Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Private Eye Rotten Boroughs: Booming Heckers Rochdale Escapism

Rochdale has once again caught the Eye. This time for letting town centre redevelopment tenders without due care and attention.

Booming heck

As the recession loomed, Rochdale Council had a brilliant idea to fix the town's economic problems: move the bus station 12 yards, build a new one for £12 million and call it a "transport interchange". Central to the plan was a £250 million town centre redevelopment and a new tram link to Manchester.

Alas, Rochdale Development Agency (RDA), having bought and demolished a swathe of iconic Victorian buildings, has so far failed to convince anyone that "Rochdale is booming" - not least Manchester, which has decided not to extend its Metrolink tram there after all.

Meanwhile, the wheels seem to be falling off the town centre redevelopment. In January 2008, John Hudson, chief executive of RDA, praised its public consultation process. "We are delighted," he declared, "by the responses we have had for the developers' proposals." Alan Black of planning consultants DTZ, said its work was "one of the most thorough and robust developer selection competitions I have been involved in". No mean feat, given that only 130 people in a town of 200,000 bothered to comment on the "exciting" plans. Rochdale now has to re-run the entire tendering process at a cost of £200,000.

Roll on the new "transport interchange". At least when it's built people will be able to leave more quickly!


Anonymous said...

Rochdale Lib Dems have handed over the wheel of the rudderless SS Rochdale to the Chief Exec and the senior officers of the Rochdale Devilment Agency.

In return they get glowing press releases written for them about 'exciting' regenration plans. They are obediently trotted out by the current MP and clueless "regeneration" supremo, Mo "shifty" Shafiq. Even hairdresser/finance portfolio holder Cllr Couzens churns out the scripted reeneration message.
£2,000,000 on council spin doctors, £250,000 to futher prop up plans for the new bus station that will cost £1,000,000 a yard to move accross Smith Street. (next to the infamous public toilets that were well attended during Cyril's reign).

As the SS Rochdale starts to sink- will all these fair weather sailors go down still smiling?

Town Centre regeneration? Paul Rowen seems eager to blindly follow where Cyril Smith once led.
We are still paying the price for the mistakes of the 1960's and 1970's in Rochdale. Somethings never seem to change.

What is it with Rochdale Lib Dems and property speculators?

Chris Paul said...

Indeed RR, indeed. What is it with Rochdale Lib Dems and property speculators? You'll need to say. Many LOL readers won't have a clue what you're on about.

Smith Street bogs gag also seems a bit below the belt. Perhaps you can explain that too? yes, Knowl View, we know, but who was responsible?

Anonymous said...

Rochdale is one big mess. The sooner the Fiberals are out, the better.

Anonymous said...

Fair point Chris, the use of the Smith Street toilets was a multi-party affair. That said, it is also fair to say Cyril Smith, as both a conviction politian, bully and networker was never backwards in coming forwards with the odd threat to keep local politicians in check.

When it comes to quid pro quos, Cyril Smith is the head banker- still with a firm grip.

As for property speculators and entrepreneurs with close links to Paul Rowen and his crazy gang, the moderated and IP logged sections of the Rochdale Observer website have some very choice and illuminating observations published.

Rochdale Council property dealings, certain local property developers/businessmen and Rochdale Lib Dems.

Follow the shenighans, join the dots and find a pot of gold.