Press Release from Salford Mayoral Candidate for the Community Action Party, Michael Moulding
"Mike Slam's Betrayal of Swinton Deceased !"
A planning application for a new Asda supermarket is being considered by Salford City Council's Planning Panel on the 5th April 2012 which will result in the exhumation of 313 Swintonians from their final resting place, at the former Swinton Unitarian Church burial ground on Swinton Hall Rd, including a World War 1 soldier Pte W L Blears and victims of the 1885 Clifton Pit Disaster.
Mike Moulding Salford Mayoral candidate for the Community Action Party has established the following information :-
In a conversation with an officer of Salford City Council, it has been established that the burial ground was sold by the Council into private ownership around 10 years ago when Swinton precinct was sold. Salford Council sold the land, despite its significant and historical importance to the town with a covenant in place because they needed much needed cash at the time to balance the books. The officer admitted that no research was undertaken before any sale as to the importance and significance of the site.
The covenant which had a residual value, but protected development of the land and those resting in peace was released by the Manchester District Association of Unitarian & Free Christian Churches (MDA) on the 22nd June 2011 in exchange for a staggering payment of £125,000.00 from those acting on behalf of the owners of the land.
Asda announced an unspecified donation to a Swinton Heritage Trail around the same time a Swinton councillor Derek Antrobus announces the setting up of a Swinton Heritage Trail.
Michael Moulding Salford Mayoral candidate for the Community Action Party states
"I am absolutely appalled and disgusted. How low can you get when a local authority has to sell burial ground to balance the books ? What a betrayal of those resting in peace and their surviving relatives that the church could accept such a staggering payment of £125,000 knowing that any protection of the deceased had been removed ? Why would Asda offer an unspecified sum to a Swinton Heritage Trail that didnt exist if they were not in cahoots with the Lead member for Planning on this matter ? The whole story from start to finish is one of ineptitude, shame, betrayal, greed and it stinks !"END