Welcome to our live blog of the 2008 State of the Area Address. Email updates are coming straight from Liam Billington's iPhone...
17.25 pm: predictably, Twitter is down for maintenance, so we'll be updating by email...
17.30: Roy Oldham - Pension Fund is 'paper money'
17.36: Oldham: "Being hung isn't bad" - referring to control of councils.
17.38: Oldham - not speaking about GMPF. Because of my question.
17.41: TIF - Every councillor supports the TIF.
17.42: Oldham on TiF referendum: "Vote for what is best for you"
17.42: **UPDATE BY CAPOREGIME - TMBC'S REALPLAYER FEED IS DOWN**
17.45: Longdendale Bypass - "Still working on it"
17.50: Pet notice boards for lost pets - just don't do it. The council are to provide community noticeboards.
17.56: Recycling : "Forget saving the planet -it saves money"
18.00: Statues in Ashton named "cheeky children". Now going on about council statue inventory...
18.02: New "Dynamic" Bronze statue in the works. Bronze is the colour.
18.11: Council is to pay police precept with recycling profits. Also. "Community Chest" fund. A panel created for each D.A. Community chest fund rewards will be distributed on how well a town recycles.
18.13: Tameside MBC going to help businesses in economic downturn by paying contractors faster.
18.15: Oldham has finished talking. Conservatives give a reply.
18.17: John Bell comments on Janet Callendar's resignation..
18.18: ...it isn't good... Slow and not exciting.
18.19: John Bell admits he wouldn't do many things differently.
18.20: 50 committees and panels. John Bell is pushing for smaller governance.
18.23: Bell is attacking scrutiny reports. TMBC claims 88% of households are satisfied or under 22k of Tameside folk are dissatisfied.
18.24: Less than one litter fine/dog fouling fine handed out per day on average. The council says this is positive.
18.26: Giving stats on average weekly wage. Isn't good. Will have figures later.
18.28: Bell now going on about empty apartments. Again, some stats which will be given out later.
18.32: Bell is now going on about public sector pay...
18.34: Bell is contradicting council's crime figures. Crime meets a minimum standard.
18.35: Now health - sorry about the lack of stats, figures are being fired out too quickly.
18.36: Labour councillors ironically walking out on John Bell...
18.38: Claire Francis fucked up the microphone and stepped on it!
18.40: Now onto education. This is the last subject...
18.44: Roy Oldham now responding to John Bell...
18.46: Oldham going on about child fatalities on roads. Just 1 this year.
18.46: Oldham "the police are our partners".
18.48: Residents can expect to find money in their bins for recycling. Called "cash in the bin" (?!). I predict it will stay there if people won't bother to look for it....
18.49: Before the State of Area address began, Oldham announced resignation of a finance director.
18.50: Oldham criticises Salford Council (a Labour Council) over equal pay.
18.52: Oldham criticises resident for watching how roads are dug up. "Should be in work".
18.56: State of area address ended. Full council continues...
LIVE BLOG HAS NOW ENDED
Our original preamble read: Liam Billington has emailed Tameside Mafia to say he will be live blogging Roy Oldham's State of the Area Address at Ashton town hall. We have embedded the twitter feed below, so all you need to do is bookmark the page and check back at 6PM when the full council meeting kicks off.
The address is not going to be held in a separate hall this year, but is to be held in the full council meeting itself. So John Bell and the Conservatives have no excuse to walk out.
For those with high speed broadband and a generous download limit, may wish to watch the address via video streaming. Although you do need Real Player. The streaming starts at 6PM.