Rochdale by-election: independent David Tully reveals local reasons behind decision to stand for MP

Date published: 09 February 2024

Local businessman David Tully is an independent candidate in this month’s by-election for the position of Rochdale MP. He hopes to change people’s view about Rochdale and feels he is best suited to tackle the issues on his doorstep.

David, 49, was born at Birch Hill Hospital in 1974 to his parents, Pat and David. He attended three local schools - Sacred Heart Primary School, St Joseph’s Middle School and Bishop Henshaw (now St Cuthbert’s) – before he joined the vehicle repair family business, David Tully Ltd, when he was 16.

He took over the reins in 2014, and works alongside his wife, Lindsey, and his 17-year-old son, Jacob. David and Lindsey were initially friends at school before they began dating at 17.

They have four children together: two daughters, Georgia, 26, and Olivia, 22, and two sons, Jacob, 17, and Louie, 12.

David said: “I’ve worked in the town all my life, in the family business that my dad owned. I’ve carried it on and now my son’s working with us, so it’ll be a third-generation family business in the town.

“I’ve got a great team that help me which I do appreciate because they’re good members of staff and been with us for a very long time.”

He added: “Georgia is now living in Perth in Australia, and has been since the middle of last year. She’s gone over there, working with her boyfriend.

“I mention it because it’s my daughter moving away from Rochdale, which is something I want to stand up for because I think the opportunities and the way of life should be here for them and not have to go that far to do what they want to do.

“Her previous employer didn’t want her to leave because she was a great employee, so she’s a good person that we’ve lost to go and venture elsewhere. Obviously, I’ve backed her and love what she’s doing but, as a dad, you want them next to you.”

David is also very active within Rochdale’s sporting scene, having played rugby league as a child, at open age level for Lancashire and also represented Mayfield. David and both of his sons also hold season tickets for Rochdale AFC, and he also played at Rochdale Rugby Union Club for a season and helped coach children there for a few seasons.

David has also raised thousands of pounds for charities over the years, such as the Stephen Gartland Foundation (SG6), British Heart Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and also helps Mayfield raise money.

“I love my rugby,” he said. “I’m still involved with Mayfield, helping them on the committee. For the club, I help raise funds, that’s my forte of what I do there, generating funds and help raise the running costs of the club and helping everyone involved. It’s a labour of love, but I do love it because it’s in my heart. That’s a great thing I do take passion in.”

“Since I stopped playing rugby league, I’ve taken to running, which started with a 10k and has gone on to ultramarathon running. I’ve a big love for that. I’ve done many a mile around Rochdale and some great distances; my longest one-day run was from Rochdale to Blackpool in just over eight hours. That was raising funds for a local lad, Kieran Stansfield, who has sadly passed now. I did that, helping Rochdale Cricket Club, raising money for him.”

Over the years, David has been a Good Samaritan in more ways than one; in 2014, he rugby-tackled a carjacker who tried to steal a van from the Petrus Community Store on Hamer Lane.



“I’ve always been a social lad and interacted in the town,” he explained. “I get out and about, [go to] lots of events across the borough. Across the borough, I’ve just helped and tried my best to be part of the community. When it’s needed, I’ve always tried to be there and stand up for them.”

He continued: “I don’t want to get involved with any political views or political agendas. That’s something I’m really not a master of and I haven’t got enough knowledge of.

“What I have got a lot of knowledge of – and, I feel, a good mindset and common sense – is to sort what’s on my doorstep around me, which is my town and my community.

“I feel I’ve got a good insight of what this town needs to make it back to where it needs to be, which is quite a big thing for me. I don’t want our town to be tarnished anymore, or have bad press. I want it to come out of that period of time.

“I feel, in my heart, that I can help this town do that, that the good people in this town will stand by me and help me do that.

“I feel that what’s needed across the borough is people to have a bit more respect to do the right thing. Do the right thing, it has a knock-on effect. Let’s take respect in our town and put pride back in it. In doing that, I think it snowballs into people’s views, opinions and the way they go about things.

“But we’ve got to help the people in the town that need helping the right way and to do that, I’ve got to help, support and challenge our council, to help do that and put the money – what they do have – in the right places where I feel it’s needed most. Then we have to look over that and have transparency, have accountability and do the right things.”

He continued: “This is something I only stepped into last Friday but it’s been on my mind and the good people in the town’s minds for a very long time.

“Everyone around me has said, ‘Tully, why don’t you do something about it?’ And that’s why I’m here. I feel that our voices need to be heard: let’s get back into the grassroots of the community and start there. Let’s put things right in our town that we feel need addressing.

