Monday, 1 February 2010

Greg Couzens - Rochdale's "Finance Boss" who can't add up?

Last Saturday's BBC North West Tonight reported on Rochdale Town Centre.
Questions were raised about our town's regeneration.
So who spoke on behalf of Rochdale Council?

Chief Executive, Top of the Regeneration Game - £140,000 a year Roger Ellis?
Leader of Rochdale Council - Cllr Irene Davidson?
Elusive portfolio holder for Regeneration - Cllr Mohammad Sharif?

Instead, we were treated to 'ambitious' Gregory Couzens- self styled "Finance Boss" of Rochdale Council.

Greg was emphatic in his dismissal of a crisis on our High Streets.

The usual shameless nonsense about jam tomorrow and "exciting regeneration" was dished out.

But there was mention of only 14 empty shops.

only 14 empty shops?

Does our town have a "Finance Boss" who can't count?

Or does he just cross his fingers when talking to the camera from a script prepared by Paul Rowen and Roger Ellis?

Greg, what planet are you on? - pictures can tell a thousands words.

Below are some photographs of the empty shops and businesses in Rochdale Town Centre.

Start from 142a/144 Drake Street- the Rochdale Lib Dem HQ with mysterious funding arrangements.

Move down Drake Street past the rubble where MFI and Focus DIY used to be... Take a walk around sometime Greg. Let's see if you can count. Turning a blind eye to this won't help our town. These are some of the EMPTY businesses . Far more than "only 14" empty businesses next to the phone, pound and charity shops. How can Greg have missed these?

Rochdale deserves much better than expensive spin and brainless propaganda from RMBC and the RDA.

Greg - next time you want to be 'economical' - please don't do it with the facts about our town.
The only way to sort this mess out is recognise there is a problem.
We are not being 'negative' about the town we love - just realistic.
The rot must stop NOW.


Anonymous said...

I saw it on Saturday too. Greg was lying through his teeth and everyone in Rochdale knows it. Why do the Council keep putting him in front of a camera? Is it because he's the best liar of them all?

Harry the Hamster said...

In a nutshell, yes.

Even though there is a bit of the creepy Zoolander 80's stuff going on at least he can string a prepared sentence together. But watch the footage again - he is wincing like he has piles.

There are some OK Lib Dems but they keep falling put with each other.

Too many deviant, squabbling, neer'do well wrong uns for any proper progress for our town.

Who gave Greg the statistics to sprout? Will we ever get a straight answer to that?

If someone has been reckless with the truth and is paid for from the public purse then they need the boot.

Not the golden welly boot but the one that Dale Mulgrew keeps for Alan Taylor and Council Care Home staff - the P45 boot.

Where did Greg get his dodgy dossier from?

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, of the shops that are open, most of them aren't worth visiting and about half of the businesses on Drake Street are kebab houses or similar.

I know we are in a recession and I know that other towns are struggling but Rochdale council as ever places the telescope to its blind eye and professes to see nothing wrong. In fact if you read some of the stuff being published on and offline, it paints a picture of the town almost at the cutting edge, thrusting to take its rightful place in the world. As if...

Rochdale is a crap-hole whose potential has long been frittered away by squabbling politicians, small-minded businessmen and a reluctance to look in the mirror.

All together now, "Sally, Sally. Pride of our alley..."

mole said...

why is there going to be £70,000,000 spent on moving 2000 staff to a new council office block by the River Roch?

Who is going to benefit from the sale of council assets to fund it?

Who is going to benefit from the "feasibility" studies and "project facilitation" for this costly move?

Who will pay when there are cost overruns and huge problems as a result of a botched project?

If Cllr Couzens tells lies about the number of empty shops in Rochdale then do you think they will ever come clean about any mismanagement, fraud, corruption and mistakes?

You have been warned.

Do something before it is too late.

mole said...

Fast food take aways, pound shops, phone shops and charity shops.

Hardly a business model that will draw inward investment.

A Metrolink that will actually take people away from Rochdale.

RMBC and thr RDA are a busted flush - their last desperate deal is to use public money to attempt a jumpstart of regeneration. Private money won't touch Rochdale -that is why there was no proper competition to find a town centre regenerator. RegenR8 were the only ones who bid.

Check out any deals that got them to the table? Does it all check out?

If public money has been used inproperly then we should know. There should be an investgation. Any proven wrong doing should be punished.

How many CV's have been emailed from RMBC and RDA recently?

Rats and sinking ships come to mind.

Anonymous said...

Greg Couzens has told lies.

Anonymous said...

A finance boss that cannot count and a finance boss that oversees phantom 100k jobs. Nice one Greg. Get back to cutting hair! Your out of your depth.

As Porno said in the run up to the leadership contest, Greg you are "still a little wet behind the ears”.

Ugandan Bananas said...

No mention on the Rochdale-on-whine forum about Greg Couzen's performance.

In fact its not even a news item - but strangely, the launch of a newspaper (which can't be in the commercial interests of Rochdale Online), is given free publicity. Very odd.

Didn't see Greg's performance - can someone put it on Youtube please?

£150k Casper said...

no doubt it will be on Youtube next to the zolander and "comical ali" vidz

100k council 'ghost' job?

thought was 150k

no senior exe not worth their salt would get out of bed for less than 2 grand a week.

