Star date: 9th September 2013


The community group that gets almost £80,000 `legacy' funding from Salford Council via the assets of the failed £53million Charlestown and Lower Kersal New Deal for Communities scheme, spent 80% of its expenditure for last year on running costs and marketing, while only 4% of its total income reached the community for `grants and events'.

Running costs for the re-branded Inspiring Communities Together group included over £34,000 for a part time worker.

Full details here…

Inspiring Communities Together Inspiring Communities Together Inspiring Communities Together
click image to enlarge

Take a look around Lower Kersal and Charlestown and, despite a £53million ten year regeneration `New Deal for Communities' (NDC) programme, the area is full of grass crofts, closed businesses, failed housing schemes…even the NDC office itself lies derelict, unable to attract a single business to its former premises at the Cromwell Road roundabout (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

When the NDC folded in 2011, there were all sorts of assets built with NDC funding which still brought in rents and stuff, and it was agreed that this money, or `annuity', would go towards a legacy for the area – which turned out to be via a thing called the Development Framework Group, now re-branded as Inspiring Communities Together, with very much the same people who were sat on the board and committees of the NDC.

One of the stated aims of the Group was "Investing the annuity in a way that has a positive and meaningful impact on the local community". But last year's annual report, published recently, shows that out of a total income of £101,660, only £4,198, or 4%, was spent on community events or small grants to community groups.

Meanwhile, `Running Costs' and `Marketing' (£894 on producing the Annual Report) totalled £56,199, or 80% of the Groups total expenditure of £69,932.

When the Salford Star asked for a more detailed breakdown of the Running Costs, Inspiring Communities Together stated that "During this period there was only one member of staff, the coordinator. Salary and on costs are based on Salford City Council pay scales and this cost for year 2012/13 was £34,389.00."

The £34,389 `coordinator' only works three days per week, as stated at the bottom of her emails. The Salford Star also understands that the Chair gets in excess of £10,000 per year.

In the accounts, £7,718 was also spent on the eight page quarterly `community' newsletter, Essence, which has never questioned or challenged the state of the regeneration of East Salford, despite one of the aims of Inspiring Communities Together being to "reflect the views of the wider local community".

Essence is produced in partnership with People's Voice Media, which shares an office with Inspiring Communities Together at the Salford  Innovation Forum – and also received grants and `marketing and publicity' funding direct from Salford Council totalling £28,668 during the last twelve months.

Of the total £101,660 income that Inspiring Communities Together got during 2012-13 - including Salford Council's `annuity' funds of £78,933 - only £69,932 was actually spent, meaning there's over £30,000 `profit' sat in the bank.

Of the money that reached community groups, a £2,002 `small grant' was given to the now defunct Gears+ "to run a project to support young people following complaints of anti social behaviour", £1,600 was given to St Sebastian's community centre for its Jubilee events, and £596 was spent on event insurance.

The Group received `earned income' of £8,625 "to deliver third sector capacity building support in Trafford", "project management of the community asset stream of the city wide older people integrated care project" and "to support the residents in setting up a Forum" in Broughton.

It also got a grant of £2,584 from Community First "to deliver specific projects including working with residents in Broughton to run a Christmas lunch for older people, and actual costs for delivery of the ASDAN volunteer training including volunteer course work packs, and room hire for running the sessions".

While residents of Charlestown and Lower Kersal might think working in these areas goes beyond the local brief of being a "guardian of the NDC programme legacy", the nature of the former Development Framework Group (DFG) seems to have changed, Animal Farm like, into an "income generating community anchor".

Ann-Marie Pickup, the Chair of Inspiring Communities Together, explained: "As part of the succession planning and the setting up of DFG (CHALK) …there was considerable community engagement. One of the aims for DFG (CHALK) was to make itself self sustainable (eg through social enterprise aspirations).

"The governance structure for Inspiring Communities Together is a Charity Incorporated Organisation with a membership open to anyone who lives or works in Charlestown and Lower Kersal" she added "The constitution ensures earned income is for the benefit of the residents of Charlestown and Lower Kersal…"

With only 4% of its income spent on community events or grants to community groups, residents of Charlestown and Lower Kersal might well be wondering who does actually benefit from Inspiring Communities Together - with its new strap line "Your knowledge, our know how. Helping to make a difference locally".

Since August last year, two of the four community representatives who sat on the management committee of Inspiring Communities Together have resigned.


