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Councillor Denis Whittle - Milnrow and Newhey Ward

April 21, 2006 1:16 AM

I have represented Milnrow and Newhey for four years and been an integral part of the Milnrow and Newhey Liberal Democrat team, alongside Councillors Keith Swift and Irene Davidson.

I am married to Marlene and have three grown up children (which gives me the time to campaign for the area in which I have lived for over 30 years)

I am a popular, hardworking local councillor who deals with hundreds of constituents a year, the former chairman of the Holt Tenants and Residents Association and I successfully campaigned for the Holt Community Base that will provide facilities for young mums and their children, pensioners and a place for young people to go after school.

Over the last four years, many pensioners have sought my help - especially with housing problems. I am delighted to help, especially in getting adaptations to bungalows. Adaptations that help older people stay in their homes and maintain their independence.

I am especially critical of Labour's police priorities in Milnrow and Newhey. Everyone who lives in Milnrow and Newhey knows that there are problems with crime and vandalism. The kick pitch at Milnrow Primary School keeps getting vandalised - unfortunately the police don't, despite repeated requests, seem able to do anything about it. St James Church in Milnrow even had a wall stole recently!

Unfortunately, Labour do not agree that policing should be their priority. They have ignored pleas from police chiefs and the Liberal Democrats for proper funding. As a result, police numbers in Greater Manchester have been slashed by 216 and this means less police presence on the streets of Milnrow and Newhey. This is clearly unacceptable.

I have also been involved in the campaign to stop vital services at Rochdale Infirmary being axed sending hundreds of petitions to 10 Downing Street, London - these went on the coach recently and were presented by pensioners from Milnrow and Newhey.

I am also committed to reducing traffic congestion in Milnrow and Newhey - four years ago I promised local people that I would campaign against any planning application in the ward which would lead to an increase in traffic. I have been as good as my word.

Unfortunately, we still have no word on the future of the Metrolink - a service that is vital for Milnrow and Newhey. This is a symbol of the abject failure of the Labour Party in Rochdale. I will continue to campaign for this vital service that will hopefully go someway of alleviating the terrible traffic problems in Milnrow and Newhey.