I am honoured to be Rochdale’s Conservative Party Parliamentary candidate for the General Election. I have lived here all my life, went to school here, made lifelong friends here, got married here, worked here and raised my family here. Rochdale is my home – it’s yours too – and it’s a diverse community I’m proud to be part of and one which I would be delighted to represent.
I know many of you who live and work in Rochdale and I am currently serving as a local councillor for Bamford and am also Shadow Portfolio Holder for Adult Care. I’m not a career politician, parachuted in from outside the borough, I care for this place and I’m here for the long term.
In the very turbulent times we find ourselves in, Rochdale needs to have a stronger voice in Government. The Brexit negotiations will need a carefully thought out and determined approach to ensure the UK is able to secure the best possible deal for its people, industry and remain and flourish as an influential global economic power. Only a Conservative government can ensure we get a strong deal against a backdrop of European leaders who are already digging their heels in.
If elected, I will ensure that Rochdale’s voice is heard in Parliament. I have listened to many of you in conversations on the doorstep across the town, in Rochdale Township meetings and local forums and I understand what matters to you. You have shared with me things that concern you, the challenges you and your families face and just as importantly the aspirations you have to ensure Rochdale, the home of the Co-Op, stands tall once more as a vibrant and industrious place able to make a positive and powerful contribution to the opportunities afforded by the Northern Powerhouse and Greater Manchester Devolution.
Social change, inclusive approaches, and the creation of health economies come from the actions of political parties centrally and the energy and creativity of people in local communities, and there’s plenty of that entrepreneurial spirit here, with great new start-ups across the borough and hundreds of hard-working volunteers who give their all for this town. Thank you to all of you.
The Conservatives are quite simply the only party who can deliver a strong, stable economy needed to ensure a fairer, more equitable society best able to care for those who at different times of their lives need support.
I will support Rochdale groups and agencies to also play their part and help make that difference, improving health outcomes and the sense of community across this town with its interwoven communities.
I am proud that we have some of the best schools and colleges in Greater Manchester – receiving national acclaim and able to prepare our young people for what might very different career opportunities. I am passionate that we continue to find ways of protecting the educational opportunities available to them.
I want to work with business and organisations to ensure we make best use of the new and exciting higher apprenticeship opportunities. I work in a university that has strong powerful links with industry and uses an approach to ensure that its students leave with the new skills required for a changing work place.
I want business and services in Rochdale to be partners with all the universities in Greater Manchester and to make sure that everyone is able to access higher education and skills training, through whatever route suits them.
We need to find ways of keeping our children and young people safe. The recent television programme harrowingly dramatising the child sexual exploitation of young people in Rochdale reminds us all of the need for us to play our part in keeping young people safe. Those charged with doing this at the time, the police, local authority and social services all failed in their duty. I am committed to ensuring this never happens again.
The challenge of the Greater Manchester devolution programme is to ensure greater integration of health and social care services. I believe our NHS to be the best health care system in the world, something borne out by international research and I pay tribute to our doctors, nurses and health professionals who constantly go that extra mile to provide high quality care to patients.
However, as demand for health and social care continues to grow, we can all see the pressures and tensions there are in the system. It is the Conservatives who will continue to protect and develop our NHS. I want the services available to all communities to be high quality, person-centred and at times and in places where people can use them. I will keep this ambition to the fore.
Many people don’t realise that Rochdale borough is the greenest of all Greater Manchester authorities. My track record as a local councillor illustrates my deep commitment to ensure we keep it that way. I proposed a motion to the Council asking that Rochdale Council commit to protecting our green spaces and I also support an active residents’ group in my local area. I fully agree that we need affordable and social housing – something the Conservative Party only this week has committed to build – but there are plenty of other options available to build these homes on the many eyesore brownfield sites I see every day, rather than sacrificing our precious green belt.
If elected, I would lobby hard to prevent land banking by developers and for money to clear sites for development.
Now is the time for Rochdale to change – to be a driving force again. If you want a strong, articulate and passionate voice in the our future Government please entrust me with your vote on 8 June.
People tell me they are fed up of standing on the sidelines and want to back the 'winning horse' in Rochdale. I may not be a Frankel or Red Rum, but I certainly have stamina and excellent form, so remember every single vote counts and together we can make it happen.
I would be privileged to serve each and every one of you across our great town.
Vote Jane Howard - Conservative - on 8 June