About me

Jim campaigning in Oldham

Jim in a snapshot

  • Labour & Co-operative MP for Oldham West & Royton since 2015
  • Chair, the Co-operative Party (2020-present)
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Nov 2021 – Present)
  • Former Shadow Secretary of State for Transport (Apr 2020- Nov 2021)
  • Former Shadow Minister for Local Government and Devolution (2016 to 2020)
  • Former Local Councillor for 13 years with a track record of grassroots campaigning
  • Former 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 Fellowship from the RSA (The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) (2015)
  • Awarded Honorary Fellowship from the University Centre Oldham for Community Leadership (2015)
  • Named national Youth Voice Champion by the British Youth Council (2017)

My pledges to you…

  1. A strong local voice
  2. A champion for the borough
  3. An active constituency office
  4. Fighting for local investment and jobs
  5. 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 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, establishing it as a ‘Co-operative Council’.

IMG_0855That 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 as a member of the Town Board.

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 before joining the Shadow Cabinet where I now serve as the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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.

Elected and appointed offices in brief

  • Member of Parliament (2015 – present)
  • Chair, Co-operative Party (2020 – present)
  • Vice President, LGA (Local Government Association) (2017 – present)
  • Patron, Oldham Cancer Support (2017 – present)
  • Previous posts
    • 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)

You can get regular updates on my work by following me on Twitter @jimfromoldham and Facebook.

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