Simon Danczuk MP

Fighting for Rochdale, Littleborough and Milnrow

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 March_casework.jpg

This chart provides a breakdown of the varying types of case work dealt with by the team in Simon Danczuk’s constituency office in Rochdale.

In total, staff handled 64 significant new cases in March, dealing with everything from housing to healthcare.

Key points:

  • This month, there has been a higher than usual number of cases from small business owners. Many of these have been from entrepreneurs raising concerns about the inordinate cost of business rates. Simon has repeatedly called on the Government to reduce the tax burden on small businesses, including during the Parliamentary budget debate on March 22.

  • In total, 6% of cases this month were about “adult care”. One of these related to the proposed closure of Honresfeld Leonard Cheshire Care Home in Littleborough. Residents and relatives raised concerns about the short notice they had been given and suggested that the home should stay open as it was still economically viable. Simon successfully negotiated for the closure to be postponed and raised the matter in Parliament on March 3.

  • During a House of Commons debate on March 21, Simon once again criticised the Government for the growing asylum seeker crisis in Rochdale. One in five cases this month related to immigration, due in part to the disproportionate number of asylum seekers that the Government has chosen to house in Rochdale. Simon has repeatedly called on the Prime Minister to reduce the pressure on Rochdale by passing new laws to force other towns and cities to do their fair share to care for asylum seekers.

NB: These figures do not include ongoing cases that were opened before March 1 or responses to queries about policy or campaigns, which are handled by the Westminster office.

Casework in Rochdale constituency office - March 2016

  This chart provides a breakdown of the varying types of case work dealt with by the team in Simon Danczuk’s constituency office in Rochdale. In total, staff handled 64...

ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk will go the extra mile next month as he takes part in the world’s most famous marathon to raise funds for a very worthy local cause.

Mr Danczuk will join tens of thousands of runners on the start line of the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 24 as the famous endurance race marks its 36th year.

All money raised from the run will go to Rochdale based homelessness charity Petrus Community.

Mr Danczuk said: “I only took up running about 18 months ago so the London Marathon will be a real challenge.

“My chosen charity is very close to my heart and I hope to raise as much money as possible to help them continue with the excellent work that they do.

“As a former researcher with The Big Issue, I am passionate about tackling homelessness and helping vulnerable people to turn their lives around.

“Petrus Community in Rochdale is an exemplary homelessness charity and I am always blown away by the level of dedication from its staff and volunteers.”

Petrus co-ordinator Denis Skelton said: “We’re delighted that Petrus is the charity that Simon is supporting by running the London Marathon.

“The money raised will go towards the provision of frontline services to help homeless people in Rochdale.”


Click here to contribute to Simon’s fundraising efforts.

Simon Danczuk to run London Marathon for Rochdale charity‏

ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk will go the extra mile next month as he takes part in the world’s most famous marathon to raise funds for a very worthy local cause....

RSPCA.jpgROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has reminded all dog owners to have their furry friends microchipped ahead of a change in the law which comes into effect next month.

From April 6, it will be a legal requirement to have any dog over the age of eight weeks microchipped in England and Wales.

As part of a campaign to raise awareness of the new rules, Mr Danczuk attended a free dog microchipping event at the RSPCA branch in Redcross Street.

Mr Danczuk said: “Compulsory microchipping is a positive step and will make all the difference to dog owners whose beloved pets are lost or stolen.

“RSPCA staff and volunteers in Rochdale have done a wonderful job getting the word out and offering free microchipping.

“We must continue to raise awareness over the next few weeks to make sure dog lovers and their pets are not caught on the wrong side of the new law.”

Simon Danczuk reminds dog lovers to have their pets microchipped‏

ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has reminded all dog owners to have their furry friends microchipped ahead of a change in the law which comes into effect next month. From April...

IMG_2469.JPGTHE owners of a flood hit care home have thanked Rochdale Council and MP Simon Danczuk for helping get the business back on its feet.

