Spotland & Falinge Ward
If elected, I will donate all the councillor allowances I receive to Rochdale charities. I will not keep a penny.
It’s always good to hear prospective party councillors lining up to tell everyone what they have done - or will do for you - if elected. The problems they will fix; the funding they will get for this, that and t’other.
Unfortunately, these declarations of intent stop short of a full commitment to fully serve the electorate.
You see, what is not being said, is that when necessary, they will make the Council accountable for its actions.
What they don’t say, is that they will not be bamboozled and pressurised by senior council employees or members of their own party.
What they don’t say, is that it is their duty to ensure that Council services must be run for the benefit of the people of this town and not for the convenience of the Council or the glorification of any political party.
Rochdale Council has many well paid, experienced public servants, whose primary remit is to provide a service to the people of this borough. It is not a councillor’s responsibility to attempt to do, or pretend to do the job for them. A councillor’s position is to ensure that the salaried, senior public servants do their jobs properly and, where appropriate, to do as directed by councillors. Not the other way around.
If councillors did this, many of the issues they have to deal with might not have arisen in the first instance.
Over the last year, I have been attending council meetings as a member of the general public. The ease with which council proposals are passed by councillors without proper scrutiny taking place is quite startling.
As an example of what can be done with proper scrutiny, take the issue of Lenny Barn playing fields. I alone, without any support from Rochdale Township councillors, stopped the Council in its tracks over its plans to take 4000m2 of public land. The total financial cost incurred to me was 4 first class stamps and a few hours of voluntary application.
How much of tax payers’ money was spent by the Council in its underhanded attempts to get the land is not yet known. The fact that no councillor has demanded to know how much money has been wasted and who is to be held accountable speaks for itself.
This is only one issue and it is frightening to think what else has, and will continue to pass, under the radar due to the current lax scrutiny procedures.
There is a simple choice to be made.
Elect an independent councillor who is free to ask the right questions; or elect someone else who will simply ‘go with the flow’.
"A sincere thank you to all those who cast their vote for me"