THE owners of Rochdale’s newest family restaurant are hoping their business has the recipe for success as local MP Simon Danczuk presided over the grand opening.
Eastern restaurant in Spotland Road officially opened its doors this week, with the Rochdale MP and councillors as specially invited guests.
Mr Danczuk said: “It seems like every week I have the privilege of opening a new shop, restaurant or business in Rochdale.
“I think it is a really encouraging sign that the town’s economy is going from strength to strength.
“The team here at Eastern have done a spectacular job renovating this building and I think this restaurant will rival anything you could find in any big city.”
Mohammed Saleem, who runs the restaurant with his brother Mahr Azim and nephew Imran, said: “I think we will provide a great service for the Rochdale community as a perfect place for a family meal out.
“It’s an honour that Simon Danczuk has accepted the invitation to take part in our opening ceremony. He is our representative and we all support him.”
Councillor Aasim Rashid, who represents the Central Rochdale ward, helped organise the ribbon cutting.
He said: “This restaurant is great news for Central Rochdale. No matter how busy he is, Simon always finds the time to meet his constituents and visit local businesses.”
THE owners of Rochdale’s newest family restaurant are hoping their business has the recipe for success as local MP Simon Danczuk presided over the grand opening. Eastern restaurant in Spotland...
ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk is taking his weekly surgery on tour across the constituency next week.
The initiative, named “Danczuk Direct”, will see the MP move his regular surgery away from his office in central Rochdale on Friday November 27.
The two one hour sessions will be held at Butterworth Hall Community Centre in Milnrow at 2pm and the United Reformed Church in Littleborough at 3.30pm.
Anyone living in the constituency who has a problem or issue to raise can meet with Simon and his casework team.
Mr Danczuk said: “Our Friday surgeries are always the highlight of my week. Meeting face to face with constituents and helping to solve their problems is the most rewarding part of an MPs job.
“As MP for Rochdale constituency, I’m proud to represent Milnrow and Littleborough and I realise it is not always easy for people living there to access my weekly surgery in the town centre.
“That’s why I’m delighted to announce ‘Danczuk Direct’ so I can meet people just around the corner from where they live.”
The two drop-in sessions are open to everyone, constituents will be seen on a first come first served basis.
ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk is taking his weekly surgery on tour across the constituency next week. The initiative, named “Danczuk Direct”, will see the MP move his regular surgery away...
Simon Danczuk gave his stamp of approval to a new Post Office which is really delivering for local people.
The Rochdale MP cut the ribbon to officially declare the newly refurbished Post Office at the Bargain Booze in Oldham Road open for business.
The work took just one week to complete and will allow the Post Office to offer a much wider range of services including processing car tax payments and exchanging foreign currency.
Owner Jay Patel said: “We knew that having a Post Office was important to local people but we didn’t realise how important until we closed for a week.
“Everyone has said how relieved they are that we are back open and now we will be able to do even more for local people by offering these services.”
Mr Danczuk said: “Businesses like Jay’s are the backbone of the community in Rochdale.
“The refurbished facilities are really top quality. Customers no longer have to travel as there is a first class Post Office right on their doorstep.”
Simon Danczuk gave his stamp of approval to a new Post Office which is really delivering for local people. The Rochdale MP cut the ribbon to officially declare the newly...
THE family and friends of a Rochdale war hero are calling for a street to be named in his honour in the neighbourhood where he grew up.
MP Simon Danczuk is among those backing a campaign to have a road in Kirkholt named after Conrad Cole, who was just 17 when he was killed during the First Gulf War.
Conrad was the youngest British casualty of the conflict when he lost his life in a “friendly fire” incident in Iraq.
The teenager was one of nine soldiers killed when a US Air Force jet launched an attack on a British armoured patrol on February 26 1991.
As a tribute, campaigners are calling for one of the streets on the new estate being built near Hilltop Drive to be dedicated to the memory of the former Balderstone Technology School pupil.
MP Simon Danczuk has leant his support by lobbying Rochdale Borough Council to name one of the roads after the young soldier.
Mr Danczuk said: “With Armistice day taking place this week, it is the perfect time to launch this campaign to give Conrad Cole the recognition he deserves.
