23 February 2017
Simon Danczuk, Rochdale’s MP, has voiced his opposition to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing’s idea of demolishing at least some of College Bank Flats.
RBH have rightly initiated an investment plan for College Bank Flats, and have identified a number of issues that face the flats in a leaflet circulated to residents. However, out of the four issues listed, not one mentioned poor management by RBH (see notes for editors). Instead, RBH are floating the possibility of demolition. This is a short term solution to a long term problem.
Simon said: “RBH are refusing to accept their own fault in all this. Not once have they offered to improve their own performance in managing the flats. Demolition of hundreds of homes is an extreme measure that I will not support.
“There is a complete lack of representation of tenants on RBH’s board, who seem happier to spend money on consultants than on managing their buildings. This unacceptable situation has led to a huge disconnect between the housing association and its residents. Unfortunately it is the latter that pays the price of poor management”.
Because the flats have a small land-print, RBH would lose a considerable amount of revenue if the land was sold off following demolition. Not only this, hundreds of people would be forced out of the immediate area, significantly hitting local businesses.
Simon has suggested that RBH seek an alternative solution to demolition: “College Bank Flats would benefit hugely from a number of alternatives, one example being investment in a proper concierge service that would dramatically improve the flats for a sum that would dwarf any cost for demolition. If demolition is indeed a cost-cutting exercise, RBH would do worse than reserve one block for pensioners, who are not liable for the bedroom tax”.
Simon added: “I will not allow RBH to pass on the blame for their own incompetence. I will be consulting residents on their own thoughts and it is my duty as Rochdale’s MP to raise this in Parliament at the nearest opportunity”.
23 February 2017 Simon Danczuk, Rochdale’s MP, has voiced his opposition to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing’s idea of demolishing at least some of College Bank Flats. RBH have rightly initiated an...
17 February 2017
Standing tall over Rochdale and visible for miles around, the Seven Sisters are an icon of our town’s landscape. But more than that, hundreds of Rochdale’s residents call these buildings home.
So you will understand my concern when I learned that Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, who manages the flats, is considering at least some of the buildings for demolition.
It is true that in recent times these iconic buildings have not been in their best condition. But as residents have told me, this is due not to the state of the buildings themselves but entirely down to mismanagement from above. This is a blind-spot that RBH is refusing to address.
No one is behind the regeneration of Rochdale more than me. But demolition is an extreme measure which in this case serves only to cover up unacceptable mismanagement.
Rather than rushing in the bulldozers, money could be saved if RBH invested in a fit-for-purpose concierge service, making the flats cleaner and residents safer. Given that tenants already pay a service premium, this isn’t too much to expect.
Worryingly, to deliver their project the housing association has teamed up with the Royal Society of Arts, a London-based charity who describe their wonkish work as ‘nurturing networks of innovators… that, when understood and supported, can be mobilised to deliver a 21st Century Enlightenment’. Their self-aggrandising language is both ridiculous and suggests to me that they don’t share the straight-talking attitude of our town. I don’t believe for one minute that they have the best interests of Rochdale at heart.
‘Stop dithering and start building’ was the expert opinion on the Government’s recent Housing white paper. So what logic is there in demolishing homes in perfectly good condition? As your MP, I will raise this issue in Parliament at the first opportunity.
17 February 2017 Standing tall over Rochdale and visible for miles around, the Seven Sisters are an icon of our town’s landscape. But more than that, hundreds of Rochdale’s residents...
Simon Danczuk, Rochdale’s Member of Parliament, has backed a new bill to help tackle homelessness during a crucial vote in parliament.
The bill, proposed by Bob Blackman, MP and supported by homelessness charities including Crisis, could transform the help available to homeless people in Rochdale and right across the country. However, if fewer than 100 MPs had attended the debate, the bill could easily have been blocked.
Homelessness is a major issue in the UK, yet the law as it stands means that homeless people who approach the council for help can be turned away to sleep on the street. If passed, the new law would help to prevent people from losing their home in the first place and make sure all homeless people can get help when they need it, whilst continuing to protect families with children from homelessness.
In Parliament, Simon Danczuk said: “I thank Bob Blackman for bringing forward this important bill and raising awareness of homelessness across the country. Before entering Parliament, I spent a lot of time focussing on homelessness as a social researcher and working at the Big Issue.”
“During that time, I worked with charities and local authorities and I saw what worked and what did not. Some local authorities went the extra mile to support homeless people, while others failed to do so. I hope the bill will encourage and enable all local authorities to raise standards across the board.”
When Danczuk was asked by Nick Smith MP if he thought additional funds must be made available to help councils to support the good intentions of the bill, he replied: “Absolutely”.