Mr Danczuk did the honours at the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the reopening of Riverside Nursing Home in Littleborough, which had been closed since last year’s major flooding.

Residents were evacuated when the flooding hit and the building was left without electricity or gas. Overall, the damage cost the business an estimated £150,000 in repairs and lost income.

Riverside’s management team are now looking to fill vacancies at the 22 bed home and are also considering a plan to expand.

Business Manager Natasha Khan said: “It was an awful start to the year but we are turning it around and we are so pleased to be back open again.

“I’m really grateful that our local MP has supported us as well as the council.”

Mr Danczuk said: “This is a fantastic nursing home and I know I speak for staff, residents and relatives when I say I’m delighted to see it back up and running.

“Rochdale Council did an excellent job supporting homeowners and businesses with emergency payments and the local community really came together to help those in need.

“My office is still working to make sure insurance companies give business owners the support they need.”

Simon Danczuk cuts the ribbon to declare flood hit care home reopen‏

THE owners of a flood hit care home have thanked Rochdale Council and MP Simon Danczuk for helping get the business back on its feet. Mr Danczuk did the honours...

Casework_February.jpgThis chart provides a breakdown of the varying types of case work dealt with by the team in Simon Danczuk’s constituency office in Rochdale.

In total, staff handled 56 significant new cases, dealing with everything from immigration to police matters.

Key points:

  • As expected in the wake of the recent flooding, a large proportion of cases this month have been about environmental management issues. As well as writing to Government ministers and the Environment Agency, Simon raised the issue of flooding during a House of Commons debate

  • 16% of cases related to housing, with many constituents struggling to find somewhere to live. Simon has raised the subject of homelessness a number of times in the House of Commons and has written extensively on the issue. 

  • A significant proportion of immigration cases are from asylum seekers requesting permission to settle permanently. This high number is due to the Government housing a disproportionate number of asylum seekers in Rochdale, an issue which Simon has raised repeatedly.

NB: These figures do not include ongoing cases that were opened before February 1 or responses to queries about policy or campaigns, which are handled by the Westminster office.

Casework in Rochdale constituency office - February 2016

This chart provides a breakdown of the varying types of case work dealt with by the team in Simon Danczuk’s constituency office in Rochdale. In total, staff handled 56 significant...

ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has challenged the UK’s press regulator over growing Islamophobia in the UK media.

Mr Danczuk raised the issue during a meeting between MPs and Sir Alan Moses, chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).

The MP's intervention comes just weeks after The Times newspaper published an article on the murder of Rochdale man Jalal Uddin with the headline “Imam beaten to death in sex grooming town”.

Mr Danczuk also criticised The Sun in November last year over it’s controversial front page which claimed that "1 in 5 Brit Muslims” have “sympathy for jihadis".

Mr Danczuk grilled the IPSO chair over what steps the organisation is taking to prevent such examples of Islamophobia.

In response, Sir Moses said his “honest answer” was that not enough is currently being done but assured MPs that improvements will be made.

Speaking afterwards Mr Danczuk said: “The Times headline is just the latest example of a growing and troubling level of Islamophobia in some sectors of the British media.

“I have written to the newspaper’s editor calling for an apology, but this is a much wider problem than just one headline.

“It was refreshing to hear Sir Alan Moses concede that IPSO is falling short on this issue and I hope the admission will be a catalyst for meaningful change.

“The Editors’ Code of Practice, which provides guidelines for the press, includes safeguards to protect individuals from discrimination or harassment.

“But these protections do not extend to entire groups or communities. I would like to see the code updated to prevent Muslims, or any other minority or community group, from being victimised in the media.”

Simon Danczuk challenges press regulator over Islamophobia‏

ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has challenged the UK’s press regulator over growing Islamophobia in the UK media. Mr Danczuk raised the issue during a meeting between MPs and Sir Alan...

IMG_2444.JPGWOMEN in Rochdale hit by an increase in the state pension age have branded the policy short sighted and grossly unfair during a meeting with MP Simon Danczuk.

