Who has really ignored Todmorden? We say it was the Lib Dems

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In the last Lib Dem ‘newsletter’ Coun Janet Battye is pictured in front of the Abraham Ormerod Centre beneath the headline ‘Labour leave Todmorden to rot’.

Let’s look at this claim.

Who was leader of the Council for the years when such sites were being ignored? Councillor Battye.

Todmorden High School has been left in a dire state by the withdrawal of funding by the Coalition. Calderdale under Coun Battye did nothing. Under Labour leadership Calderdale has allocated over £5m to start the rebuilding programme.

Todmorden Town Hall has had access problems for years with an obsolete lift. Under Coun Battye’s leadership nothing was done. Under Labour, Calderdale have found funding to remedy this situation and put in a new lift.

The Health Authority planned to close the ‘out of hours’ service at Todmorden Health Centre. What did Coun Battye and the Lib Dems do? Nothing. Labour councillors campaigned with local people, successfully, to get services for weekends and bank holidays.

The newsletter also attacks Labour for wasting money on creating a new Cabinet post, a ‘job for the boys’. But, firstly, this post covers the transfer of health services to the council, a major new area of responsibility, especially since the Coalition’s attempts to combine destruction of the NHS with massive cutbacks in finances for local services. Secondly, under Coun Battye’s leadership, there was actually one more Cabinet post than there is now.

So who in reality has ignored Todmorden? Labour leadership in Calderdale has done more for Todmorden in nine months than the LibDems have done in years. Looking at the newsletter, the words ‘shoot’ and ‘foot’ spring to mind.

Andy Hollis (Chair of Todmorden Labour branch)