Simon Danczuk MP

Fighting for Rochdale, Littleborough and Milnrow

Letter from Parliament 14 August

It’s often said that ‘people make places’. Arguably the best way of measuring the community spirit and civic pride in an area is through those who give up hours of their time freely to volunteer. Volunteers are the unsung heroes in their local community. There are too many areas for me to list here where volunteers do fantastic work, but key work done in health and social care, the criminal justice system and in sport deserves a special mention.

With this in mind I was pleased to see the leader of Rochdale Council backing the Local Government Association’s call to reward community volunteers with council tax reductions. The country owes a massive debt to volunteers. They are the glue that holds communities together and it’s only right that we should be looking to recognise their work through a discount on their council tax bill.

The latest ‘community life survey’ by the Government shows that volunteering levels are down this year and that is a worry. Building community spirit and encouraging people to put something back to help improve the quality of life for others should be a priority for all politicians. If Government neglects this mission we’ll be a lot poorer country for it.

As well as building civic pride, another big challenge is building high levels of trust in public services. There is always room for improvement here across the board, but where the police are concerned it’s extremely important that there’s a healthy level of public trust. Otherwise we will not see the law delivered and a much more unequal society will result.

That’s why I’m worried at the current situation where the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police is facing a criminal misconduct charge by the IPCC over a bungled investigation into a suspected child sex offender. Frontline police officers are doing a great job but the charge hanging over the chief constable needs to be resolved as quickly as possible before it risks damaging public confidence in the work of the police. In particular, I do not want to put at risk the progress made in helping victims of abuse get access to justice.

A lot of hard work is currently going into attracting jobs and investment and we can all look forward to the town’s Feel Good Festival at the end of the month. It has a really exciting line up this year and I’m sure it’ll be a great advert for Rochdale.

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.