* See also last year's Salford Star article on the Development Framework Group's annual report - click here





Shocking... wrote
at 08:49:16 on 10 October 2016
I have researched the committee and councilliors are no longer on this group and not connected to SCC....charity.yes a charity get your facts right and research as ICT won't tell you. A bunch of big gobs who know it all...it's a disgrace and I will be contacting the charity commission On what I see I'is corruption
Joseph Mcevoy wrote
at 07:52:04 on 03 April 2014
Has this issue all gone away now. Why not bring us up to date with this so called group who has so much community money going to the chair every week. And now two councillors are supposed to be part of this group. I am not sure how true but I believe Councillor Ann-Marie Humphries and Councillor Ord are now part of this group and agreeing with the communities monies allocating hundreds of pounds each week going to the community groups chair. Are our councillors going along with SCC practice or fighting for our community ?? Why is this practice still happening with councillor Ord and Humphries backing ? Please ask councillors Humphries and Ord why they are supporting this practice ?? so much communities monies going in paying a chair ?? How many chairs are they in Salford volunteering members and I bet not one of them get so much money because they do it for their community not for hundreds of pounds a week from their communities money. Come on Salford lets get real and show just what is happening especially with councillors Ord and Humphries and the chair of Inspiring Communities Together. This has been going on for so long and yet nobody seems to bring things to light and let the community know what is going on. If Salford Star want to help our community why not bring the truth to East Salford Community Committee meeting and ask for a slot on AOB about Inspiring Communities Together and their allocation of monies and for everything to be added to the minutes so it is not brushed under the carpet as usual. Then ask what the CC members think about what is happening because they do not know what is happening. And ask why councillors are members and agree to this practice. Joe.
Jim Naughton wrote
at 07:51:56 on 03 April 2014
Well this group Inspiring Communities has outwitted you all because from an annuity that is for the Charlestown and Lower Kersal community the community is not getting it's share of the annuity because the Chair of the group Mrs Ann-Marie Pickup takes £200.00 a week for herself just for being the chair and a part time worker who works only 25 hours or less a week is paid over £35.000 . Does this seem fair and just why not ask your local Councillors who agree and go along with this behaviour. Indeed Councillors Humphreys and Councillor Ord are also on board with this group and you thought they were for our community, why do they go along with this group paying a chair so much communities money ? and why do they feel comfortable taking this community money for themselves ? Please Councillors answer the questions for your community members.
Marie Castle wrote
at 07:11:13 on 29 November 2013
I have just come across these comments while browsing through the Salford Star. I am so shocked reading the comments that things like this still happen in Salford. I do not attend community meetings so cannot really comment myself but it sounds that things are out of hand and nobody from the council or even the local councillors do anything to put things right and how bad is that. With regards to the community group with a chair person taking £200 a week for herself from the communities monies and a part time worker taking most of what's left it is very unjust and the local councillors should have put a stop to this daylight robbery from their community members. As one comment says " Lets see which councillors still stay silent when they are looking for votes. We should all remember their lack of support for the community on this issue and make sure they see a lack of votes." I myself will not vote again for our local councillors knowing they did nothing to stop this robbery. Somebody who knows more about these groups needs to go for Scrutiny and quick before any more communities monies gets creamed off by some very greedy people who must have no conscience at all indeed she must be very hard-faced to carry on taking the money. People who know about these groups and do nothing are also not being true to the community members and where is Mr Mayor and all his assistants turning a blind eye thinking things will go quiet and people will forget. Reading the comments here I don't think people will forget in fact the longer the robbery goes on the more people will find out and everybody will get more annoyed that it still happens. Reading Mr G Coopers comment I very much agree put this in Essence mag and other community magazines and newsletters or Salford Advertiser and see what happens. This just makes me feel sick and ashamed.
Salford M7 wrote
at 16:23:15 on 19 November 2013
Well , all is Silent on here despite the biggest comments on Salford Star,but we've not Forgotten what's going on,A Community infants being Robbed,no comments from 1 single Councilliors or Ann Marie Pickup - Chair of Inspiring Communities (paid chair) and chair of East Salford Community Commitee , which next meets on Thursday 28th November ,6.30pm at Riverview Primary School..or Bernadette Elder who Just doesn't care about this great community and thinks she's knows it all and owns it,she cares about her 3 day a week £34,000 a year Job.you don't live here..We Do.
Steve Johnstone wrote
at 06:00:02 on 13 November 2013
Well Said Ellen,everything you say is True.. I think a Film should be made to represent this group We shall call it.. Dick Turpins Rob the community
Ellen Leighton wrote
at 06:52:25 on 12 November 2013
I have said this story is like a drama yet watch a drama with this storyline and you would not believe it would happen. Only in Salford would this story be for real with local councillors allowing the chair of a community group to grab £200.00 a week from communities monies. We should be asking why ? what is being covered up and why ? If our councillors have nothing to hide why do they not challenge and do something to put things right for their community. Maybe this issue will show us which councillors are willing to show the community that they ready to stand up and fight for what is right and which councillors will just keep quiet, say nothing and hope the issue will go away so they only show their faces when they want votes. This is like a story from Alice in Wonderland but sad to say it really is true and really is about life in Salford.
Michael Felse wrote
at 20:13:30 on 11 November 2013
