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⌚What time will you vote? (Polls Opens 7am until 11pm)

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🔶🗳 Vote Liberal Democrat on both ballots (you have 2 votes in these elections) look for the bird on the ballot papers


You can hand your completed Postal Vote in at any polling station in Rochdale between 7am and 10pm today

Have you got your postal vote?

Dear Friends,

A quick reminder – if you have received your Postal Vote, don’t forget to post it back soon.

Postal voting instructions

People who applied for a postal vote in the last month or so, or specifically for this election, are due to receive their ballot from today. It’s especially important to get these ones in the post quickly to make sure they get back in time to be counted.

Thank you for all the positive email messages of support I’ve been receiving. People seem to really appreciate the hard work that the Lib Dem team and I do in the local community. They appreciate the fact that we are active in the local community all year round – we don’t just show up at election times like the other parties.

Don’t forget – Voting for any other party just helps Labour elect another town hall yes man to win round here.

Above all, don’t forget that in a local election the most important thing is getting a local person who people can rely on to speak up for this area. I’ve been touched to hear more and more people saying that’s why they’re voting for me this time.

With best wishes – and thankyou.

Mark Alcock

Liberal Democrat Candidate for HEALEY WARD

P.S. If you have any questions about the election, please get in touch. Don’t forget, it will be very close between me and the Labour yes man – so make sure your vote counts!

Mark Alcock Healey Ward Liberal Democrat Candidate/Campaigner

Hello, my name is Mark Alcock, I am 60 years old and live in Bay Street, Rochdale with my wife and our two cats. I’ve attended school, college and university, where I studied both information technology and as a teacher. I have three daughters (including twins) and four grandchildren, one of whom is autistic. I’m proud to have been selected to represent the residents of Healey Ward by Rochdale Liberal Democrats.

I have gained a vast wealth of experience as a councillor and I have helped thousands of residents having served eight years on Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council – holding the environment & infrastructure portfolio and as a parish councillor on Shaw and Crompton parish council. Prior to that, I lived and served served for eight years on South Ribble Borough Council and Farington Parish Council. I have also served on Greater Manchester Police Authority as a representative, getting more police funding to the areas I represented.

My youngest daughter is a qualified midwife, my sister in law, is a ward supervisor and my brother in law, a consultant surgeon. With this much NHS experience close to hand, I have inside knowledge of the problems at our hospitals and I will work to make sure that all our residents get the services and health facilities that Healey area needs area needs.

I have had a varied work history, working in a variety of jobs from farming, milkman, wagon driver, cleaner, forklift driver, miller and driller, shop manager, sales rep, IT trainer, and production worker and lately selling Sky TV. You will see me out and about at the  Arndale and the Arcades in Ashton amongst other places!

When I’m not working, I like to spend my limited spare time with my wife, my daughters, my grandchildren, and tending my allotment and watching sport

I am not a career politician, I have had a good mix of the real challenges that many of the people living in Healey have encountered. This includes the stressful process of being made redundant more than once. I believes that these experiences help me when he represents the people of Healey who put their trust in him.

                            Mark’s Manifesto for Healey Ward
I am already working and will continue to work improve our area by:
Reversing the Labour councils plans to build on our Greenfields
Getting potholes filled across our area
Having rubbish and fly tipping removed both on our streets and countryside 
Working to stop bikers and off road vehicles damaging our wonderful countryside
Stopping speeding traffic in several locations
Alleviating flooding in numerous areas
Working to get more places and resources at our local schools
Protecting of the green belt  across our area
Listening to people’s concerns and issues
Advising and assisting with school appeals
Assisting with planning issues and advice 
Supporting constituents with housing and homelessness problems
Helping with council tax issues
Clamping down on dog fouling and stray dogs

If I can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to email me: [email protected]

Twitter: [email protected]

Facebook : HealeyLiberalDemocrats

Or write to me at: Mark Alcock, 31 Bay Street, Rochdale , OL12 0EA

New Friends group launched for Syke and Cronkeyshaw Commons

Cronkeyshaw Common from Further Heights Road

Reproduced from Rochdale Online: Date published: 10 April 2021

A group of residents have formed a new Friends group to promote, protect and enhance green spaces in Syke and Cronkeyshaw.

The group was founded at a meeting in March when 10 residents, supported by two ward councillors, came together to discuss ways of maintaining and enhancing the natural beauty of the area.

At the meeting, the new friends agreed the scope would include Limersgate from Iron Waters Bridge to the common and across the common to Heights Lane.

It also includes the entirety of the common (and the pond) from Syke Chapel to Heights Lane. Finally, the scope includes Syke Wood and the Joy Street Greenway.

