Another candidate for Stalybridge and Hyde interviewed by Saddleworth News is the Tory Rob Adlard. As you'd expect, our interest lies with what he has to say about the Bypass, and once again, we've produced an mp3 from the edited interview and have also transcribed it - both of these appear below.
As with Jonny Reynolds, there appears to be precious little comment from Adlard about the Bypass in other media. Even his own website's transport policy section has no specific mention of the Bypass. So Saddleworth News has done a good job of dragging what little these politicians have to say about the issue out of them.
And what does he say? Well, he's definitely for a bypass, although most of the time is spent attacking Roy Oldham's failure to deliver the road, which is in tune with the approach taken by Longdendale Conservatives. But his words about the 'majority' wanting a bypass concur with the perorations of other politicians - i.e. uninformed and without presenting any empirical evidence to support this assertion.
Adlard's record on the matter also speaks for itself: he did not write to the Public Inquiry to support the Bypass, nor schedule an appearance to speak in favour at said enquiry. You could say he's shown absolutely no interest in the matter, other than to play political football with it at election time: the same could be said of the Tory candidate for Longdendale Peter Hayes (whose fence-sitting blather about the bypass can be read here) - another one who thought the issue was so crucial to the people in the area that he decided not to register an opinion at the Public Inquiry. It's called having your cake and eating it.
Still, in a constituency that's been Labour since 1945 it's unlikely Adlard and Co. will ever get to the main course.
Now one other erm issue that's important locally is erm the issue of the Bypass which is one that's erm rumbled on for a long time? Where do you stand on that?Adlard:
It's an interesting and enormous issue, I mean, erm, you know it's something that's been going on for 30 years and it certainly divides the community here, erm - the majority of people want to have some kind of bypass. Erm, the village just up the road from me, Mottram, is absolutely split in two, er, by the problem with the roads right now and they're very upset about it - the majority of people up there want it, apart from the people who live on the outskirts, on the more sort of - erm - rural feeling, areas and they're very much more against it, er, and to be honest there are good arguments on either side.
When I started, erm, having a role to play in politics in this area, started to research, er, again the beginnings of the bypass and all the things that had gone on, we started by having a campaign to trying to get, erm, Roy Oldham the Council leader here to be more open and we were calling for more honesty erm on the issue, and use that as a starting point, and it was interesting when we began to do that, and we found that y'know there was a sort of spike in activity and promises about the bypass at election times. Recently he's just been holding -erm - consultations across all the villages in Longdendale, erm, y'know it's very very close to an election time er after the scheme fell through and he claims that it was because the Highways Agency, you know, withdrew the money and it was all their fault, and all the rest of it, and it was to do with the environmental campaigners, and it's not: I mean he never really had an argument to satisfy the environmental campaigners and just, you know, treated them as if they didn't have a point to make, and they clearly did have a point to make because, er, a lot of people were upset about that and it did cause ructions, but actually, that wasn't what stopped it. What stopped it was that the Highways Agency said it had the least strategic fit, it was the least suitable plan, the least well thought out plan, and the money went elsewhere, to other road schemes.
So, we need to start again, I think we need to look at it, erm, again from scratch - the scheme that Roy Oldham's proposing right now, we just shift the problem a little bit further down the road, away from his house in Mottram, and down into Hollingworth.