Labour launches manifesto for the local elections on 5 May

Date published: 11 April 2016

Labour currently has a large majority on Rochdale Council, holding 48 of the 60 seats. It is defending 16 of the 20 seats being contested in the local elections on 5 May and has launched its manifesto.

The document - Creating Jobs, Cleaner Streets, Improving Schools - sets out the party's priorities for the next year.

Labour leader Richard Farnell said: "We have three main priorities for next year. Labour will boost local employment, create more apprenticeships and help small firms set up, with a new £1 million investment scheme.

"We will make our streets cleaner, repair potholes and tackle fly-tipping and grotspots with our clean and green teams.

"And we will work with schools to achieve a target of exceeding the national average of children obtaining five good GCSEs, including maths and English by 2017.

"We have faced a huge task over recent years in grappling with £200 million of government cuts. Despite this, no library, nursery, Sure Start centre or community centre has closed.

"We have protected front-line services such as advice services, street cleaning and highway repairs.

"We have done this by increasing efficiencies, rooting out waste and cutting back on management costs.

"Next year we aim to make sure Rochdale, Middleton, Heywood and the Pennines shine by tackling litter and improving the environment.

"We will boost jobs and apprenticeships and make sure every child gets the best start in life.

"All this is carefully costed. It will be paid for by selling surplus assets, attracting special grants and from additional budget savings."

Main highlights of Labour's manifesto

Creating jobs and building our local economy
Labour will:

  • Create a £1m business fund – supporting firms with grants to create new jobs and help attract new firms to invest in the borough.
  • Award grants of up to £5,000 to independent retailers to to set up in our town centres making them more vibrant.
  • Create 40 new micro business units to help small firms set up.
  • Award £1,000 grant to firms taking on new skilled apprentices and award another £1,000 to the apprentices when they complete the course.
  • Extend Labour’s unique town centre new business rate reductions to three years and include Heywood and Middleton.
  • Continue the popular free parking for three hours in our town centres for another year.

Cleaner Streets and investing in our environment
Labour will:

  • Invest an extra £1m to improve street cleaning and grounds maintenance.
  • Invest an extra £1m to fix pot holes.
  • Extend our clean and green teams tackling fly-tipping and grot spots for a second year.
  • Provide an extra 250 litter bins throughout the borough.
  • Create an extra 100 new allotments.
  • Launch a spring clean campaign to make our borough sparkle.
  • Provide extra investment for gully repairs.
  • Award grants to set up Neighbourhood Watch Schemes.
  • Work with the Environment Agency on a new £20M flood relief scheme for Littleborough and Rochdale.

Improving schools and looking after our children
Labour will:

  • Introduce a target to exceed the national average for five good GCSE results by 2017/18.
  • Appoint a health governor in every school.
  • Enrol all children into a local library.
  • Double the number of computers in all public libraries.
  • Introduce new grants to attract the best maths teachers to the borough.
  • Award free council tax to all foster carers looking after a teenage child.


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