Simon Danczuk MP

Fighting for Rochdale, Littleborough and Milnrow

Letter from Parliament 28 August

The headlines of the past few days have once again brought to the fore one of the most shameful secrets in Britain. A massive child abuse cover up over the Pennines in Rotherham has rightly horrified the country, as we learned that 1,400 children were abused over a long period and the protective agencies turned the other way and ignored them.

I mention this because, while this is a difficult and painful subject, I believe our town has helped drag this ugly secret out of the shadows and encourage a change of culture across the country in child protection. Rochdale was one of the first places to generate national debate about this type of crime and we’ve gone through a difficult journey in confronting child abuse here. I’ve no doubt that there is still work to be done but the continuing efforts of many people in Rochdale and the determination to drive this crime from our town has had an important impact on the way this is viewed nationally. 

It is my hope that ultimately Rochdale can be seen as an area of best practice where hard lessons have been learned and children are much safer as a result. 

I’m all too aware that over the last few years it’s been the public sector in Rochdale that’s been the centre of attention. Whether this has been down to stories about social services, police or council cuts, other activities in our town haven’t always got a look-in. As a consequence one story about the hard work being done in the private sector to turn our town around has not been given a proper hearing. But, thankfully, this story is starting to be heard. 

Confidence is returning to our town and we’re seeing encouraging signs of investment. I’m delighted to see leading car product company Tetrosyl moving into Newgate House in the town centre in a move that will create 150 jobs. And I’m pleased that we’re seeing investment elsewhere too. 

However, there are some areas where we can do better and the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre is one. Ever since it went into administration there’s been a lot of uncertainty surrounding its future and I will be writing to the owners seeking answers about their vision and investment plans for the centre. When businesses like this benefit from considerable public sector investment it is only right that the owners demonstrate ambition for our town.

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.