Councillor Blundell hits back at 'hypocritical' critics

Date published: 04 January 2018

Councillor John Blundell, Rochdale Council cabinet member for regeneration, has hit back at critics who took him to task for not supporting local barbers.

Councillor Peter Winkler, who criticised Councillor Blundell for having his hair cut in Oldham, has been caught boasting how cheap it was to shop at Aldi ... in Bury!

Councillor Blundell said: “Has he nothing better to do than having a go at me for having my hair cut at my best friend’s barber’s shop? Now he has been caught out as a hypocrite.

"You know what they say about people who live in glass houses.”

Councillor Winkler said: "It seems that Councillor Blundell has naively missed the point here. He has been freshly appointed to a leading role in the regeneration of Rochdale. It’s not that he has been found to be using an out of town business, let’s not be so silly as to suggest that we don’t all do that at times, but when you promote an out of town enterprise as ‘the best’ via your councillors twitter feed, and you are the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, you must realise that some people in the town you represent could be disappointed. It’s just a bit short sighted. 

"Given John’s usual tidy appearance I am in no doubt that his mate does a fine job cutting hair,  I have huge respect for anyone who runs their own business as it is incredibly hard work. I am sure we have given him plenty to chat about over the barbers chair this week." 

Local hairdresser Gregory Couzens, who condemned Councillor Blundell for “promoting and helping a business from another town”, was also branded a hypocrite for "taking his apprentice hairdressers out of Rochdale College and sending them to Bury College instead".

Mr Couzens said: "Councillor Blundell needs to do his homework; Rochdale College does not offer the service of in-house training for day release apprentices. I have to use Bury.

"Moreover, I am not the head of regeneration in Rochdale and this has nothing to do with hairdressing. I do not care who cuts his hair, but when the paid head of Rochdale regeneration is on a public platform telling us that the ‘Best Hairdresser’ is in Oldham it is absolutely disgraceful, especially as so many Rochdale businesses are struggling.

"Please Councillor Blundell do the job that you are being paid for - promote Rochdale businesses."

Milnrow resident Sam Mellor, who cuts Councillor Blundell's hair at his barber’s shop in Oldham, hit back at the criticism levelled by Councillor Andy Kelly, he said: “I have worked incredibly hard to build up my business and a lot of my customers are from Milnrow. I spend every penny I earn in Milnrow and Rochdale and I am appalled that my local councillor is only interested in scoring silly party political points at the expense of my livelihood.

“It’s typical nonsense from the Lib Dems. They want free trade with the whole of Europe and yet he wants to do down my business just a couple of miles way. Pathetic really.”

Councillor Blundell added: “These people need to grow up. How on earth are we to tackle the big issues and problems Rochdale faces when all they do in engage in this nonsense?

“I am working hard to make Rochdale a more attractive place for people to do business here. I will listen to anyone who has good ideas to help our borough thrive and prosper.”

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