Irwell Riverside ward 2012 local election result

Irwell Riverside

Candidate Party Votes cast
Coen, Stephen Labour Party 1,208
Lewis, David Barry Conservative Party 150
Middleton, Steve Liberal Democrats 158
Tumulty, Gary British National Party 202
  • Elected: Stephen Coen
  • Electorate: 9,441
  • Votes cast: 1,718
  • Turnout: 18.39%
  • Majority: 1,006
  • Void votes: 16
  • Status: Labour hold
Posted in Election 2012, Irwell Riverside | Comments Off

Steve Middleton’s view on Community Policing in Salford

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A few days ago I gave an interview at Salford University where I was asked my views about community policing in Salford. A four and a half minute extract of the interview edited by Kat Middleton is below where I talk about how well our local neighbourhood policing team are doing and how they can improve. The interview briefly touched on the council’s partnership with Greater Manchester Police and I explained how the council could be doing more to promote anti-crime initiatives.

Watch, comment or ask questions below the video.

Posted in Council, Crime, Irwell Riverside, Langworthy, Ordsall | Comments Off

Liberal Democrats field a candidate in all 20 of Salford’s wards

Nominations closed at 12 noon today and the Liberal Democrats are standing in all 20 seats across Salford. Additionally, Claremont Councillor Norman Owen is standing for Mayor as the official Liberal Democrat candidate.

Councillor Owen said today: “We have excellent, hard working candidates in 20 seats across Salford and in many of those wards, especially the inner-city wards, it’s a straight fight between the Lib Dems and Labour. Labour have admitted that under their leadership of this city mistakes have been made, why else would they have selected an ex-Eccles MP to run Salford instead of their current leader?”.

“Labour’s Mayoral candidate has no local government experience and was booted out by Labour in 2010 when his seat was abolished. They selected Hazel Blears instead.” he added. “If Ian Stewart is not good enough to represent Salford & Eccles, how is he good enough to lead the entire Salford City Council?”

Steve Middleton is the Lib Dem candidate in Irwell Riverside ward for the local election on 3 May.

Posted in Irwell Riverside, Local Election 2011, Salford | 2 Comments

Boundary changes proposed for Salford

Today the Boundary Commission for England has released it’s proposals for changing the electoral boundaries that will be used in the next General Election (currently scheduled for sometime May 2015).

Amongst the North West shake-up, they propose to abolish the Salford & Eccles and Worsley & Eccles South Constituencies, instead creating a new ‘Swinton’ constituency and then splitting the rest of Salford across Leigh and Manchester. Kersal and Broughton will remain, as currently, in the Blackley and Broughton constituency.

The proposals are as follows:

Manchester Central Constituency: (For a map, click here)
Ancoats & Clayton
Bradford
City Centre
Hulme
Irwell Riverside
Langworthy
Ordsall
Weaste & Seedley

Swinton Constituency: (For a map, click here)
Barton
Boothstown and Ellenbrook
Claremont
Eccles
Pendlebury
Swinton North
Swinton South
Winton
Worsley

Leigh Constituency: (For a map, click here)
Cadishead
Irlam
Little Hulton
Walkden North
Walkden South
Astley Mosely Common
Leigh East
Leigh South
Tyldesley

Blackley and Broughton Constituency: (For a map, click here)
Cheetham
Crumpsall
Harpurhey
Higher Blackley
Miles Platting and Newton Heath
Moston
Broughton
Kersal

While I will be providing my own (alternative) suggestions to the Boundary Commission along with a combined Liberal Democrat response, I’m eager to hear what Salfordians living in Langworthy, Ordsall, Irwell Riverside and Weaste & Seedley think in particuar. Please post your comments below.

Posted in Elections, Irwell Riverside, Langworthy, Ordsall, Salford, Weaste & Seedley | 3 Comments

University of Salford…Manchester?

I am grateful to the Salford Star for once again being “ahead of the curve” and exclusively revealing that the University of Salford, located on the border of Langworthy and Irwell Riverside wards in Salford, is planning to remove the famous lion logo (opposite) and replace it with the word “Manchester”.

The current lion logo proudly states “The University of Salford” although some of their letterheads do also state “A Greater Manchester University” – which I do not have a problem with.

