Coun­cil­lor is sus­pended

Rossendale Free Press - - The Rossendale Scribbler -

STE­FAN JAJECZNYK

ACOUN­CIL­LOR has been sus­pended by her party af­ter be­ing ac­cused of post­ing anti-Semitic re­marks on Face­book.

An of­fi­cial com­plaint was lodged with the Labour party against Whitewell coun­cil­lor Pam Brom­ley over a post on her Face­book page, as re­ported in last week’s Free Press.

We re­ported that she was one of 150 Labour mem­bers re­ported by the Labour Against An­tiSemitism [ LAAS] group, over Face­book com­ments they be­lieve to be an­ti­Semitic.

A re­gional spokesper­son for the Labour party con­firmed that Coun Brom­ley had been sus­pended on Thursday, April 12.

In a state­ment Coun Brom­ley de­fended her­self against the com­plaint.

She said: “The al­le­ga­tion that I am an­ti­Semitic, based on a tiny sam­ple of Face­book posts taken out of con­text and dat­ing back up to 12 months, is ab­so­lutely ridicu­lous.

“The Cam­paign Against Anti-Semitism (CAS) more in­ter­ested in trolling through the so­cial me­dia of Labour Party mem­bers and par­tic­u­larly of elected Labour Party mem­bers, search­ing for lit­tle snip­pets or the in­cor­rect use of a word. They then present [this] out of con­text, skew­ing the mean­ing to make it ap­pear that the Labour Party is rid­dled with anti-Semitism.

“They some­how over­looked the ex­ten­sive post­ing I did in Jan­uary 2017 when I vis­ited Auschwitz and at­tended sub­se­quent Holo­caust Day memo­rial com­mem­o­ra­tions.”

Her state­ment con­tin­ued: “I have been a mem­ber of the Labour Party on and off since my teens and have never, ever, en­coun­tered any form of racism therein.

“Quite cor­rectly, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be con­ducted and I am con­fi­dent that I will be ex­on­er­ated. In the mean­time I con­tinue as a coun­cil­lor in sup­port of the Labour coun­cil and avail­able to con­stituents.

“I am more than happy to dis­cuss with any­body any is­sues on this sub­ject.”

The LAAS group said it com­plained to the Labour com­pli­ance unit over a post which they say ap­peared on Coun Brom- ley’s Face­book page in April 2016 which they claim said: “[The] Roth­schilds are a pow­er­ful fi­nan­cial fam­ily (like the Medi­cis) and rep­re­sent cap­i­tal­ism — even if the Nazis DID use the ac­tiv­i­ties of Roth­schilds in their anti-Semitic pro­pa­ganda. We must not ob­scure the truth with the need to be tact­ful.”

In the same month, the group say she posted a link to the Roth­schild & Co web­site and com­mented, say­ing: “Right I am fed up of this shush don’t men­tion the Rothchilds stuff [sic]. They are not the only in­ter­na­tional bankers and fi­nanciers but are amongst those who, Jewish and non-Jewish, hold tremen­dous wealth and power.”

The LAAS has ac­cused Coun Brom­ley of ‘mak­ing men­da­cious, de­hu­maniz- ing, de­mon­is­ing, or stereo­typ­i­cal al­le­ga­tions about Jews’ and ‘the power of Jews as col­lec­tive’, ‘draw­ing com­par­isons of con­tem­po­rary Is­raeli pol­icy to that of the Nazis’ and ‘us­ing the sym­bols and im­ages as­so­ci­ated with clas­sic anti-Semitism’.

Alyson Barnes, Rossendale’s Labour group leader, con­firmed that Coun Brom­ley would con­tinue to un­der­take her ●● Coun­cil­lor Brom­ley coun­cil re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as an in­de­pen­dent mem­ber dur­ing her sus­pen­sion.

AM I alone in Rossendale won­der­ing why on earth we are all agree­ing to pay the ridicu­lous amounts of coun­cil tax we are be­ing asked for?

Are res­i­dents aware of the huge dis­par­ity in charges be­tween Lon­don and this area?

My son lives in Toot­ing where a band D prop­erty, ac­cord­ing to a cal­cu­la­tor I have seen on the in­ter­net, is £700 per year. The same band in Rossendale is £1,700.

This year my son will see no in­crease.