The aims of the group, named Friends of Syke and Cronkeyshaw (FOSAC), include:

  • To provide opportunities for community members to maintain and enhance the natural beauty of the area
  • To promote the care and improvement of existing and historic features within the area; making them safe, welcoming, accessible and enjoyable for all, now and in the future

A new committee was elected. Tricia Ayrton was elected chair, Julie Clarke, secretary and Stuart Bromley, treasurer.

The pond on Syke Common. Photo: Google, DigitalGlobe

Immediate plans include working closely with Rochdale Council, Healey Ward Forum and wider partners to develop long terms plans, bring in funding to complete projects and organise community events such as litter picks.

Tricia said: “We are blessed with so many beautiful spots around the area which are well loved and well used by the community; we can really be proud of them.

“As local residents, we wanted to come together see what we could do to promote, protect and enhance these areas of beautiful spaces. We hope to build a real buzz around the group and our green spaces.

“Clearly everyone has had a terrible time in the last 12 months so it is nice to look at doing something positive, which I hope to bring the community together.”


Dear Friends,

If you are registered to vote you should have received a letter from Rochdale Council this week confirming who is registered to vote at your house. Please do double check your post – the letter will not be addressed to you by name – it will say ‘The Occupier’ along with your address.

Check the details in the letter carefully and contact the council if any details are incorrect or incomplete. You will find details of how to do this in the letter.

If you are not already registered to vote by post, you should also find postal voting registration forms in the envelope along with a pre-paid envelope.

While we are slowly moving out of Lockdown and restrictions will reduce in the coming weeks and months; many voters around the Borough are registering for a postal vote to ensure that they can vote safely and conveniently. Simply complete the postal voting forms for each registered voter in your household and return them to Rochdale Council in the pre-paid envelope to ensure you can vote safely.

If you didn’t get postal voting forms included in the letter, you can download them here.

If you are not currently registered to vote, you can do that here. It takes about five minutes. But do hurry – last date to register so that you can vote in this years local elections is 19th April 2021.

It is expected that new voter registrations will be high this year – so registering early should ensure that you will be able to vote on 6th May.

Take care
Mark Alcock


It’s around this time of year Mark Alcock and your Local Liberal Democrats would normally be out delivering our Annual Survey – but this is not a normal year. For 2021 we have created a 100% online survey for you. Your opinion really matters to Mark and your local Lib Dems – please take a few moments to complete the survey by clicking on the link below.

Thank you


Mark’s Annual Survey

Come On Boris! Don’t Leave Us Dangling!

Local Lib Dems urge prime minister to decide on May elections as soon as possible.

Rochdale Lib Dems Spokesperson on Westminster Mark Alcock has written to the Prime Minister asking for decisive action on this years elections planned for 6th May. “It is exactly 100 days until the polls are scheduled to open for the biggest set of elections all on one day since 1973.”said Alcock “Local Council, Greater Manchester Mayoral, By-Elections, Police and Crime Commissioners, Scottish Parliamentary, Welsh Parliamentary and London Assembly are all due up on the same day.”

Rochdale Council Chamber

Rochdale Council Chamber

Alcock goes on to say “Boris Johnson has a track record of not making the big decisions on time, leaving it until the last minute and then presenting the hard choice as the only thing that can be done. There are hundreds and thousands of candidates, campaigners, local authority staff and volunteers who are waiting to hear whether the elections will be postponed again or not. Leaving the decision until the eleventh hour doesn’t help anyone and could cost the public purse a massive waste of money.”

Party Rosettes

Will You Get To Chose In May?

Following the postponement of the 2020 elections there will be a minimum of a 2 year break since people were last able to exercise their democratic rights. Another postponement would lead to an even bigger backlog of elections. In addition to which, some elected officials will have retired, moved away or will no longer be eligible to stand. “Time is running out fast.” concluded Alcock.

“Either give the green light so everyone can make appropriate arrangements or set a new date so that reasonable and proper adjustments can be made. Just don’t leave it til the last minute Boris!”

Mark Alcock (Healey Liberal Democrats)

Mark Alcock, Westminster Spokesperson

Rochdale, Heywood & Middleton Liberal Democrats

Holocaust Memorial Day

Mark Alcock speaking about the importance of Holocaust Memorial Day, he said, ‘after visiting Berger Belson some years ago and seeing the horrors committed by the Nazi’s I believe that it is important that we never forget the Holocaust and these services are a good way to remind people and remember the millions of people murdered and the survivors who suffer on a daily basis from the horrors they endured’.