@wrote - actually I have found all assistant Mayors in Salford to be doing excellent works in all their specialist fields. I openly congratulate them each for em putting much time into the difficult tasks.
at 18:17:51 on 10 November 2013
Just asking-are Asst Mayor Ann Marie Humphries and Asst Mayor Steve Coen a couple-only they share 2 common addresses on SCC cllrs interest page? If so,Im more peed off that they are trousering just short of £40K between them for poor representation of their respective wards than I am about giving Ann Marie Pickup a kicking for £4K. Nepotism is alive and well in the halls of SCC.
at 13:23:06 on 10 November 2013
And thats it really....covers all bases, ticks the govts "community involvement" box. Its the same with all these local partnership boards, HA"s and CC"s, get a few local residents on them and thats classified as consulting with local residents. Unless you know one of these people you will never have a clue what they are agreeing on your behalf. How on earth do these reps feed info back to the people they purport to represent? The short answer is -they don't...its a sham...The cllrs are the biggest culprits-they should be obligated to report on and back from each council sub group they attend. There is no excuse in this age of social media why they cant tweet a daily report of meetings they are attending and the outcomes-as our representatives the info discussed at planning, environment-regeneration meetings affect people lives, via social media the info would soon do the rounds and maybe give people to ask questions or put opinions forward for consideration. Its absolutely ridiculous that most people only know whats going on in their area after the decisions have already been made
at 22:27:53 on 09 November 2013
When the council apply for funding to deliver large community projects you will find that they will invariably cost in wages, pension contributions etc. NDC, SRB,URC,would have done the same thing. Usually the bulk of employees are secondments from the council, therefore for the lifespan of the project the SCC secondments... wages, pension contributions and such are funded out of the awarded money. The premise is that a board is set up-which includes some local people-therefore giving the illusion that the community are in charge, but in essence its only a smoke screen to make the community think they are in charge of the decision making. In truth, very little of what is delivered meets the aspirations of the community, its just another way of the council keeping some control the on money.
how it works wrote
at 22:27:48 on 09 November 2013
Re Stephen Kingston's comments. I have seen this all over Salford. All that is happening is that some of the cronies who have been involved in these sort of groups for 20 years, keep getting paid for not very much. The first thing they do when they come in is to try to secure more funding ie. try to keep themselves in a job for longer than their 6/12/18 month contract. All the meetings and consultations are just to make people think they have a say in their area. The way these things work is to get somebody in the community to "represent" the community. These "representatives" are usually stupid or at best naive. They usually get something out of it so they play along. Everybody else gets screwed over and stop going to the meetings, realising what is going on. So long as the "representatives" are still in contact with the council or consultants, the cronies keep milking for all they can get. Rotten to the core
East Salford Resident wrote
at 07:31:27 on 09 November 2013
Paul you are right to point out that people are straying from the original point. I would like to know why is Ann-Marie is receiving an Honorarium not a wage as previously stated. If the truth be known there are quite a few people at Communitty Committee raking mega bucks in from funding for 'Community Work''. On the other hand there are plenty of people who don't receive a penny for the voluntary work they do and enjoy doing it. I think it is now time for mrs Pickup to do the decent thing and stand down from both Chairing positions and both ladies to be subject of a Public Inquiry. Mrs Elder is in fact a Council employee. Here's hoping something happens soon.
Paul wrote
at 15:05:01 on 07 November 2013
The comments seem to be drifting away from the reality,this was based on the money spent on Bernadette Elders wage and Ann Marie Pickups Wage as chair £10,500 a year,and only £4,000 spent on community Projects,to which were not told who recived these grants Salford Star it be good to have a East Salford Community Commitee article about the disgrace it's allowing others to dominate meetings including the Chair yet again Ann Marie Pickip...very Bias Indeed!!!
Stephen Kingston wrote
at 06:10:48 on 06 November 2013
See Joseph Mcevoy's comment below...As a resident of East Salford and as editor of the Salford Star I attended East Salford Community Committee meetings for a number of years, dragging my bored kids along; but have now stopped going and stopped reporting on them as I do not recognise the `Community Committee's' legitimacy. Nothing ever changes as a result of `discussions'; if you ask a question you'll be lucky to get half an answer within six months, the councillors are in ultimate control, and when the committee budget group was even looking at giving a grant to the Salford Star its members were threatened with jail. It's great if you want your scout hut funding but anything else, forget it. After years of banging my head against its wall I've given it up as a community tick box exercise, totally lacking any teeth but having lots of sham democracy. Like most things in Salford, great in theory, phoney in practice.
Joseph Mcevoy wrote
at 05:51:11 on 06 November 2013
I would like to advise Amanada Bickerton that I do not need to use a pseudonym so why does she say this. I think you really must have been at a different meeting if you did not see the biased comments from the Chair and the aggressive behaviour of some members. If you still insist you do not except these observations you must be blind to what happened at this Community Comitteee meeting and really as vice chair you should GET REAL and except what happened at this meeting because you saying otherwise does not look good when so many members witnessed what happened at this awful disgraceful never to attend again meeting. Really anybody who is trying to forget what happened at this terrible meeting does not show as community friendly. Everybody needs to be honest and come forward with recommendations on the honest and true way forward for the East Salford Community Committee because it should not carry on the way it is at present with a Chair who is very biased. Come on Amanada Bickerton and say just how the East Salford Community Committee meeting held at The Sports Village in Kersal was such a disgrace and that things need to change with regards to future meetings. In future respect must be given to all members of East Salford Community Committee and all members should have an equal voice even if some members are not so loud and aggressive as some other members. Come on East Salford Community Committee members and be honest and get real and put things right because if you do not do this you are not being true to our community. I admit I will not attend an East Salford Community Committee meeting again as I feel nothing will change but I really hope I am wrong. Also Amanada Bickerton you must explain just who "the cosy cliques of usual suspects" are as I am sure all East Salford community committee members are thinking "is she naming me" so come on and be honest and say who you are talking about because your quote has not helped.
