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Lib Dem President Impressed by Heywood's 'Magic' Market

October 7, 2008 12:00 AM

Simon Hughes MP alongside Councillors Peter Rush, Doreen Brophy-Lee, Malcolm Bruce and Heywood stall holder Iris.President of the Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes MP took time out to visit Rochdale after an invite from local colleagues. Mr Hughes was guest speaker at a celebration dinner at Rochdale Town Hall and also visited Heywood where he went to the indoor market and the recently closed Hopwood Post Office.

Mr Hughes said: "On my visit to Heywood market I was really surprised and impressed by the vibrancy of the place. The stalls were full of quality goods that were clearly displayed. The market clearly has a fantastic present and I am sure it will have an even better future.

"I was glad that I managed to get around most of the stalls and talk to the hard working people that run them. I spoke to the market manager John Kennedy about how he has managed to keep the indoor market going when many just like it across the country have unfortunately failed to do so. He told me that he had set up a trust, with market stall holders leading from the front, and that they also have the support of the local council.

"I don't think many local shoppers realise it but what Heywood Market is doing today could be what the rest of Britain is doing tomorrow. I told him that I would be sending up some of our local councillors from my constituency in Bermondsey to witness and learn about some of the great ideas that you have. It is vital that we allow small businesses to carry on thriving in these hard economic times."

Mr Hughes also visited the recently closed Hopwood Post Office.

He said: "It's a real shame to see yet another post office that has been led into closure. The government should be forcing Post Office Limited to be more honest and open about which post offices are financially viable and which are in trouble. That way it would allow local authorities to sit down and have a sensible discussion about which Post Offices they can save. The Lib Dems have always said that if we were elected to government we would invest £2Billion into the post office network. I know that the local Lib Dems of Heywood will carry on campaigning against these closures."

Heywood North Councillor Peter Rush said: "I am glad that Simon took time out to visit Heywood yet again. He saw that Heywood is an up and coming town and I know that our market impressed him. It is good to get the opinions of such a senior and well-respected man in politics that is clearly a good friend to Heywood, the town that we all love. I was delighted to provide him with his hospitality on his visit and I was proud to serve him some Heywood produce for breakfast."