“In the borough of Rochdale, Petrus provides a drop-in support service for vulnerable people who are experiencing homelessness, and people who are at risk of homelessness and marginalisation. The advice and support that the charity gives its users is vital. However, with rough sleeping on the rise, politicians at a national level must also act immediately to help to prevent homelessness.”
“This bill will ensure that fewer individuals slip through the safety net. It will ensure that they receive the support that they need before it’s too late.”
The first stage of the bill was passed unopposed. It will now be passed on to the committee stage where it will be scruitinised by MPs.
Simon Danczuk, Rochdale’s Member of Parliament, has backed a new bill to help tackle homelessness during a crucial vote in parliament. The bill, proposed by Bob Blackman, MP and supported...
Simon Danczuk, Rochdale's Member of Parliament, has recently criticised the way Greater Manchester Police dealt with an investigation into abuse at Knowl View School in Rochdale from the 1960's up until the 1990's.
In a statement, Simon Danczuk's office said the following:
News broke recently that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) would not be perusing a case against David Higgins which relates to allegations made against him in the Knowl View Residential School inquiry.
In a CPS statement, Assistant Chief Constable Debbie Ford said: “In October 2016 the CPS advised that the case should be discontinued and no further action will be taken.
“We recognise this will be a disappointing outcome for victims and we will continue to offer them support at what is understandably, a very difficult time.”
Simon Danczuk, Rochdale’s MP, insists that this is totally unacceptable and showed his concern about the handling of the investigation which has run for over two years.
“Again the victims have been let down by Greater Manchester Police. A failure to conduct a full and proper investigation when these crimes were first reported will leave many victims distraught.”
It is awful that Greater Manchester Police have previously admitted that they got it wrong when they failed to properly prosecute people under Operation Cleopatra in the 1990’s. Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson of GMP has previously admitted that the action taken by the force “fell short of what we would expect today.”
Michael Seed, a former Prime Minister’s Priest, once described the abuse that took place at Knowl View as “beyond horror”. He was due to give evidence against David Higgins but sadly Mr. Seed will not be able to reveal in Court the horror he experienced at the hands of Higgins, and men just like him, whilst at Knowl View.
Simon Danczuk continued: “The Knowl View scandal left major scars on Rochdale’s schooling and the victim’s hope was built up that finally, the perpetrators of these horrible crimes would be brought to justice, only for it to be snatched away from them.”
“I again urge the Independent Police Complaints Commission to investigate the actions of GMP during the original investigation of the abuse at Knowl View. A failure to prosecute has left the victims, whose lives have been changed forever, devastated that they will not see their abusers brought to justice.”
Greater Manchester Police Federation Chair, Ian Hanson, made excuses for the poor performance in a Facebook post which said the following:
Simon Danczuk has since published the following statement:
Simon Danczuk, Rochdale's Member of Parliament, has recently criticised the way Greater Manchester Police dealt with an investigation into abuse at Knowl View School in Rochdale from the 1960's up...
Link to Ian Hanson’s comments: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1173716312675189&id=290285027684993&substory_index=0
I stand by my criticism of Greater Manchester Police's investigation into Knowl View, as it represents a catastrophic failure to deliver justice. It has caused a huge amount of pain to survivors of abuse from Knowl View and I know there is a lot of anger at how the police have handled this. We've seen some real progress made in tackling historic abuse in recent years, but this debacle risks ruining that good work and will clearly damage public confidence in how the police tackle sexual abuse.
Everyone knows that child abuse took place on a frightening scale at Knowl View. We've seen shocking reports documenting this and heard heartbreaking testimony from people who attended the school, including that from Father Michael Seed, who described what happened there as "beyond horror". Sadly, the suffering for some of the pupils who were abused was too great - and they are no longer with us.
Greater Manchester Police has previously admitted their investigation into Knowl View in the 1990s wasn't good enough. Det Chief Supt Russ Jackson said it "fell well short of what we would expect today". When this new investigation was launched we were told things would be different. My office spent a lot of time convincing survivors that they should work with the police, as there was a real appetite now to deliver justice. They have been badly let down.
Greater Manchester Police has never been good at accepting criticism and all too often they attack their critics when failures are exposed. They did this with Maggie Oliver, the former GMP Detective Constable, who resigned over child abuse failures in Rochdale, and now they're doing it with me.
Ian Hanson's diatribe against me is misinformed and a better use of his time would be to study the complaints issued to the Independent Police Complaints Commission from victims of Knowl View at how they feel Greater Manchester Police has let them down.
