Rochdale Council sets out support for MEN Off-Road Bikes Campaign!

October 17, 2006 12:00 AM
Peter rushes to bring end to bike chaos

Rochdale Council sets out support for MEN Off-Road Bikes Campaign!

Rochdale Council has backed the Manchester Evening News' Campaign for a new registration scheme that would require all off-road bikes to be registered with the DVLA. The Council have a passed a Motion at their Full Council Meeting that also call for 'appropriate, clear signage on hotspots across the Rochdale Borough that would constitute as a warning and enable police to have tougher powers to confiscate straight away when catching offenders.

Local MP - Paul Rowen told the meeting, "I would like to congratulate the Manchester Evening News for continuing their fine reputation as a newspaper that campaigns for the residents of Greater Manchester. We are happy to back this campaign and would encourage Councils across Greater Manchester to follow Rochdale's example and pass a similar motion. It is important to note that not all off road bikers are irresponsible so all authorities, instead of burying our head in the sand. We need to work together as authorities and identify some sort of provision in Greater Manchester. It is high time we reclaimed our parks, open spaces and streets!"

Councillors from all parties spoke of the complaints they receive about the 'anti-social use of off road bikes.' Heywood Lib Dem Councillor - Peter Rush who proposed the motion acknowledged that not all bikers are anti-social, however, those that are he said are "causing damage to parks and open spaces and badly affecting the quality of life of residents not just in Heywood but across the country." He asked for clear signs to be erected warning bikers in order that the police could use existing powers to confiscate bikes."

Council Leader - Councillor Alan Taylor said, "After 9 years of a Labour Government we are finally seeing some positive action. I would like to see Rochdale Council get tougher on this very serious issue. I would like to see the Council to have the power to seize and crush these vehicles. It seems ridiculous that we have to rely on the police, who are unable to make this their number 1 priority because of funding shortfalls. I am asking the residents of Rochdale to contact the Council and let us know where the hotspots are. The Police Reform Act needs toughening up - police need more power to seize and destroy these dangerous bikes for the good of the people of Greater Manchester and for the good of the people destroying our parks and open spaces. Until then, I hope that the clear signage will constitute as a warning and enable police to confiscate straight away."

Ends

For further information please contact Paul Rowen MP on 07976 295 205 or Councillor Alan Taylor (Leader of Rochdale Council) on 01706 647474.

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The Motion passed by Rochdale Council in full:

OFF-ROAD BIKES IN THE ROCHDALE BOROUGH:

Proposed by Councillor Peter Rush Seconded by Councillor Mark Birkett:

This Council notes:

The ongoing problems with Off Road Bikes, including mini-motos, trial bikes, quad bikes, petrol scooters and go-peds in the Borough of Rochdale. That between May 2005 and June 2006 there was 25,917 complaints about the problem to Greater Manchester Police.

This Council further notes that Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 enables police to give warnings to those driving off-road vehicles illegally in an anti-social manner. This Council notes with regret that it is difficult enough to catch offenders once never mind twice and asks that this Council investigates whether appropriate, clear signage on hotspots across the Rochdale Borough would constitute as a warning and enable police to have tougher powers to confiscate straight away when catching offenders.

This Council also notes that irresponsible and anti-social use of off road bikes destroys our Borough's parks and open spaces, causes noise nuisance and dangerous riding on our parks, open spaces and especially on our roads and pavements put residents in Heywood, Pennines, Middleton and Rochdale lives at risk.

This Council praises the actions of Home Secretary John Reid MP in clamping down on the anti-social use of off road bikes and similar vehicles. This Council regrets the fact that this promise of action has taken 9 years, but asks that the Home Office look at providing GMP with more resources to enforce any new legislation aimed at fighting this growing problem.

This Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Minister of State for Transport, Dr Stephen Ladyman confirming Rochdale Borough Council's support for a new registration scheme that would require all off-road bikes to be registered with the DVLA.

This Council notes that not all off road bikers are irresponsible and further notes the lack of provision in Greater Manchester for this sport. This Council believes that a sensible approach to this problem would be to provide some provision in the Greater Manchester area. We therefore ask for the provision of an off road biking facility to be raised at the next meeting of AGMA (Association of Greater Manchester Authorities) and a report to come back to Rochdale Council.

ID CARDS

This Council notes that that introducing Labour's mandatory ID card scheme is likely to cost every taxpayer in the Rochdale Borough at least £30 each or £93 for a passport and ID together. This will hit the most vulnerable and poorest in the Borough of Rochdale. This Council further notes that this Government have estimated that the cost of such a scheme could reach £6 billion, with independent commentators predicting that it will cost much more. This Council also notes that the estimated costs could pay for as many as 10,000 Police Officers in this country.

This Council believes:

1) That the disadvantages of such a scheme will outweigh any likely benefits to the people of Heywood, Middleton, Pennines and Rochdale.

2) That the scheme will do little, if anything, to prevent terrorism, crime or fraud.

3) That the national database that underpins the identity card scheme may facilitate criminal fraud, terrorism and potential state abuses of human rights.

4) That the ID card and database proposals are likely to fundamentally alter the relationship between the state and the individual.

This Council resolves to:

1) Make representations at every possible stage, reiterating this Council's opposition to National ID cards

2) Make it a policy of the council to ensure that national identity cards would not be required to access council services or benefits unless specifically required to do so by Act of Parliament. Until the man

3) Take no part in any pilot scheme or feasibility work in relation to the introduction of the national identity cards

4) Only co-operate with the national identity card scheme where to do otherwise would be unlawful

5) Join 29 Councils across the country that have affiliated to the 'No2ID' campaign, which already includes MPs, local authorities and several political parties

6) Instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Home Secretary expressing these views and asking him to reconsider his decision to push forward this legislation.