The £350 million "field of dreams" that has become a failed muddy field of nightmares.
They built it, but no-one has really turned up. Until last week when about 60 travellers wanted to pitch their caravans on the cavernous white elephant part funded by European Regional Aid cash and shedloads of grant money trousered by the Rochdale Development (sic) Agency.
Tens of millions of cash spent on levelling hundreds of acres accessed by empty roads.
Take a visit to see where your money has gone. You will feel like you are on the film set of '28 Days Later' or 'Omega Man'. If you are lucky, you might even see an overpaid suited RDA zombie or PR Agent staggering around chanting about "exciting times".
..."This is where the hotel was going to be before they pulled out", "JD Sports are very interested -if the price is right (and the jobs can be moved from Heywood)"...
With tumbleweed blowing past the "Marketing Suite" it is no wonder Travelling Folk had a go at camping on the massive empty site. It is a lovely, very quiet site, just off the motorway.
In today's Rochdale Observer, poor PR Paul Rowen as current "Liberal" MP came out with a raft of kneejerk soundbites bordering on the racist about the "traveller invasion".
Hats off to the Ob for their private joke. Beside the article is a huge photo of a ruddy faced Rowen with the words:
" 'Disgrace' : Paul Rowen MP".
A disgrace indeed. Several months on, "Banana Boy" still hasn't explained where his double bubble Councillor expenses went to. And there remains a huge black hole in Rochdale Lib Dem Party income and expenditure.
The current Rochdale MP's soundbites are another example of a split personality desperate for votes: Devout and Pro-Palestine yet beer swilling "In-ger-land" stout pub defender. An apparent generous donor (with public council expenses) to "Catholic charities yet behind the scenes someone who is trying to get a local Parish Priest "moved on".
PR Paul really does try to bat for both sides.
Local "Born and Bred" politicians love a bit of Gypsy bashing.
Given his own celtic roots and his employment, at huge public expense, of Dave Hennigan, one would think Paul Rowen would be more understanding of itinerant folk, of Irish descent, with no accountable means of support and varied abode?
Leader of the council Alan Taylor braved the chilly weather to join Paul Rowen in "slamming" the "disgraceful" travellers and doing "everything possible to ensure they move on".
The travellers were seen on a number of empty "bombsites" in Rochdale.
There are now quite a few in the borough.
Rumour is the travellers have a copy of the glossy brouchure from gold plated turd polishers - the Rochdale Development Agency. The impressive tome is called the "Renaissance Masterplan". Although full of "exciting regeneration aspirations" the sites that the RDA have got involved in usually turn into expensive muddy fields.
It seems everything this hugely expensive qualgo touches turns to shite. Perhaps John Hudson and the other grossly overpaid executives who waste public money could do with is some lucky heather.
Or do we all need some clothes pegs? Because the waste and mismanagement of Rochdale Council strategic planners and the RDA is starting to stink.
So, if the Travellers know about the other failed projects that have been 'touched' by the RDA 'magic', watch out for caravans in: Rochdale Town Centre, the old Akzo Chimical Works, old Birch Hill hospital, the failed Artisan/Barrett social housing project on the old Dale Mill site off Albert Royds street, the old Whipp and Bourne site in Castleton...
Those who love our town are sick of hearing lame soundbites from dodgy politicians that dare not scrutinise or challenge the real damage done to Rochdale by the inept, unaccountable, vain and grossly costly failure of town planning and "regeneration" .
The last word about the failure of the RDA and Rochdale Council should go to an unnamed spokesman for the Travelling Community:
"Wherever they go they leave a mess.
It is the taxpayer who has to foot the bill for the shite they leave everywhere.
They cost this town a fortune.
There are supposed to be laws to control this lot.
Can't they just bugger off and do their criminal shenanighans in another local authority ?
Half-finished building projects before disappearing with huge wads of cash?
They are just leaches on society -and have you seen the vehicles they drive?!"