SALFORD STAR MAYORAL CHALLENGE: DAY FOUR
Day One, Two and Three of the Salford Star Mayoral Challenge saw the candidates disclose what salary they would take, their most dastardly plans for the city, their views on Peel Holdings, Eccles, the Quays Cranes, Council secrecy, the riots, Chimney Pot Park housing, Chapel Street, affordable housing, Buile Hill Mansion, Barbara Spicer and more…
To read The Salford Star Mayoral Challenge: Day One – click here.
To read The Salford Star Mayoral Challenge: Day Two – click here.
To read The Salford Star Mayoral Challenge: Day Three – click here.
Only six of the ten candidates who want to be Mayor of Salford could be bothered to fill in the Salford Star Mayoral Challenge, thirty questions that aim to go beyond campaign propaganda and find out where they stand politically, what their personality is like and how much they actually know about Salford and its issues. Here are the six candidates who took the Salford Star Challenge…
Ian Stewart – Labour Party (LP)
Joe O'Neil – Green Party (GP)
Norman Owen – Liberal Democrat Party (LD)
Michael Moulding – Community Action Party (CAP)
Michael Felse – English Democrats (ED)
Pat Ward – Independent (I)
They each had no more than four lines to reply, to stop reader boredom creeping in. Here's how the candidates responded to six more questions…
QUESTION 1: What colour shirts do Salford City FC play in? What colour shirts do Irlam Town FC play in? Have you ever been to watch either team?
This question was designed to test the candidates' knowledge of grass roots Salford football – never mind Old Trafford that no-one can afford, what about Moor Lane? PS: Salford City FC play in tangerine shirts and Irlam Town play in blue.
Pat Ward (I): Salford Reds play in red and Irlam FC play in blue. I have not yet been to the new Salford Reds stadium but I did watch Salford Reds at the Willows stadium.
Michael Moulding (CAP): No idea, no idea and no, never been. I could cheat by google but I am being honest!
Norman Owen (LD): I think you know the answer already to this having been a founder member player of Salford Ammies. One of my best mates is Stan Pearson. Salford play in orange, Irlam in blue. I've played on both pitches.
Michael Felse (ED): My sports are swimming (welfare officer), rugby (spectator) and golf. As for football, my last match watched live Hyde Utd. Salford City same colour as an autumn day. Irlam has to be red or blue, but do not want to take sides. Not been along but will support these teams because they inspire youth teams.
Ian Stewart (L): Salford FC: Sad about Rhodri he did good things for Salford! Tangerine and Black: Advised Club Secretary when I was MP. Irlam FC: Blue strip. Tried to help Warren/Club as MP. I didn't understand the dynamics between the Football Foundation and the County FA. Sorry, time Mez and I have spent as Salford Reds season ticket holders and Old Trafford. Elitist I know – RED Habits of a lifetime!
Joe O'Neil (GP): Not a clue. Man Utd fan and I still have to watch it in Korean on the computer.
QUESTION 2: If elected Mayor who would you appoint as your three closest Cabinet members? What salaries would they take?
Michael Moulding: I understand they have to be elected councillors so this is a difficult one to answer. However, I guarantee they will not be remunerated other than their Councillor allowance and reimburse genuine expenses involved with their cabinet role.
Norman Owen: Not been decided.
Joe O'Neil: To be honest, whoever was willing to work with me for change, basic councillor plus expenses.
Ian Stewart: They don't know - You don't know and neither do I yet! I've got an election to win before those sorts of things will be decided. I am on record as stating that I would wish to marry experience with new vitality. My record shows I am a politician with an independent mind so I am prepared to take a calculated risk with new appointments, if I think it will benefit Democracy and the People of Salford.
Michael Felse: My Cabinet would have each elected party invited; however I am absolutely clear it will not include the current Council Leader as he is symbolic of why people voted against Council Leaders in the referendum. Each Cabinet member will have the same standing I have no places for favouritism.
Pat Ward: I would choose three people whose skills and experience would be of greatest value to the Mayor without bias as I have no affiliation to a party. The salaries would be reviewed based on the duties and responsibilities.
