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I'm delighted to have been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Central Rochdale, Hamer and Wardleworth. The reason I am standing is because I am passionately about standing up for and defending the town I love.

I started my career as a weaver, then studied to become a sheet metal fabricator. I have run a business in Rochdale with my wife Mariam for the past 30 years. In that time, I have seen Rochdale deteriorate. The news that Rochdale is the most declining place in Britain comes as no surprise to me. I am standing for election because I want to do something about it. Labour have wasted the chance to do something positive for our town and squandered it. Instead, we are going backwards. Rochdale is a great place to live - we have such a positive story to tell. Instead, all we see is negative headline after negative headline about Simon Danczuk. Expense problems, sex scandals and police interrogations - our MP is an embarrassment. All the while, he is supported by Labour councillors who seem more interested in protecting their own reputation rather than Rochdales.

As a former Labour member, I have watched events with horror. They support our MP through thick and thin - even when he voted to bomb Syria.

The Conservatives meanwhile offer no credible opposition. Only Councillor Andy Kelly and the Liberal Democrats offer the change we so desperately need.

I'll never forgive Labour for stripping our hospital of vital services like Maternity and A & E. How can it right be that a town our size cannot provide such basics? I signed former former MPs to save our services like thousands of other people in our town. Local Labour councillors stood by and let it happen. Now a child cannot be born in a hospital in our town. A family I know lost a loved one who had a heart attack - he life could have been saved if our infirmary had it's A&E. That is Labour's toxic legacy in our town.

As a local businessman, I want to improve both our reputation and attract much needed investment in our town. If elected in May, I will hold regular surgeries and work all year round for local people. For far too long, Labour has let us down... It's time for a positive change and that is what I offer. I'm delighted to have the full support of people like local Lib Dem Leader, Councillor Andy Kelly, Ali Asghar, the local Lib Dem President, former Central Ward councillors Zulifiqar Ali and Khalid Mahmood as well as the support of formers MPs Liz Lynne and Paul Rowen. We have a great local team who can offer you a fresh start.