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SALFORD QUAYS CRANES DISGRACE AS £MILLIONS SQUANDERED
 

Star date: 25th October 2013

ALMOST £6MILLION SQUANDERED ON MEDIACITYUK `HERITAGE' AND `COMMUNITY' PROJECTS… YET CRANES TO BE DEMOLISHED ON QUAYS CULTURE DAY

There's been almost £6million worth of public funding for `heritage' and `community' projects around Salford Quays and MediaCityUK, yet this weekend the Salford Quays cranes, the most iconic heritage items in the area, are being demolished by Salford Council on the authority of Salford Mayor, Ian Stewart.

Incredibly the demolition starts on Quays Culture Open Day – could they be any more hard faced and insulting to Salford people?

Full details here…


Salford Quays Cranes QR Code Salford Quays Cranes QR Code Salford Quays Cranes QR Code
Salford Quays Cranes
click image to enlarge

Down on the Quays this morning all was quiet by the blue cargo cranes – the demolition teams hadn't moved in yet, and the sun was even trying to shine through the black clouds that hovered over the iconic structures that are about to be torn down in the most public and symbolic flattening of Salford's community culture and heritage this century.

Taking one last glimpse of the cranes was an Ordsall dog walker, who called the Council's actions "a disgrace", and a few photographers trying to preserve some memories…

"I'm here today to photograph the cranes before they're removed and are not here for us to see any more" said Sarah Davies "My granddad was Frederick Bates and during the 1940s he sailed from here in the merchant navy. The family has close connections with this area and I believe that this is a bit of Salford's history which should be here for future generations.

"I think it's a crying shame that the identity of the area is being totally lost" she added "There's nothing here to signify the importance of this area to Salford and the Manchester area."

Salford photographer, Raymond Psaila, was also there capturing the scene before it's trashed*.

"I'm here to record the cranes before they are demolished which I think is an absolute crying shame in a historic city such as Salford" he said "It's an attraction, they shouldn't be taken down, they should be painted and renovated, they do no harm. When I read about it on the Salford Star I was gobsmacked, dumfounded."

This week, in answer to questions about the crane trashing, Salford City Mayor, Ian Stewart tweeted coldly "We haven't got £1million to make cranes safe and restore them. nobrainer#"

In fact, the £1million is a red herring. Salford Council's own reports show that it had a quote of £648,500 to refurbish the cranes, and had £626,000 in its funds, from way before the cuts, ringfenced, to refurbish them. This would have left a shortfall of just £25,000 plus maintenance costs, which the Council stated would be £8,000 a year (see here).

Even apart from this, almost £6million of public money has been spent on mostly crap `community engagement' and `heritage' projects around the Quays and MediaCityUK, as revealed by the Salford Star two years ago (see here).

There was a £3.3million Goldsmiths College-led joint project called FIRM - Framework for Innovation and Research in MediaCityUK - which aimed to "investigate the social impact of MediaCityUK". One of its themes was "The novelty of the child-like mimetic question 'What is Media City like?'"

FIRM was also involved, with the University of Salford, in `Port to Portal' - "the development of an online digital archive…around the main narrative strand telling the story of the area's journey from a world-leading Port to a Portal into the digital age".

This echoed another project, The Lowry's £464,400 Unlocking The Quays project which "aimed at improving interpretation and increasing access to the history of Salford Quays", charting the area's history from, er, port to MediaCityUK portal.

Also funded was the £407,000 New Mornings Old Streets project, again involving Salford University, which was "throwing a spotlight on The MediaCityUK Development, its impacts and opportunities for local people and communities".

Add to these the pathetically failed MediaCityUK Public Sector Partners Programme, costing almost £1.5million which mainly fed consultants and managers, and the Council's £161,000 funding for `community engagement strategy' projects which, kind of, disappeared, and it adds up to almost £6million, with very little to show for it - apart from some nouveau docks sculptures dotted around the Quays, while the original heritage is being torn down.

Not so much #nobrainer, Mr Mayor, as `no brains' and `the imagination of a tennis racket'.

The latest hair-brained scheme is to take between £50,000 and £100,000 of the ringfenced funding the Council set aside for the cranes' refurbishment and put it towards a £150,000 mobile phone app `heritage interpretation project', thrilling visitors to Salford Quays with "text and visual images to show the past/ present /potential future of the area, providing prompts to highlight landmarks, key buildings etc" (see here).

Had the Mayor bothered to visit the cranes, he would see that there's already a similar thing there – a QR code stuck on the railings `created by Tales of Things for Salford City Council'. You scan it with your mobile phone and it brings up a photo of the cranes with the text "They are a striking feature, towering over Ontario Basin…many people choose to stop here and admire the view"

The digital interpretation, even with the cranes next to it, has been so popular that it's had no Facebook `likes' and no Twitter re-tweets, showing the potential appetite for the £150,000 app.

But the ultimate slap in the face for Salford people's heritage comes courtesy of an organisation which receives public funding, called Quays Culture. While the cranes are being demolished tomorrow, it's holding a day of `Quays Culture'…

The bash at MediaCityUK and The Lowry features a Question and Answer session with Quays Culture resident artist John O'Shea, who's been going on about the history of the docks, and who will be discussing his project, The Other Forecast, which "supports research to rapidly realise the transformational impact of digital technologies on aspects of community life, cultural experiences, future society, and the economy."…

Perhaps if he steps outside he'll see that the `transformational impact' is to wipe out `aspects of community life and cultural experiences'.

Also appearing is former Hue and Cry founder, Pat Kane, who will be talking at the University of Salford's MediaCityUK campus about 'Radical Animal: Play, Ecology, Human Nature'… He is another one who needs to step outside. The blurb says he will outline "how he sees consumer capitalism exploit our evolved appetites for novelty, form and the recombination of elements…"

Replacing real heritage with apps and art circuses surely is `exploiting our evolved appetites for novelty, form and the recombination of elements'.