If the proposed logo does, as the Salford Star mockup below suggests, simply say University of Salford Manchester, then this is a backward step and they should quickly re-think the idea.

The University of Salford has proudly stated it’s home in it’s logo since it became a fully-fledged University in 1967 (in fact, Salford University can trace it’s origins back to 1896, when it was the Royal Technical Institute, Salford).

So why does The University of Salford think now is a good time to suggest they are in Manchester when their new MediaCity:UK building at Salford Quays is on the brink of opening? Perhaps it may have something to do with the fact that a recent survey of students in a poll for accomodationforstudents.com showed Salford University to be the worst university in the country in which to study. Manchester University was voted the joint second best place to study.

The University of Salford management board should think again, reverse this terrible decision before it is too late, and stick with the traditional logo.

Lastly, I call on Salford Council and all 60 of the city’s ward councillors (including all 6 from both Langworthy and Irwell Riverside wards) to denounce the decision to change the logo to “University of Salford Mancheter” and call on them to support me in arguing for return to the traditional logo we know and love.

Posted in Education, Irwell Riverside, Langworthy, Salford | Comments Off

Youth Offender Service to move to Blackfriars after all

Due to a miscommunication between Council officers I was up at an ungodly hour this morning so that I could attend the 8.30am Childrens Services Lead Member Briefing. Nobody seemed sure if the meeting was scheduled for 8.30am, 8.30pm or 11am – in the end, 8.30am was accepted (purely because that time had been used on the public notices). The meeting was primarily concerned with the decision that Councillor Warmisham had arrived at, in regard to the move of the Youth Offender Service (YOS) into the former Blackfriars Housing Office, located in a residential cul-de-sac .

Regular readers of my blog will remember that this decision was subject to call-in and the Lib Dem led call-in was successful for the residents, as Overview & Scrutiny referred the decision back for Cllr Warmisham to reconsider. They also advised that if he was not minded to re-consider his decision, it would be referred to full council. Well that may now not happen.

Councillor Warmisham has “revised” his original decision, although the revision is merely delaying one aspect for 6 months (namely spending £155,000 from the YOS budget to build an extension and refurbish the former Blackfriars Housing Office). Officers seem to believe that this “revision” is enough to ignore the original call-in decision and not refer the matter to full Council to consider. I would tend to disagree. It is essentially the same decision, with a delay of 6 months thrown in at the last minute.

If you look at the terms of the original call-in, the very first part dealt with the decision to move the YOS to Blackfriars. While Councillor Warmisham did not believe this part to be subject of the call-in, it was. The whole decision was “called-in” successfully. The second part of the decision dealt with the spend of £155,000 from the YOS budget. Councillor Warmisham agreed this could be called in, although it was confirmed today that if the amount had been less than £100,000 it would not have been.

Regardless of what Councillor Warmisham believes, the whole decision was called in by Scrutiny. Salford Council cannot now ignore the democratic process; they would be breaking the law if they did. The correct procedure is to now allow this decision to be brought before full Council on 15th July.

Labour councillors will no doubt be aware that the Childrens Services Overview & Scrutiny has not only changed name (it is now Children Young People and Families Scrutiny) but it’s members have changed. As Council has met following the election of Councillor Ferguson, who was elected in Pendlebury in March, he is now eligible to vote (eagle eyed readers may remember I blogged previously about Cllr Ferguson who tried to vote against the call-in last time around, despite not being a member of the Scrutiny Committee).

It is clear what the Lead Member for Children’s Services is trying to achieve here. By “revising” his decision, he hopes to negate the original call-in decision and has “voluntarily” referred the matter to Children Young People and Families Scrutiny; clearly he believes the current make-up of this Scrutiny panel are more likely to be accepting of the YOS move to a residential cul-de-sac in one of the most deprived wards of Salford. If that is the case, Children Young People and Families Scrutiny will not take the matter any further and the decision will not go to full Council for consideration.

This type of devious politics has no place in Salford – does Cllr Warmisham not realise he is playing a political game with people’s lives?

I await the Children Young People and Families Scrutiny meeting on 8th July – I just hope the current committee members respect the deliberation and decision of the previous members and force the YOS call-in to move to full Council for consideration as is right and proper.

