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MAYOR IAN STEWART DISCONNECTING SALFORD
 

Star date: 5th October 2012

MR MAYOR – CONNECTING SALFORD?

Every household in Salford is currently receiving a lovely 24 page booklet about `Connecting Salford' in which City Mayor Ian Stewart talks about, er, `Connecting Salford'.

Propaganda aside, just how is the City Mayor `connecting with Salford'? And how much has the 24 page booklet actually cost, when cuts are being made all over the place?

Full story here…


Connecting Salford Connecting Salford Connecting Salford
Connecting Salford Connecting Salford
click image to enlarge

Dear Mr City Mayor Stewart

Thank you for sending us this delightful 24 page booklet about how you are going to `Connect Salford'. It all sounds lovely but the Salford Star feels that you and your wannabe connected community should know a few home truths.

You say you would like to hear our views "about what sort of city you would like Salford to be and what you expect from your City Mayor and local council".

You say, Mr Mayor, that "I believe in a better connection between local residents, politicians professional council officers, partner organisations, community organisations and groups"… Well, Mr Mayor, you seem to have left out the press, but the Salford Star is an official community group so we'll let you off.

The Salford Star is not in the business of providing blueprints for the City but what we try and do is provide information to Salford's citizens so that they can make judgements for themselves. Unfortunately, Mr Mayor, since you've been elected this has been virtually impossible. Because what you and your Council is doing, day-to-day, is actually disconnecting your citizens.

Back in June we cited how the gates of democracy have been shut since your announcement on being elected that "I will seek to generate…openness and transparency in future…"

We revealed how "virtually none of the 13 Assistant Mayors have made their activities public and open to scrutiny" (click here for full details). It's now October and nothing has happened. Your last `City Issues Briefing' meeting on October 1st had no items open to the public, while the public was excluded from the Part 2 item. There's been no public `Mayoral Team Meeting' since July.

Your `Finance and Support Services Assistant Mayor's Briefing' to take place on Monday 8th October has no public items. Your `Housing and Environment Assistant Mayor's Briefing' and your `Health and Wellbeing Assistant Mayor's Briefing' have never taken place. We could go on and on.

The Salford Star has actually lost count of the amount of times we've had to request publicly available documents that should be included in agendas for meetings on your website. Indeed the RSS feed for your meetings and decisions is actually derelict and hasn't been working since the end of July/early August.

Is this what you mean by `Connected Council'"A wealth of information is available through our highly rated website etc…"?

"We must" you add "make sure that we are efficient with the use of new technologies and that most importantly our residents and businesses benefit from this digital revolution"…

So what does the `digital revolution' mean to John Mullen, your Assistant Mayor for Technology? He's tweeted exactly three times since May – a big debate with John Merry about the relative merits of Stingray and Fireball XL5. Does `Connected Communities' mean we can all join in the best puppet show debate?*

Perhaps, in the real world, you can make sure that your Assistant Mayors actually turn up to their advertised surgeries with their constituents – unlike the invisible Assistant Mayor for Adult Services, Councillor Peter Connor (click here).

Perhaps in the real world you can ensure that your press office actually answers questions from the Salford Star, instead of putting them in the bin – so that we can help you to connect with your community Mr Mayor.

Perhaps you can even get your press office to answer our question about how much the Connecting Salford booklet actually cost! We're having to force it out of you through the Freedom of Information Act...

Meanwhile, it's not until page 21 of your Connecting Salford booklet - when everyone's asleep - that you talk about the £35million cuts Salford Council is about to make over the next two years. You ask what kind of City people want? We can give you the answer to that – try one without cuts to services, Mr Mayor. If you can't save basic services everything else is meaningless.

Unfortunately, Salford people have been subjected to vision document after vision document, consultation after consultation, pledge after pledge…and still nothing happens. The stats for poverty rates, unemployment, housing shortages etc never go down. Only up.

If you seriously want to Connect with Salford, Mr Mayor, perhaps you can start with the basic `openness and transparency' that you promised on being elected. It's been almost six months and we're still waiting…

• See John Mullen's ace Twitter feedclick here to join the great Stingray v Fireball XL5 debate. We're sure NASA will be impressed.


 

Not happy again wrote
at 12:25:09 PM on Saturday, October 6, 2012
Connecting Salford Ian Stewart, City Mayor of Salford I believe it is important to listen to your views on the issues that affect you and your family, so we Can create a shared vision for Salford together. Ya right but your not listening At the moment times are difficult and vital Services have been affected by reductions in Budgets. I know that many of you will feel you struggle to get by Will you struggle to get by on only 65’000 a year Helping our residents manage and improve their own health and wellbeing providing health checks and identifying local facilities through a new online wellbeing website. What do’s this mean we are all going to be come Doctors, On line web site, a lot of older people don’t understand , Computer’s, never mind an online website , Helping our vulnerable residents to minimise the effect of the economic downturn and build happy, healthy lives. We believe it is important to stand up for our most vulnerable people, while also encouraging them to overcome barriers they may face to leading happier and healthier lives with help and support. We want your views on our proposals to offer opportunities for local people to get involved in activities and programmes which help people to change their lives and make the most of all that the city has to offer. Ya whats the city got to offer, Cuts, Cuts, And More Cuts,
 
