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 …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 3 Comments

Six Rochdale Lib Dem councillors resign over leadership

From BBC News Manchester:

Six Liberal Democrat councillors in Rochdale have resigned from the party in protest over its leadership nationally and locally.

Pat and Ted Flynn, Peter Davison, Doreen Brophy Lee, Barbara Todd and Naim Mahmood will sit as independents.

Councillor Pat Flynn said the party was “doing too many U-turns”.

Councillor Dale Mulgrew, deputy leader of Rochdale Lib Dems, said the resignations were part of a dispute over the party’s selection process.

Two of the councillors had been deselected by the party ahead of next year’s local elections.

Rochdale Council is led by a coalition of Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

Read the full story …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 34 Comments

Rochdale’s first female leader

News reaches t’Voice (via the Middleton Guardian) that Lib Dem Irene Davidson has become the new leader on Rochdale Council – and in doing so has become the first female leader of the Council.

Coun Davidson, who works as a prison officer in Manchester, will be replacing the leader Alan Taylor, who decided last week to stand down due to ill health.

Earlier this year, she stood in for Coun Taylor during one of his bouts of illness. She was acting leader when Rochdale hit the national news headlines after installing its Christmas light decorations in August.

Councillor Davidson said: “It is

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

RIP Sir Ludovic Kennedy

The BBC reports:

The author, broadcaster and campaigner Sir Ludovic Kennedy has died aged 89. A former BBC Panorama journalist, Sir Ludovic spent decades investigating miscarriages of justice, including the case of the Birmingham Six. He contributed to the abolition of the death penalty and was also president of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.

Nick Clegg has joined in the tributes to Sir Ludovic, a member of the Liberal party and later the Lib Dems, for most of his life:

Ludovic Kennedy was one of the great thinkers of his generation. His pursuit of justice and his championing of sometimes unpopular and controversial causes marked him out as a true liberal. He will be greatly missed.”

Sir Ludovic was the Liberal candidate and runner-up in the 1958 Rochdale by-election, propelling the party to its highest vote in the constituency since the 1920s, with the Tories pushed from first to third place. It was the first UK election to feature televised debates between the candidates, with Granada also broadcasting the count – another first.

He quit the Lib Dems in 2001 in protest at Charles Kennedy’s refusal to countenance legalised euthanasia, even standing as an independent candidate for the cause in Devizes, Wiltshire, polling just over 1,000 votes. He later re-joined the party.

During the 1980s and ’90s, Sir Ludovic gained fame among a new generation (such as myself) through his appearances as himself in the superior BBC comedy programme, Yes, Minister, as well as his interviews with Peter Cook, playing Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling, for A Life in Pieces. Here’s the first programme from that fantastic series, first broadcast in December 1990:

Posted in Obituaries | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment

Trouble for Labour in Rochdale as former mayor quits party

Rochdale Labour party is in turmoil this week, after seven Labour members were disciplined for bringing the party into disrepute for calling for an investigation into allegations of domestic abuse by their parliamentary candidate, Simon Danczuk. The former mayor of Rochdale, Robin Parker, has now quit the party in protest at what he regards as a miscarriage of justice, describing the position of Mr Danczuk as Labour’s candidate as “untenable”.

Here’s an excerpt from the in-depth report at Rochdale Online:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid-1 2nd Aug - 4:25am
    For what it is worth (and I'm afraid it's worth very little) I support Caron — and I strongly support bettering the quality of political...
  • User AvatarT-J 2nd Aug - 4:25am
    @Richard Dean The politician's trick of using a non-apology apology (its never usually a real apology if the word 'sorry' is immediately followed by the...
  • User AvatarAlex Dingwall 2nd Aug - 1:49am
    From the Scottish Government: Question: Will universal postal services be maintained in an independent Scotland? Answer: Yes. This Scottish Government recognises the importance of postal...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 2nd Aug - 1:44am
    @Mark Did you notice that your three-word sentence can have several meanings? Maybe if you do, you might start to understand how awful the piece...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 2nd Aug - 1:21am
    Richard, I think not.
  • User AvatarRob Parsons 2nd Aug - 12:50am
    Mark, part of the problem is that there is so little big print to read. As GF notes it took stern action to get even...