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SALFORD NEW YEAR PREDICTIONS FROM MYSTIC MARY
 

Star date: 1st January 2014

MYSTIC MARY PREDICTS MORE CUTS AND CAPERS AT SALFORD COUNCIL

Following some stunning predictions in December for the future of the cuts in Salford, Mystic Mary's back with more crystal gazing fortunes for the city.

While the Salford Star wishes all its readers and supporters a very happy new year for 2014, Mary predicts only gloom, doom and Dickensian despair. Sorry…

This way to sample what's in store…


Wooooooooo….

I, Mystic Mary Burns, have been at it again, up on Kersal Moor enticing the spirits of the future, and, following my predictions last month (see previous article – click here), I see more despair heading towards Salford….

* Despite the £25million cuts coming in the next twelve months, I see a new Fat Cat arriving at Salford Council. Having got rid of Chief Executive Barbara Spicer and her whopping salary, Mayor Ian Stewart put out a statement saying he was going to "create the new post of Council Manager on a substantially reduced salary"...widely reported as £70,000 (see here). Now, I predict, this salary will be `substantially increased' and a new post of `Chief Officer' will be appointed in the first few months of the year.

* I predict that, despite a `consultation' (which ended in mid December) on more Council Tax benefit cuts, Salford Council will still go ahead with the poverty inducing measure that will see already struggling people paying `at least 12%' of their Council Tax bill from April this year.

As of last year, some of the poorest people in the city have had to find 8.5% of the hefty bill – a 3.5% increase will push people even further into the financial brink – facing a Council Tax bill of up to £122 per year, on top of any Bedroom Tax, service charge increases and rent hikes (see here). With my psychic powers I couldn't see anyone actually filling in the consultation in favour of this – but I see the Council pushing ahead with it anyway…

* Despite 65% of Salford housing tenants being in rent arrears and one in 61 households at risk of their houses being re-possessed (see here), I predict that the Council will slash its Housing, Welfare Rights and Debt Advice Service with £350,000 cuts.

The Council will try to get rid of 16 of the current 24 Supported Tenancies workers, even though there's a staff consultation which goes on until the end of January. Just when Salford people need this Advice Service most, the Council's axe is hovering.

* I predict a 10% cut to mental health services of £108,688, tightening the screw on all the companies which currently provide care to those who need it most in Salford.

* I see vulnerable adults in Salford getting more isolated and more confused by huge cuts to the third sector organisations that currently provide their care. In 2014 there's going to be an even bigger move towards what the Council calls "a new market situation", with companies competing for cut price care contracts.

I don't need psychic abilities to see the vulnerable suffering, with even the Council stating in a new report that there is a `high risk' in relation to organisations providing day care, support for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and carers breaks support.

It even names the organisations that "may experience financial difficulties in the new market situation"Age UK, Manchester Jewish Community Care, ASGMA, Crossroads and Give Us A Break… and adds that "there is a possibility of damage to the reputation of the City Council if these organisations are unable to continue providing services in the new market conditions".

In relation to community arts and media, these `procurement' and `commissioning' changes saw the demise of established organisations like Gears+ and CRIS (Creative Industry in Salford) last year. I see more Tory-induced, Labour-enacted commercially led carnage to follow…

I can look no more into my crystal ball without smashing the bloody thing in horror, but rest assured that what is coming in 2014 will hurt the weakest, poorest, most vulnerable people in the city.

Oh, and I predict a new bridge being commissioned on the Crescent and more subsidies for fat cat, profit-mongering, Salford-mugging corporations cashing in on our misery with their fools gold of jobs…

Happy New Year.
Mystic Mary Burns

David Cameron wrote
at 09:53:03 on 05 January 2014
Matt Simpson. I'm glad you agree with me that their is only one opposition party that can challenge labour in salford and that is UKIP, this is what your saying, isn't mat, when you try to slag them off. Any vote out side of UKIP in salford is a wasted vote as proven in weaste, seedley bi elections, please don't go on about increasing your vote in the last election, it didn't mean jack squat at the end of the day, if the people of salford want to make a difference in May then there is only one party that can challenge labour in salford and that is UKIP, not some one term independent that will be laughed at and ignored by labour in council meetings, the idea of being a councillor is to change thing for the better of salford and not to go with, the herd mentality of the present labour councillors who have stopped listening to the people of salford. Labour are untouchable in salford whilst people keep voting for small Micky mouse candidates or protest groups, time for people to use their brain and vote for a party that have realistically got a chance of being elected and that can make a change, and at the moment that is UKIP
 
Matt Simpson wrote
at 22:23:45 on 03 January 2014
I predict that in May, 70 - 80% of Salfordians who are sick to the back teeth of all political parties probably won't vote. I also predict UKIP will be EVERYWHERE trying to convince us they can give every voter not only a rainbow with a pot of gold but also a Unicorn to go with it. I personally hope people across the city will go out and vote because otherwise the council will just continue to believe they are untouchable.
 
David Cameron wrote
at 18:09:47 on 02 January 2014
I nominate dick Turpin for salford council manager, I have more trust in him than any labour councillor and as his side kick I have Stevie Wonder as financial manager, so salford labour councillors can keep on robbing us blind. Just been a news flash that Ian Stewart has quit, that is, he's quit representing the people of salford.
 
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