Amanda Bickerton wrote
at 15:53:19 on 04 November 2013
It is very easy to throw stones through a pseudonym, and to avoid the issues behind accusations of 'disgraceful and aggressive' behaviour. I think we must have been at different meetings: unless 'those nasty people do not agree with me, and will not be shouted down' is 'disgraceful and aggressive' behaviour. And I might point out that I cannot (and would not) stop East Salford Community Committee from doing anything. I might not agree with everything that happens or everything that is voted for by the majority, but if the majority have decided, then I have to live with it. That's democracy for you. The real issue - the funding arrangements, democratic processes and accountability of the NDC Legacy group - is being lost in sniping over the trivial. I make the offer again - if you want a formal request to have this placed on the agenda or raised at Community Committee my email address is amandalbickerton@hotmail.co.uk. If people want me to raise it, I will - just let me know.
Salford ALNC wrote
at 12:19:41 on 31 October 2013
Well this group Inspiring Communities has outwitted you all because from an annuity that is for the Charlestown and Lower Kersal community the community is not getting it's share of the annuity because the Chair of the group Mrs Ann-Marie Pickup takes £200.00 a week for herself just for being the chair and a part time worker who works only 25 hours or less a week is paid over £35.00 a week. Does this seem fair and just well why not ask your local Councillors who agree and go along with this behaviour.
Joseph Mcevoy wrote
at 05:57:28 on 30 October 2013
I very much agree with East Salford Annoyed. Amanda Bickerton Vice Chair of ESCC why did you not stop the aggressive behaviour of the Chair and members of ESCC when they were shouting and acting very aggressive and indeed being a bully to other ESCC members. You just agreed with these bullies and for that you should feel ashamed and as for the "just the cosy cliques of usual suspects" just who are these people, come on and say who they are as you are so perfect and really who do you think you are describing members of ESCC in this way. Please just take a look at what you are saying about ESCC and the lack of respect it has for the members and maybe just take a look at how you are coming across. I will also say it will be good to hear your reply !!
East Salford Annoyed. wrote
at 07:02:15 on 29 October 2013
Well Amanda Bickerton you explain that you are vice chair of East Salford Community Committee so I must ask WHY did you allow such disgraceful and aggressive behaviour to happen at an East Salford Community Committee meeting and why did you join in with the chair and other people encouraging this horrid aggressive take over to happen. It really was not acceptable and it was just showing how a bully works. I attended this ESCC meeting for the first time and it was such a farce it will be my last but I need to ask WHY do SCC let this happen ? Also you say "not just the cosy cliques of usual suspects" please can you expand and explain just who the cosy cliques of usual suspects are and maybe explain just why they just may be right. I am sure we all look forward to your reply
Amanda Bickerton wrote
at 16:07:57 on 22 October 2013
Having been referred to in these comments (as Vice Chair of East Salford Community Committee) I would like to point out a couple of things. - Having had several members of the community committee 'jump on my back' over the years, and having made a formal complaint about the conduct of a sub-committee of the group ignored and not addressed, I will defend the right to challenge of members of the committee (not just the cosy cliques of usual suspects ) robustly. I would also suggest that anybody who takes issue with what I said, speaks to me about it: I might not agree with you, but there is more chance of resolving issues through constructive dialogue than not. - I am Chair of a local community group, and Vice Chair of the Community Committee. Between these roles I work as many hours as I do in my 'day job'. I do not get paid for either of these roles. I do not receive out-of-pocket expenses for either of these roles. That is what people who are passionate about their communities do. We have no expectation that we will be paid, and we do things because we think they are the right thing to do, not for money. Not everybody may like what I say and what I do, just as I don't like what others say and do. But if they are people who serve their communities, however much I might disagree with them, I respect them for that commitment and that passion. - If members of Community Committee wish for the whole Inspiring Communities Together/Development Framework Group/New Deal for Communities debacle to be on the agenda of the next meeting, then please let me know (amandalbickerton@hotmail.co.uk). The issue goes beyond what is happening now, there are questions going back for the lifetime of NDC which have not been answered. For all those residents who have had their lives blighted by uncertainty, lack of communication and a feeling that they have been forgotten as a result of this supposed 'regeneration', there need to be answers, and an open debate, challenging where necessary and asking the tough questions. - The Salford Star has been a voice for the ignored, for the real people, and a challenge to those who govern us. The response of the City Mayor to the publication suggests that the elected members are not going to engage in dialogue on this page (or to respond to suggestions made here)...
OMG Shocker in Salford wrote
at 21:25:38 on 21 October 2013
