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Salford Star Guardian Blog
 

 

 Here's an article that appeared on the Guardian's website about the current plight of Salford Star...

 


 

 

 

 HAZELOCRACY...

 

Oh how I laughed when Hazel Blears, Minister for Communities and Local Government, recently launched her BIG IDEA about giving `Real People:Real Power'…"A strong independent media is a vital part of any democracy" she bleated. In reality the complete opposite is happening as local councils are increasingly launching mini versions of Pravda, using their own huge publicly funded advertising budgets to finance what many see as a blatant attempt to control the flow of news and information.

 

Around the London boroughs, fortnightly council newspapers have sprung up all over the place this year but what you won't find in any of these is any true community dissent or proper journalistic investigations into how local taxes are spent. Meanwhile, in Tower Hamlets, the independent East London Advertiser is lodging a formal complaint with the Audit Commission as no-one seems to be able to find out the real cost of the council's free weekly paper, East End Life.

 

Here in Hazel's Salford backyard, on a peanuts budget, volunteers produce the Salford Star – a free, 76 page, fiercely independent magazine that gives the community a voice to tell the truth about the City's `regeneration', backed up by hard core investigative journalism that got us the award for top magazine in the North West this year and runners up in the Paul Foot Awards.

 

The Star is about democracy, empowerment and holding public bodies up to account. We're doing everything that Hazel is urging, yet last year our application for devolved funding from the City's community committees (another of Hazel's BIG IDEAS), was ripped up by Salford Council on the grounds that we didn't meet its criteria of being `balanced'.

 

It was with horror, then, that we recently discovered the Leader of Salford Council deciding to spend £175,000 to take its own `magazine' LIFE IN Salford monthly, and stuff the pages with its own adverts to help pay for it.  Balanced? Last week, Councillor Steve Cooke resigned from its editorial board saying it provided "a thin veneer of democratic respectability to an often misleading and relentlessly and unjustifiably upbeat publication" and that he wanted to play "no further part in legitimising council propaganda".

 

Despite being overturned at a `call-in' committee, the decision to expand LIFE is soon expected to be rubber stamped at a full council meeting where the ruling Labour Party has an inbuilt majority.  Meanwhile the Salford Star's Christmas issue will not be appearing, and the magazine has been put on hold until we can raise the cost of printing it.  You're doing a great job, Hazel…A `strong independent media'? My arse…
 

 

vic lloyd wrote
at 2:04:23 AM on Monday, May 18, 2009
This is appaling and so is the dread hazel Bleeerghs. Luckily you all can vote out this corrupt and controlling council next month and de select any politicians MPs etc thought to be corrupt. Up the revolution. Big change on the way and much more independant thought and self government.
 
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More articles...

91% OF SALFORD UNIVERSAL CREDIT CLAIMANTS IN ARREARS WITH CITY WEST

Star date: 18th January 2018

HUGE INCREASE IN SALFORD RENT ARREARS DUE TO UNIVERSAL CREDIT

91.3% of City West tenants claiming Universal Credit are currently in arrears with their rent payments, compared to 42.3% of tenants in arrears who are not claiming Universal Credit.

Relating the figures to yesterday's full meeting of Salford Council, City Mayor Paul Dennett added that there was "a clear correlation between the introduction of Universal Credit and increased use of collection orders.

Full details here...

NEW CLADDING FOR SALFORD TOWER BLOCKS IN MARCH SAYS DEPUTY MAYOR

Star date: 17th January 2018

PENDLETON BLOCKS WILL HAVE NEW CLADDING IN MARCH

At today's full meeting of Salford City Council, Deputy Mayor, John Merry, said he was "fairly confident" that new cladding will be put on the nine Pendleton tower blocks, beginning in March. He added that residents' safety had been put "top of the list...I don't think anyone can complain".

John Merry disclosed that documentation relating to cladding on blocks owned by Salix and City West had been sent to councillors, although nothing has been published for the public. He added that a report into how the dangerous cladding was put onto the blocks in the first place will soon be available.

Full details here...

SALFORD HOMELESSNESS CONFERENCE EXCLUDES HOMELESS AT OVER £325 PER TICKET

Star date: 16th January 2018

SALFORD UNIVERSITY CONFERENCE PROMISES 'UNIQUE INSIGHT INTO CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS' – WITH NO HOMELESS PEOPLE PRESENT

A University of Salford conference which promises to "provide unique insights into the underlying causes and potential solutions to the homelessness crisis" is charging £325+VAT per ticket, thus excluding not only the homeless but also grass roots housing organisations.

One of the speakers is Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, while a panel will ask 'How can we most effectively improve services to vulnerable homeless households and individuals?'...without any 'vulnerable homeless' people there to share their views.

Full details here...

‘NO COMPASSION’ AS MANCHESTER HOMELESS SQUAT EVICTED

Star date: 16th January 2018

BETFRED SQUAT EVICTED AS 17 HOMELESS PEOPLE BACK ON STREETS

Yesterday's early morning eviction of a squat above the BefFred shop opposite Manchester Town Hall has been roundly condemned by housing campaigners, as 17 homeless people were put back on the streets.

Greater Manchester Housing Action stated "shame on whoever it was that made the decision to evict"; while Angela Barratt, of Salford Manchester Street Support, who was volunteering at the squat's night shelter as the eviction happened, told the Salford Star that "There was just no compassion..."

Full details here...

PEEL HOLDINGS SALFORD BUILDING SQUATTED BY HOMELESS

Star date: 15th January 2018

PEEL OFFICES IN ECCLES SQUATTED

As the Manchester squat above BetFred in the city centre was evicted this morning, homeless people in Salford have occupied an office building owned by Peel Holdings near Eccles.

Peel recently received a cheap public money loan of over £8million for its Lightbox apartments in MediaCityUK, where flats cost up to £400,000... "This was our only option" says John who has been homeless for almost five years.

Full details here...

 



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