I want to start this weeks article by condemning the actions of Labour councillors on Salford City Council for their appalling actions and comments in relation to the planning application submitted for an Asda supermarket.
Salford City Council's Planning Panel met this week where the Labour Chairperson would not allow a family member of the deceased resting at the former Swinton Unitarian Church Burial Ground to speak about her ordeal and how if approved the removal of the burial ground where I know she has 14 relatives buried here would have a devastating impact on her and her family. This person and others were effectively gagged by the Labour Council which caused them immense distress.
Councillor Potter another Labour councillor in front of relatives at the meeting hoping the Council would reject the planning application or include a clause where the burial ground could not be removed compared the burial ground to a dog toilet. When you compare this comment with that of the comment made by another Labour Councillor Derek Antrobus who effectively has tried to justify the removal of the burial ground against the families wishes because he believes by removing bodies from where they are is more respectful to the deceased.
Labour Councillor Howard Balkind in this weeks Salford Advertiser and at the Planning Panel meeting criticised my actions when it is I that has supported the families in campaigning to stop having their loved ones dug up and we have Labour Councillor's in front of families making desparaging remarks, causing offence to families and disrespecting the deceased by doing little to help preserve the burial ground and to prevent the removal of loved ones. They are all an utter disgrace.
No surprise the Asda planning application was approved with no regard to preventing the removal of the deceased and therefore it is now for the families to consider their next steps and of course they will receive whatever support I can provide them. I hope and pray for them, their loved ones resting in peace and hope the families be strong over the coming months.
Many people are expressing serious concerns about the impending additional service charges being reviewed by Salfords largest Housing Association City West Housing Trust. Last week I reported that I had warned many years ago that charges in the event of a YES vote would increase dramatically for tenants which clearly has proven to be correct. I have contacted City West Housing Trust about their review of service charges and in response I have been invited to attend an open day at the Swinton Housing Office so that I can understand in more detail the nature of the review and any charges that may be made.
The Community Action Party will oppose any increases in rents and will oppose any additional charges for services and if we feel tenants are being asked for more in times of hardship and these charges are not necessary we will oppose and expose them.
The Spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has visited our city and it is right and fitting that when visiting our city of Salford that His Holiness met with the first citizen of Salford Ian Stewart Mayor of Salford. Whilst I support this contact this demonstrates that the cities Ceremonial Mayor position should be abolished, as surely in past years it would have been this Mayor that undertook such ceremonial visits. Salford does not need two Mayors, the ceremonial position should go.
Last week I mentioned and compared our councillor's in Salford to either "tweets" or dinosaurs for their need to go on a training course at taxpayers expense as our Mayor who seems intent on reinventing the English Language believes they need the training to be able to use Twitter as a means of communication. As a result I checked the former Leader of Salford Council Councillor John Merry's Facebook page out of curiosity.
As many of you reading this blog is aware I campaigned for John Merry to go and campaigned for a directly-elected Mayor system of local government. As a result local governance has changed in our city and John Merry is no longer leader of the Council. At 18.13 pm on Sunday 17th June 2012 the following is published as fact on Councillor Merry's Facebook page :-
I am the Leader of Salford City Council.
I am standing as a candidate for the Labour Party nomination for the position of Elected Mayor of Salford.
I know Councillor Merry may have found it very hard to accept his demotion but I think this shows that once our politicians in our city are re-elected their own performance on keeping the electorate accurately informed needs somewhat to be desired and how fitting that our former Leader of Salford Council has been exposed in this way ? Perhaps Mayor of Salford Ian Stewart has a point so I think dinosaurs seems more appropriate than "Tweets".
It is an extremely sad state of affairs when the cities educational establishments do not seem to be able to cope with the number of school children in our city to such an extent that the city is looking at educating our school children in porta cabins or "temporary units". This at a time when tens of millions of Salford's money has been pumped down at Salford Quays and into the BBC and other pet projects that benefit the minority. It is a shambles that such management has resulted in this chaos and hope the government intervenes to ensure that our children are educated in suitable classrooms and that our playing fields are not taken up with temporary buildings that blight our communities.
The Community Action Party held its annual general meeting this week. It was an excellent meeting and I am pleased to say that the Salford Branch successfully achieved positions on our national executive committee.
We also discussed our campaigns for the coming months in great detail and I am pleased that information about this will be made soon to local media organisations and about recent changes in our party.
Michael Moulding, Deputy Leader Community Action Party