Posted in Irwell Riverside | Comments Off

Irwell Riverside: by-election result in full

Well we didn’t win, but I think the whole Lib Dem team should be extremely proud of a well fought campaign that concentrated on the issues that mattered (both locally and nationally). Personally, it was extremely gratifying to be able to help residents who felt abandoned by their current Labour councillors – and of course we ensured the extremist BNP were beaten into third place. The Tories were an embarrasing fourth, just ahead of UKIP and The Green Party.

Lib Dem: 293 (-1%)
Labour: 606 (-13%)
Conservative: 189 (-4%)
BNP: 276 (+5%)
Green: 125
UKIP: 123
Turnout: 17.5%

Commenting on the outcome, Swinton Lib Dem Councillor Steve Cooke wrote “Don’t know how they did it, but Labour seem to have had a late surge in votes. I’m guessing that the perceived threat from the BNP and the campaigning from third party anti-fascist groups may have caused some of their voters to hold their noses and go out to vote in spite of their local MP’s appalling behaviour. The damage to the reputation of all of the major parties, but particularly Labour, is clear from the increase in vote share to the minority parties. However, it’s also clear that they aren’t likely to be winning a seat in Salford any time soon.”

Tory Councillor Iain Lindley, replying to the result on The Manchester Evening News website commented “Scraping past a third of the vote on a low turnout in Labour’s second-safest ward in the City can hardly be considered a resounding endorsement.”

Voter apathy was apparent, when you consider that electorate of Irwell Riverside is around 9,000 and only 606 voted Labour – it seems until the current political scandal has passed, we will all be tarred with the same brush.

Posted in Irwell Riverside | Tagged | 3 Comments

Today is Polling Day in Irwell Riverside

Today is Polling Day in Irwell Riverside. The Polling Stations are open from 7am until 10pm.

Our private polling shows it’s neck and neck between The Lib Dems and Labour. All the other parties are out of the race.

More than ever before, every vote will count – this could be incredibly close.

Don’t forget to VOTE today for STEVEN IAN MIDDLETON, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS.

Posted in Irwell Riverside | Tagged | 5 Comments

The BBC love Salford Lib Dems

 

Salford Lib Dem Councillor
Joe O’Neill observes Hazel Blears on
the BBC’s six o’clock news.
Lib Dem campaigner Neil Magill
delivers the latest FOCUS
newsletter in Irwell Riverside,
as seen on the BBC’s
North West Tonight show.

It seems the BBC love Salford Liberal Democrats, two of our local group were featured on BBC One this evening. On the BBC’s Six O’Clock news, Lib Dem Councillor Joe O’Neill was caught on camera during Hazel Blears final attempt to cling on to her job. Joe took an excellent picture of the media frenzy, which you can see over on his blog.

Later at 6.30pm, local Lib Dem campaigner Neil Magill was filmed by the BBC’s North West team and a short segment showing him delivering the latest FOCUS leaflet in Irwell Riverside was broadcast, right after the main six o’clock news.

Thursday is election day in Irwell Riverside and with TV coverage like this, we know we can make a difference. Our latest polls show it’s neck and neck between Labour and the Liberal Democrats – be sure to use your vote tomorrow.

Vote STEVEN IAN MIDDLETON – LIBERAL DEMOCRAT on May 21st.

If you need a lift to the polling station on Thursday, please do not hesitate to give the Salford Liberal Democrat office a ring on 736 5500.

Posted in Irwell Riverside, Salford | Tagged | Comments Off

Hero’s fury at BNP ‘fake’ pic

Salford’s BNP contingent have made some outlandish claims during the Irwell Riverside by-election campaign, but I do find it impossible to believe they were “attacked by communists” at the weekend. Apparently 30/40 BNP activists were on Duchy Road campaigning – where? I was on Duchy Road myself on both Saturday and Sunday, along with other members of my team (at different times throughout the day) – we did not see the BNP, nor did we see any “communists” (although we didn’t stop to ask anyone if they were communists).

One has to ask, if coming under attack from balaclava-clad assailants, “armed with slingshots  and steel ball bearings for ammunition” – would you stop and ask their political leanings? Excuse me, could you stop hitting me for a moment and tell me if you are a communist or not? I don’t think so!