OMG..Shocking,Disturbing, looking at this AGM report the Pie Charts should be reversed so that the biggest part of the chart should be for the community and not Wages Where was the AGM ,how many people attended, how was the community allowed to pass this, why is this report Not live on the internet, is there somthing to Hide, Wages for a chair and a 3 day a week worker ,paid way way over the odds I might Just pass this we page comments on to the Advertiser & Manchester Evening News for All to see,and not the few they anticipated.
East Salford Resident wrote
at 07:19:54 on 18 October 2013
We'll there are now 45 comments about this farce yet not a peep from SCC. Are they hanging their heads in shame for allowing all this to go on for so long? I don't think so. Perhaps they are preparing a letter of apology for the Residents of Charlestown and Lr. Kersal who have and still are being robbed. This robbery will go on for a long time as the two women concerned will be definitely drawing pensions from the proceeds one way or another. If there is nothing to hide why can't the two wages be justified?
Karl Brooke's.charlestown Resident wrote
at 17:18:29 on 17 October 2013
To Wrote - with no name-you need to look at the report... Chair who takes over £10.000 a year and only £4.000 was given to the community and her side kick gets over £34.000 ,,, if your Commited to your community you would refuse your wage and give it back to the community.
at 17:18:03 on 17 October 2013
Talk about taking the flack but also the £200 a week. This money should have been refused because it belongs to the community so why feel sorry. You should feel sorry for all the community group chairs who get nothing but there again they volunteer for their community not for the money
at 05:18:42 on 17 October 2013
Unfortunately someone has to be the patsy taking the flack for the NDC fiasco. You find them in every community-someone who genuinely starts off as an activist with their community interest at heart, but end up by being bought by the system which creates these paid positions (after all, you cant bite the hand that feeds you-can you?. Anyone with principles would have run a mile from it. Salford CC are canny, better an agitator inside the fold where they can keep an eye on them! They reel them in, give them strategic places on forums supposedly be "the voice of the community" -they are slowly brainwashed into the mentality of thinking "we may not like it but we have to work with them"-and of course Thats how SCC justify community involvement. I feel sorry for the local lady involved-its a true saying-the road to hell is paved with good intentions
Broughton Resident wrote
at 05:18:34 on 17 October 2013
Is this really for real. Has this really been allowed to happen in East Salford. I am so shocked that Salford people have let this happen. A Salford community group chair taking £200.00 a month from a community pot, it's a wonder the community has not started a riot. So many great community groups with very dedicated chairs who volunteer for nothing in East Salford they all deserve a big thank you but this chair should be ashamed to take community funds. If this is correct just how has this been allowed to happen ? Salford City Council must be letting this happen and officers attached to SCC and attached to this group must have gone along with this robbery so they must be as bad. But why do East Salford councillors let this happen ? what does this say ? come on Councillors why are you not asking questions when it is your members who are missing out on the communities rightful annuity.
Alan Daniels wrote
at 11:42:51 on 16 October 2013
Well written Salford Star 40 comments on this subject,looking at other news this seems to be the most viewed & written about, Surely this has outraged local people, and hope this continues till this is brought to the right conclusion and rid this group and let the community take control in a proper way Who in the right mind gets paid £200 a week as a chair,my partner works Full Time and gets no where near that amount,and Bernadette Elder,well enough said on her, interesting to find she runs a B&B in Halifax ,she can with that amount of money she earns ( community Money) Well I'm looking forward to more comments on here and hopefully resolve this for the better of the community Well done Salford Star & all the concerned local people, I fully support your views.
Salford ALNC wrote
at 07:56:01 on 15 October 2013
Well said Joseph Mcevoy , perfectly right in everything you've said, It was a disgrace to watch the chair and the English teacher ( Vice chair of community Commitee) jump on peoples backs and disregard to local people, your attitude towards these people was wrong, and you need to hang your heads in shame, Here is a Chair who gets £200 a week , and if that's her attitude she needs to step down, and I'm aware she's an MBE, if I had my way she be stripped of her medal! because she's robbing the community like her side kick Bernadette Elder...what a waste of community money,,,give US the people of Charlestown & Lower Kersal the ability to use this money for the people,who really need it. Community Commitee i is to bring THE local people together and to raise issues within their community??not to shot down by the Chair,vice chair and a member of Broughton Trust
Joseph Mcevoy wrote
at 11:16:11 on 14 October 2013
Well East Salford Resident I agree with you "Mr Mayor the ball is in your court" My question is the Mayor ready to stand up for his community and stop this as one person said Dick Turpins collecting all the communities monies for a part time worker and a chair who takes £200.00 a week out of the community funds just for being Chair. How many community groups do we have in East Salford and how many chairs of these groups pocket £200.00 every week I bet this chair of Inspiring Communities is the only one to take this money from her community. People asked why the local councillors did not ask questions at The East Salford Community Committee meeting as the chair taking the £200.00 a week also is chair of The East Salford Community Committee. I found this out with thanks to Kersal Advertiser here in these comments. I decided to attend The East Salford Community Committee meeting at the Sports Village on Littleton Road in Kersal. I was waiting for the issues to be brought up but not one councillor had the guts to stand up and ask questions not even one. Not only that the whole meeting was a farce but really not funny and very disturbing. The chair was biased to say the least she encouraged members to except her view and she encouraged members to shout and domineer the meeting having no respect for anybody. It was a shambles one member who described herself as an English teacher stood up laying the law down to members and she explained the chair and somebody shouting the odds were right. Well Mrs English Teacher where did you learn about manners and protocol. This was my first visit to The East Salford Community Committee meeting and I can say it will be my last. I would like to ask Salford City Council why are meetings with no protocol and biased chairs allowed to take place. Please can somebody answer this as it really is unbelievable that councillors just sit and allow this behaviour. And members why do you still attend meetings that are a farce.? This chair of Inspiring Communities must be God to get away with what she is doing. Cover up comes to mind, but "why is this happening" we should be asking. Mr Mayor, Mr Lancaster, Assistant Mayor's especially Lisa Stone, Local Councillors and the Scrutiny Committee need to start looking at what is happening in East Salford and answer the questions that are being asked.