“Rochdale is rightly proud of its long association with the military, and that tradition is exemplified by the story of this brave young man who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
“I would like to congratulate Conrad’s family and friends for their efforts to keep his memory alive and I am honoured to support their campaign.”
Conrad’s childhood friend Angie Howarth, 42, said: “He was such a lovely lad and everyone knew him.
“Having a street named after him would be something that would last forever and it would be a wonderful tribute to him in his hometown just around the corner from where he grew up.
“It would mean the world to me and to Conrad's mum Susan who is really behind us on this.”
For more information on the campaign visit “The Conrad Cole Name A Road Appeal” on Facebook.
THE family and friends of a Rochdale war hero are calling for a street to be named in his honour in the neighbourhood where he grew up. MP Simon Danczuk...
FOR too long, local government finance rules have forced councils to go cap in hand to the Treasury like a child asking for pocket money. So at first glance, plans to allow authorities to retain all the funds raised through business rates are most welcome.
However, this might not be the great emancipation many have longed for. The apron strings may have been cut, but local authorities will still be living under George Osborne’s roof and playing by his rules.
We may have to wait until the November 25 spending review for full details but from what we’ve seen so far this looks less like a full scale rates revolution and more like a half-hearted attempt at financial devolution.
As it stands, only a few areas will be trusted to agree a 2p rise to fund major infrastructure projects. The rest will only have the power to issue a blanket rate reduction. This is a blunt instrument which represents a loosening of the restraints rather than full scale liberation.
What is needed is a more sophisticated and nuanced approach which shows faith in the ability of local councils to shape their own future. Osborne should think outside of the Westminster bubble and recognise that the Treasury does not have a monopoly on economic literacy. There is a wealth of expertise at council level and authorities need the flexibility to use their local knowledge to secure inward investment. The power to cut the business rates is a good start. But I would argue that councils need the power to set varying rates within their area and take smaller businesses out of rates altogether.
In Rochdale, the local council has had great success reducing the number of vacant town centre shops by offering rate discounts for independent retailers for the first 2 years. I would like to see this extended full time, with councils given the power to offer lower rates on the high street and place a premium on out of town mega stores and business parks.
The benefits from a thriving business park are all too often not felt in the wider community while a vibrant high street is in everyone’s best interests. Restaurants and cafes get a boost when high street shop spaces are filled and other retailers reap the rewards of increased footfall. The higher concentration of businesses in town centres mean that the cumulative economic benefit from infrastructure investment is greater than in the isolated out of town business estates.
With the freedom to succeed comes the risk of failure and I welcome Osborne’s commitment to review the policy in five years and to provide a safety net to any council whose revenues fall by 7.5% or more. There is a lot of talk about a “race to the bottom” as councils in less well-off areas compete to slash rates to rock bottom prices in a bid to attract business.
This is a valid concern. Without the proper safeguards, there is a risk that already wealthy areas like Westminster and Richmond will become the municipal equivalent of Fortnum and Mason while struggling areas in the North are relegated to the status of Poundland.
The answer to this lies in the greater flexibility to negotiate with businesses over rates to raise the funds needed for specific projects. Firms looking to relocate are not bargain hunters, automatically opting for the authority which offers the lowest rates. Other factors, such as labour market skills and the state of the local infrastructure, play an important role in this decision. Business owners would be willing to pay a little more if they could be confident their local authority is spending that extra cash on, for example, training and transport.
Devolution should never be a top down process and discussion between councils and business is vital if this scheme is going to be successful. Unfortunately for the time being, both are in a state of limbo while they wait for Osborne to flesh out his plans.
The Chancellor is not the only one who favours a “long term economic plan” and councils and private companies will need to know the details sooner rather than later so they can be prepared.
With the introduction of the national living wage and the apprenticeship levy, costs are already rising for businesses. Certainty about the future is a key requisite of major investment and the Government needs to open a dialogue with the private sector as soon as possible to address any concerns.
Government, councils and businesses need to work together to scrutinise the existing system to determine what needs to be tweaked and what needs to be banished to the scrap heap of history.
One question local traders have asked me is whether these proposed changes affect the long delayed revaluation of rates due to come in in April 2017. Reform is needed to ensure small businesses are never again left paying over the odds because of Government failure to react to fluctuations in the property market.
These should include a major overhaul of the antiquated Valuation Office Agency. This slow moving relic needs bringing into the 21st century so that rates valuation can be updated more regularly.