Pension changes pushed through in 2011 by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government mean that some women born in the 1950s will have to work 18 months longer than planned.

The Government has ignored calls by the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign to reverse the decision or introduce measures to ease the transition.

This is despite the fact that poor communication has meant that many women only learned of the increase at very short notice and had little time to make alternative arrangements.

Mr Danczuk organised the roundtable debate to learn more about how the changes will impact on the lives of women in Rochdale.

The meeting was attended by members of the public as well as local councillors Kathleen Nickson, Janet Emsley and Cecile Biant.

Constituents raised a number of key issues including the health risks of working longer, the difference in life expectancy between wealthy and deprived areas and the knock-on effect for families who rely on grandmothers for free childcare.

Mr Danczuk confirmed he will continue to raise the issue in Parliament and pressure Government Ministers on the matter. He also agreed to arrange a larger WASPI meeting later in the year.

The MP said: “The Government might think this campaign is going to go away, but I can assure them that women in Rochdale are more determined than ever to oppose this unjust increase in the state pension age.

“In one short meeting I heard dozens of reasons why this policy is unfair, impractical and economically unsound. It was a real eye opener.

“If only the Tories and Lib Dems had taken the time to sit down and talk with working women before rushing through these changes in 2011, then maybe this whole mess could have been avoided.

“The WASPI campaign has my full backing as well as the support of many local councillors.

“I want to reassure women in Rochdale nearing retirement age that they are not alone in this fight and urge as many as possible to get involved by attending their next meeting.”

Simon Danczuk hosts WASPI roundtable debate

WOMEN in Rochdale hit by an increase in the state pension age have branded the policy short sighted and grossly unfair during a meeting with MP Simon Danczuk. Pension changes...

ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk and council leader Richard Farnell have won a Government commitment to help clear up the toxic legacy of the former Turner Brothers Asbestos works.

Mr Danczuk and Cllr Farnell held a “very productive” meeting with Environment Minister Rory Stewart about decontaminating the site which was once home to the largest asbestos factory in the world.

After the meeting, Mr Stewart confirmed that the Government and the Environment Agency will work with Rochdale Council to resolve the long standing problem.

Asbestos production at the 38 hectare site ceased in the 1990s and the premises have been completely empty since 2008.

In recent years, buildings on the site have been a frequent target for vandals and arsonists, prompting fears that contaminated asbestos material could be released into the air.

A full site survey, part funded by Rochdale Council, is due to take place later this year to determine what risks the site poses to public health.

Once this work is completed an Environment Agency asbestos specialist will analyse the report and Mr Danczuk and Cllr Farnell will meet with Mr Stewart again to discuss the next steps.

Mr Danczuk said: “It was a positive and very productive meeting.

“Between myself, Cllr Farnell and the Minister we now have a team which is determined to solve this problem and in total agreement over what needs to be done.

“This has been a long standing issue for our town but sadly previous Councils have ignored the problem and done nothing to find a solution.

“Under the Coalition Government, it took eight months for Mr Stewart’s Lib Dem predecessor, Dan Rogerson, to respond to our request to help and in the end no progress was made.

“It is important to stress that we are still a long way off a resolution but this is certainly a step in the right direction.”

Cllr Farnell said: “The former TBA site is an ongoing concern for the council and one we take very seriously indeed.

“Rochdale residents deserve peace of mind and reassurances that the area is safe. We will continue to work hard to achieve just that.”

Simon Danczuk and Richard Farnell hold “productive” meeting with Government over asbestos site‏

ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk and council leader Richard Farnell have won a Government commitment to help clear up the toxic legacy of the former Turner Brothers Asbestos works. Mr Danczuk...

INDEPENDENT shops in Rochdale could be in jeopardy because of the “Government’s failure on business rates”, MP Simon Danczuk has argued.

Speaking in a Parliamentary debate on the future of the high street, Mr Danczuk raised concerns that dozens of small shops could go under when the Government’s retail rate relief scheme comes to an end later this month.