Anonymous said...

What Couzens really should have done is taken the opportunity on regional telly to put the boot in to his own town. Talk it down a bit more. These egos with their fancy ideas of being ambassadors for the place, trying to attract investors and shoppers. Who do they think they are?

And what a bloody nonsense knocking down a crumbling uneconomical black box that costs millions a year in repairs to be replaced with a new one that'll save tens of millions, create much needed community and business space, rid the town of its towering icon of black shite once and for all and replace it with a cutting edge focal point for economic regeneration.

Don't they understand we actually like this shit to wallow in?

As well as encouraging them to pull the plug on the metro, while we're at it, let's block up the motorway junctions so noone can get out. So what they can't get in either, who needs them.


Its a Squatters Paradise in Rochdale!!

Since no-one in RMBC has shown the slightest interest in doing anything with these buildings we at The Tooting Popular Front intend to launch a Rochdale Branch ...The RPF - Rochdale Popular Front - we're sending out invites to our brothers & sisters in the International Squatters Movement advertising Rochdale as been empty property rich with a Council so inept it does no its eviction notice from stautory notice too quit.

If they are as incompetent in the legal department as they are in the finance department your average crustie will be able to run circles round the local RMBC rednecks with one hand on his special brew and the other on a piece of string with a dog on.

Wofie has of course already identified THE CITIZEN as prime site for Party Headquarters ...


Dave is back said...

Hello Anon 14:11 - good to see you are feeling better Dave.

Still eating nails and shitting corkscrews I see.

"Postive campaigning"? - Dave Hennigan now attacking Paul Turner Mitchell for having the audacity to stand up to the Mafia of the Mediocre.

Newspeak said...

"a cutting edge focal point for economic regeneration"

Otherwise known in Rochdale as a muddy field.

Do the fools that talk this sort of shite do fat lines of coke?

Ugandan Bananas said...

Anonymous at 1411: the 'Black Box' costs millions in repairs each year. Rubbish.

Take a look around the base of the office block. Its been in the same decrepit, unkempt state for at least 10 years that I know of.

I suppose churning out many millions of cubic meters of hot air each year does run up the lecky bill though.

Managed to get a copy of the 'Independent'. Opened at random the first headline that hit me was "The joy and elegance of cruising".

Thought it might have been some hard hitting local exposé centered around the automatic toilet next to Bar 5, but it was not to be.

Anonymous said...

Paul Rowen is cleverer than I thought.He obviously figured that if he sacked Dave he would still swill around in the gutter of local politics for nothing. And he was right, perhaps it's just his natural habitat.
Me? I'd be bitter and twisted after sacrificing everything to get such a lacklustre person elected to parliament but there you go, there's nowt so queer as folk as they say.

Voodoo Economics said...

creative accountancy has made the Black Box look unviable and the move to a £65,000,000 PFI office look economic. (akin to the 14 empty shops calculation).

Voodoo economics - stick a pin in a financial projection and ignore everything else.

Capital values, CO2 calcs on demolition and new concrete/steel/glass. Write downs on assets. Money saved on cutting back on consultants, Impact Partnership and the RDA.

How much money has been spent on Compulsary Purchase in Rochdale Town Centre and grants for feasibility studies and guarantees for the public capital projects (interchange and new civic centre)

How much will be lost forever with the inefficient (corrupt?) disposal of Rochdale Council assets?

It is OUR money and our town's future. WE must know the truth.

Anonymous said...

Errr....what have empty shops got to do with the council? I'm all for putting the boot in on them but this really is not their business. They don't own them. They don't decide on who takes the tenancy in them either. In fact, we do, the shopping public, by shopping in them (or not as the case may be).

Cassandra said...

Fair enough - if Rochdale Council have nothing to do with the town centre economy then all that grant money, "facilitation", compulsory purchase and brown envelope cash has gone to waste.

The work of the senior officers to control and direct the councillors has come to nought.

We obviously don't need the RDA or Impact Partnership.

Greg Couzens has wasted his time with repeat press releaes about him painting all the benches black and gold.

And the mysterious Lib Dem businessmen benefactors have wasted their cash donations that don't appear anywhere in the official Rochdale Lib Dem accounts and Electoral Commission files.

Ugandan Bananas said...

"Errr....what have empty shops got to do with the council?"

Didn't the Council sell off the out/indoor markets?

Are they not responsible for traffic flow and parking facilities/pricing/fines?

(NB has anyone ever seen the desolate Pay and Display car park behind Lancashire Locksmiths up Oldham Road - which bright spark thought of that one)

Haven't they abrogated their responsibility to town centre businesses by deferring as much as possible to the 'Rochdale Town Centre Management Company'. A toothless organisation that exists mainly to deflect the shite from senior council employees who need sacking.

The Council is now throwing its weight behind a new town centre development of shops even though the ones we have are emptying by the month)

Starkicker said...

Rochdale Council may not have much of a say in who takes up ownership of the shops but it does oversee the whole depressing downward economic spiral. It has no vision, no dynamism or energy and refuses to see the depressing picture in front of it.

The Metrolink will take people out and make it easier for the crack-dealers to come and do their drops.