Conservative Parliamentary candidate, Azi Ahmed has said that if she is to become the MP for the town, she will being fresh eyes and help change the town.
Ms Ahmed, who grew up in Rochdale, has decided to stand in the election as she believes she knows the people and knows the area well.
Speaking to Rochdale Online she said: “I grew up in Rochdale so I know the area well and I know the people. Rochdale has always had a place in my heart and I feel that with the negative things that have been in the press over the past few years, I want to be part of helping to change that. I want to be part of turning Rochdale around.”
Ms Ahmed has been involved with politics for three years. Having grown up in Rochdale she left to go to school and work in London. She joined the army and after leaving the army, decided to head into Politics. She worked with charities tackling homelessness and became a school governor. She then stood as a local councillor in London last year but lost to the Labour candidate.
She said: “Being in the army was an excellent experience and showed me different things and allowed me to meet more people. When I left the army I decided that it was time to give something back and that is why I decided to go into politics.”
If elected as the MP for the town, Ms Ahmed wants to continue with the redevelopment of Rochdale and continue with the work highlighting and tackling child sexual exploitation.
“I think a lot has been done in relation to the redevelopment of the town but I still think there is a way to go and I would like to continue that. I want to bring more investors into the town and improve the economic practice of the town, which is currently below average.
“I would also carry on working in relation to the child sexual exploitation that has been highlighted and would work with people on this issue. Some people may feel like they can’t talk about things and I want to say no, we have an issue and we can talk about it. I want to be a voice for people,” she said.
Despite praising the work of current MP Simon Danczuk, Ms Ahmed believes that it is time for a new leadership.
She added: “It is time for a new leadership. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure Simon Danczuk has gone a good job but things still aren’t right. If you look at figures, Rochdale is still not up there. For example, figures for children in care went up between 2013 and 2014 and my question is why?”
Even though Ms Ahmed left Rochdale to live in London, she has spent time travelling back to the town over the years to visit family and friends and says that Rochdale has never left her heart.
“I have been back and forth for 20 years and when I decided to stand, I had five places that asked me to stand but Rochdale was always in my heart and was ultimately the place I wanted to get involved with the most. If I were to win, things would change dramatically and I would be back but the town has never really left me.”
Ms Ahmed back in Rochdale soon campaigning. She said: “I have been linking up with people and talking to people and a lot of them have been quite warm in welcoming me and others have been asking questions which I have been answering.”