Talking Politics by Councillor Khalid Mahmood (Lib Dem)

October 16, 2006 12:00 AM
Councillor Zulf Ali on the Central Beat with Khalid Mahmood!

Councillor Zulf Ali on the Central Beat with Khalid Mahmood!

It's over 2 years since I got elected to the Council and I must tell you that things seem to have changed in that short time. We now have an excellent Liberal Democrat MP in Paul Rowen, Liberal Democrats now have all the members on the influential Cabinet and I continue to work hard alongside my colleague - Councillor Zulfiqar Ali for the residents of Central Rochdale. Lots of positive things have happened in Central Rochdale since electing Liberal Democrat Councillors, these include the fabulous regeneration of Unique Mill and many more. I know that my former colleague - Shah Wazir played a major role in this and is rightly proud of the work that has been done. I don't pretend though that everything is perfect, work is need, especially to improve our environment and I look forward to the challenges ahead.

I would like to thank our Council Leader - Councillor Alan Taylor for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this section of the paper. I hope that the Labour and Conservative Leaders catch on and give the public in Rochdale an opportunity to find out more about different Councillors, and not just use this as a platform for themselves. I got into politics, to help people and I am delighted that I am able to use this position not for personal ambition but for the public of Central Rochdale. Last week was the Council Meeting, can I thank Paul Rowen MP for organising the protest before. It is vital that we continue the fight to retain Accident and Emergency Services at the Infirmary. I have a very special regard for the hospital - My 5 children were born there and its position and services are vital. I have always advocated that services should be in the area where they are most needed. Recent figures show that people in Central Rochdale are likely to die younger than most of the country. It is beyond me why we have been treated so shoddily. Maybe there is some truth in the 'heat maps' allegation made against the Labour Government. The issue of parking outside Rochdale Infirmary is still ongoing and I hope that we can come to a decision as soon as possible for the residents whose lives are hugely affected.

There are many ways that Councillors pick up work from Constituents - I drive a local taxi and it's amazing how much work I pick up from customers. I enjoy hearing people's opinions on how I can be a better Councillor and how we can be a better Council. If you see me - don't hesitate to let me know your problems. Maybe, a mobile advice surgery is on the cards, though of course we will still have our regular advice surgeries that we have carried out for many years.

Finally, I am delighted to report that fortunately for him - Councillor Zulfiqar Ali has given up betting on England matches. Readers of the Observer will know that he had to shave off his hair after betting that England were going to win the World Cup! He looked awful and often scared the youngsters on our regular visits across Central Rochdale. Following England's defeat against Croatia I am delighted to report that he has kept a full head of hair!

Councillor Khalid Mahmood