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Rochdale Liberal Democats

Welcome to the Rochdale Liberal Democrats website. We aim to keep you fully updated and informed about the work we are doing on the borough.You can sign up to get a regular email to keep you in touch with our activities locally and nationally. Or check the news page to see what is happening.

We want to hear from you if there is anything you feel needs doing to help improve the community in and around Rochdale. Whether it's a proposal for action, a problem you need resolving, please feel free to contact us here, or if you would like to get more involved, you can get in touch here.

We're in the process of updating our manifesto, and before it's finalised, we'll be posting our thoughts on key issues for the community on the manifesto page, and we always welcome additional feedback.

The Rochdale Liberal Democrats Team

Latest news

  • Councillor Kelly and Irene Davidson working to ensure a continued high-quality Metrolink service
    Article: Jan 19, 2017

    Rochdale Lib Dem leader Councillor Andy Kelly has welcomed the announcement that Keolis Amey will be running the Metrolink service from July. He has thanked RAPT Dev UK Ltd for running Metrolink in the period it was extended to Rochdale, Kingsway Business Park, Newhey and Milnrow. He is now seeking a meeting with the new operators to get the best deal for Rochdale.

    Andy said: "We have seen first hand the benefits of our first class tram system but we now need to improve what is already a good service. I wrote to all four bidders in March with recommendations on how to improve our service. This included increasing the frequency of trams to every six minutes, improving safety at our stations including better lighting and CCTV, improved parking in places like Milnrow and Newhey and even letting dogs travel on our trams. I am confident that Keolis Amey will deliver what we have asked for and I will ask them to come to Rochdale, hold a public meeting and ensure that we get an even better service that benefits our Borough."

    Councillor Irene Davidson, who led the campaign to deliver Metrolink to Rochdale when Council Leader said: "Metrolink has had a positive impact on our town, there's no doubt about it. I know that people have concerns about Keolis and their association with the unpopular Southern Rail but their track record of delivery on light rail is outstanding. Nottingham's tram system which they run is exceptional and has a high passenger satisfaction level - in fact the best of any tram network in the UK. I look forward to them providing a similar service throughout Greater Manchester. It's important though that we open positive communication with Keolis Amey as early as possible."

  • Irene and Andy at the Coral Mill site before the development
    Article: Jan 19, 2017

    Milnrow and Newhey Councillor Andy Kelly has slammed the new development at Coral Mill, Newhey as 'unaffordable' and claimed that local people were being 'priced out of renting there.' He has been contacted by angry residents after a three-bed roomed rental property on the site went on the market for a whopping £820 per calendar month or £189 per week.

    Andy and Councillor Irene Davidson objected in April to building 69 new homes on the site on the grounds that there was no plans for affordable housing nor any attempt to help sort out out Newhey's parking problems.

    He said: "We were never against building homes at the Coral Mill site. After all, something needed to be done as it was an eyesore. I have always said that developing the Coral Mill site presented an opportunity for our village. It is an opportunity we have clearly not taken. Local people have been priced out of renting property. It's clear that the excellent transport links via the Metrolink have sent prices rocketing. Whilst investment in our area is welcome - we shouldn't be in the thrall of developers who, in this case are clearly making a tidy packet from this development without contributing to the betterment of our village."

    Councillor Irene Davidson said: "This is a missed opportunity on so many levels. I made a plea to the Planning Committee in April that they should look at forcing the developer to invest money locally to help put an end to resident's parking problems. Parking in Newhey is already a nightmare. Legally, the Council could have enforced what they call a 'Section 106' order. This is additionally money that a council can force a developer to pay to improve infrastructure and alleviate any additional strain on services etc. because of their development. The Council simply failed to enact this despite our pleas to do so. In failing to do so, we have been let down again."

    Councillor Kelly said that this simply should not happen again. He said: "The recent consultation on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, or put simply plans to concrete over huge parts of our green belt has brought Newhey together. The momentum created by an interactive campaign against 120 houses and industrial space on green belt in Newhey shouldn't be lost. We will be meeting regularly to campaign to improve our area. One of the key issues will be planning. We will force this Council to ensure that any future application enriches our area and the community benefits as a whole."

  • Article: Jan 17, 2017
    Dear GMSF,

    RE: Objection to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

    I am writing to formally object to the current consultation on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. I am a councillor in the Milnrow and Newhey Ward of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council. The ten Greater Manchester authorities and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority are jointly pursuing the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) to identify land for housing, offices and industrial use over the next twenty years. The requirement for a local plan comes from the Government.

  • Article: Jan 16, 2017

    Rochdale Liberal Democrats have submitted a formal Freedom of Information request to find out the truth about road maintenance in the Borough. Council spin doctors recently claimed that £10 million has been spent on roads since 2013. Neil Emmott, the council's Cabinet Member in charge of our roads has further claimed that £1 million has "already" been spent on our roads this year. He said: " Labour has kept last year's election promise and spent an extra £1 million fixing hundreds of potholes."

    Lib Dems are now using the Freedom of Information Act and are asking the council to provide them with an up to date list of all pot-holes fixed in this municipal year (2016/17) by electoral ward and the full cost of repairing each pot-hole.

    Councillor Andy Kelly, leader of Rochdale Liberal Democrats, said: "My team and I are constantly on our borough's streets speaking to residents. I simply do not believe the council are getting to grips with the pot-hole issues. They claim they are fixing our broken roads and pavements yet we don't see much evidence of this. This Council can spin, we know that. They spend hundreds of thousands on expensive spin doctors but it's crucial that they are even handed and report the facts.

    "The Council can't spin Freedom of Information requests: they have to issue the truth about pot-holes. I look forward to them providing evidence to back up their claims. We have also asked the Council to let us know their activity by Council Ward as I am certain that, for example the broken roads in Milnrow and Newhey haven't received their fair share of funding."

    Councillor Kelly welcomed the claimed reduction in money paid out in compensation claims. The Council claim that since 2012 they have taken a tough approach. Andy said: "I look forward to the Council providing a list of successfully fought compensation claims to back this up."

  • Norman Smith MBE, 1932–2017
    Article: Jan 16, 2017

    Leading Liberal Democrats have paid tribute to Norman Smith MBE who died last week. The funeral service will be held on Monday, 23rd January at the Rochdale Unitarian Church, Clover Street at 12.15pm followed by a Private Committal at Rochdale Crematorium and then Refreshments at Rochdale Town Hall at 14.30.

    Lord David Alton, a former MP and now a member of the House of Lords, said: "A string of previously agreed parliamentary commitments prevent me from being present for Norman's funeral. I am particularly sorry as I would like to have personally paid tribute to Norman's dedication to the people of Rochdale over so many years. Town halls and Councils only function because of the tireless and often thankless work of ordinary men and women. Westminster often forgets that councillors like Norman are the bedrock of our democracy. Norman never forgot that politics is about people - and now is a moment for people to pay their respects and to say their thanks. Once again, please accept my sympathy and prayers at this time of loss. May he rest in peace."

    Rochdale's former MEP Chris Davies said: "I am pleased to see Norman receiving the recognition that he deserved as a former mayor, longstanding councillor, and above all as a thoroughly decent man strongly committed to the well-being of his town and its people. I was privileged to know him - he was so committed to improving people's lives and politics will miss him."