Headlines: June 23rd, 2004

An Oldham council member has been named as the Local Government Information Unit’s “top tip councillor”. The think tank gave the title to Jeremy Sutcliffe after his advice for new councillors was judged to be the best of all those included in the LGIU’s recently published fact sheet, “Now you’re a councillor, what you should know!”Councillor Sutcliffe’s tips for newly elected members are not to promise what they can’t deliver, to put every query on behalf of constituents to an officer in writing with a copy to the constituent, who should also get a copy of the reply. Other advice includes not being afraid to ask the obvious question as more experienced members are often too inhibited to show their lack of knowledge and finally not to take sides in a neighbourhood dispute.

Mr. Sutcliffe, who is 58, was re-elected this month to serve the Chadderton North Ward in Oldham. He has been a councillor in Oldham since 1995, after first serving from 1971 to 1974. He is presently a Cabinet Member for Environment Services.

His prize for being the ‘top tipster’ is a voucher to attend an LGIU training event or seminar free of charge.