Simon Danczuk MP

Fighting for Rochdale, Littleborough and Milnrow

Letter from Parliament 23 October

I’d like to begin by welcoming the Council’s new chief executive, Steve Rumbelow, to Rochdale. His appointment is a great coup for our town, as Steve has a very strong track record in Burnley and he’ll bring a fresh approach that’s much needed. Steve’s real skill is forging partnerships with business and delivering on regeneration. The fact that Burnley was named the most enterprising area in the UK in 2013 speaks volumes and I’m looking forward to helping him foster a similarly strong enterprise culture in Rochdale.

He’s already spoken of the need to bring more jobs and crack on with regeneration and there’s now a solid platform of progress established upon which he can start to build real momentum.

Getting the right infrastructure in place, planning for the future and injecting confidence into the town and championing the entrepreneurs that create jobs is the role of everyone connected to the running of Rochdale – and we’re all working hard to build up a head of steam now.

I know people have made many sacrifices over the last few years, by taking wage cuts and tightening their belt, and we really ought to be seeing the rewards for all our hard work now. 

What doesn’t help is the Government’s continued financial incompetence, as George Osborne’s latest borrowing figures show. The deficit is increasing and he’s borrowed another £11.8billion this year, which is £1.6billion more than last year. You’ll hear David Cameron frequently lecture Labour on economics but what he won’t admit is that the Tories have borrowed more in three years than Labour did in 13 years.

We really should be seeing an increase in wages now and some tax cuts, like a reduction in business rates and VAT, for example. But as long as Cameron and Osborne continue to make a mess of the public finances then we’re destined to face many more years of austerity. This makes it much harder for places like Rochdale, which have already suffered some of the biggest cuts in the country, but we’re determined to punch above our weight and succeed despite the Government, not because of it.​

Despite some terrible weather of late, I’ve been out knocking on doors and talking to people about the town. Unfortunately I got caught in a thunderstorm last Sunday but was pleased to shelter from the rain and talk to regulars in Carey Lorimer’s great pub, the Dyers Arms in Calderbrook. It’s well worth a visit.

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