Nationally, the BNP are no different. Mark Pack posted on the excellent Lib Dem Voice about another fake BNP leaflet photograph. It seems the BNP used the image of former Scots Guards NCO Stuart Walker and entered a quote alongside his photo, which indicated his disdain at “being sent ill-equipped to fight in foreign wars” and another about being “abused on the streets of our cities by Muslims.”

As The Sun reports today, Mr Walker who left the Army in 1997, first knew about his image being used on the leaflet  when it dropped through a relative’s letterbox. The dad-of-two, now a corporate manager in London, said he rang the BNP’s offices to complain and was told to “f*** off”.

He told The Sun: “I was completely outraged when I saw this leaflet. I think they got the photo off a website and the quote they’ve made up. They are scumbags and I’d never vote for them in a million years.”

Clearly the BNP have decided at a national level that it is OK to lie to the electorate in order to win elections. We have now seen this in Irwell Riverside. Fortunately, the honest and hard working residents of Irwell Riverside are not stupid enough to be taken in by these lies and will vote accordingly.

Vote STEVEN IAN MIDDLETON – LIBERAL DEMOCRAT on May 21st.

If you need a lift to the polling station on Thursday, please do not hesitate to give the Salford Liberal Democrat office a ring on 736 5500.

Posted in Irwell Riverside | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Spot the difference

Another successful day out leafletting in Irwell Riverside, just around the corner from the BNP candidate’s house. So you can imagine how surprised I was too see the dumped fridges that my team spotted over a week ago, were still there!

As I passed his house (saving myself the trouble of posting a leaflet through his door), I couldn’t help but notice the overgrown state of his garden – if he can’t take the time and trouble to tidy up his own front garden, what chance do the residents of Irwell Riverside have that the BNP will care about the dangerous amounts of flytipping and dumped rubbish that we have seen this past week?

I will be reporting these dumped fridges to Salford Council tomorrow morning and will follow this one through until the fridges are removed by the council.

These are the kinds of problems your local Liberal Democrats sort out all year round – just like the problems we recently sorted out around Duchy Road, Bank Lane, St. Simon Street, Stanhope Road and Pevensey Road to name but a few.

What have the local Irwell Riverside LABOUR councillors done lately? Absolutely nothing!
What would a BNP councillor do for you locally? Absolutely nothing!

The Liberal Democrats promise to sort out local problems.

Vote STEVEN IAN MIDDLETON – LIBERAL DEMOCRAT on May 21st.

If you need a lift to the polling station on Thursday, please do not hesitate to give the Salford Liberal Democrat office a ring on 736 5500.

Posted in Irwell Riverside | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Add 1 to the restricted statistics, assuming you’re security cleared

 

This evening the wife found herself being added to the crime statistics of Irwell Riverside – in particular, the crime statistics of an area close to Encombe Place. Frequent visitors to my blog will be all too aware that I have often discussed the problems of crime associated with the Youth Offender Service located on Encombe Place and the impact of it’s proposed move to a residential cul-de-sac in Blackfriars.

As “the other half” returned from her piano lesson at her tutor’s apartment in what was once the Salford Royal Hospital, she was presented with the aftermath of an attempted theft from her car. Three windows had been callously smashed and the glove box ransacked. Presumably, they were looking for the car radio fascia (which she had detached and taken with her) or perhaps a satellite navigation device (which she also removed). In the end, they stole her study books, sunglasses, a couple of ‘bags for life’ and a blanket. The study books and blanket were found dumped a few yards away, so were fortunately retrieved by a resident of the apartments and returned.

There was nothing of value to steal, but because the idiots that prey on this car park on a regular basis will no doubt have surmised, it was worth a look just on the off chance. They know there is little chance of being caught, because as fast as the police were in responding – the assailants are long gone by the time the authorities arrive.

The irony of the news stand outside my local paper shop was not lost on me as I joined my other half at the scene, to inspect the damage for myself, and to call Autoglass. As I stood and talked to the local police, their comments said it all “It’s a hotbed around here!”

No kidding!

If I was allowed, I could show you evidence that theft from motor vehicles is a serious problem within half a mile of the Youth Offender Service and that, in particular, the car park at The Royal Apartments is where that crime tends to take place. The “restricted” evidence to which I refer, was used by members of Vertical Villages and Bridgewater Residents Association to good effect in their recent fight against the completely unjustified decision of Salford’s Labour-led council to move the YOS service to their area.

