IT'S A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES...
OVER £100MILLION OF COUNCIL CUTS IN FOUR YEARS!
Salford Council has already made £64million of cuts over the last two years, and is looking for another £38million `savings' over the next two years.These include cuts to staff plus cuts to day care centres, SEN transport, community care and the short breaks service, with more to be announced as the budget gets set in the near future. Meanwhile the Council is proposing to slash £15million off its wage bill by imposing pay cuts of around 4.7% on its workers in an `accept it or you're sacked' deal (see here for details).
ALMOST £100MILLION COUNCIL SPENDING ON PRESTIGE PROJECTS…
£13,000,000…on a prestige fountain, sculpture and meeting place in Greengate.
This lovely sculpture and fountain, on the site of the former Victoria Bus Station, is funded by Salford Council, NWDA, Europe and the Homes and Community Agency. The Council itself has stumped up at least £1.5million towards the prestige project plus £652,746 for the management company, to deliver "a high quality management and maintenance service for the new public realm"… No-one knows, yet, the full extent of Salford Council's direct spending on the space (see Salford Star article here for further details).
£15,000,000…on the `Ugly Sisters'
Salford Council has agreed to underwrite the leases on the Embankment 101 and 100 buildings opposite Manchester Cathedral being erected by ASK Developments. The Council is guaranteeing 50% of the rent on the first block for the next ten years which is in the Council's current accounts as £15million (see Salford Star article here for further details)
£15,000,000…on Port Salford
Altogether, Peel Holdings' new Port Salford in Irlam will receive £30million in public money, including a £4million grant from Salford Council and a loan worth £11million, for which the Council is paying £360,000 per years for the first five years. Peels Holdings is the richest company in the North West, run by Isle of Man tax exile John Whittaker, the 29th richest person in Britain, who saw his personal wealth grow by £100million last year according to the Sunday Times Rich List (see Salford Star article here for further details)
£20,000,000…on the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Salford Council is currently paying the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra £3million a year as part of its overall sponsorship of £20million.
Salford Council has a secret £10million Media Enterprise Zone Fund, with a budget of £2million a year that began in 2011. The Council will only say that the Fund is "to support the long-term development of MediaCityUK" (see Salford Star article here for further details)
£3,000,000…on a Car Park
As part of its £7.8million `Chapel Street Acquisition Fund', Salford Council has bought Stanley Street NCP car park for £3,002,000.
£23,000,000…on Salford City Reds and Salford City Stadium
As part of its joint venture company with Peel Holdings (the richest company in the North West etc), Salford Council has provided a £22million loan to build the Salford City Stadium. According to the last Salford Council accounts, the company had net assets of only £10,968,173. Salford Council has also given a loan worth £1million to the rugby team (see Salford Star article here for further details)
And there's more… Over £3million on the Plot E3 Chapel Street development by the Bell Tower pub…Over £200,000 on the Mayor and his Assistants and staff…£2million underwriting to tart up Peel Holdings' Manchester Ship Canal (see here)...
For anyone who objects to such spending, while seeing pay cuts being imposed on Salford Council staff, redundancies and cuts to public services…
Monday 15th October 5pm: Lobby of the Labour Group of councillors outside the Civic Centre in Swinton – click here for details
* This article has largely been taken from the latest issue of Stand Up For Salford – the magazine of Salford City UNISON – for an online version of the mag click here