East Salford Resident wrote
at 20:46:28 on 12 October 2013
Ann-Marie Pickup and Bernadette Elder being the Chair and Co-ordinater of inspiring communities have been getting these wages since the NDC started. The NDC ran for10 years and I don't think a calculator is needed to work how much that equates to. Then add wages from DFG and now Inspiring communities. It could well be nearing half a million (£500,000). Not bad for part time work. This money should be benefiting the whole of Lower Kersal and Charlestown whose Residents are definitely unaware of the amount concerned. Just when are these women justifying their wages. Mr Mayor the ball is in your court.
Diane Roberts wrote
at 06:44:20 on 11 October 2013
Lets ask the Salford Mayor and all his assistants what they are going to do about this robbery ? I bet he will explain this robbery away saying "What good value for money, excellent project" come on Mr Mayor get real and give us the truth. Why is so much of communities monies going in wages for one person and a community member who acts as chair takes £200.00 a week. We have so many community groups in Salford who have chairs who work so hard for many hours for no monies why should this chair take £200.00 a week from her community. These questions show just why the Mayor should put a stop to this daylight robbery or will he just try to explain this away rather than face the problem ? So we should ask our Mayor to investigate and explain just why most of the monies are not going back into our community. Do you want to bet there is an excuse or explanation from our Mayor and his assistants if this complaint even reaches him.
Salford ALNC wrote
at 21:24:53 on 09 October 2013
What a Joke Councilliors ..we speak on your behalf..I don't think so, they haven't on here... I think the next stage for this and all the comments with it be given to Salford Advertiser& Manchester Evening News DFG paid workers need to be called " Dick Turpin"
Salford Star Fan wrote
at 07:39:54 on 09 October 2013
I think the members of this group who are taking so much communities monies are laughing at us because nobody is ready to stand up and say who they are and just why SCC are letting this happen. SCC members WHY are you just going along with this daylight robbery. The money going to this group is for community use not for two people to claim and for what ? Councillors why do you not challenge this practice ? this just stinks. Councillors do something about it and stop this happening. Listen to community members who have resigned because of the way the group is run ? Just who is going to listen ? Please listen.
Live in Salford wrote
at 19:32:29 on 03 October 2013
Well very concerned are you having a laugh. This Inspiring Communities give a presentation at a meeting as to where the money is going will never happen. Have you read the comments from so many residents it would cause even more of an outcry and as for local councillors they are all keeping quiet so we need to remember this when they want votes. No support for your community no votes from your community.
Very Concerned ALNC wrote
at 06:19:39 on 03 October 2013
A member raised under AOB that Inspiring Communities come to the next CC and do a presentation on the AGM report in Full details & breakdown of the Expenditure the chair of Inspiring Communities who's also the chair of ESCC ( East Salford Community Commitee) agreed to this.
East Salford Resident wrote
at 06:19:23 on 03 October 2013
Councillors: Merry, Coen, Ord, Wilson were there. A glossy report of the DFG was left for anyone to read and keep. There was no mention of DFG or Inspiring Community's from either side. It might be worth taking the trouble to put official complaints to local councillors or the mayor himself.
Kersal Advertiser wrote
at 05:39:23 on 02 October 2013
I am sorry I was not able to attend the CC meeting yesterday at the Salford's Sports Centre in Kersal. I would just like to know which councillors (if any)brought up the subject of the Inspiring Communities Group and why this procedure is allowed to happen. Which Councillors where there and which councillors challenged this procedure. This should show us which councillors are on our side and not just going along with SCC. What questions were asked and by whom and is something going to be put in place to stop this happening in the future.
Charletown Reident wrote
at 05:32:56 on 30 September 2013
If this story was in the national papers it would cause an outcry yet in Salford it is OK because people do not know what is going on and nobody will stand up at a public meeting and challenge. Communities monies, the community are letting their money line pockets and I do not understand why they do not stand up for their communities. The local councillors will now show their true colours do they speak out or keep quiet ? well done to the ones that speak out !! keep quiet and show your true colours. I guess they will all keep quiet and pretend nothing has been published about this group because it all linked to SCC. Keep quiet and it will all blow over and soon been forgotten !!!!
Kersal Advertiser wrote
at 05:32:02 on 30 September 2013
Still NO comments from ANY councilors the chair Ann Marie Pickup (AMP) and co- Ordinator Bernadette Elder(BE) as I've had to research....as they won't speak up!!!! Come on ...let's have an open meeting for all to question at Community Commitee this Tuesday 6.30 pm (1st Oct) Salford Sports Village,,, Community money to pay for 2 big salaries.......
East Salford Resident wrote
at 17:09:14 on 26 September 2013
There is still no sign of either the coordinator or the chair showing their faces so let's have some answers at Community Committee. Both have been asked in the past to have a presentation at CC but members were fobbed off. I wonder why. Locals and members of the two forums were led to believe the coordinators wages were paid pro rata and the Chair was voluntary. Perhaps now the truth is out these misguided people will realise what fools they have been taken for. As stated previously this Chair and the Community Committee Chair are one and the same person. Therefore this next CC meeting should be very interesting.