The loss of our property may be small, but the impact on me and my wife’s life has been profound. Excluding the £75 cost (my insurance excess) and the few items the idiots decided to take with them, it impacted on her rehearsal for Sing Live – meaning I had to run her up to Bolton and pick her up again afterwards. Worse still, we will have to take her vehicle to Autoglass at some ungodly hour of the early morning (probably 1am at this rate), in order to leave it somewhere secure.

I would speculate that it was no coincidence that this incident happened at or around the time the YOS building at Encombe Place closes. I feel for the residents of The Royal Apartments, as I’m reliably informed this kind of reckless vandalism is a regular occurrence – but similarly, I would not want this problem moving into a residential cul-de-sac, in any area.

It’s clear that the Youth Offender Service will bring crime to whatever area it is re-located to, so surely it would make sense to locate it somewhere central (away from residential areas in so far as is possible). Effective policing and monitoring of the visitors going to and from the YOS building is perhaps an answer.

To the residents of Irwell Riverside – this evening we suffered the kind of crime you have to deal with every day. As your councillor (should you vote for me), I promise to do all I can to solve this blight on a fabulous area.

I would like to personally thank the residents of The Royal Apartments who witnessed the vandalism taking place and for reporting it quickly.

Posted in Irwell Riverside | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Lib Dem call-in success over Blackfriars Youth Offender decision

Sometimes a decision is made that no matter which way you examine it, defies belief. Today I had the opportunity to see what happens at council level, when such a decision is “called in”. The call-in happened in response to a somewhat utilitarian pronouncement made last month by the Lead Member of Salford Council’s Childrens Services Committee, regarding the moving of a Youth Offender Service into a residential area of one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Salford (Blackfriars).

This history of this decision is long and dates back many months to late last year at a time when Salix Homes used a reasonably-sized building , located in a quiet cul-de-sac, as a housing office.

In it’s wisdom, the Estates Committee decided that out of all of the council and non-council buildings currently or potentially available across the entirety of Salford, only one building was suitable (or could be made suitable “within budget”). No explanation could be given as to why the 99 other vacant council-owned buildings could not be used, other than they were “unsuitable”.

Subsequent to identifying the availability of the Blackfriars housing office, the decision was made to move the YOS service there. This decision could not be challenged as it is up to the council to decide where council services are located, however the Blackfriars housing is not big enough as it currently stands, so would need to be extended. The extension would have to be paid for out of the current YOS budget, something Childrens Services would need to approve – which would be the only possible point where a call-in could halt the decision.

And so that’s how we came to the call-in, which was held today in Council Chambers at the Civic Centre. The meeting was due to start at 2pm and as I arrived around 15 minutes early, I met up with members of the local community. The community have put some fantastic arguments together, both legal and moral, but were unaware that they would have to present them to the Scrutiny Committee in a 5 minute presentation. Notes were hastily scribbled and 4 members of the local residents association condensed their 100-page case into individual well-presented arguments.

  • Consultation with the local community – by it’s own admission, neither Estates nor Childrens Services actively sought to engage with the local community to consider it’s views.
  • Due consideration to other options – no other options were on the table. It was move the YOS service or bust. The council had allowed the current YOS building to fall into such a state of structural disrepair, that it would cost more to renovate and repair it than to build an extension to the Blackfriars building.
  • Wednesbury reasonableness – the decision was not reasonable since it involved moving a crime centre to a residential cul-de-sac, already suffering from some of the highest level of crimes across Salford. It took no account of the lack of parking for the 55 officers that would use the building, nor the lack of direct bus routes for the 175 daily users. The decision was so unreasonable, it required the majority of it’s users to travel the entire distance of Salford to get to it (Little Hulton to Blackfriars – literally from one end of Salford to the other).
  • Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 – requires local authorities to consider crime and disorder reduction in the exercise of all their duties, activities and decision-making. This means that all policies, strategies and service delivery need to consider the likely impact on crime and disorder. This legal responsibility affects all employees of the Council.

