Labour’s Cor­byn vis­its mu­seum

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page - JON MACPHER­SON

JEREMY Cor­byn called for bet­ter trans­port links and a re­ver­sal of plans to close the Val­ley’s last po­lice sta­tion front counter, dur­ing a visit to Rossendale.

The Labour leader vis­ited the Whi­taker Mu­seum in Rawten­stall, where he was given a tour by man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Carl Bell.

A wide-rang­ing dis­cus­sion with the Free Press cov­ered top­ics in­clud­ing a Rossendale rail link, po­lice cuts and the gov­ern­ment’s con­tro­ver­sial 4,000-home house­build­ing tar­get for the bor­ough.

Mr Cor­byn, who was speak­ing be­fore an an­nounce­ment that Rossendale’s last re­main­ing po­lice front desk will def­i­nitely be closed, said the Water­foot base needed to stay open to main­tain vi­tal ‘face-to-face ac­cess’.

Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner Clive Grun­shaw an­nounced in June that it was at risk.

The Labour leader said: “I think there has to be face to face ac­cess to the po­lice. Not every­body has ac­cess, par­tic­u­larly older peo­ple, and the need to be able to talk to po­lice di­rectly is im­por­tant. Oth­er­wise they be­come more and more re­mote in the com­mu­nity.

“It’s not just about the num­ber of peo­ple who use the counter it’s the per­cep­tion of po­lice ac­ces­si­bil­ity be­cause you want the po­lice and com­mu­nity co­op­er­a­tion.”

Mr Cor­byn called for an “holis­tic” ap­proach to plan­ning. He added: “If you are build­ing new homes that’s good, but they have got to be gen­uinely af­ford­able and that in­cludes so­cial hous­ing.

“You also have to build the in­fra­struc­ture that goes with it so you don’t just build large num­bers of new prop­er­ties with­out at the same time en­sur­ing you’ve got health and ed­u­ca­tion and trans­port ser­vices.”

De­scrib­ing the East Lan­cashire Rail­way as ‘a great achieve­ment’, Mr Cor­byn said there was nev­er­the­less con­sid­er­a­tion given in other parts of the coun­try for her­itage lines to be opened up to main­line use.

He added: “There’s now a reg­u­lar ser­vice to Swan­wick which there hasn’t been for 30 years. It’s well worth look­ing into, and to have a con­nec­tion into Manch­ester and the main line. The short-sight­ed­ness of branch line clo­sures in the 1960s is com­ing back to bite us time and time again.

“In many cases where track beds have been pre­served, re­open­ing is pos­si­ble. We would start with a na­tional in­vest­ment bank for the whole coun­try, which would be re­gion­ally-based. There will be a lo­cal ba­sis of that in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment.”

Rossendale Scrib­bler on Cor­byn and polic­ing - page 8

Rossendale po­lice desk clo­sure fury - page 14

●● Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn at the Whi­taker mu­seum

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