Letter: Vive la France!

Date published: 12 March 2018

Dear Editor,

Like other beleaguered Rochdale council tax payers I read your story about the Council Leader and Chief Executive jetting off with another councillor and council officer to the South of France to a four day property exhibition with great enthusiasm and interest.

Maybe they'll be hoping to find some personal quality time to boost their existing personal property portfolios or simply plan to pick up some modest cheap buy to let retirement villas while they are on their continental jaunt - perhaps our RMBC mandarins intend to twin Rochdale with Cannes and ditch the slightly less glitzy Tourcoing in the light of the Brexit  referendum?

Whilst many local people are clamouring to voice their justified concerns about whether possible conflicts of interests might arise between our democratically elected officials and the generous corporate sponsors - who may or may not at some point be involved in Rochdale's lucrative town centre regeneration project in the future - I'm of a different  mindset and in favour of anything that gets our politicians out of their ivory towers and puts as much distance as possible between them and the local decision making process.

Sending them to France could after all provide us all with some much needed respite.

A speedy response from Rochdale Council to a Rochdale Online FOI request should lay the matter to rest once and for all and instantly silence any unkind local cynics who might wonder why so many of our senior council decision makers need to attend and who is in charge in their collective absence while they are swanning up and down the Promenade de la Croisette.

Hopefully, Rochdale Online can investigate further and discover how this trip to the South of France costs £20,000 for four days - at five grand a day that's a lot of croissants, bed and breakfast, and magnanimous corporate sponsor hospitality - clearly they won't be roughing it but a hard chore such as this clearly demands someone has to reluctantly volunteer to make the personal sacrifice to uphold our civic pride.

We should all feel our hearts swell with pride that not just one but four of our local public servants felt moved to selflessly step up to the task in hand.

To this end members of this household are almost feverish with hope and anticipation; curious to know who exactly we contact at Number One Riverside to have their all too brief visit extended in the interest of international relations and cross cultural solidarity until the May Local elections - longer if possible - though we would want to put it on record that we bear the French population no personal animosity in this aspiration .

After all if we can do without them all for the duration of their French Riviera jamboree surely we can certainly do without them on a more permanent basis?

Missing you already chaps  - send us a post card c/o Mugsville, UK .


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The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.

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