Neil Patrick Emmott
West Middleton Ward
Hello, I’m Neil Emmott.
You may have heard of my more famous sister, long serving councillor, Susan Emmott, who represents the next door ward of Hopwood Hall and who was the borough’s mayor 13 years ago. But, here’s a bit about me.
I was educated locally at The Cardinal Langley School in Middleton before going on to study languages at Swansea University, Valencia University in Spain and at The Sorbonne in Paris. I was the first person in our ordinary working class family to go to university, but I’ve never forgotten where I came from.
I work as a community development officer where I help community and voluntary groups build themselves up and to apply for grant funding. I work with a wide range of groups covering many areas: pensioners, arts, health, sport, church and faith groups and residents groups.
I would love to be able to bring my skills and experience to help groups in the communities of Langley, Birch, Bowlee, Silver Birch, Hebers, and the Durnford St/Mellalieu Street area.
Firstly, I respectfully ask the residents of West Middleton ward to elect me as their councillor, as above all, I am a “people person” and I’m never happier than when I’m working alongside local people, bringing improvements to their local community. This is what I do professionally, working with grass roots groups and individuals on the ground, so I will be a “hands on” councillor, always ready and available for local people.
I’m also a good listener and I have been listening to your concerns over the last few months as I’ve been speaking to residents in West Middleton.
- I know many people are rightly appalled at the proposals by Rochdale Council to designate lovely green fields at Birch, Bowlee and off Langley Lane for industry. I attended the recent public consultation meeting at Middleton Arena and I spoke firmly against these proposals.
- Iknow some local residents have done some valuable research to find there are millions of square feet of unused space in existing industrial estates across the borough such as at Stakehill. It is crazy not to use this existing space and to destroy our lovely green fields in Middleton. Of course, industry will also bring more heavy traffic rumbling through Bowlee, Birch and up and down Langley Lane as children walk to school at St. Anne’s Academy.
- I know Langley residents are fed up with the terrible state of road surfaces on the estate, many of which are pitted with potholes. The potholes on Wythburn Road are particularly bad, but I know there are many across all Langley. I will work to address this problem and push the council into improving the roads on Langley.
- I know that anti-social behaviour is an issue for many people across West Middleton. I pledge to work alongside the police, local residents and community and youth workers to alleviate this problem. I know it is not easy and nobody has a magic wand to wave this problem away, but if we don’t tackle the issue head on, it will only get worse.
- I know that the heavy snow falls and icy conditions this winter caused terrible problems for motorists, public transport and pedestrians alike. Rochdale Council should have done better. I will argue for the council to get its priorities right and for better gritting and snow clearing.
- I know many people, especially older people, are upset at the recent decision by Riverside Pennine Housing to axe the concessionary gardening scheme on Langley. I will press Riverside Pennine to reverse this decision. I believe nice, well kept gardens enhance the overall environment of Langley and give people pride in their homes and their local community.
I also know that there are many things to be proud of in West Middleton and these have been achieved by the local community working alongside your current Labour councillors:
- A brand new Children’s Centre and Library, a new Bowlee Park Primary School and new sports and community facilities all on the same site serving Langley residents.
- Bowlee Park Primary School has just had an outstanding Ofsted report. A testament to the hard work of staff, parents and governors at the school.
- Truffet Park has recently got Green Flag status, again with the help of local people in the Friends of Truffet Park group.
- 50 brand new family homes will soon be built on Langley, supported financially by the Labour Government.
- There has been massive redevelopment of Middleton Town Centre with the new Middleton Arena and soon to open, new Tesco supermarket.
Can I take this opportunity to thank you for reading my pitch on Rochdale Online and I look forward to meeting more of you over the coming weeks of the campaign in West Middleton. I probably went to school with a fair number of you, so it will be good to meet up again after all these years.