Home rule for Heywood - A step closer!

October 25, 2006 12:00 AM
Peter and Doreen celebrate devolution to Heywood.

Peter and Doreen celebrate devolution to Heywood.

The day was the 1st April 1974 - the day that Heywood lost much of its power to Rochdale. The day that the old Heywood Town Council was finally dissolved and Rochdale took over the running of the Town. Many Heywood Residents remember this day with regret. The last sign of Municipal power was knocked down in the Mid-Eighties, when the old Heywood Municipal Buildings on Longford Street was demolished. The Heywood Coat of Arms that used to sit on top of the Municipal Buildings is now mounted in the wall on the corner of Longford Street and Bamford Road.

That is set to change though as the Heywood Township becomes more powerful, making more decisions that affects Heywood People. Power that is being devolved includes more control over parks, greater powers over roads, streets lights, pavements etc, Community Centres, Leisure projects, libraries and others. The Townships will also have more of a say on housing, development, refuse collection including recycling, schools and revenues and benefits. It is also planned to build Heywood a new 'Town Hall', - a focal point for access to Council Services.

Leader of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council - Alan Taylor said, "These are really exciting proposals for Heywood which will really change the way Council Services are delivered. We have put trust in local decision making at the top of our agenda. As many decisions that affect Heywood as possible will be delegated to Township Level, making them stronger and more vibrant."

Heywood Councillor Peter Rush said, "I am absolutely delighted that we have kept the clear manifesto commitment of Home-rule for Heywood. I said it 2 years ago and this is a huge step forward and I look forward to hearing more at the next meeting of the Heywood Township. We are a forward thinking Council, who are learning from mistakes of the past. There is much that needs to be done but this a decisive step forward that will really localise decision making. Those who remember the abolition of Heywood Town Council can now take comfort from the fact that our Township will eventually have more power than old Heywood Town Council!"