Monday, July 30, 2007
Over the past few days, we've heard a lot from a local politician about how his long record of living in the area justifies his recording in posterity upon a plaque. Roy Oldham constantly refers to his (undeniable) roots in Mottram and Longdendale, how his continued re-election gives him a mandate, and how his longstanding association with the area allows him to decide what is best for it.
You'd expect someone who identified that strongly with the place to also invest in bricks and mortar in the place too. But if you do a bit of digging, it's not entirely clear that's the case.
Private ownership of housing is public knowledge via HM Land Registry. As you might expect, there's a website which you can search for this information, and if you enter details of Roy Oldham's (now very public) address into it, this is what you get.
So why is 'no information available'? Is it because he is a Councillor? No, it can't be that because info is available for the other 2 Longdendale Councillors (here and here).
Is it because he has been subject to 'bomb threats' (no laughing at the back)? It could be, but there's no way of knowing that for sure.
One other reasonable explanation could be that he doesn't really own it.
So in that case, who does? It could well be that major landholders (i.e. institutions) are not publicly listed for a variety of reasons. So perhaps it's a local authority, such as TMBC, or government body such as the Highways Agency...
We're only asking questions. Some of you may have the answers, and it may be the case that they're innocuous enough and there's no dirty secrets. If so, fair enough. Please let us know what you think (or know).
One's suspects that there's more to this than meets the eye...