With greater variation in the business rate system across the UK, businesses will have more power to negotiate and argue for a better deal. With this in mind, there will need to be reform to the rates appeal system to protect councils from what has become a very costly procedure.
I also call on the Government to legislate for greater controls over those nefarious and parasitic agencies who prey on small businesses with promises of lowering their rates only to chase clients for extortionate commissions.
Urgency is key here. The sooner these issues are clarified the faster the changes can be implemented. In my work as chair of the all-party parliamentary group for small shops I can tell you that for many small traders, an overall of the rates system cannot come quick enough. To put it bluntly, many shop owners will not be in business in 2020 to enjoy the benefits of reform if action isn’t taken.
Previous Labour administrations should have done more to devolve power to local authorities and so far the Government has had a good record in this area. If done right, the proposed changes to business rates could be the driving force behind major economic growth by setting free the entrepreneurial spirit in the regions. But this won’t happen if reforms are too timid, too prescriptive or too slow.
(This article originally appeared in the Municipal Journal in October 2015)
FOR too long, local government finance rules have forced councils to go cap in hand to the Treasury like a child asking for pocket money. So at first glance, plans...
ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has backed a campaign to rescue a life-saving NHS service from closure.
Medical staff at the walk-in clinic at Middleton Health Centre treat up to 24,000 patients every year without the need for an appointment.
But Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group has recently recommended closing the clinic as part of its review of urgent services in the borough.
The proposal is now subject to a period of public consultation with a final decision expected at a meeting in Rochdale Town Hall on November 24.
Robert McLean, finance Director for Hope Citadel Healthcare - the social enterprise which runs Middleton Health Centre, argues closure would have a catastrophic effect on the local community.
He said: “Some people might think because of where we are based that we are just for patients in Middleton, but we treat patients from across the Rochdale borough.
“Our research shows that 60% of people who currently use the walk-in service would switch to using Rochdale Infirmary instead.
“But treating just a quarter of our patients at Rochdale Infirmary would cost more than the walk-in centre costs all year.
“Closure would have a huge knock on effect on local A&E departments and the whole of Rochdale, there’s no doubt about that.”
Mr McLean added that the walk-in centre provides an essential life-saving service by providing early diagnosis and rapid response to major illnesses.
He said: “Take the finances and the practicalities away and the fact of the matter is that the walk-in centre saves lives. There are people who are here now who wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the centre and four of our patients stood up and said exactly that at a public meeting this week.”
This week, staff from the centre presented Mr Danczuk with a petition calling on the CCG to rethink its plans.
Adding his name to the thousands of signatures already collected, Mr Danczuk said: “The walk-in centre provides a vital same-day service for those in urgent need.
“The staff there do an incredible job and I applaud their passionate campaign to save the service for the local community.
“This is an issue which affects everyone in the Rochdale borough and I’m happy to put my name to the petition to keep the service open. I urge to CCG to rethink this short-sighted plan.”
ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has backed a campaign to rescue a life-saving NHS service from closure. Medical staff at the walk-in clinic at Middleton Health Centre treat up to 24,000...
ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has put his name to a student campaign to raise awareness of child sexual abuse.
The MP met pupils from Kingsway Park High School at Rochdale Town Hall and was the first to sign their petition calling for more action to tackle CSA.
Pupils drew up the petition as part of a GCSE Citizenship project. They have also written to Chief Superintendent Chris Sykes of Rochdale Police and designed their own posters.
Mr Danczuk, who has lead a high profile campaign against child abuse, explained his role as the town’s MP and outlined the work he does both in Rochdale and Westminster.
Mr Danczuk told the pupils: “In my weekly surgery I meet people with a wide variety of problems. One of the issues I see quite often is the very subject that you are campaigning on - people who have been victims of CSA.
“A lot of the work I’ve done on this is very similar to what you are doing.
“I’ve spoken to the police to ask them to commit more resources to tackling these sorts of crimes.
“I have also lobbied the Home Secretary Theresa May to make sure stopping CSA is high on the Government’s agenda.
“Finally, like you are doing, I’ve tried to raise awareness so that potential perpetrators are aware of the law and victims have the confidence to come forward.
“So in a way, we’re all working as a team to bring this issue to people’s attention.”
