Time Noted: 2.47 pm
MR MOULDING: My name is Mike Moulding. I’m a resident ---
THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: Could I ask you, I’m sorry to interrupt you before you begin. Could you just stand very close to the microphone and then we can hear what it is you’re saying?
MR MOULDING: Yes, of course. My name is Michael Moulding and I am an active, community activist in Swinton. I’m here as a resident of Swinton and on behalf of the Community Action Party of which we are now active in the town of Swinton. I’ve actually come here this afternoon to support the Boundary Commission proposals in full. I think they are excellent proposals and I’ve come here because I felt that there was a need to support Swintonians and Cliftonians who are dismayed with their association with the City of Salford.
Now, the proposals by the Boundary Commission --- because I am aware that there’s a vociferous, "Save Salford" campaign, and whilst I personally admire their principles, I think they should not be to the detriment to the town of Swinton. The Boundary Commission have proposed that there should be a Manchester Central constituency and a Swinton constituency which, in the format that the Commission have proposed, I fully support. However, my advice is that the Manchester Central constituency should be renamed Manchester and Salford Central constituency, and the proposed Swinton constituency should be renamed Swinton and Eccles constituency.
I want to say that despite many of the comments and petitions that have been going round in the city. The City of Salford is not at risk by the proposals by the Boundary Commission at all. In fact, Salford already has three MPs and many cities across the country have many MPs already. Swinton became part of Lancashire in 1894, and I’m sure a lot of this has already been said, and Swinton and Pendlebury was given Borough status in 1934 where it was able to run and manage its own services with the then Lancashire County Council and in 1974, I’m led to believe, that the town councils were abolished to form Salford City Council. There are many Swintonians and Cliftonians --- you know, if you were born in 1973, I think, I calculate that makes you less than 40 years old, so there are many Swintonians born and bred who obviously understand their connections to the City of Salford, regard themselves as Swintonians and Cliftonians and regard themselves as Lancastrians and not Salfordians. If I can refer to the Salford Advertiser that was actually printed only last week where several residents - one at 55, a 72-year-old lady and a 66 retired head teacher - all from Swinton and all have come out public and said that they want a Swinton constituency.
Any discussions that have been had where there’s doubts about the abolition of a Salford constituency, this should not be at the detriment of Swinton. Swinton is a town in its own right and the residents of Swinton in 1974 many of them felt aggrieved that they became part of the City of Salford. My final point I want to make is that one of the options is to perhaps rename the new proposed Swinton constituency and somehow name that constituency "Salford" as it’s part of the City of Salford. In the current format, if that was to be renamed "Salford" without including Old Salford then, in my opinion, it would be ludicrous and the reason why it would be ludicrous is because Old Salford will remain in the proposed Manchester Central constituency and many, many people, some in their late thirties who are true Swintonians and Cliftonians, are dismayed by their association with the City of Salford.
THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: Thank you. Could I just ask you a question, please? You’re talking about Swinton, and no detriment to Swinton, are you talking about the place Swinton, or the constituency as proposed?
MR MOULDING: The constituency as proposed, the Swinton constituency as proposed, I believe, in fairness to the residents of Eccles and people that were born in Eccles, the constituency should be called the "Swinton and Eccles constituency" and I’m in no doubt at all that many Swinton people and people who were born and bred in Eccles support your proposals.
THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: Yes. I’m sorry, can I just ask you again. Obviously the boundary potentially, as proposed with Salford, includes Eccles rather more closely, if you look at the map, than Swinton. So, you’re speaking on behalf of the place, Swinton, as opposed to the whole constituency, in terms of being joined with Salford?
MR MOULDING: Yes. Many Swintonians --- obviously I can’t speak on behalf of people who live in Eccles, but some of the opinions in the Advertiser reflect similar opinions and primarily I believe that having a constituency of Swinton, whether it would be named Swinton or Swinton and Eccles, the benefits we would get from that would be really good and, therefore, I support your proposals.
THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: Thank you. There’s a question for you. Just let me explain to you, if I may, Mr Moulding, the question will, I hope, be one of clarification, not of challenge.
MR LARGAN: You mentioned that prior to 1974 ---
THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: Sorry, can I just interrupt? Could you give your name for the record?
MR LARGAN: Oh sorry. Terry Largan. And through you, Mr Chairman, the speaker has obviously mentioned in the past, obviously, the animosity between Swintonians and Cliftonians and Salfordians and I just wondered, in fact, if you can cast your mind back to former days and obviously in the field of sport like rugby league, in terms of the animosity between the two. Do you recall that sort of --- is that what you’re actually talking about, that sort of an example of the animosity?
THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: Well, I’m not sure that, to be fair to the speaker, he probably characterises comments as an "animosity" so perhaps, filtered through me, Mr Moulding, if you could just clarify your position as to the relationship between those groups? Your understanding?
MR MOULDING: Swintonians who were born prior to 1974 believe that since the services were removed from Swinton Town Council and Lancashire County Council and were put under the jurisdiction of Salford City Council, the standard of services that they have received from Salford City Council have deteriorated. That is the, not animosity, I would use the word, "disappointment".
THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: Thank you very much. Are there any other questions? No? Mr Moulding, thank you so much.