Tag Archives: rochdale

Opinion: Planning in Rochdale descends into farce

I know many current and former councillors would agree with me that being on a municipal planning committee is a thankless task. Explaining the quasi-judicial element of the role to residents can be a nightmare. Every council contains councillors of different shapes, sizes and abilities. That is why the role of a planning officer is critical – to help you through complex planning law. We may not agree with their advice but we need concrete planning reasons on which to base our decisions. Or do we?

The recent BBC programme The Planners certainly brought back memories for me about my time …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Clegg: “Communities need to front up to abuse in their midst”

Nick Clegg has told The Times that Police should investigate allegations of sexual abuse “without fear or favour.” His comments come  in the wake of this week’s report showing deficiencies in the way police and social services handled allegations of sexual abuse in Rochdale.

Nick said:

It is completely unacceptable if perceived cultural sensitivities or political correctness ever stops crimes being investigated fully or allows abuse to continue. No one would pretend that sexual exploitation is exclusive to any community or race, but major cases like this raise tough questions about the profile and attitude of the abusers towards their victims.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Opinion: Lessons from the Rochdale sex abuse scandal

There are painful lessons from the Rochdale sex abuse scandal for those of us from Rochdale who are concerned about the welfare of looked-after children or good community relations.

We need to have a full and frank discussion, unafraid of the strictures of the politically correct brigade or the far right.

While it is definitely not a religious issue the attitude of a significant percentage of men from a South Asian background towards women is a matter of serious concern that needs addressing.

I say women in general, rather than an attitude to white women in particular, because my case load regularly dealt …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Labour candidate Shefali Begum wants “prosperous thieving” Rochdale

I guess there always has to be some humility when you see that an opposition candidate has had a bit of a proof-reading failure. After all, it could just as easily happen to you.

That said, Labour candidate for the Spotland and Falinge ward of Rochdale Council Shefali Begum will no doubt be very embarrassed after reading her pitch on the Rochdale Online website in which she says:

  I believe to make a prosperous thieving borough we need united and strong communities which are dedicated and passionate about where they live and their future generations will reside.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

Opinion: Why Sir Cyril was wrong

Now, it’s easy to pretend that your political hero is perfect. It’s easy to write hagiographical accounts of a life without mistakes.

I felt that about the late Sir Cyril Smith MBE, formerly MP for Rochdale. I shall forever feel proud about how Cyril took me under his wing. I will be forever proud now that Sir Cyril called me his friend and gave me so many tips, so many words of advice about how to do my job. (I was Lib Dem Agent in Rochdale from 2004 – 2009) I wrote about ‘our Cyril’ for his 80th

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

The Independent View: Is it time to rethink postal voting?

Allegations emerged recently of voters in Rochdale being asked to hand postal ballots for the local elections to party representatives to complete and submit to the Returning Officer. A decade ago, this might have made the national news, but now such stories are probably too familiar to make the headlines.

While electoral fraud is not rife in the UK, the scale of the problem is almost impossible to estimate. One thing is for sure – the Rochdale case does not represent an isolated local difficulty.  Based on joint reporting by the Electoral Commission and the Association of Chief Police Officers …

Posted in Election law, Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 14 Comments

In other news… Croatian justice, the monarchy, death penalty impeded and elections news

More good news on the increasing reach of international justice: “Two Croatian military leaders have been convicted of atrocities against Serbs during the break up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s” (BBC)

Both Lynne Featherstone and Evan Harris have previously pushed for the rules of royal succession to be changed to remove the precedence given to males over females. As Lynne has put it previously, the monarchy is about symbolism – so it should have the right symbolism. Now Nick Clegg is also on the case: “Mr Clegg, who is responsible for constitutional reform, told the BBC the issue …

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  • User AvatarWilliam Summers 8th Feb - 1:14am
    I strongly believe in the need for more diverse political representation, including more women, BAME and disabled. But this simplistic one-dimensional identity politics really does...
  • User AvatarGareth Epps 7th Feb - 10:28pm
    Liberator is not preceded by a definite article. (You must owe us a sub!)
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 7th Feb - 10:20pm
    @Mick Taylor "Labour have shown us the AWS guarantees the selection of women candidates and in a more favourable electoral climate would lead to women...
  • User AvatarRsf7 7th Feb - 10:15pm
    The problem with all this is that it only works one way. For example, men earn more than women but for the under 30's women...
  • User AvatarIan Swales 7th Feb - 9:56pm
    I'll leave my comment to a fellow member from the North East - “As a woman with a disability I find this patronising and insulting...
  • User AvatarIan Swales 7th Feb - 9:53pm
    You're right David and a lot of people who would benefit from it agree too. Here's just a few comments from a NE blog on...