I have decided to write this blog because we have only a mere two days left before we all find out whether the city of Salford has voted in favour for change and in favour of a directly-elected mayor system of local government.
Over this campaign lots of questions, discussions, debates have taken place and yes I have been name-called, vilified, my motives questioned and at times wondered why you ever bother ?
The motives of one person tainted all of the cmpaigners in the YES team, but we undeterred carried on , battled, fought the best we could to persuade people to vote YES because we passionately believe that an elected mayor elected by the people for the people will bring dignity, respect, credibility, a sense of civic pride to our city and after all the insults aimed at our direction, the latest being, because of my campaigns in Swinton, as though Swinton is not part of Salford, we are now promoting a Republic of Swinton.
Some of the abuse aimed at me has been vicious. And why ? I have spent my own money, took nothing from anyone and just helped people with their problems. Yet, for example, the person who accuses me of promoting a Swinton republican party voted NO knowing full well the current regime want a Greater manchester Mayor running Salford services YET we are campaigning for a Salford mayor which clearly SAVE SALFORD would protect Salford and our city from this idea that we are going to be swallowed up by manchester. Very bizarre indeed !
Our city has been ridiculed constantly over the past 12 months. The shame brought to all of us is well documented in newspapers and television. You may ask is it any wonder organisations like our university, BBC and others are trying to rebrand themselves as in manchester ?
You cannot blame them but surprisingly I dont agree with it. But before we start preaching to these organisations about what they want to be associated with, should we not get our own house in order first ? I say we should !
Other major cities like Liverpool are talking about bringing in a mayoral system now without a referendum. I am NOT surprised. I believe Manchester will do too and if they do they are doing it for good reasons because a mayor can represent the city on a local, national and international stage and this can only be good for those cities that have this vision.
But besides these benefits locally an elected mayor where we the people can say YES WE elected him or her and if they do a good job we can hold our heads high and say we did a good job in picking the right person. At present we dont have this say.
So while London has undoubtedly benefitted from either Boris or Ken because in my opinion they have both done a good job for London, while Liverpool contemplates just bringing in the system and in my view manchester are doing so too by their wall of silence on the subject the reality is Salford could vote NO.
In my opinion, this would be a very sad reflection of our city and would suggest to many outside Salford that in fact we dont deserve to succeed or progress because when given the opportunity we didnt take it.