Rochdale suffers Labour's devastating planning disaster!

May 29, 2009 12:00 AM

Leader of Rochdale Council Alan TaylorThe decision by Rochdale's Labour Party to massively delay over 80 Planning Applications, will not only have serious financial implications for the tax payer but will also affect charities, the disabled, schools, council housing, doctors' surgeries and even NHS Dentists, it can be exclusively revealed.

According to a devastating dossier, released by the Liberal Democrats, Rochdale's Labour Leader Colin Lambert, alongside Heywood and Middleton Township Chairs, Councillors Alan McCarthy and Peter Williams, have sent in three separate e-mails requesting personally that the delays to key planning projects take place. The Labour Party, unhappy with the ruling Liberal Democrat Group took the action to '…teach the Liberal Democrats a lesson' after a Township dispute.

According to the Council, the decision of the Labour Party is now set to put crucial projects back at least 3 months. This has resulted in a number of jobs at local construction firms being put at risk as even routine applications such as kitchen extensions are being held up.

Projects that have been delayed include;

(1) Improvements to the British Heart Foundation Charity Shop in Baillie Street.

(2) Much needed Council Housing in Smallbridge and Firgrove.

(3) A new Business Centre in Central Rochdale and new offices affecting jobs and training.

(4) Access ramps for the disabled in Kingsway.

(5) 2 doctors' surgeries in Balderstone and Kirkholt

(6) A dental surgery in Sudden.

(7) A hotel at Healey Hall.

(8) A change of use of a shop in South Middleton to a Community Support Centre for the vulnerable.

(9) Installation of a much needed ATM Machine at a Post Office in North Middleton.

(10) The construction of an Artificial football/Hockey Pitch for Cardinal Langley RC High School.

Paul Rowen MP said, "I am disgusted at the behaviour of the local Labour Party. Not only could the bill to the tax payer run into tens of thousands, but this puts a halt to much-needed progress in our Borough. I am even more concerned that they have been causing a severe delay to projects in Smallbridge, Firgrove and the rest of the Pennines. This is despite having no Councillors whatsoever on the Township. This is the most irresponsible behaviour that I have seen from a political party in over 30 years in frontline politics."

Dozens more applications have been delayed in Heywood and Middleton.

Council Leader Alan Taylor said, "No one is safe from Labour's attack on the Borough of Rochdale. School children, the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed, the sick, people who can't afford dental care, people in need of Council Housing and many more groups are affected. The progress of this Council has been hampered at the worst possible time. As someone who has had heart problems recently, I personally am disgusted that their stance is affecting the British Heart Foundation - this is despicable, cruel and unacceptable! Councillor Colin Lambert has clearly mis-used his position in public office and as a result, he has cost the tax-payer tens of thousands of pounds. Local businesses are already struggling to survive the credit crunch and Councillor Lambert's actions are totally irresponsible. "

Heywood and Middleton Parliamentary Candidate, Councillor Wera Hobhouse, has slammed Labour's Leader Colin Lambert. She said: "Not only is Councillor Lambert holding up vital regeneration work across Heywood and Middleton but he is doing so during time he is paid to be working for Jim Dobbin MP. He is costing the Heywood and Middleton Tax-payer TWICE for his actions. I hope Jim Dobbin will speak out against the actions of his parliamentary worker for not only costing the tax-payer's money but also moon-lighting whilst he is suppose to be serving the residents of Heywood and Middleton."