“I want to eliminate the negativity. I want people to be positive about our town, I want a good community mind with everyone so we’re in it together with no divide. I want us to be in it together and want the best for each other, and that’s what I feel our town needs. If we all stand together, we can make that move forward.”


David Tully
David has raised thousands for charity over the years


David went on: “I don’t know much about the political world; I’m not here to be a politician. I’m here to be David Tully and represent our people in our town, and that’s what I feel I will do the best because that’s what I’m passionate about. The politics side of it, I’ll have to put that to one side – it’s Rochdale today, tomorrow and next week.

“The world of politics and issues in the world, I’ll try and resolve and help with that, when I’ve sorted our town out.”

David’s key issues – he avoids using the word ‘manifesto’ as he feels that's too political – include: zero-tolerance on high-speed drivers; more police on the street; reinstating the maternity ward; aiding local businesses by advocating for subsidies for operational costs; central support and funding for all amateur sports clubs in the borough; support and funding to secure the future of Rochdale AFC and Rochdale Hornets; fight for more support and funding for the running costs of Springhill Hospice and the Rochdale Children’s Moorland Home; challenge Rochdale Borough Council to be “more accountable and transparent,” and address the challenges and financial hurdles faced by people who can’t work due to taking care of their loved ones.

He has also pledged to “stop the cycle lane on Oldham Road” as well as look at access and parking near Rochdale Town Hall.

He said: “Before this moves forward, we need to hear people’s voices before any stone is turned.”

Personal issues David also touched on is tackling the financial hurdles faced by people who are caring for their loved ones and reinstating a maternity ward and A&E department: “It needs funding; it needs help so they can get on with the caring. We need to help them.

“We need to reinstate the maternity ward. We need children being born in our town. Our Georgia was born in Bury, but the other three are Whitehall Street and at home. We always have a bit of banter about Georgia being born in Bury.

“Surely with a population of nearly 200,000 we can accommodate and fund a maternity ward in our town. After that, it’s getting the A&E back. The size of our town and the population; it’s a no-brainer.

“We’ve got to find the resources to do that.”

He said: “Locally, I want to raise awareness of Springhill Hospice and the Children’s Moorland Home. It’s all funded by donations and charity work; these should be looked after by the government. We need to change the mindset of this.

“By all means, we’ll raise money and do our bit, but that should be the icing on the cake. These are things I want to highlight and bring to people’s attention. We want money there for them and directed in the right place.

“Too much money, I feel, has gone into different departments of the town or distributed wrongly and that’s what I want to make transparent and clear. We need to change the mould.

“I want to cut that red tape and make a difference.”

David also hopes to support local businesses by keeping running costs down; namely business rates, insurance, and gas and electric costs.

He says the cycle of companies making billions of pounds in profits from the essentials needed to run a business needs to be broken.

He said: “You’ve got to make a profit, but you need to be sensible. Shareholders get so much money from working people and we need to break how that system works.”

Addressing the issue of high-speed drivers, David said: “We need zero-tolerance on high-speed drivers that go across the borough. Sometimes they might get away with not causing any injury or accident, but it just puts fear in you, and it doesn’t sit right [with me]. It’s downright not right.

“We need these people reprimanded and dealt with. We’ve had incidents over the years where people have even lost their lives. The punishment needs to be there so people think ‘if I do this, I’m going to be punished.’

“That’s one thing that I think needs to be addressed that’s massive.”

He continued: “One of my big points I need raised is all the voluntary time and effort we give to our local amateur sporting clubs right across the borough.

“These people are all giving their time, efforts and money so children are active, massive in keeping people healthy. Physical exercise when you have mental health issues is a massive help.

“These people that are doing this already need support; they need funding. They need to concentrate on the sports they’re doing; they shouldn’t be coaching kids and asking for a fiver to turn on the floodlights.

“This needs to be resolved and needs moving forward.

“That time and effort needs to be put into training, and the skills they have to get our kids active, not into trying to find the resources to fund it. I think that should be eliminated by getting help.”

David has also invited all amateur sports clubs and voluntary organisations to a meeting at Sacred Heart football club on Tuesday 13 February – open to “anyone who needs help for what they’re doing because they’re doing other things to raise money to get their point across.”

He also hopes to secure the future of Rochdale AFC and Rochdale Hornets, “the heritage in our town” as well as tackle littering in the town.

Of Rochdale AFC, he added: “It’s essential; it’s part of the community and needs to stay. And it puts us on the map!”

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