Ap­par­ently that is also true of West­min­is­ter and other Lon­don bor­oughs, de­spite the fact that the prop­erty val­ues far ex­ceed com­pa­ra­ble prop­erty in this area.

What are we ac­tu­ally re­ceiv­ing for th­ese huge monthly amounts?

The roads are a sham­bles and have been patched up for years to the point that avoid­ing pot­holes in or­der not to dam­age one’s car is an ev­ery­day oc­cur­rence in Rossendale at the risk of caus­ing an ac­ci­dent.

Those of us with gar­dens have also been asked for a fur­ther £35 per year for the priv­i­lege of hav­ing our brown bins emp­tied.

How much has this raised for the cof­fers I wonder?

I can­not re­mem­ber when I last saw a po­lice­man ac­tu­ally walk­ing around Rawten­stall and as far as I am aware, there is no pub­lic counter in the po­lice sta­tion in Water­foot any­more and yet we are be­ing asked to pay in­creases for po­lice ser­vices.

Were it not for the ster­ling job of Civic Pride I shud­der to think what Rossendale would be­come.

They may re­ceive a grant from the coun­cil but th­ese vol­un­teers must have saved an aw­ful lot of money by their tire­less ef­forts and in­deed have im­proved the green spa­ces far more than the coun­cil ever did.

I would like to see ev­ery­one refuse to pay this in­crease and can­cel their di­rect deb­its in­stead of just meekly ac­cept­ing the fact that Rossendale has one of the high­est rates of tax in Lan­cashire and we res­i­dents have only the choice of pay­ing up or mov­ing on. Mrs Eluned Trick­ett Burn­ley Road Craw­shaw­booth

TOWN CEN­TRES GET­TING BET­TER

THIS is an open let­ter to the Scrib­bler, and is in re­sponse to a col­umn he wrote a cou­ple of weeks ago.

In the col­umn he called for po­lit­i­cal par­ties to work to­gether in the best in­ter­ests of Rossendale res­i­dents and asked why the plan­ning pro­posal for phase two of Rawten­stall re­de­vel­op­ment was not be­ing more pos­i­tively re­ceived.

I agree ab­so­lutely with both points – lo­cal pol­i­tics should prin­ci­pally be about our lo­cal area, and yes the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion should have been wel­comed across the board, so why wasn’t it?

For those who do not re­mem­ber, back in 2011 when Labour first took up the lead­er­ship of the coun­cil we in­her­ited a fairly bleak set of chal­lenges. In Rawten­stall we had a very poor 40-year-old bus sta­tion that had been put up tem­po­rar­ily.

There was the prom­ise of a new bus sta­tion from the county coun­cil, if we could find a site to build it – the ex­ist­ing site was not ac­cept­able to LCC, and they had been look­ing for many years. There was also a derelict, boarded up shop­ping cen­tre and a empty, dis­used town hall.

The town hall had been empty for at least six years and the coun­cil were still pay­ing rates on the build­ing.

Our other town cen­tres were also in a poor state. Our elec­tion cam­paign prom­ise was a sim­ple one, if elected we would do some­thing about our ne­glected, once proud town cen­tres, and de­spite cen­tral gov­ern­ment cuts amount­ing to over £4m a year we have stuck to that prom­ise.

Bacup is ben­e­fit­ing from Town Her­itage Ini­tia­tive fund­ing of over £2m; the re­de­vel­op­ment in Rawten­stall will amount to at least £15m by the time we have fin­ished, and we are wait­ing to hear about an­other her­itage lot­tery bid of £2m for Hasling­den.

I think even our big­gest crit­ics would agree that we are be­gin­ning to see our town cen­tres lift as a con­se­quence of some of this work. We are not, how­ever, com­pla­cent. We know there is still a lot to do and we are de­ter­mined to keep on draw­ing in­vest­ment into the val­ley.

So why are we not cel­e­brat­ing this? I think the an­swer lies in the lack of lead­er­ship by lo­cal Tories on the coun­cil, and a be­lief that their job is purely to crit­i­cise ev­ery­thing we do and ev­ery­thing we say. I think many of your read­ers will be sur­prised to hear that they are ac­tu­ally in favour of the Spin­ning Point de­vel­op­ment but you wouldn’t think so from their ac­tions.