Not Happy wrote
at 12:25:04 PM on Saturday, October 6, 2012
These are two Paragraphs from Partners in Salford Magazine Salford has some of the highest levels of mental ill health in the country. Levels of debt and fear of redundancy as a result of the current recession may result in an increase in levels of mental ill-health such as anxiety and depression. Claremont, Weaste and Seedley has the second highest use of mental health outpatient services due to mental health reasons, in the whole of Salford. Transport, housing and employment all contribute to mental well being so preventing mental health problems requires organizations to work together to tackle these issues. Salford has some of the highest levels of mental ill health in the country. Levels of debt and fear of redundancy as a result of the current recession may result in an increase in levels of mental ill-health such as anxiety and depression. Eccles is the highest user of mental health outpatient services and, like all neighborhoods in Salford, it has seen a sharp increase in the use of these services in 2010/2011. Transport, housing and employment all contribute to mental well being so preventing mental health problems requires organizations to work together to tackle these issues. These are just a couple of the wards in Salford that are affected by the cuts here are the rest , East Salford, Irlam and Cadishead, Little Hulton and Walkden, Ordsall and Langworthy, Swinton and Worsley and Boothstown. So Mr. Mayor with all this Knowledge in your hands you are still planning on closing the drop ins around the Salford area why? If the problem is money get rid of the thirteen dept/assistant mayors. Think of all the money you could save then, work together with the people who are using the drop ins not the management, because these are the people who are most vulnerable but know what they need, what they need is some where to go where they feel safe and talk to other people who have problems. Not gateways because these are to open to the public and some of the people who have problems may feel they are being pointed at or labeled, so this why we need drop ins to keep the vulnerable safe. Just like you promised,
 
wrote
at 12:24:09 PM on Saturday, October 6, 2012
Come on now-you wont see any of them until the police commisioners election is over. Theyre all out door knocking in other gtr manchester council wards promoting the labour party candidate Tony Lloyd. Not like he wont get in tho-there are no independent canditates for the post & probably seven out of the nine gtr mc councils have a labour majority anyway. Looks like the deals done. As my old grandad used to say....be careful what you wish for, you might not like it when you get it.
 
Mary Ferrer wrote
at 1:19:24 AM on Saturday, October 6, 2012
Well its nice to know Mr Mayor is still in Salford.Because I have sent this man and his partner in crime Ms Spicer about 12/13 emails on two subjects and had 4 replays,the last email I sent over 3 weeks ago hasn't been replied to as yet,but there is still time. So Mr Mayor where is all this openness and transparency then or are they more words.Do we add these to the other buzz words like "public consultation" and whats this latest one "connecting" good words,problem they don't mean a thing. We have had all the Consultation across the city,have you listened, have you hell.You want to connect with Communities,yet you can't even answer an email.Do you think we are ALL bloody daft in this city, because take it from me, we are not. You may think by ignoring people like myself we will go away,but I for one won't be fobbed off and I won't be taken for a ride on your BUS. I would like to ask you a question on your "Connecting residents" For over 8 YEARS I along with the support of our local police have been asking for CCTV along Bolton Road.We got turned away each and every time we asked for help to secure cameras.SO Mr Mayor what about it,put your money where your mouth is and make a start and get our cameras here in Claremont.After all we have in the last few weeks had a bit of a problem and if we had had the cameras in the first place a lot of police manpower and funds could have been saved and the thugs caught a lot sooner.
 
Lets be honest wrote
at 1:19:19 AM on Saturday, October 6, 2012
The only good thing about electing a Mayor is that it got rid of Merry. Other than that everything is the same. So we have Stewart but so long as this lot keep getting voted in it wont make any difference who the figurehead is. We still have Spicer, Lancaster and Peter "no show" Connor + a load of deputy Mayors.
 
joseph O'Neill wrote
at 1:15:41 PM on Friday, October 5, 2012
I was amazed to see one more piece of Labour crap flop on the door mat yesterday,what worries me is the thousands who care little for politics who allowed this man to sit on his arse and take £69,000 a year from a city dead on it's feet,all this while we see people who cannot find work in labours mecca struggle and see there benifits cut. LABOUR the party of the people is a joke,he asks you what you would wish to see and then will sit back and say sorry we can't do that because of the Tories,at no time offer alternative Labour policy why because they don't have any. They dumped merry their worst mistake,at least he had the balls to speak out and fight his corner,Stewart sits happily fiddling while Salford Burns.if this id the best Salford Labour have,the last person to leave SALFORD turn out the light
 
steve U.S.U.C. wrote
at 11:43:28 AM on Friday, October 5, 2012
Wake up mr mayor how long have we been in this consultation cock-up(see articles re mental health services cuts) that does not make any sense or saving in money what so ever,only £5000 less then your salary that is.it certainly wont save any lives. May be when you stop this cock-up & stop being a tory/libdem cheerleader, the people of Salford will start to get connected & start to trust you. you could also get rid of your assistants &/or deputy mayor,do we really need or want them.
 
Gareth L wrote
at 10:50:10 AM on Friday, October 5, 2012
I'd like to connect with Mr Stewart, my boot up his A**E so he can do something more than increase the city's carbon footprint with his waffle, and actually earn the pay he receives.
 
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