I live in the city of Salford and in a town called Swinton. I love Swinton and love my city so why am I writing this blog today ? Because I now believe our city of Salford may now be out of control.
In the past few days we have all witnessed a terrible tragedy. The mindless murder of Anuj Bidve and Indian student who visited the city and was killed at point blank range in the head. The young man is of Asian origin yet the police say there is no obvious motive for the mindless killing ?
As an ex-employee of the police following the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry has the police in manchester learned nothing about violent crime against ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom ? It is clear Greater Manchester Police are doing everything they can to bring the culprits to justice with several arrests already being made but I am sorry there is one very obvious motive for this henious crime.
A few months ago we had the UK riots which spread to our very own city. The police seemed ill-equiped and unsupported by our civic leaders at the time where the riots escalated to copy-cat events into our city and neighbouring Manchester.
Young people out of control causing absolute destruction in our city bringing national ridicule to us all by association because we simply live in the same city. And when all this was happening where were our civic leaders ? Nowhere to be seen.
Councillor Owen, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Salford, admitted himself in an Advertiser blog of his own that our Leaders at the council were trying to play down events.
I have written to local media myself and criticised Greater Manchester Police Chief Peter Fahy for trying to say that crime and anti-social behaviour has come down in Salford and in the same year we then have the riots and a mindless murder of a young man in cold blood.
The city council is £600 million pounds in debt. Can you believe that because I cannot ? I repeat - YES our local council is a staggering £600 million pounds in debt and the unelected Leader of the Council Councillor John Merry brags to me that the Council still has credit A ratings so we enjoy very good interest rates.
A mind-boggling and irresponsible attitude to take. Especially in a time when our own country even I have to admit has come very near to bankruptcy. Salford has one of the highest council taxes in Greater manchester and a massive debt to cope with and no sign the extravagent spending is about to stop.
Our unelected leader has so far led a council that wasted £500,000 on a pink ice-rink, £670,000 on 3 BBC programmes, £500,000 on proms in the park, and for me a stark reminder of our Leaders and council's incompetence when they spent £410,000 on the purchase of The Langworthy Hotel only for it to be demolished because the Council did not keep it maintained. And by the way, this £410,000 does not include the demolition costs which have had to be done in a set way to minimise disruption to the community where it is.
The destruction and demolition of salford's heritage and there seems no stopping it costing us all and our city a fortune !
We have the Chapel Street fiasco which has allegedly cost 35 millions which has just made the lives of many ordinary Salfordians more difficult by trying to just get to work and you have to ask the question did our Council create the Chapel Street FIASCO in revenge for us kicking out the Congestion Charge and kicking out Roger Jones the Labour Cronies blue-eyed boy at the time ?
Many believe it is.
The final shame for me personally is the national ridicule of our city on our TV screens. Yes we had the riots. But for celebrities to ridicule our city and bring shame on us all tells me that whilst we can all say they are wrong - we really have to ask ourselves the question - Are they ?
This is one of many reasons why our city needs a directly-elected mayor. Someone elected by the people for the people to bring and lead our city back into a sense of civic pride which is so lacking at present. Only then will over time a sense of belonging and national pride will return to our beloved city where we all live.