The Salford Star dares Mr Kane to visit the crane heritage trashing and sing Labour of Love… "I don't need your tricks and treats/ I don't need your ministration, your bad determination/ I've had enough of you, and your super-bad crew…"

Meanwhile, Quays Culture states that "We are inspired by The Quays as a dynamic place where the public, culture, media, business and the aquatic interact on a local and global platform"…after the weekend they will be `interacting' on their own, as the iconic Salford Quays blue cargo cranes will be in the scrap yard, courtesy of our very own Salford City Mayor, Ian Stewart.

We do hope the Mayor will be attending the Quays Culture screening of Water Fools…

 

Saturday 26th October: Quays Culture Open Day - or Saturday and Sunday 26th and 27th October a free show: `Come and See Your Heritage Trashed' all day - near what's left of the Salford Quays Cargo Cranes Ontario Basin

* Raymond's photos of the last day of the Salford Cranes can be seen by clicking here

Update: 27th October 2013 - Salford Quays Cranes Trashed in £100,000 Execution - click here

 

See also previous Salford Star articles on the cranes...

Nigel Pivaro Says Stop The Cranes Demolition - click here

Salford Quays Cranes To Be Demolished - click here

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

                               
Rev Green wrote
at 12:03:52 on 27 October 2013
Does anyone still think we have democracy in Salford. Kim-il Jong will be proud of Mayor Greedy-il Bastard and his parasitic accolytes .
 
Alexander James Valliant wrote
at 07:53:11 on 27 October 2013
I have been left a little puzzled by the quotes from the council, to restore these cranes. For the third time, these cranes would have needed to be dismantled had they been put back to use as lifting machinery, thus the large amount of money quoted by the council for restoration. However, as artistic monument, they can be restored without having to dismantle them. Also there is approxamitly £30,000 pounds of copper in the electrical transmission system alone, and a further £40,000 pounds of scrap metal from the cranes. It surprises me that no one has mentioned what it is costing the council to pull down these cranes. Well I can inform you the cost is £35,000 - £40,000 , giving the council an estimated pre tax profit of £30,000 pounds. That is the reason the mayor is knocking down these wonderful historic structures. So Mr Mayor, what worthwhile project will you be investing the £30,000 pounds pre tax profit into? To restore these cranes in their present position would cost around £50,000 pounds per crane, if the council welded all the moving parts, and stripped out the old electrical transmission system. So to refurbish both cranes as solid pieces of art, and not working cranes, would have cost the tax-payer £100,000, which I believe, according to the figures stated by the Salford Star, the council had. In conclusion, the council did not want to spend money on these cranes, they simply wanted to profit from their demise. And that readers, is why Salford Council won't listen to the citizens of Salford, concerning the refurbishment of these cranes. I hope this throws some light onto what appeared to be a perplexing situation, but turned out to be very simple. What have we learned about our Mayor, and Local Salford Council? We have learned that this is no longer a city of democracy, but a dictatorship run by fools.
 
Paul davis wrote
at 07:53:07 on 27 October 2013
How sad and disappointed I am with the proposed demolition of our ,The Salford people's cranes, why are yup people destroying the history of our great and varied past. So disappointed and angry if it was not for the star air would not know anything about it and right on the BBC door step shame on you BBC for not reporting it and trying to save our heritage for the kids of tomorrow, Peel where are you now having bought most of salford and now building the docks (Port of Salford) this would be perfect for you. Having read most of the emails I agree what a shame so sad.......
 
Tim Bate wrote
at 08:05:05 on 26 October 2013
They should not be taking them cranes down!!! they symbolise that manchester was once a port and part of the history of Manchester Docks and salford Quays-its a disgrace!!! bad form salford Council! All the money that has been put into salford Quays from the late 80's onwards like media city, the Lowry, imperial war museum the list goes on and they can't find some money to give them cranes a lick of paint!! Once they are gone, they are gone for ever! which is a crying shame. Tim Bate
 
EX NU-LIEBOR VOTER wrote
at 08:04:17 on 26 October 2013
Did anyone really expect career politician Mayor Greedy Bastard Stewart to care about Salford's heritage ? The clown is just another taxpayer milker , just like Blears and Keeley . LET'S VOTE THE TWATS OUT ASAP .
 
Eddie... wrote
at 20:52:13 on 25 October 2013
I am so angry that I am lost for words, and if I printed what I really feel The Star would probably ban me. I have been angered many times down the years by this inept uncaring council that has stigmatically cleansed our heritage of the map forever. But these cranes are a step to far. I never thought I would say this, but I will never vote labour again. Not in a general election or a local election. You are worse than the Tory parasites that you oppose.
 
joe oneill wrote
at 20:51:53 on 25 October 2013
Just had a phone call from someone saying he could refurbish both cheaper than Stewart quoted, funny Labour will not talk to us so I got the message sent to Stewart by a third party, more than likely end up in Stewarts bin. We voted for a man who cares little for Salford Heritage and takes little note from any one who does not wear Labours rose
 
Nobrainer wrote
at 20:51:38 on 25 October 2013
Ian Stewart. Nobrainer#
 
Raymond G Psaila wrote
at 20:51:32 on 25 October 2013
It was nice meeting you today At The Cargo Cranes At Salford Quays I have added the 31 images to Google maps and to My Flickr Sets http://www.flickr.com/photos/raymond_psaila/sets/72157636933292774/ Kind Regards Raymond G Psaila
 
Martin wrote
at 15:24:24 on 25 October 2013
Keep the cranes - scrap Stewart.
 
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