Steve Hughes – Longholme

Steve Hughes - IrwellOver the past 4 years, the Labour run council has supported the development of The Whitaker – a service that was under threat of closure because of budget cuts: now it is a fantastic community asset used by thousands of people each month. Ski Rossendale – again a service that was under threat of closure, is now a thriving business attracting people from all over the country and has put Rawtenstall and Rossendale on the map. Throughout the Valley there are more examples of what the Labour council has achieved from the Heritage Lottery Investment in Bacup to the shop front investment scheme in Haslingden.

Regeneration is key in creating a vibrant and well connected Rossendale which is why I support the redevelopment of the valley centre in Rawtenstall. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to create something really special, something that works for residents and businesses, and something that will support Rawtenstall’s continued growth – we need to get it right!

I don’t think it’s fair that the Borough of Rossendale is treated differently from the boroughs in the south. It’s recently been reported that southern councils have been handed the lion’s share of £300m – while the authorities that need it most (such as Rossendale) have been given very little.

David Cameron and the Tories says they are here to support ‘working’ people yet Rossendale Tories voted against a freeze in your council tax at a recent Overview and Scrutiny Council Meeting.

I work for Citizens Advice, an organisation that is there to support everyone regardless of background and it continues to amaze me that today, in 2016, we have people who cannot afford to heat their homes, people who cannot afford to put food on their kitchen table and people who cannot afford to buy clothes for their children – and contrary to what David Cameron wants you to think, these people are not scrounges on benefits, these are people who are working, people who have full time jobs but haven’t had a pay rise in years and their income isn’t enough to match the rising cost of living.

Rossendale deserves more.