At its meeting in Spotland on Wednesday night (10 March 2010), Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group welcomed news that the Labour Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Rochdale has joined local MPs, Paul Rowen and Jim Dobbin and the Liberal-Democrat Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Middleton and Heywood in confirming that he would vote against 'Trident Replacement', if elected as an MP.
Paul Rowen, MP and Jim Dobbin, MP voted against the government's plans to upgrade the Trident nuclear missile system when the matter was debated in Parliament on 14 March 2007, but the Peace Group had, until very recently, been unclear about the views of prospective parliamentary candidates, Wera Hobhouse and Simon Danczuk . The Peace Group meeting welcomed news that Ms Hobhouse had, now, written to say that she "would follow official Libdem policy on the matter which is for not replacing Trident". The meeting also learned that Mr Danczuk, who has previously said that he was "undecided" about the issue and that there were "compelling arguments for both sides" (see http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/2/community-news/1526/danczuk-happy-to-answer-questions ) had written to Pat Sanchez, saying that he "would oppose the Government replacing Trident" and "that money spent on Trident could be better spent on social and health care" .
Philip Gilligan, on behalf of the Peace Group said,“We are very pleased to see that our ongoing campaign for nuclear disarmament is achieving positive results, and are particularly delighted that that there now appears to be cross-party support throughout the whole of Rochdale Borough for our view that the government’s plans to upgrade the dangerous and unnecessary Trident nuclear weapons system should be rejected. We hope that this will help persuade other local MPs, like Phil Woolas and Janet Anderson to follow public opinion and to, also, change their positions. We hope that it heralds the day when all our local MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates will join us in calling for the immediate decommissioning of the current Trident system. The existing system already costs the country £2,000,000,000 per year. This is money that needs to be spent on essential services, like social care, not on nuclear weapons.”