Over 900 Rochdale businesses have benefitted from the scheme, which was announced in the 2013 Autumn Statement, amounting to £1.1m in overall relief.

Calling for the scheme to be extended, Mr Danczuk said: “Many of those benefiting from this relief have used it to invest in their shops and employ more staff.

“This money doesn’t get diverted through some obscure offshore account. It gets spent in our communities, where it has a direct impact.”

Mr Danczuk cited the example of Dale Nugent, owner of  Rochdale Mobility, who has benefitted from both the national rate relief and a Rochdale Council initiative to cut rates for new businesses for the first two years.

With the Government scheme due to end this month, and the Council one taper down, Mr Nugent will see his business rates rocket from £2,000 a year to £8,000.

Mr Danczuk said: “Dale provides a vital service for many disabled people in Rochdale. His customers can’t just ‘pop to Oldham or Bury’ as easily as other people.

“He is a good, friendly business owner – his customers like to see him, and often go in for a chat.

“But because of the Government’s failure on business rates we could see this vital business in jeopardy.”

Commenting after the debate, Mr Nugent said: “My rates are going to quadruple. But this won’t just affect me, it will be all the small shops in Rochdale and across the UK. It’s a massive thing.

“It will be the independent shops, the forgotten shops of Rochdale, which will close.

“The local council seem to want to help but their hands are tied by the Government which has cut the funding.

“A lot of the big retailers are switching to online, which has no overheads, and we’ve got to compete with that. Combine that with the rates going up and what chance have we got?

“Anyone in Westminster who thinks this isn’t a problem, I would gladly sell them my shop for £1 and we’ll see how well they get on.”

Mr Danczuk, who serves as Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group, also used the debate to repeat his call for small business to be lifted out of rates altogether.

Simon Danczuk: The Government is failing Rochdale’s small business owners‏

INDEPENDENT shops in Rochdale could be in jeopardy because of the “Government’s failure on business rates”, MP Simon Danczuk has argued. Speaking in a Parliamentary debate on the future of...

IMG_2404_(1).JPGMP Simon Danczuk has praised the team tasked with preserving Rochdale’s cultural heritage, saying the town “punches above its weight” when it comes to showing off its unique history.

The MPs comments came after a visit to the Arts and Heritage Resource Centre in Fishwick Street, where a collection of thousands of Rochdale artifacts are stored and maintained.

The centre, which is run by Link4Life, also holds local history sessions for local schools and other groups.

Among the collection’s many highlights is the imposing bookcase once owned by Rochdale politician John Bright, which the council hopes to restore and display in the Town Hall.

The award winning Touchstones Museum has won national awards and museum experts across the UK have come to Rochdale to learn how best to promote and preserve local heritage.

But the Link4Life team are keen to do even more. They aim to get as much of the reserve collection on display as possible and use digital innovations to make the archive more accessible to the public.

Tom Besford, Arts and Heritage Manager, said: “Part of our job here is not just putting these items on display but looking after them so they can still be enjoyed 100 or 200 years from now.

“We want to put arts and heritage at the heart of Rochdale, which is where it needs to be because there is so much great stuff out there.”

Mr Danczuk said: “Seeing this fantastic collection up close was a real reminder that Rochdale punches above its weight when it comes to heritage, culture and the arts.

“Councillor Janet Emsley, Cabinet Member for Culture, Health and Wellbeing, is really passionate about promoting the unique history of Rochdale and that can be seen in the many excellent heritage projects that are taking place.

“The river re-opening, the planned renovation of the Town Hall and the Gracie Fields Trail will all do a great deal to bring visitors into the town.

“I think it's important to remind ourselves of just how much Rochdale has to be proud of.”

 

Rochdale “punches above its weight” in arts and culture says MP

MP Simon Danczuk has praised the team tasked with preserving Rochdale’s cultural heritage, saying the town “punches above its weight” when it comes to showing off its unique history. The...


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