I have deliberately waited to do the next blog until after the Salford Council meeting which has just taken place. As each day passes I am coming to the conclusion that democracy in Salford is not alive and well.
Salford Labour has 52 councillors and the Conservatives have 8, no other political parties and or independants are allowed any involvement and the Unelected Ceremonial Mayor decides that the meeting is being guillotined at 12.30 pm, making the meeting just 3 hours long.
Norman Owen of the Liberal Democrats is sat in the public gallery and even they do not get a voice. The local weekly freebie newspaper only ever publishes articles from Labour politicians and the odd Conservative and this is our democracy we have in Salford.
The smaller political parties like mine have to make do with this system and despite all our difficulties ahead, with hard work, the Community Action Party, I am convinced will break through the stranglehold of the big parties in Salford and get a voice in the years ahead.
The meeting lasted the 3 hours but in effect all Salford Council did today was rubber-stamp the Mayors salary of £69K PA and the Deputy Mayors salary of around £45K PA.
Councillor Bill Hinds, Asssistant Mayor for Finance, pathetically justified his support for these extortionate salaries by saying he didnt want the Mayoral system in the first place ! But still voted for his Labour colleagues to have them ? Bird brain springs to mind.
No mention in detail by Councillor Hinds how Salford Council lost us £130,000 in March and why the Council kept this quiet until after the elections ?
However, the significance of Salford's Mayor saying nothing, sitting on his hand and grabbing his extortionate allowance tells us what we already know about this career politician. In his tenure as MP for Eccles he claimed far in excess of £10 millions in allowances and expenses and his pathetic excuse to take all offered because the panel sat independently.
There are examples of Mayor's all over the UK who have reduced the salary that was offered to them, Doncaster and most notably, even the mayor in Liverpool.
Executive Mayor Ian Stewart talks about the values of Salford People. I dont know about you but I think hes showing his true colours and his real values which could be described as greed !
Councillor Howard Balkind, Labour Councillor for Swinton South attempted to suggest that the Asda Planning application was sent back for reconsideration but he was soon shot down in flames by Councillor Derek Antrobus. Councillor Balkind also apologised for his conduct on Salfordonline recently in relation to his outbursts. His political days are numbered in my opinion. If hes a candidate for Labour in 2014 then I'll surely be shocked as hell.
Councillor's were told off for tweeting in the meeting by the Ceremonial Mayor yet only a few short weeks ago, the directly-elected Mayor went public and ordered his troops to go on a tweeting course at taxpayers expense as a means of them keeping in touch with their electorate ? Double standards or too many Mayor's you decide ?
The Conservatives were just about non-existent in the meeting as any significance as usual apart from one chap who did his best to be heard by various means but I have to say democracy in Salford is in real serious danger of dying on its feet.
The Mayor of Salford Ian Stewart as each day passes, as each meeting passes is looking more like a Salford Labour poodle than even the former Leader John Merry did and that was saying something ?
Extremely sad and I can only see apathy reigning even more !
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