His reference to me as a "Manchester MP" and unnecessary comments about my personal life are inaccurate, unprofessional and unbefitting of a person in his position. He should be focusing on my comments on the investigation and asking himself why a decision was made to prosecute an alleged child abuser, survivors were told of this decision and GMP accordingly broadcast this to the media - only for a decision to be made six months later to drop the case.
This is no way to handle child abuse cases. Survivors have been marched up to the top of the hill and dropped from a great height. After making a big emotional investment in the case, they have been terribly let down.
Finally, Ian Hanson says I make no mention of the outstanding work that has been done in Rochdale by the police on child grooming. I have done this repeatedly and said as much in my interview with the BBC yesterday. I know how hard this crime is to investigate and there is some great work being carried out by police in bringing perpetrators to justice.
That said, we cannot ignore chronic failure and Ian Hanson will be well aware of the damning criticism of his force in the GMP Professional Standards Report, which looked at how the police investigated child grooming in Rochdale. Last year Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley admitted there had been a "complete lack of understanding" of child exploitation in Rochdale and a failure to recognise the "scale of abuse".
I fear this lack of understanding still exists and Ian Hanson's decision to make a completely unwarranted and uninformed attack on me demonstrates this.
Link to Ian Hanson’s comments: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1173716312675189&id=290285027684993&substory_index=0 I stand by my criticism of Greater Manchester Police's investigation into Knowl View, as it represents a catastrophic failure to deliver justice. It...
Rochdale’s Member of Parliament, Simon Danczuk, recently criticized the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, for the new alcohol guidelines that the government have set.
In Parliament, the MP said: “There is an overwhelming scientific evidence base that shows the health benefits of moderate drinking—something to which I can attest. Does the Minister not agree that the chief Medical Officer should highlight those benefits more?”
The current guidelines state that both men and women should not regularly exceed 14 units of alcohol per week which equates to six pints of larger or six glasses of wine. These have been put in place despite there being significant evidence from around the world which shows that drinking alcohol can actually be good for your health.
Rochdale’s Member of Parliament, Simon Danczuk, recently criticized the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, for the new alcohol guidelines that the government have set. In Parliament, the MP...
Following Rochdale Hornets incredible win against Toulouse Olympique in the Kingstone Press League One Promotion Final last week, the trophy has been on a tour of the local area. It has found its way to some Rochdale landmarks including the newly erected Gracie Fields statue, Springhill Hospice and of course the iconic Rochdale Town Hall.
The trophy also visited the Constituency Office of Rochdale’s MP, Simon Danczuk. Paul Ormerod, the Rochdale Hornets President accompanied the trophy and spoke with the MP about the club’s remarkable achievements in 2016.
“It’s great for the club to be able to parade the trophy to the people of Rochdale. We have worked incredibly hard for this and we want to shout about it” explained Ormerod.
Hornets topped the table for large parts of 2016 before they were pipped to the league leaders shield by Toulouse Olympique and finished second. This set up a Promotion Final in France which would see the winner promoted to the Championship for 2017.
Ormerod continued: “I think we have done the town proud in winning the competition and we are back where we belong in the second tier of professional rugby league. We will kick on from here and hope to develop both on and off the field.”
Simon Danczuk, who is a member of Rochdale Hornets, expressed his pride that the club has put the town back on the rugby league map.
“It’s great news for Rochdale. People should be proud that we have a club like Rochdale Hornets in the town. They don’t have a massive budget and what they have achieved has come from hard work and determination” said Danczuk.
Rochdale Hornets have recently revealed plans to take the trophy on a tour of schools in the town and talk to kids about the value of teamwork and togetherness in every day life.
Danczuk finished by saying: “It is wonderful to see the achievements of the Hornets in front of me in solid silver. It will be great for others to do the same as there are some valuable lessons to be learnt.”
Following Rochdale Hornets incredible win against Toulouse Olympique in the Kingstone Press League One Promotion Final last week, the trophy has been on a tour of the local area. It...
Rochdale MP, Simon Danczuk, visited web and graphic design agency Middle Creative recently. The company based at St. Chads Court in Rochdale say they are ‘founded with friendship’ and that is evident in the way they operate. Andonette Wilkinson linked up with her former student Danny Ackers to create Middle.
“It was a breath of fresh air for me” said Simon Danczuk following his tour of their offices.
“It is great to see such an innovative company operating in our town. There is a real family feel within the organization and it is run by a network of dedicated young creatives. It was good to get a behind the scenes look at the way the company is run and see all the fantastic work they are doing in the Rochdale area and beyond.”