Salford Star Fan wrote
at 07:06:33 on 26 September 2013
Very interesting reading. I agree with you Kersal Advertiser. Do any local councillors stand up and challenge, it will be no because they are just SCC puppets so lets remember this at voting time and I am sure Salford Star will remind us just in case we forget. Lets see which councillors(if any) challenge all this communities monies going to two individuals one being a community group chair. If all the great hard working for free chairs of community groups in East Salford wanted £200 a week just how many groups would be still operating. This matter should be reported and challenged for legal reasons. SCC and all involved should be legally challenged and this matter must be out in the open for scrutiny .
Kersal Advertiser wrote
at 19:54:36 on 25 September 2013
It's the East Salford Community Commitee on Tuesday 1st October at Salford Sports Village 6.30 pm, where the inspiring Communities Co-Ordinator and Chair normally attend ( Chair also Chairs East Salford) Let's see if the Councillors there will stand up and argue the point because they haven't on here or are they not saying anything because this is a council Job, This meeting would be a great opportunity for this issue to be brought up and the local community to hear the truth, I've been told about community Committee to which I've Just learned about, It may be Worth a visit myself to get more facts.
Charlestown local wrote
at 03:39:17 on 24 September 2013
This wii be the 25th comment on here and the morjority of people are,Angry and are asking this to be stopped and investigated,by our never to be seen ward councilliors of Irwell Riverside and Kersal Ward ( untill the local elections come round,theyre everywhere) Come on our elected councilliors...comments please !!!! This will not go unfoggoton till these people stand up and explain why their high salaries are more important than this community, Inspiring Communities Together,,,,is a Joke,its done nothing tio inspire anyone....
Ellen Leighton wrote
at 03:52:05 on 23 September 2013
This story is like a drama so is it really true. The members of this group need to step forward and explain why this drama has been going on for so long and indeed if it is legal, moral and justified. I also am looking at just who will be looking into why a group is spending community monies on two people. It will be good to see just which of our local councillors have the guts to look into this because they were voted in by our member so lets see if they can stand by our members and an have the guts to stand up and be counted on this issue.
graham Cooper wrote
at 18:40:07 on 20 September 2013
I challenge Essence( mag for NDC/DFG/ICT/SCC) to take up this story and ask the communities what they think of these issues and not just celebrate there own good news stories. Any publication should surely represent all views regardless of the "Stalin like censorship" that often prevails in this City, and what purports to represent everyone's views yet never tells the TRUE story. This method dis empowers real people from the fundamental issues that afflict this City, and in some respect I believe that is what the decision makers want
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 08:43:34 on 20 September 2013
Its the same old story this so called Labour Council just use up Central Government money and Council Tax Payers money With no mandate or consultation with or from the Salford populas.No money to save pieces of Salfords Historic buildings and such .But untold amounts of cash for Fat Cat Wage Earners. Advisors etc Useless fountains at Victoria. Road dressing on chapel st.The list of cash wasted is scandalous.No money for vital Services plenty for pet projects.This Council have off loaded all Salfords assets and paid millions to prop up the arts on that white elephant the Lowery Centre.To me personally that is why I think the electorate may be better voting for lesser known party's in local elections especially where the candidate is a Salford born local.
East Salford Resident wrote
at 08:42:42 on 20 September 2013
Even though this group is within East Salford the coordinater and chair think they are a law unto themselves. No minutes are available after meetings I believe. No record of who voted the chair in. The Group members are not allowed any expenses for Travelling to and from group meetings. Originally two wages were paid out of £53,000,000 NDC money. Anyone with any decency wouldn't have the gall to claim that amount out of £101,000. The coordinater recently commissioned Salford University to do a report in the area at a cost of £10,000. Half of this was from the Devolve Budget for the whole of East Salford. The same report could have been done by another organisation in the area who employ local people for a lot less. So much for community! Let's hope that the Council has the nous to sort this one out.
Jim Noughton wrote
at 08:42:31 on 20 September 2013
Reading this I cannot believe it has been allowed to happen ? why ? and why has it been happening for so long ? Who are this group ? Where are this group ? Why take community funds ? Are any councillors involved ? or SCC employees ? who is big enough to investigate this appalling practice ? or is this just normal SCC practice ? How many members are ready to come forward and explain why this has been allowed ? why has our community lost so much funds paying £10.400 for a chair when all community groups I know have chairs who do not get paid they do it for their community ? and a part time worker getting over £34.00 ? this is two people taking most of a communities income for themselves so why is this justified ? Why is nobody asking these questions ? why are our elected councillors not asking questions ? there must be some reason ? so councillors remember just why you were elected and that was for you to have our communities best interest at heart yet do you do nothing to stop this happening ? WHY ? WHY ? will you come forward councillors and explain ? I don't think you will ? It is so sad and morally not right for this to be happening in East Salford when nobody is in a position to put things right or nobody wants to put things right for one reason or another. So very very Sad. Lets just see where this goes and if any councillors have the guts to stand up and ask questions ?
Annoyed Local wrote
at 16:57:19 on 19 September 2013
It be good for the Co-Ordinator and the Chair to step Forward in public and step down ...All that money wasted on salaries,when the area is in need of funding for projects who are struggling to keep afloat...disgrace !!!!
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Star date: 12th December 2018


