Local Election 2012

Natasha  Akhtar

Natasha Akhtar

Liberal Democrat Party
Norden Ward

Firstly, I would like to say a very big thank you to the Norden Liberal Democrats for selecting me as their candidate in this year’s local election. Norden is a beautiful part of the world and having lived in the area for most of my life I would love the opportunity to ensure it remains that way.

At present I work for a local business located in the heart of Rochdale and feel incredibly privileged to do so. Having been made redundant in the summer of 2011 I struggled for 6 months to find another job. The current economic climate is incredibly tough for people seeking employment. The frustration, disappointment and ultimately disillusionment is heartbreaking. Unemployment is a massive problem in Rochdale that has to be tackled and having been in that sorry situation it is an issue I look forward to getting my teeth into.

My election opponents, particularly from the Labour Party, would have you believe that issues like youth unemployment are a result of this Government’s policies. It isn’t. In 2004 youth unemployment stood at 12% and by 2008 had shot up by a quarter ( The rot had already set in long before the 2010 General Election.

Locally one of the biggest concerns I have heard from people is the removal of the 167 bus route. As a regular user of the service I know just how many people, from all backgrounds, were reliant on it. A half-hearted peak time service is completely inadequate and unacceptable. Norden needs a strong voice to lobby Rossendale Buses and ensure that this service is reinstated as quickly as possible. Too many people have already been inconvenienced.

Norden is lucky to have some of the best schools in the borough and one of the major concerns is traffic. With two young nieces attending a Norden school I fully support the campaign to introduce a voluntary 20mph speed restriction on Shawfield Lane. The safety of our young children is paramount.

In the North West alone the Liberal Democrats have:

  • introduced 80,000 apprenticeships
  • secured an additional £170m funding for the Pupil Premium which is set to double next year
  • helped low-earners across our region so that a further 123,000 will now pay NO income tax
  • introduced £255m worth of investment via the Regional Growth Fund

As Barack Obama pointed out, “my administration has inherited a fiscal disaster”.

Please vote on Thursday 3rd May. Thank you.

Local Election 2012