The Save Salford Facebook Group has only been launched since yesterday's announcement that the ConDem Government intends to push through anti-Salford boundary changes and it has already attracted over two hundred members, with more joining every hour.
The changes will mean that most of Central Salford will become part of Central Manchester, while Irlam and Walkden will be in Leigh, and the rest of the city will become part of Swinton. At the last General Election, people in Broughton and Kersal already found themselves outside of the Salford constituency, shoved together with Blackley. .
"It's just a group to try and save our city!" writes campaigner, Victoria Connett "Slowly but surely it's being eaten away, what with Hope's Maternity, Chapel Street's demolition (so to speak), big Tesco at the Precinct and NOW them taking away the very best areas to call Manchester and breaking it all up!!!"
The comments on the site are already becoming a battle cry…
"Perhaps it's fate that today we all join together, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist… We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on, we're going to survive" writes Ian McCaffery
Meanwhile, Luna Stewart writes… "They got rid of Eccles - largest Labour majority in Salford last election, when will they stop? When we no longer have options in parties, no democracy... why not get over it done with n just kill off all us workin class (oh but wait cos we're the ones who bail their backsides out financially n medically when they need our NHS etc)…"
Anyone can join the Save Salford Facebook Group by searching `Save Salford' or click here http://www.facebook.com/groups/savesalford/
See yesterday's Salford Star feature on the changes, with links to sites that tell you how to object to the changes...Click here.
Meanwhile, here's five reasons why the Star supports the Save Salford group…
• Salford's identity as a city is already being eroded with the closure of Hope Maternity Unit, the University of Salford now calling itself University of Salford Manchester and the Quays being marketed as `Manchester's Historic Waterfront'. The A-Z of Lost Salford Streets Project says it all – it compares what's happening in places like Broughton and Ordsall with apartheid clearances in South Africa.
• The obvious clash of interests between Manchester's expansionist ambitions and Salford's community interests. Central Salford is now classified as part of the `Regional Centre', ie Manchester. Now, what would happen if Manchester's need to expand meant clearing out a community living on its borders? Who would the `Central Manchester' MP speak up for?
• Salford used to have three MPs – now it will have one in Swinton, plus a third of one in Leigh, a third of one in Manchester and a half of one in Blackley. What knowledge do they have of local interests, needs, geography and culture? They'll need a Sat Nav to find parts of their own constituency.
• Salford people will be even less inclined to partake in the democratic process. Some turnouts at elections are already around the 20% mark, this will alienate people even more. Hazel Blears might not be our favourite politician but at least she knows where Salford is, and people know who she is. Some woman or bloke with an office in Leigh or Hulme is just not going to cut it.
• The Salford Star will never change its name, as someone suggested yesterday, to the Leigh, Blackley, Swinton, Manchester Salford Star!
* photo shows new University of Salford Manchester hoodie
UPDATE 15th September
By midnight last night, 12 hours since it was formed, the Facebook group had over 1000 members, had applied to Parliament to form an e-petition group and is planning public meetings, marches and demos!