The £30 Shop, Beth Shows How It Should Be Done

Working Mum, Beth Kitchen, Accepts The £30 Shop Challenge:

‘I decided after seeing all the food packages that the government thought were acceptable, that I would see how much food I could actually get for £30.

Government food parcel

The infamous Government ‘Food Hamper’

I have been in circumstances myself a couple of times in my life where I had to do my weekly shop on just £10 a week, providing for myself and my 2 children. Living on a budget is hard, and people don’t realise what it is like to chose between foods that you would think aren’t a luxury, more of a necessity, so that you don’t over spend the £10 you have. You have to adapt – learn tricks and it encouraged me to try new foods and develop my skills in the kitchen. And even now I am ok for money, I am still in habits that means if I can save money, I will.

I am now in a position, where I can buy my own shop and a £30 shop for someone else. So why not.? I may need the support someday, you never know when the tables may turn.

I was also infuriated by the stereotype accusations that were being made about the families who were accessing the food vouchers and also food banks. The families are in need. They are not “families who have been on benefits all their lives”.

A lot of the people asking for support, are frontline care workers, nurses, teaching assistants – who have contracted COVID and have subsequently got long COVID, meaning they are unable to work. Or families who have been stable for years, but all incomes have stopped due to redundancies.

Myself, I have worked since I was 16 and I have a good career, yet I have had weeks where I found myself with one £10 note in my purse.

Beth with the £30 Shop (Beth Kitchen)

I wanted to help and show that, using my past experience, you can buy a lot of food for the £30 and it can be balanced and nutritious. My aim was to fill a families cupboards, so where I have brought 5 bags of pasta (3 being wholewheat), on a weekly basis you wouldn’t buy this. Instead you would add a bag of carrots, a bag of potatoes, eggs, milk and maybe some meat. I used to buy meat with the yellow stickers “ooopsie” on and freeze. If I couldn’t afford meat I would replace it with a cheaper protein alternative such as lentils that are 53p a bag.

However, the other fact that you need to think about, is that some of these families do not own or can not afford to run and fridge and freezer. They may not have a hob, just a microwave or kettle.

All the food I purchased can be cooked in the most simple ways, but having a tasty and balanced meal.

I have also been following master chef winner, Simon Wood and his journey in helping families cook simple, budget meals which are on his Instagram and the hashtag #feedingfamiliesfor30. He has also set up a website, which has all the recipes and videos on to show people how to cook them.

My daughter, who is 6, loves cooking and often cooks meals for us. She has made many meals using 3 or 4 ingredients with minimal cooking prep. Some of her favourites are cheats carbonara, which is spaghetti, soft cheese and wafer thin ham. This works out as £1.70 for all these ingredients, and you won’t use all of these in that one meal. You would then maybe make cauliflower cheese with the left over soft cheese and lentil spaghetti bolognese with the left over spaghetti.

Another favourite is chicken pie. This can all be done with a microwave and kettle – simply defrost the frozen chicken strips In the microwave, add a tin of chicken soup, and add on top some smash (add some butter into it if you are able) or sliced cooked potatoes or ready roll pastry; pop in the oven and serve with some tinned peas.

I ordered my food shop to a click and collect service, and decided I would donate it to my local village food bank “milnrow pantry”. I love my community and I am always keen to help out and get involved in community projects. “Milnrow pantry” had only been open a couple of weeks and I thought I would share my photo of all the food and challenge people on Facebook to see if they could beat me, and then donate the food to local food banks.

I spent £30 and got 49 items for this, these items should feed a family of 4 for over 2 weeks.

The £30 Shop (Beth Kitchen)

Beth’s £30 Shop

Myself and my friends are very competitive, but they also know I am very thrifty with my money, so I am excited to see if anyone beats me. But more importantly, the challenge will result in families in need, being able to have one of the basic needs in life – food.

I would encourage anyone to try the challenge but if you can’t afford £30, try seeing what you can buy on £10 or £20, or even why not see if you can buy a “meal kit” for £2. It is still 1 meal for a family who may have gone without. It doesn’t have to be weekly, just whenever you can, maybe on payday’.

Take a photo and use the hashtags #feedingfamiliesfor30

FRACK FREE Kirkholt, Balderstone and Rochdale

Date published: 20 December 2018 – Rochdale Online


An anti-fracking campaign has been launched by local Liberal Democrats.

Lib Dem campaigns officer for Balderstone and Kirkholt, Mark Alcock, and the party launched the campaign – FRACK FREE Kirkholt, Balderstone and Rochdale – after becoming aware a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence had been granted.

Hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – is a process used to extract gas locked in rock formations thousands of metres below the Earth’s surface.