Middle have also secured Google Partner Status and they are the only company in Rochdale to hold the accolade. It means they are certified in all five areas of ‘pay per click advertising’. This shows that Middle manage a consistent level of client spend regularly and they have a direct point of contact on the Google team who is qualified to work solely with Google Partner agencies like Middle.
Andonette Wilkinson who is a director at Middle said: “It was great to be able to explain to Simon that we’re a full service digital agency and we specialise in working with businesses who have seen growth but need to bring their online presence up to speed.”
Middle have been responsible for some fantastic projects for the people of Rochdale and have run some of them on a voluntary basis. They created a blog for the Rochdale Youth Council and trained their members on how to use the site. They also worked on developing the web presence for the Borough of Rochdale Homeless Action Information Network (BRHAIN) to make it more accessible.
“Simon explained how he was very keen to promote the Rochdale Borough in parliament due to the number of thriving business he has met and as such, we are keen to be involved. It was a very positive meeting for us and we are really excited to assist Simon in promoting the town in any way we can.” Andonette concluded.
Danczuk finished by saying: “It was so great to see a company like this with the best interests of the people of Rochdale at heart. For them to volunteer their time on these fantastic causes says a lot and it is wonderful for the people of Rochdale to have companies like this at their disposal.”
Rochdale MP, Simon Danczuk, visited web and graphic design agency Middle Creative recently. The company based at St. Chads Court in Rochdale say they are ‘founded with friendship’ and that...
What an unbelievable weekend it has been for the people of Rochdale! We managed to come together and celebrate the legacy of Gracie Fields through several fantastic events over the weekend.
It started on Friday night with the 1950’s Dinner Dance at Rochdale Town Hall and culminated with hundreds of people at Town Hall Square on Sunday to see the unveiling of the magnificent Gracie Fields statue.
The statue itself is absolutely magnificent with ‘our Gracie’ clutching her microphone on a granite plinth in the shadow of Rochdale Town Hall.
This is what civic pride is all about and it is weekends like this that make our town great. Special thanks must go to Rochdale Council who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point.
In addition to the Gracie Fields weekend, it was Rochdale Hornets who surprised us and the rest of the rugby league world by
toppling high flying Toulouse Olympique in their own back yard!
The win means they are promoted to the Championship for 2017. It is a remarkable achievement and has shown us how team
spirit and absolute togetherness can overcome financial success.
It well and truly puts Rochdale back on the Rugby League map and it is wonderful to see one of the original clubs back in the second tier.
It is great for the town of Rochdale and will provide us with a financial boost as we will welcome more people visiting the town to watch their teams.
Well done to everyone involved with the club from the directors to the players, coaching staff and support staff. It is a historic achievement and you should all be proud.
What an unbelievable weekend it has been for the people of Rochdale! We managed to come together and celebrate the legacy of Gracie Fields through several fantastic events over the...
Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk will once again lace up his running shoes in recognition of those who have gone the extra mile for their community.
Keen runner Mr Danczuk is in training to take on the Rochdale Half Marathon on September 25th in aid of the Growth Project.
A joint venture between Rochdale and District Mind and Hourglass Environmental Ltd, the scheme promotes good mental and physical health by coordinating a variety of outdoor activities ranging from woodwork to tending vegetable plots.
The project provides a safe and supportive environment for more than 80 Rochdale residents with mental health problems.
The team are enthusiastic participants every year when Rochdale enters Britain in Bloom. After last year’s floods, they worked flat out to make sure their patch of land off Kellett Street was in immaculate shape for the competition's judges.
But sadly, after the repair bill and other funding issues, the charity cannot afford to send its volunteers and service users to this year’s Britain in Bloom awards evening in Southport in October when the results will be announced.
Mr Danczuk said: “I had the privilege of visiting the Growth Project last year and speak to the men and women who have benefitted from this wonderful scheme.
“Everyone involved works incredibly hard and takes a great deal of pride in what they have achieved.
“The whole team has gone the extra mile to impress the Britain in Bloom judges and show our town in the best possible light.
“I think it's only right that I do something to help them by raising the £500 they need to attend the ceremony and enjoy a memorable evening.”
Hourglass Environment director Karen Hayday said: “It would be fantastic for them because everyone worked so hard putting the site back together after the floods in December.
“The place is unrecognisable now, the amount of work that has gone in has paid off because it looks absolutely beautiful.
“After all that, for them to be able to go to the award’s ceremony would mean the world.”
Visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/rochdale-growth-project to contribute towards the fundraising target.
Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk will once again lace up his running shoes in recognition of those who have gone the extra mile for their community. Keen runner Mr Danczuk is...