Councillor Max Woodvine, 21, new mortgage payer and Conservative Councillor for Saddleworth South showed ‘just how completely out of touch he is with the lives of many Oldhamers, including Saddleworth residents’ said Council Deputy Leader Elaine Taylor.

The Oldham Times on 7th July 2022 carried a story outlining details of Councillor Woodvine’s income, lifestyle and new £150,000 home in Austerlands, Saddleworth North. Councillor Woodvine claimed that he had been able to save most of the £15,000 deposit over 5 months by putting away £800 a month – a maximum of £4,000.

The Oldham Times reported that Councillor Woodvine claimed ” my simple message is this – work, save, prioritise spending, and seek a mortgage.

“Many young people fall into a trap of renting, but this is not necessary.”

Councillor Taylor responded ‘I am pleased that a young Oldham resident has been able to put down a deposit and get a mortgage on a home in the borough. But this is light years away from the experience of too many fellow Oldham residents in low paid jobs struggling to feed their families and pay their bills. While he tells residents how easy it is to buy a house, many are facing Tory tax increases and eye-watering gas and electricity bills.”

The Oldham Times continued ‘He went on to say he forgoes designer clothes and expensive trainers to shop at M&S for his clothes instead and limits his spending elsewhere. He said: “I very rarely go out – I go out for a meal, but I don’t go out on lavish evenings like some people do, and I don’t buy designer clothes.” ‘

Councillor Taylor added ‘Cllr Woodvine’s advice shows he is completely out of touch with the challenges facing many residents at the moment. Clothes shopping at M&S is simply not affordable for people who don’t know how they will pay for new school uniforms and shoes for their kids in September. I don’t think a lot of people have been able to go out for a meal or a pint for a while.’

Councillor Taylor said ’I was interested to read that Councillor Woodvine thinks that the special responsibility allowance he receives is, and I quote, “… good because we don’t do anything – there’s nothing to do as shadow cabinet members.” Either the Conservatives should find someone prepared to put the work in to do the job properly or give the money back to the Council to help, in a very small way, make up for the Tory cuts over the past 10 years”.

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