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Wednesday, 26 June, 2002, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Race 'no issue' in Oldham riots
Riots in Oldham in May 2001
Riots brought the world's media to Oldham
An independent report into riots in Oldham has been criticised as misleading by the town's council.

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council said it was wrong for the report, by civil servant David Ritchie, to cite race as the main issue behind the disturbances, in May 2001.

The 130-page document by the authority insists the primary focus in Oldham should be on poverty, deprivation and social inclusion.

It also refers to the Ritchie report as having "a lack of academic rigour and a flawed methodology".

Development plan

The inquiry has also made an "ill judged reference to corruption", according to the council.

The council has declined to comment further on the allegations until Friday.

By then, councillors and other community leaders will have officially endorsed the draught response.

The authority does however embrace many of the recommendations made by the Ritchie inquiry.

'Sour note'

These are expected to form the basis for a 20-year-plan of improvements to Oldham.

It is hoped the plan will "improve housing, policing and education", and create a "multi-faith and multi-cultural society".

The Ritchie report was a response to three days of running battles between white and Asian youths.

Commenting on the council response, Mr Ritchie said: "Overall it is still very positive... but there is a certain note of sourness, which I regret".


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27 May 02 | England
28 Feb 02 | England
11 Dec 01 | England
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