A line in the sand.

The neglected signs.
A normally firm path torn up by tyre tracks
Further damage to the paths.
The bottom of the bin, not emptied for over six months.
Wall destowed by Quad and Motor Bikers.
A conifer plantation drying out after a shower of rain.
One of the plantations on a snowy morning.

There is an old joke that goes “How do you know when a politician is lying?” the answer of course being, “When their lips are moving.”

We sat down at the first meeting of the Crompton Moor User Group, hoping that our Council were going to play fair with us and work to gain our co-operation.

 Sadly it seems they missed that opportunity.

Firstly, they stood up and said, barefaced with a smile, that “No plans have been finally decided.” Less than a month later we received through the post a leaflet saying that:

Ambitious plans to create an outdoor activity park on Crompton Moor and the surrounding countryside east of Shaw have been devised through a local partnership between Oldham Council and other agencies.

Did anyone see their lips moving?

The plan is to attract mountain bikers to the moor because it is one of the fastest growing sports.

Well we all saw what happened when a Council organised an event in November to attract cyclists. Every single foot path and track on the moor was torn to shreds.

The path you see here is one of the few tracks that could be relied upon to be passable through the winter months, but in one day it was turned into a quagmire.

As I write this, almost two months later it is still in very poor condition.

Our Council consider the event to have been a great success but the regular walkers on the moor have a different opinion.

The leaflet goes on to say:

 “First stage improvements are already underway thanks to £30000 of initial funding from the Big Lottery fund, which has helped to upgrade parts of existing footpaths and bridleways and to develop the first section of a new mountain bike trail.

Have you noticed any improvements?

We told them that the litter bins had not been properly emptied for months. Surprise, surprise, they still haven’t been emptied.

We told them that walls were being demolished by motor cyclist and quad bikers because nothing was being done to prevent their entry to the site. Guess what? They have still done nothing, and the plans actually include improving access for motorised scooters, so my guess is that we can look forward to even more destruction.

Well, we were a bit sceptical before, but now we are really annoyed.

There is another meeting of the User Group planned for the evening of Tuesday 17th February at 6.30pm. at Shore Edge Methodist Church, on Buckstones Road.

No doubt they will smile and tell us more about the visitor centre that they haven’t planned to build in the quarry basin, or the downhill racing track for bikes that they have not yet planned to cut across the moor.   Perhaps they will tell us again that they have no plans to make the car park “Pay and Display.” to capitalise on all the extra vehicles these non existent plans will attract.

One thing I do know though, is that they will learn that they ignore us at their peril.            We are going to draw a line in the sand.

To paraphrase possibly one on the last good men in politics.

We shall fight in the birches, we shall fight on the building grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, and we shall fight in the hills.

We shall never surrender.

We have already secured this domain name and others like it, to state our case here on the internet. We are also investigating legal and political courses of action as I type.

We will get the media involved as time goes on of course and we will also investigate the conditions of the Lottery Funding bid. It is highly likely that they need our participation as a “community group” to secure further funding, so they will have to listen to our concerns.

If you care about Crompton Moor and have any doubts about the councils plans, or even just want to find out what is going on, then please go to that meeting.

Crompton Moor is a rare resource where people can escape from a world full of traffic and buildings. Such green spaces are precious these days.

What we want is what we have already got.

We just want our council to care for it as much as we do.

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Crompton Moor Unaffiliated Gazette