Roy West took his first small steps back into the local political arena last night by attending the Dukinfield District Assembly. He has of course been prevented from attending on certain occasions in the past, but having served his time now starts all over again with a clean slate. Something certain members of the local political establishment won't be glad to hear.
Resplendent in a smart blue jumper with a large Union Jack pattern, Mr West and the rest of the (slightly higher than average) public turnout listened as various representatives of the local authorities and agencies made their short presentations. As is usual when Councillor Wilde is in the chair, proceedings were brisk.
Inspector Callahan (a man Mr west has met on several previous occasions in a more 'personal' capacity) gave a crime brief, that appeared to show overall offences were roughly the same as last year's July - September figures. The exceptions being notable increases in Assault/Harassment and 'Other' Burglary, the latter supposedly down to better summer weather this year.
There was then a discussion about last week's Police operation at Woolley's Funeral home on Cheetham Hill Rd (something that gained significant regional press coverage), with Inspector Callahan and several councillors reassuring those present that the incident related to investigations into possible fraud. Also that there was no concern about the presence of human ashes on the premises, and that this matter had been resolved satisfactorily.
A gentleman in the audience then asked about an ongoing, long term parking/obstruction issue outside Broadbent Fold School that the authorities have failed to resolve. An apparent matter of particular frustration to Councillor Taylor.
The only other incident of note was Councillor Reynolds's response to a mildly frustrated elderly gentlemen's complaint about traffic issues on Gorse hall Rd, when she mystifyingly accused him of being too aggressive in his manner. Fortunately Councillor Sweeton stepped in and smoothly and professionally dealt with the matter, glossing over his colleague's bizarre assertion.
In conclusion a fairly typical, modern 'establishment' public meeting with all the safe, 'mentionable' and 'inside the box' issues touched upon and any 'elephant in the room' subjects totally ignored.
Fortunately however there are still certain individuals like Mr West who buck the growing trend for sweeping the 'wrong' subjects under the carpet. Let's hope this colourful and unquestionably committed gentleman continues his gradual re-emergence onto the local political scene, now he is a free man again.