Liberal Democrat Party
Balderstone & Kirkholt Ward
Firstly, I must say that it has been a real privilege to represent you over the last four years.
It has at times been very all consuming, as there has been a lot of hard work along the way. Nonetheless, there have been a number of achievements, and I certainly have managed to share a few words with many people who live in the area during my time in office.
At the moment, one of the hot issues that is circling the borough is the state of our roads. This is no different in Balderstone and Kirkholt.
Unfortunately, there was hardly any activity on this front before I was elected, and this meant that the state of the roads continue to deteriorate. This underinvestment was factually clear, although I had no magic wand to fix and resurface all the roads of Balderstone and Kirkholt overnight.
However, since I have been your Councillor I have been instrumental in gaining £160,000 to be allocated towards Baldersonte and Kirkholt's roads. This has led to highways being resurfaced at Queen Victoria street, Gerrard Street, Cliftonville Road and Marsden Close to name only a few.
Furthermore, this summer will see the first part of Hill Top Drive get a surface treatment for the first time in years, alongside resurfacing for Rhodes Crescent and Crompton Avenue.
And as a LibDem team we have allocated a further £1.5million pounds into the highways resurfacing pot for the new financial year, so naturally if re-elected I will be fighting the corner for Balderstone and Kirkholt to ensure some of this additional investment comes to the ward.
On local community facilities I helped to win £50,000 worth of equipment for Balderstone park's new adventure playground, which has just been built. I am pleased to see the park now start to flourish and become a real community asset, that the surrounding neighbourhoods can enjoy and take pride in.
I managed also to bring about a £25,000 investment for the Kickpitch at Digby Road. This is more than just renewing a local community asset, it is also about community safety, as by improving this site it stops it from being the dishevelled haven that in the past attracted nuisance activities.
Continuing on the theme of community safety, and thanks to local ward funds there is a new Police outpost on the Strand in Kirkholt. This will ensure the Police has an increased presence and a higher visibility that Kirkholt has not seen for a number of years.
If I stretch to a different type of community safety and the road safety record at New Broad Lane. Previously the council seemed to have ducked out of looking at improving this highway, but I confronted this issue head on, with the help of many local residents. Following on from an initial grant of £6,000 spent on road improvements during my first year in office, there will shortly be another £18,000 invested on more road safety measures to go some way to restoring local public confidence.
Schools are important to our communities and I have supported as many of the local Balderstone and Kirkholt schools as I could.
I continue to be an active member of the governing teams at both the Holy Family Primary School and Sandbook Community Primary School. I have supported both schools proactively, helping to fund some of the summer activities at Sandbook, and at the Holy Family I was able to make the connections that saw the junior PCSO scheme piloted at the school a couple of months ago.
There have been many other community issues that have required a telephone call here, or a helping hand there, and I am part of an effective and caring team of ward councillors. Moreover, I have always only ever been a phone call or an e-mail away.
For the future we must see even more regeneration of the Kirkholt Estate, to build on the changes that have occurred already. Recently there has been a change of focus around the vision for the estate. This has now at its core the creation of a sustainable community, as well as the aim of physical regeneration that had always been a driver for change.
There are good and healthy signs at present that after years of decline, things are starting to happen for Kirkholt. But more progress in the future is essential.
On a Rochdale level, clearly there is work which needs to be continued and seen through to completion on the redevelopment of the town centre, and much anxiety still exists around the Rochdale Infirmary hospital. All issues that I know the people of Balderstone and Kirkholt have concerns over.
In closing, a lot has been achieved for the Balderstone and Kirkholt ward over the last four years, but there is yet still more to do.
I stand before the people of the ward again with a continuing desire and energy to serve you with conviction and endeavour, looking for a renewed endorsement, so that the results can continue.