One argument which was not allowed, was in relation to a document released into the public domain which showed that there were 121 serious crimes within a half-mile radius of the current YOS facility. We were instructed by council that the document was released in error, was a restricted document and it’s content could not be discussed. This was despite the fact that both Estates Services and Childrens Services suggested that there were no serious crimes in the immediate area and those crimes that did occur, were the fault of car owners and residents for failing to take basic security measures.

An Inspector from Greater Manchester Police was on hand to insist that council did not discuss the content of the crime document, as it would be a breach of the Official Secrets Act!

After all interested parties had a chance to speak: The Liberal Democrats who led the call-in, the Lead Member for Children’s Services and members of Vertical Villages and Blackfriars Residents Association – it was up to the Scrutiny Committee to vote. It’s choices: It could take no further action, in which case the YOS would move in with immediate effect. Alternatively, it could refer the decision back to Childrens Service – with the proviso that if the decision was not reconsidered, it would be referred to full Council for consideration.

Despite a last minute attempt by Labour to allow a non-voting member of the Scrutiny Committee to cast a “no further action” vote – the call-in was successful by a margin of 4 in favour, against 1.

I was deeply impressed by community members who were expected to put forward their arguments to the committee verbally, having been given less than 10 minutes notice that they would be expected to do so. Council must now meet within 7 days (assuming the Lead Member for Childrens Services decides not to reconsider his decision).

Labour have failed to learn the lesson that local communities must be involved in decisions that directly affect them. Cutting them out of the loop is inconceivable to me – the call-in has sent a message directly to the Labour-led Salford Council that if they do not engage local residents, their time in office will be short-lived.

Posted in Irwell Riverside | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Not tonight Darling – Enough is enough

Councillor John Warmisham’s blog was the last place I expected to see confirmation that Labour have completely failed the people of Salford and, further, that voters are now turning away from them in droves. This screen-grab of his blog today, contains comments from the Councillor on Twitter, in which he confirms that members of CAMRA (campaign for real ale) will not be voting for Labour due to yet another increase in tax on beer. They are also unhappy that pubs are closing – the same pubs that provide for communities to get together, socialise and in a lot of pubs, eat a healthy meal.

Councillor Warmisham (some of you will remember that this is the same Labour Councillor that thinks it’s a great idea to plonk a Youth Offender Service slap bang in the middle of a residential cul-de-sac) then twitter’s about Holts Brewery’s campaign entitled “Not tonight Darling – enough is enough.”

Holts Brewery (based in Cheetham Hill) have decided not to pass on the beer tax increase and will be paying it on behalf of their customers. They rightly point out that pubs play a vital role in the local community and nationally 6 pubs are closing every day and more than 2000 have gone in the last year.

With beer set to increase in the next 4 budgets, above the rate of inflation, I sincerley hope that Holts can afford to carry on with their campaign – however I fear there are limits to what they can financially do as a company.

Additionally, the Langworthy-ward Labour councillor twitters about the very street he lives on.

“Northumberland Street has to be the worst Rd in Salford,a school,2 synagogues,double parking,big pot holes & build outs,reported but ignored” he posted this morning.

Perhaps the councillor needs to leave his house once in a while and visit the ward he is supposed to represent! I have driven down Northumberland Street (in Higher Broughton) and agree that the road is very bad, but then it’s no different from countless other roads across the whole of Salford.

It took me a year to get my own road fixed, but I could not have done it without the help and support of my own Liberal Democrat Councillor – who genuinly cared about seeing it through until the job was done.

Perhaps Councillor Warmisham should contact his own ward councillors to complain, that would be Councillors King, McIntyre and John Merry (all Labour) and the latter, leader of Salford Council!

Posted in Irwell Riverside, Salford | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Is this the largest pot hole in the UK?

I’ve seen some terrible potholes in my time (it’s a daily chore to dodge them living in Salford), but this one really takes the biscuit! I just could not walk past this one without taking a picture of it, as you could imagine re-telling the story to someone who hadn’t seen it.

“It was this big,” I would say. They wouldn’t believe me. Who would?

I was trying to describe Salford’s roads to my father-in-law, an SNP Councillor in the Scottish Highlands, but he never truly believed they were as bad as I was making out, that is, until he visited us just recently. Much hilarity ensued as I pointed out a letter in the Salford Advertiser, which suggested that Salford’s roads were getting so bad they resembled rural Scotland, rather than a thriving city.

