Giving the four townships a bigger budget by reducing council spending, by sharing services with other authorities
Our Townships have become talking shops. As a result, there is virtually no community participation. Rochdale Liberal Democrats believe that giving them more powers will revitalise them. We will devolve as much power as possible to our four Townships: Heywood, Middleton, the Pennines and Rochdale. Our Council needs to do a root and branch review of all services we provide. We will work with other local authorities to identify areas where we can provide joint services. Any money saved will be pumped directly into our Townships so that they can make decisions locally, prioritising spending on fixing our broken roads and pavements, improving street lighting and cleaning up our streets.
Making our communities safer
Rochdale Liberal Democrats will insist on a root and branch review of road strategies in our Borough. It is not acceptable that our roads resemble race tracks. Making our roads safer for drivers and pedestrians alike will be a priority. Rochdale needs to get its fair share of policing resources. We support the scrapping of the Police and Crime Commissioner as it's clear this has been a failed experiment. Politics shouldn't be at the heart of policing and we will put the money saved into front-line policing to reduce anti-social behaviour and to put more bobbies back onto our streets. We will deal with the ongoing problem of child grooming in our Borough and work with the Government and outside agencies to ensure that every penny we are entitled to fight this problem is spent getting to grips with this issue that affects so many lives. We will protect the weak and vulnerable by giving the best quality support and care for those who need it most.
Giving our young people the best start in life
Rochdale is at the heart of the 'Northern Powerhouse' Our young people should be equipped with the right skills and qualifications to ensure we take full advantage of this. Rochdale Sixth Form College was an idea that came from Rochdale Liberal Democrats. We will build on it's success and work with the College and the University's Minister to get university courses introduced at Rochdale Sixth Form College and Hopwood Hall. We will fully support our Youth Service and the excellent work it does and do a fully a thorough review of the work it does and approved it accordingly. The Rochdale Borough has seen a huge increase in apprenticeships and we will build on this by working with employers to fund apprenticeships on a 50/50 split with employers.
Using arts and heritage to create jobs and boost the economy
We aim to make the Borough a beacon for the creative industries. Rochdale is the biggest town in Britain without a theatre - we will change this and work to give our town the facilities it deserves. We will pioneer tax breaks for individuals and small companies involved in the arts and the creative and cultural sectors. We will create a hub for creative industries and encourage them by removing small business rates. We will focus on arts and heritage to regenerate our town centre.
Rebuild the boroughs battered reputation
The reputation of the Rochdale borough has been through the mill. Whether it's the antics of Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, supported by the Labour Council, child grooming or the raft of statistics that show this Labour Council have dragged us down. We will use our young people to kickstart our recovery. Rochdale is a great place to live. We have a great story to tell and we will be using our investment in arts and heritage to send the world a message that we mean business. We will mend this Council's reputation as a 'basket case' and get on with the job of lobbying the Government for a better deal from this Conservative Government.