Who should I vote for in Rochdale local elections 2022? Policies of each party explained

Who should I vote for in Rochdale local elections 2022? Policies of each party explained

<p>Number One Riverside, Rochdale. Credit: Rochdale council</p>

Number One Riverside, Rochdale. Credit: Rochdale council

Voters in Rochdale will go to the polls again this week for the first ‘all out’ local elections in nearly 20 years.

A change to ward boundaries means that all 60  seats are being contested – rather than the usual one third. Residents will able to vote for up to three candidates in their ward instead of just one.

Councillors are responsible for making decisions on running local services – which includes everything from  education, planning and parks to public safety, social care and waste collections.

Those registered to vote have been sent a polling card containing details of their local polling stations and when they can vote. There are 163,619 registered voters in the borough and 43,203 postal votes have been issued.

Residents go to the polls on Thursday

Polling stations open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday 5 May. Staff will take names and addresses to check whether people are on the register before voters are given a ballot paper. Voting booths ensure votes are cast in private. Staff will be on hand at the polling stations to assist anyone who needs help.

Postal voters, who will have received their forms by now, are being asked to return them promptly. Those who are unable to leave their homes to post the votes by themselves, because of health or mobility problems, can call the council on 0300 303 0345 to have them collected.

Below are the key policies, pledges and priorities voiced by the parties and independents vying for your votes this year.

Labour

This year’s manifestos build on last on year’s commitments but provide a refocus for each of our borough’s towns. Rochdale (which includes villages such as Castelton and Littleborough), Heywood and Middleton each have their own manifesto with different pledges for regenerating the town centres. 

The Labour Party recognise the importance of regenerating every pocket of our borough so that everywhere shares in the prosperity generated by the council. These manifestos demonstrate that commitment. 

The manifestos promise devolution for the borough’s townships. Due to Tory cuts services have been centralised too much, to save on cost, but this has meant the council, in the eyes of our residents, has become too detached from its communities. By shifting the council’s decision making away from its cabinet, towards its townships, we hope to reconnect the council with people on the ground. 

The Rochdale Borough Labour Party believe that the best decisions are made when they are made by the residents in the areas they effect. We therefore want people living in areas such as Heywood, Middleton, Castleton and Littleborough to be able to guide their own destiny through their townships.

Conservatives

These local elections will not change the government, but change the way Rochdale is run, sending a clear message to Mayor Andy Burnham, that his failed policies will no longer be supported as they have been previously with Labour Councillors.

Conservatives have a clear, positive message.

We will scrap Labours clean air tax, this policy would destroy many small businesses, increasing costs for everyone.

We will stop Labours plan to build on precious green belt, and remove these sites, prioritising only brownfield sites.

We will stop ever increasing rises in council tax, this year we would have helped all households by reducing council tax bills by an extra £150 on top of the governments £150 rebate, sadly Labour opposed this, and voted to increase the charge, hitting hard everyone struggling with the cost of living.

We will prioritise issues that matter, improving street cleaning and giving priority to road and pavement repairs.

It’s time for a change in Rochdale, it’s time councillors listened and worked with residents. For too long this Labour Council has ignored the wishes and concerns of communities, we will never take local people for granted.

By voting Conservative on the May 5  be assured of electing councillors working tirelessly for our Borough, our local community being the top priority.

 Liberal Democrats

Rochdale Liberal Democrats seek to build a council group that genuinely represents the people it serves, with open governance and transparent decision making. We are a grassroots party who believe in listening, consulting and communicating.

We believe in equality, diversity and inclusion and that you should be represented by people who genuinely committed to serving the public and not just dictating what they think is best.

We have had over a decade of local Labour control. They take your vote for granted, and refuse to listen to people’s wishes and try to roll out grandiose projects such as the GMSF, the CAZ tax and various town centre development plans. They do not listen and do not care.

We are also living under a national Conservative government who break the rules they make, show no compassion for those most in need and are presiding over the worst cost of living crisis in living memory.

If you vote Lib Dem on May 5 then you are voting for a council group who put people, places and the planet at the heart of everything they do. They pledge to be community councillors who work on your behalf, to be available and accountable and to keep in touch via a variety of platforms.

Vote for change on May 5. Vote for the Liberal Democrats.

Middleton Independents Party

On May 5 the people of Middleton will have a once in a generation opportunity to make a difference in the future of our town. The Middleton Independents Party was formed to provide a positive alternative for the people of Middleton – we felt the traditional two-party system has consistently letting our town down and this was no longer acceptable.

The group is made up of local, passionate and experienced individuals who have our town’s interests at heart. We feel Middleton is losing its history, heritage and identity while Rochdale gets the golden treatment from the Council and we believe it is time Middleton got its voice back.

By voting Middleton Independents, we and you will be sending a clear message to Rochdale that we want:

Our Greenbelt & Green Spaces preserved

 Our town centre improved, cleaned and maintained 

Our streets policed properly

Our pavements, roads and highways well maintained

Adequate support for local businesses and start up schemes

An Improved support and facilities for young people

A decent public transport system including Metrolink extension

The Clean Air Zone (CAZ) tax dropped

To see more of how we will address these matters and to find out who your candidates are visit our website: middleton-independents.uk

Green Party

Reject the tired, old way of doing things. Vote Green for something different – your vote does count!

Rochdale Green Party wants a fairer, healthier and environmentally sustainable world. While thinking globally, we will act locally across the Borough of Rochdale (RBC), (including the formerly independent towns) to deliver on these values.

Going ‘green’ is always the easiest and cheapest choice. This includes making the tram and bus systems cheap, safe, reliable and frequent so that people can choose to reduce car use. Trams are needed too in Middleton and Heywood

Reforming energy use will end harmful fossil fuels, while conserving our natural resources. 

We say no building on our valuable green belt and flood basins.

We believe wealth and incomes must be more fairly distributed:  –

RBC and council contractors should pay all staff at least the Real Living Wage.  We oppose Trade Union blacklists.

Good public services can lift residents out of austerity, isolation and marginalisation

People suffering inequality should be listened and responded to.

The test for policies should be whether they will benefit residents and our shared planet.

Rochdale Green Party has its own more detailed manifesto for Rochdale. For this, please apply to [email protected]

Freedom Alliance – Laura Grabowska 

Laura Grabowska is again standing for the Freedom Alliance in the Balderstone and Kirkholt seat.

She was born in Warsaw and came to the UK while travelling 16 years ago. She has previosly said she was so impressed by the country – ‘by all its opportunities, the beauty of the countryside, and the wonderful people I met’ – that she decided to stay.

Laura said discovering the Freedom Alliance was like ‘re-encountering the sense of opportunity and freedom’ she felt when she first came to the UK.

According to its website the Freedom Alliance developed out of the protest movement in 2020. It adds: “A small group of activists recognised the need to use the political system to provide real opposition to the state’s covid narrative. We set up a registered political party and to date have stood 160 candidates for election across Britain. Initially we campaigned against “lockdowns” and the “vaccine” rollout.

“We want to see a society in which individuals, families and communities are freed from state and global corporate control. Excessive debt has been used to trap people, businesses and now nations in a system that works only for the global banks and large corporations.”

  • More information on this year’s Rochdale council local elections can be found here.