Local Election 2019

Tom  Besford

Tom Besford

Labour Party
Littleborough Lakeside Ward



For those of you who I’ve not met before, I live in Littleborough with my wife, Steph and our two young children. I run a small arts organisation from Littleborough which organises events and festivals across Greater Manchester. Formerly I was the Head of Culture at Link4Life, leading and growing the team at Touchstones and playing a part in bringing Dippy the Diplodocus to Rochdale in 2020.

When not at work, I put on events for local communities. I’ve given talks in Hare Hill House, hosted concerts and events in Littleborough, I am an organiser of the Todmorden Folk Festival and am an active member of Oakenhoof Littleborough Folk Arts where I am known for my enthusiastic concertina playing…

What would I do if I were a Councillor?

- I oppose the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework plans in Littleborough Lakeside without appropriate infrastructure in place first. I recently met with Cllr Paul Dennett, lead for GMSF and Mayor of Salford where I was able to put residents’ concerns directly to Paul and lobby for a change to the proposals in our ward.

- We need another Secondary School in Littleborough. Tory changes to the education system mean that Local Authorities cannot simply build these any more. Labour Councillors are lobbying the government for a new school in Littleborough,

I will join them in doing everything in our power to get enough local school places, keeping our communities together.

- Crime and anti-social behaviour is a growing issue locally. The increase in GMCA Precept will begin to replace the Lib Dem and Tory cuts to our police. I have been lobbying for more local police presence. In April, Inspector MacGregor has allocated significant additional resource to Littleborough and Smithy Bridge seeing 11 officers patrolling in our ward.

Labour Councillors are fighting to maintain this police presence. If you see a crime, please call 101 to log it; local investment has meant call wait time is now less than 2 minutes.

- I am having conversations with TfGM and bus service providers about reinstating the bus route linking Littleborough with the Metrolink in Milnrow, as well as providing public transport around Hollingworth Lake. The platform at Littleborough Station is being extended to accommodate new six carriage trains, creating more capacity for commuters and reducing congestion on our roads. Along with Cllr Janet Emsley, I’m actively seeking solutions to find additional parking at both of our train stations.

- The environment is under threat. If elected, I will work with local businesses around Hollingworth Lake to reduce use of plastics and non-recyclable waste.

- I’ve been raising residents’ concerns over potholes and fly-tipping with RBC and getting commitments to repair roads and clean up our ward locally.

- Some parts of the ward were flooded in March following heavy rainfall. I’ve been working with residents, RBC and other organisations to get drains cleaned and additional preventative measures in place.

I take great pride in community and love being part of such a wonderful and vibrant village. It is this sense of community, identity, belonging and cooperation which has inspired me to want to become a local Councillor. I hope you will vote for me so that I can work hard for you.

Many thanks,


Local Election 2019