In prepa­ra­tion for last week’s plan­ning meet­ing I looked at the 2007 plan­ning per­mis­sion that was granted for the site but never acted upon. Look­ing back, the pro­posal was aw­ful – 116 flats, and sev­eral storeys of shops, and high rise park­ing fa­cil­i­ties. It com­pares very poorly to the scheme that has just been ap­proved. De­spite this I spoke in favour of the ap­pli­ca­tion at the time, as leader of the op­po­si­tion. I did this be­cause on the whole I thought the de­vel­op­ment would be good for the town. Sadly no such sup­port from the op­po­si­tion this time – de­spite the fact that they sup­port the scheme. In fact their mem­bers on the plan­ning com­mit­tee voted against it.

The prob­lem is that they are such a dis­parate group who in the main strug­gle to agree with each other, let alone have the ma­tu­rity and sense of pur­pose to work ef­fec­tively with oth­ers.

I say this as some­one who works well with coun­cil lead­ers from all par­ties across Lan­cashire.

They also lack any real ideas of their own, pre­fer­ring in­stead to hitch their wagons to the lat­est cam­paign be­ing run by so­cial me­dia groups. Groups of­ten run by ex-Tory coun­cil­lors, who are so keen to dis­credit the Labour Group gen­er­ally and me in par­tic­u­lar that they reg­u­larly risk throw­ing to baby out with the bath water.

When I was first elected to the coun­cil in 1999, all I re­mem­ber hear­ing about was the cob­bles on Bank Street and how ter­ri­ble they were. I am put in mind of this now as we try to im­prove fa­cil­i­ties for lo­cal res­i­dents and traders alike. I would urge all those in­ter­ested in our town cen­tres to em­brace the op­por­tu­ni­ties that are be­ing pre­sented and to work for the ben­e­fit of the bor­ough, and not to fight against per­fectly rea­son­able pro­pos­als just to make a po­lit­i­cal point. Alyson Barnes Rossendale’s Labour coun­cil leader

SPEED HUMPS RE­DUN­DANT

COULD I just make a com­ment on your ar­ti­cle re­gard­ing the lack of speed cam­eras in Rawten­stall.

I would like to say that th­ese are NOT needed any longer, as the state of the roads de­ter­mine the speed of all road users.

This is be­com­ing a com­plete joke, we spend more time look­ing at the roads to avoid pot holes than we ac­tu­ally do at our speedome­ters.

We have speed humps on Hall Carr...NO NEED, as the pot­holes keep ev­ery­one on their toes.

Although some im­prove­ments have been com­pleted, I am re­fer­ring to the pedes­trian/dis­abled ramps in­stalled on the Hall Carr Es­tate, I am un­sure how we have man­aged with­out th­ese over the last 50 plus years...some are that steep to ac­cess, you would think that they are a sec­ondary ad­di­tion to the Ski Slope!

I per­son­ally would have thought that the time, ef­fort and money would have pos­si­bly been bet­ter used in fix­ing the state of the lo­cal roads. In some cases it can only be de­scribed as pos­si­bly try­ing to drive a ve­hi­cle over a bat­tle­field.

Maybe in time and through new tech­no­log­i­cal break­throughs, satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion may high­light th­ese craters, as yet not vis­i­ble from space.

This is ob­vi­ously my opin­ion, oth­ers may not agree. Mr A. Thorn­ton via email

GRATE­FUL FOR FALL HELP

MAY I through your news­pa­per thank the var­i­ous helpers who came to my aid when I had a fall in Kay Street, Rawten­stall, on Tuesday, April 3.

First, the gen­tle­man who rang for med­i­cal help, then the para­medic who came along to make sure I was al­right. The post­mas­ter and his staff who helped me to draw my pen­sion and the gen­tle­man who gave me a lift home in his car.

I am most grate­ful to all of th­ese. There are still a lot of peo­ple who care. Mr D. Dono­van via email

DO­NA­TIONS SO GEN­ER­OUS

ON be­half of the fundrais­ing com­mit­tee of RNLI Rawten­stall we would like to thank the man­age­ment and staff of Tesco, Asda and B&M re­tail in the town for al­low­ing us to take col­lec­tions in their stores over the course of the last year. We are de­lighted with the re­sult of th­ese col­lec­tions, hav­ing raised the sum of £2,722.

This would not be pos­si­ble with­out the gen­eros­ity of the Rossendale pub­lic and the will­ing­ness of our friends in help­ing us col­lect those do­na­tions. Mar­jorie Walsh Trea­surer RNLI

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