Council Leader’s comments ‘are serious threat to democracy’, says Councillor Dearnley

Date published: 17 April 2018

Councillor Ashley Dearnley, leader of the Conservative party, has branded recent comments by the leader of the council as 'a serious threat to democracy'.

Council leader Allen Brett has been accused of breaking the ‘Code of Conduct for Councillors’ after he was recorded threatening to deprive an area of Rochdale of council money if Labour does not retain the seat at the forthcoming local election.

In the audio clip, understood to have been recorded at a local Labour Party meeting, Councillor Brett is explaining that £12million is to be spent on the borough’s roads and footpaths.

Councillor Dearnley said: “I’m very disturbed to hear that Councillor Brett feels that this is an appropriate way to behave. It is breaking the code of conduct and what we should never forget is the £12 million is not Labour money, it is public money – council taxpayers’ money – throughout the borough, have funded this extra money for roads, which I welcome.

“As I said at the cabinet meeting, what is important is that professional decisions are taken on board and that money is only spent where the roads are the worst throughout the borough. The worst must be dealt with first. It must not be a party-political issue

“This is a serious threat to democracy itself; people should feel free to vote for whatever party they wish to in whichever ward they live, without fear or favour.

“It reminds one of the old Soviet Union state and is very worrying if this is the way the council leader would wish to run the council.”

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.