The youngsters also met with police officers and members of Rochdale Council’s Sunrise Team who discussed some of the difficulties with detecting and preventing CSA.
Teacher Leo Davies said: "Our pupils are extremely proud to be playing an active role in this important work.
“Meeting Mr Danczuk has been inspirational for them and has given a real boost to their studies."
ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has put his name to a student campaign to raise awareness of child sexual abuse. The MP met pupils from Kingsway Park High School at Rochdale...
THE failure of transport bosses to tackle anti-social behaviour at a tram stop has “condemned local residents to lives of misery”, Rochdale’s MP has argued.
This week, Simon Danczuk and Kingsway councillor Daalat Ali met with Transport for Greater Manchester to discuss the ongoing problems at Newbold Metrolink Stop.
Homeowners living near the stop have raised concerns about vandals throwing the loose stones from the track bed at nearby houses.
But criminal damage is just the latest in a long line of problems that TfGM have caused the people of Newbold.
During expansion of the Metrolink line, significant structural damage was caused to houses along the route and a gap in the security fence left homes vulnerable to break-ins.
Despite this, both residents and councillors say that TfGM have been unresponsive and dismissive of all complaints.
Cllr Ali, who has campaigned for years to have the vandalism problem resolved, said: “These residents haven't had a proper response from TfGM for five years.
“They have stones piling up in their gardens, their greenhouses have been ruined and they’ve had their windows broken. Some of them are scared to go out in their back gardens.”
The site is equipped with CCTV but footage has been used to hand a caution to just two teenage culprits. TfGM argue it is powerless to act unless residents report all incidents via the 101 police non-emergency number.
But Mr Danczuk said members of the public face lengthy waits when calling 101 and that it should not be the victim's responsibility to tackle the issue.
He said: “This is a bureaucratic nightmare, TfGM are procedurally condemning these people to lives of misery.
“They have had years to deal with this problem and what have they actually done? Just two people have been caught and been given a slap on the wrist.
“It’s a mystery to me why there has to be some many stones on the track in the first place. Surely there should be an engineering solution.”
At the meeting, a TfGM spokesman confirmed they hoped to work with Greater Manchester Police to boost security at the stop.
THE failure of transport bosses to tackle anti-social behaviour at a tram stop has “condemned local residents to lives of misery”, Rochdale’s MP has argued. This week, Simon Danczuk and...
ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has urged employers to do all they can to help staff with mental health problems back into work.
Mr Danczuk was speaking at an event organised by the Rochdale branch of disability organisation Remploy to mark World Mental Health Day.
The session brought employers and jobseekers together to discuss the barriers people suffering from mental health problems can face when coming back to work or looking for a new job.
Opening the event, Mr Danczuk said: “A few months ago I decided to go public with the fact that I had been suffering with depression.
“I felt it was important to do that because it is not something that people are normally willing to talk about.
“But the truth is that anybody can suffer from mental health problems and that’s why I think it is so important that we have a day to focus on these issues.
“When it comes to Mental Health Problems, being in work can be something that really helps. I know that keeping busy and being motivated certainly works for me.”
ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has urged employers to do all they can to help staff with mental health problems back into work. Mr Danczuk was speaking at an event organised...
ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has stressed the need to help more young people into work after taking on a new apprentice.
Harry Hodgson, 18, started work this week as an apprentice caseworker in Mr Danczuk’s constituency office in Rochdale.
He will assist the casework team to provide advice and support to constituents with a wide variety of problems.
Harry will learn on the job while working towards a Level 2 Business Administration NVQ with Skills Solutions in Manchester.
Mr Danczuk said: “I’m a great believer in apprenticeships as a way of giving young people the help and training they need to enter the world of work.
“Studying at sixth form or university can be a great experience but it's not for everyone and it’s important that there is a choice available.
“Harry is the second apprentice we have had in our office and I’m delighted we are able to offer this sort of opportunity to local youngsters.
“I know many organisations in Rochdale are already involved with apprenticeship schemes and I’d urge anyone looking to employ new staff to consider hiring an apprentice.”
Harry said: “I am most looking forward to meeting and helping different kinds of people with whatever their problems may be.”
ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has stressed the need to help more young people into work after taking on a new apprentice. Harry Hodgson, 18, started work this week as an...