Sadly, his reply (which was printed in the Advertiser a few weeks ago), has long since been lost to the recycle bin. However, I’m sure he won’t mind me paraphrasing his letter, which confirmed that Salford’s roads did not resemble rural Scotland in the slightest. In fact, in Scotland, they have a suitable repair and inspection timetable which ensures potholes (such as the one pictured above), could not possibly develop to that size.

Finally, my father-in-law confirmed that where he lives, they have a name for areas of vehicle corridors with potholes……..FARMTRACKS!

Posted in Irwell Riverside, Salford | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A (rubbish) tale of two Salford towns

While I was walking about Duchy Road and Bank Lane in Irwell Riverside ward the other day I was not surprised by comments made by Councillor Norman Owen (Claremont Ward) and Councillor Joe O’Neill (Swinton), regarding the ridiculous amounts of rubbish and flytipping we found in just a couple of hours.

Contrast with the swift action taken in the Lib Dem controlled wards of Claremont and Swinton, where rubbish is cleared within a few days of it being reported and regular skip placements allow residents to get rid of their larger rubbish items (which would not fit in their bins).

This week in Swinton, local Lib Dem councillors have been arranging community skips (which all communities are entitled to, across Salford) – but this is not a one-off, more of a regular occurence in Swinton.

Why, then, isn’t there a similar scheme in Irwell Riverside?
Where are the Irwell Riverside councillors and why aren’t they arranging similar schemes?

Salford Council do have a good environmental services department, that often responds quickly to deal with reports of flytipping or other dumped rubbish – this is proved by the fact that when I reported dumped rubbish on Duchy Road, it was cleared up within a matter of days!

Posted in Irwell Riverside, Salford | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Youth Offending Service moves to Blackfriars: Residents sidelined by Salford Council

Local residents in the Blackfriars and Trinity Riverside are up in arms over a recent decision taken by local Labour councillors. Labour has rubber-stamped the relocation of the Salford Youth Offending Service (YOS) to the former Blackfriars Housing Office on St. Simon Street. 

Local residents say that:

  • Labour has refused to consult or inform the community.
  • The facility should be located centrally where it can better benefit it’s users.
  • The proposed building is wanted by the local community that could cater for all people in the neighbourhood.
  • The police have indicated they could station up to 5 police officers/PCSOs in the building. Funding for the extra police officers will be lost if they cannot occupy it.
  • The proposed building would need costly extension work (which would require planning permission) totalling nearly £200,000 of public money. 

Local Liberal Democrats, including Irwell Riverside candidate Steve Middleton are backing residents in their fight to get a fair hearing and have been working with residents, community committees and local residents associations to make sure that their concerns are not ignored.

Lib Dem group leader on the council, Cllr. Norman Owen said “There residents of Blackfriars are very angry that Labour have brushed away their concerns. They feel that local Labour councillors are putting their party loyalty ahead of the area they are supposed to represent.”

Irwell Riverside Lib Dem candidate Steve Middleton commented “Local residents have some genuine concerns that should be addressed, such as high crime associated with the YOS service. They are motivated by real concern for this area, which has been greatly improved over recent years thanks to the efforts and hard work of the whole community. The council should be listening to them and they’re not even doing that.”

Cllr. Owen added “The Liberal Democrats back community created plans to convert the building into a much needed community facility.”

The excellent Vertical Villages website, has a full history of the planned YOS move, with detailed information pertaining to existing crime figures and the community’s proposed use of the St. Simon Street building as an “anchor” for the whole area to make use of.

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Steve Middleton selected as Lib Dem Candidate for Irwell Riverside

It is with great honour and pride that I am able to report that I have been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the up-coming Irwell Riverside election, to be held on the 21st May 2009.

The seat became vacant in February following the death of former mayor Cllr Jimmy Hulmes.

I am looking forward to meeting with more residents in the area, but already know (from working in the area) that there are some huge challenges to overcome – however, the Salford Lib Dems are an incredibly hardworking and dedicated team, who I know we can all rely upon.

It’s my view that large parts of the area have been forgotten by Labour and that the voters of Irwell Riverside have a chance for change.

Posted in Irwell Riverside | 2 Comments