity to go to university but I’m ambitious for my sons and every child in the borough. I’ve learnt the importance of a decent education.
Before Oldham can hope to move on we must lay the foundations of decent education and skills. With too many young people let down by a chronically underfunded education system that doesn’t work and and disjointed skills system we have to work even harder to keep up with a changing world of work.
When I invited Baroness Estelle Morris to review education and skills in Oldham we rallied around a simple message; education is everyone’s business. I’ll work hard to do my bit for better education and skills in Oldham.
As much as its vital to invest in the next generation we must not ignore the crisis many older people face with a social care and health service which allows too many to fall through the net. During my time on the local council I witnessed first hand the dedication of front line workers let down by governments slow to make change and ignoring the human cost of inaction.
I have represented the Labour frontbench as the Shadow Minister for Local Government specialising in Devolution in England and Finance.
In 2017 I was drawn successfully to present a Private Members Bill in Parliament. Together with the Oldham Youth Council we presented the Bill for its Second Reading in November 2017 which aimed to give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote together with civic and democratic education in schools. Although the Bill was ‘talked out’ it cemented the support of the Labour, Lib Dem, SNP, Plaid and Green benches. Following the Bill I was named the 2017 Youth Voice Champion by the British Youth Council.
As Greater Manchester develops with the election of its first directly elected mayor it provides local people with the means to put right education, skills, transport, employment and health. Oldham must plays its part and Greater Manchester collectively must decide that it can not be business as usual. The measure of success will not simply be a changing skyline, but whether the social foundations of our city region allow all to benefit from its success.
I will be a strong local voice for all of our communities across Chadderton, Oldham and Royton.
Elected and appointed offices in brief
- Councillor Failsworth East ward, Oldham Council (Nov 2003 – Dec 2016)
- Leader of the Opposition Oldham Council (May 2008 – May 2011)
- Leader of the Council Oldham Council (May 2011 – Dec 2015)
- Leader of the LGA (Local Government Association) Labour Group (July 2014 – Dec 2015)
- Member Labour Party NEC (National Executive Committee) (June 2014 – Dec 2015)
- Member of Parliament (Dec 2015 – present)
- Vice President, LGA (Local Government Association) (July 2017 – present)
- Executive Member, Fabian Society (November 2017 – present)
You can get regular updates on my work by following me on Twitter @jimfromoldham