Local Election 2011
North Heywood Ward
Dear fellow Heywood residents,
My name is Ray Dutton and I’m standing for Labour in the local elections in North Heywood on May 5th.
I live in Heywood with my wife Elaine on Sunningdale Drive and I work as a senior training consultant in the gas engineering industry. I currently serve our community as vice chairman of governors at Siddal Moor School and I previously served as chairman of governors at Heywood Community School. I am passionate about the rights of Heywood children to get a good start in life through a good education.
Since before Christmas I’ve been out and about chatting to people in North Heywood and they’ve been telling me about the issues that are of concern to them:
- The appalling state of our roads with big potholes and uneven surfaces all over Heywood.
- The threat to our Health Services at Fairfield Hospital due to government cut backs.
- The need to bring more decision making and power back to Heywood and out of Rochdale Town Hall.
- The need to protect our much valued community assets like Crimble Croft Community Centre and Back o’th Moss Community Centre.
- The need for better bus services, especially along Bamford Road.
- Valuing our lovely Queen’s Park, but also helping residents of nearby roads like Heywood Hall Rd to solve parking issues due to the park’s popularity.
Many people in North Heywood feel let down by their Lib Dem councillors. Just before Christmas, the Lib Dem led coalition on Rochdale Council collapsed in bitter acrimony. 8 Lib Dem councillors resigned from their party over local disagreements and over Nick Clegg going back on his promises. This bitter acrimony spread to Heywood with the sitting Lib Dem councillor being dumped by the Lib Dem party after four years service. The local Lib Dems seem more concerned with their own local squabbles rather than with working for our community.
After the coalition collapsed, Labour formed a minority administration to pull the Council out of the mess and chaos left by the Lib Dems. As a minority administration, Labour has reversed some of the worst cut backs to services that the Lib Dem led coalition were planning before Christmas:
- Labour has saved Back o’th Moss Community Centre from closure as planned in the Lib Dem coalition proposals.
- The Lib Dem coalition planned to cut township spending in Heywood from £4 per person to zero.
- Labour ensured that pavements and roads around Heywood’s churches were gritted and cleared of snow and ice so people could attend Christmas services safely. Did you know the Lib Dems criticised Labour for doing this at the following Council meeting? Yes, incredibly they attacked Labour for helping people get to Christmas church services! Compare this to the Lib Dem fiasco in 2009/2010 winter when many roads and pavements were snowed under for weeks.
- Five years ago, the Lib Dems in Heywood promised ‘Independence for Heywood’. Well, after four and a half years of a Lib Dem run council, please forgive me if I don’t see any independence for Heywood from Rochdale Town Hall! Indeed, with their budget proposals before Christmas, the Lib Dems would have stripped Heywood Township of most of its resources.
Locally and nationally, the Lib Dems promise the Earth only to break their promises once they get their feet under the table.
Nick Clegg has broken his promises on V.A.T rises and on student fees. Locally, the Lib Dems have broken their promises on ‘Independence for Heywood’ and on cuts to our local services. It is easy to make promises; they are just words after all.
North Heywood has had enough of just words; it is time for action not words. Unlike the Lib Dems, I’m not going to make big fancy promises and then drop them once I’m elected. The only promise I make is to try 100% on your behalf. That is a promise I can guarantee.
Many thanks for taking the time to read my ‘pitch’ on Rochdale Online.