A mixture of chemicals, sand and water is injected deep underground at high pressure to fracture the rocks and release shale gas: this can happen anywhere in the licence area.

The controversial process has been linked to earthquakes, groundwater pollution, and gas and chemical leaks, amongst other detrimental effects, such as the wells used blighting the environment.


Licence 269 (shown in green) allows the exploration of shale gas (blue)
Licence 269 (shown in green) allows the exploration of shale gas (blue)


A Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) to explore the ‘SD81’ block of land under Whitworth, Norden, Heywood, Castleton and the majority of Rochdale, including Balderstone and Kirkholt,) was granted in September 2016.

PEDLs grant exclusivity to the licence owner – oil and gas exploration & production company Hutton Energy PLC Ltd, and their equity holders, Coronation (Oil and Gas) Ltd – to allow them to explore and extract hydrocarbons (including shale gas, shown in blue on the map) until 2049.

The licence itself does not grant automatic permission for investigative operations.

Planning permission and environmental permits must be given before any drilling, fracking or production can take place.

Mr Alcock said: “We can’t let the government and the fracking industry just walk into our area and start fracking with all the issues that causes.

“I have real concerns that fracking will have detrimental effects, but I’ve been accused of being a ‘nimby’ for opposing fracking in our area.”

He added: “Shale gas is neither needed nor wanted. The UK government’s commitment to go all out for shale gas and impose this on the people of Kirkholt, Balderstone and Rochdale is wrong and particularly to impose the risks on the people in our area, is nothing short of crazy.

“I believe that local people fighting fracking have well-founded concerns for our health and our local environment, based on evidence from countries like the US and Australia.

“The French and Bulgarian Governments and the US state of Vermont have banned it, the National Trust has a presumption against it on National Trust land, and the United Nations Environment Program says even if fracking is done properly, it may cause unavoidable environmental impacts.”

Leader of the Lib Dems, Councillor Andy Kelly has fully backed the local campaign, saying: “It’s just wrong that fracking is being imposed on our area without the public having a say in it.”

John Searle, Director of Economy at Rochdale Borough Council said: “In common with other Greater Manchester Councils, policy regarding the determination of planning applications for mineral or other exploration is set out within the Greater Manchester Minerals Plan and is not contained within the council’s own development plan.

“To date there have been no planning applications submitted for the purposes of fracking or exploratory drilling within the borough.

“However, any planning applications would be advertised widely and would be dealt with in accordance with relevant local and national planning policies applicable at that time.”

Councillor Kelly is also to ask the leader of Rochdale Borough Council, Allen Brett, what he thinks of a report that Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) is investing £1 billion in fracking and fossil fuel companies.

The GMPF is the UK’s biggest local authority pension fund and has over £1.2 billion directly invested in fossil fuel companies that engage in fracking, coal mining and oil and gas extraction.

The Fund’s annual report showed that they invested in Schlumberger Holdings, the company drilling for shale gas on behalf of Cuadrilla in Lancashire.

Councillor Kelly added: “I think this is unethical as the council should not be investing in these controversial industries: this could also put the council in conflict if it was to oppose any fracking applications that come forward for our area.

“You can’t be investing in fracking and opposing it at the same time.”

At Cuadrilla’s site on the Fylde coast, where fracking for shale started for the first time in seven years on 15 October, reports of over 30 earth tremors measuring up to 1.1 on the Richter scale occurred within the first 14 days.

On 11 December, nine tremors were detected at the same site within 90 minutes, with the largest tremor measuring a magnitude of 1.5, the largest detected at the site since monitoring began, according to the BGS database.

Addressing the tremors, a spokesperson for Cuadrilla said: “This occurred after hydraulic fracturing had finished for the day. According to recent research by the University of Liverpool, the impact [of the 1.5 tremor] would be like dropping a melon.

“Micro seismic events such as these result in tiny movements that are way below anything that would be felt at surface, much less cause any harm or damage. Without the sophisticated monitoring in place at Cuadrilla, they would not be detected.”

Cuadrilla paused and continued to monitor micro seismicity for at least the next 18 hours, in line with regulations. Well integrity was checked and verified.

Hutton Energy and the Greater Manchester Pensions Fund have been contacted for comment.

RIP Shirley Williams

Shirley William’s was a remarkable Lady, every time I met this her she inspired me with her wisdom and her passion to help others and make a difference.

This has inspired me to help the thousands of residents in the communities that I have been a Councillor for some 20+ years.

For me Shirley was so dedicated and passionate about helping others, and such a lovely caring person, you will be sorely missed

RIP My thoughts are with Shirley’s family and friends