Music from the North
The Moods, Pleasures, Glove, Falling Ghosts and DJ Stephen Doyle
Saturday 15th December from 7pm
Band On The Wall £10

This Saturday, there's another brilliant Music from the North gig at Band On The Wall hosted by A1M Records, with Salford Star Best Band Award winners, The Moods and a full line-up of upcoming talent. Ian Leslie catches up with Paul Travis of A1M Records to get the gen.

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Star date: 11th December 2018


Panto On The Park
Sunday 16th December 12noon-3pm
Green Grosvenor Park, Lower Broughton (suggested donation £1-£2)

This Sunday, 16th December, Up Ere Theatre Group will be performing their own version of Salford's Cinderella in a heated marquee at Green Grosvenor Park in Lower Broughton. There'll also be performances from dance troupes Salford Aces, Urban Angels and JD Dance, plus lots of stalls, face painting and more.

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Star date: 10th December 2018


After two auctions, two exhibitions and a pop-up shop over just ten days, the immediate future of the Salford Star has been saved, with around £3,000 raised by the community.

At Salford Shopping Centre yesterday, over £1,000 was raised as actor and long time Salford Star contributor, Nigel Pivaro conducted an auction of Salford relics and memorabilia... "This isn't just about raising money for the Salford Star" said Nigel "It's also symbolic in terms of raising awareness of what we've done over the years...shining the torch where councils, developers and companies don't like it shone..."

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Star date: 9th December 2018


Tony Kinsella - More Jokes about Girls and Chocolate
Sunday 9th December
Bolton Socialist Club

Eccles comic Tony Kinsella debuts a show dedicated to The Undertones at the Bolton Socialist Club tonight. Ian Leslie checks out the laughs...

Full details here...


Star date: 8th December 2018


Salford Star Exhibition, Auction and Event
With Nigel Pivaro, Simon Williams, Chris Flynn and Sandra Bouguerch
Sunday 9th December 10am - 4pm (events from 1:30pm/auction around 3pm)
Salford Shopping Centre (next to Lloyds Bank)

Tomorrow sees the final day of the Salford Star pop-up shop and exhibition, with an auction hosted by Nigel Pivaro of weird and wonderful Salford relics and bargain Christmas presents; plus street poetry from the spirit of Salford himself, Simon Williams, songs by the ace Chris Flynn and a Party On performance piece for all the family by artist Sandra Bouguerch.

Full details here...


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