QUESTION 3: What are your views on Media City?
Norman Owen: They have yet to prove that they can play a larger role in employing Salford citizens.
Michael Felse: Media City is iconic but not truly representative of all Salford. I welcome this development that has brought investment and opportunities but it needs to be taken much further in terms of public engagement. I want Media City to give back to Salford by honouring a commitment to 2000 local young people jobs.
Joe O'Neil: Cheap deal for the BBC not for the Residents of Salford.
Ian Stewart: In 1998 I set the vision for: a) Theming Salford as the 'New Media Capital' of the North of England. B) The Concept of the 'Silicon Canal': recognising the key economic and technological drivers of Salford, Manchester and Liverpool, and c) developing an Integrated Salford Education System. We need other new and emerging Industries and JOBS AT DECENT WAGES FOR SALFORDIANS!
Pat Ward: I think it has raised the profile of Salford but it could have been much more beneficial to Salford had the initial estimated job vacancies been realised.
Michael Moulding: It's Salford and not Manchester! Get used to it!
QUESTION 4: Is poverty the root of all Salford's problems?
Joe O'Neil: Yes.
Norman Owen: No. You have to be raised in this city to see the change from what it was, but more can be done.
Pat Ward: Poverty is not the only reason, but it doesn't help that we have young people with no aspirations and a council whose funding programmes are attracting big business but forgetting the small businesses that are the hub of a community.
Ian Stewart: We need to understand causes of Poverty and Deprivation. On the back of global economic crisis the Tories and LibDems have siphoned away £millions from Salford Families to pay for Tax cuts to the Rich – Fact! In 1979 Tories took the Business Rates away from Salford; stopped the Council building houses, took millions from our City each year for 18yrs and they're at it again. It will get worse! Please vote!
Michael Felse: Poverty is only one root cause, some parts of Salford would make the rich and famous starry eyed. What we have is a dysfunctional Council Chamber that is stuck in the past. It needs taking up like an old rug, shaking off its dust and embracing a realisation shock that the public demand Councillors invigorate.
Michael Moulding: YES and lack of a decent education.
QUESTION 5: Should Sukai stay?
This question is about Sukai, a victim of torture and rape in Gambia who escaped to the UK and ended up in Salford with a huge campaign to Save Salford Sukai. Will our candidates represent all Salford people?
Michael Felse: Yes. I worked with asylum seekers and refugees in Salford for five years (in Eccles and Chapel Street) getting to know their plight is one we must respond to with real help. I visited Auswitch and came back realising what horrendous crimes pure evil forces can commit. I will never forget and I will never ignore.
Pat Ward: If a person is in danger of persecution, it is our responsibility to aid that person until such time as the threat is removed. She should stay but I wonder why she does not expect the threat to transfer to her children who remain in the Gambia.
Joe O'Neil: Yes
Michael Moulding: Absolutely YES and I will do all I can to help.
Ian Stewart: Sukai Jacks case was all too typical. As an MP for 14 years I assisted many genuine Asylum Seekers. Working with others, we won some and we lost some. I found it difficult when we deported human beings who had suffered real persecution and were sent back to it. Salfordians' support for tortured human beings is something we should all be proud of.
Norman Owen: Why are you asking me this having been at the forefront of this fight, of course she should stay.
QUESTION 6: Do developers currently control Salford?
Ian Stewart: Whilst we cannot develop our City without Good Developers and they are thin on the ground currently. Vested Interests should always be challenged where they act against the interests of Salford People and their Families.
Pat Ward: No. Incompetent leaders currently control Salford and it is time the people of Salford took back the control in collaboration with a Mayor who can show them the way.
Norman Owen: No.
Michael Moulding: Their money does and snouts in the trough and all that! "Exposing Political Fraudsters"
Joe O'Neil: Yes
Michael Felse: No. Control is an illusion not to be confused with developers causing selfish confusion by them making Councillors take a wrong turn, causing Salford to already plunge into a £600million long term debt. Developers are driven by profit but Councillors should never forget their community runs on passion.