Councillor William Hobhouse - Bamford Ward

April 21, 2006 1:10 AM

Many residents in Bamford, Sudden, Brimrod, Marland, and Oakenrod will know that I have been very active in a whole range of community issues over the last couple of years. The number of leaflets and letters distributed across the ward over the last year is approaching double figures - I hope that residents have felt that I have kept them fully informed on the issues of the moment, and that they have always had the opportunity to shape Council decisions - most notably on the Sudden Roundabouts and the Moorgate Avenue Conservation Area.

My biggest concern for Rochdale is the risk to Public Health and Safety from the redevelopment of contaminated land. I moved parties last year because I felt I needed to work with a political group that takes environmental issues as serious as I do. I have publicly supported the campaign for safe development of the Turner Brothers asbestos site; together with my Liberal Democrat colleagues, we achieved the planning refusal of the biologically contaminated old tannery site at Greenbooth in Norden. I called in a decision on Akzo in Littleborough to highlight the serious risks of building houses on contaminated land.

The massive issue of this election is the coalition between Labour and the Conservatives. They have been in coalition since May 2005. Many residents still can't believe it. Conservative voters in Bamford have voted Conservative for years with the main purpose of voting against Labour. This May, a vote for the Conservatives in Bamford is a vote for Labour.

Your Conservative Councillors have voted continually with Labour at Council Meetings - for example increasing Council Tax by 4.6% this year while cutting vital services. Not one Conservative Councillor has publicly campaigned against the proposed closure of A&E and Maternity Services at Rochdale Infirmary and at Fairfield, thereby tacitly supporting the Labour proposals for our hospitals.

The Labour/Conservative Coalition has left the Borough without direction or vision. The Liberal Democrats have presented a carefully thought out manifesto and programme of change, and present to residents a new, dynamic and progressive vision. Rochdale needs a Fresh Start!