HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
PEEL HOLDINGS SALFORD ELECTION
 

issue 7

Dance With The Devil!
 
We exclusively reveal how mega-bucks company Peel Holdings is trying to influence this year's local election...


"I'd like to explain our position" says Mike Butterworth, Peel Holdings' Property Director "and then you can consider to what extent you are prepared to dance with the devil."

Peel Holdings is certainly one beast of a company. With an estimated £6billion worth of assets, it's got massive interests in Salford and beyond, which include owning the Trafford Centre, Media City, Barton Airport, the Ship Canal, a slice of Salford Reds new stadium complex and huge chunks of Salford's green belt which are about to be developed into a racecourse/hotel complex and a freight terminal.

Peel is going to extraordinary lengths to protect those interests in the run up to the forthcoming local elections, trying to influence local media coverage and, in Butterworth's words, "picking a fight" with elected councillors to stop a policy which might affect its obscene profits.

The policy is congestion charging - which aims to make motorists pay for having their cars on the road at certain times of day, matched with major improvements to public transport - but the principles go much deeper than that.

Whether anyone's for or against the congestion charge isn't at stake here. This is about a huge company using its power and money to put its vested interests at the forefront of a local election, rather than issues that might be more directly important to the community, such as housing, education or…let's think… the protection of Salford's precious green belt.

Mike Butterworth, and his sidekick, Gordon McKinnon, Peel's Director of Operations, have been holding meetings with local political parties that are standing candidates in opposition to the Labour Party, offering to help unseat councillors who are in favour of the congestion charge.

"The forthcoming elections are a big opportunity" Butterworth said at one recent meeting "What can we do to help you guys?"

Butterworth explained just why Peel is so against congestion charging, which boiled down to protecting its real estate interests at Media City…"we don't want to see anything done that will slow it down, hamper it or make it less attractive"…and the possibility of companies around the Trafford Centre having to increase wages to their workers…"I can't say that a lot of them are particularly well paid and people won't be able to afford this charge, so it will affect our ability to draw people in to working here…"

Butterworth put to the meeting a number of ways in which the parties could "dance with the devil". First he mentioned `colluding' with a local newspaper to do a survey asking councillors who are due for election if they were in favour of the charge or not…then he offered the services of political lobbyists and a PR firm to do the survey. Finally he specifically targeted Roger Jones, the Labour councillor for Irlam and chairman of the GMPTE, which is attempting to bring in the charge.

"There is another way of partly skinning the same cat in that Roger Jones is up for re-election - he's bricking it over it, he's rattled" Butterworth said "He has a majority of 200 or something like that, it's nothing. It's almost inconceivable that with a bit of the right kind of publicity he can't be turfed out*…"

Butterworth then revealed details of a telephone survey of 300 people, paid for by Peel and done through market research firm, Aspect, which showed 60% of people who voted for Jones at the last election won't vote for him again if he introduces the congestion charge.

"He knows we've done the survey and is very upset about it, and I've had the chief exec of Salford Council asking what we're up to but at some point we're going to release this information" he added, asking "What's your relationship like with the Salford Advertiser?"

"My impression of the Salford Advertiser is that they didn't particularly carry any great weight of support for Roger Jones" he continued "But if at some point we worked it out between us and we release this information about the survey, and that was before or after - depending on the tactics - some sort of release by you guys saying `This is wrong, and Roger Jones is wrong'…You guys could have so much fun…"

Whether anything was actually put into practice will be seen in the run up to the local election in May. But this does reveal how big business tries to influence and sway the media and political agenda towards its own interests.

"I think it's an abuse of democracy" said Salford Council Leader, John Merry, when we revealed details of Peel's plan "From the point of view of trying to buy an election…the only way it would work is if you think that the people of Salford are going to vote on something solely on the basis of congestion charging…Now I happen to think the people of Salford are more intelligent than that…"

Meanwhile, Peel aren't the only ones trying to interfere with the media agenda. At a recent Salford Council offshoot meeting we understand that control of the Salford Advertiser was discussed…

"I think people - not me - were saying that the Advertiser is perceived by sections as being very negative and misleading in some coverage" explained John Merry "People were saying how we need to influence how the Advertiser was portraying Salford…"

Politics, with a capital `P', is a dirty business. Makes you want to have a bath at the thought of it…Meanwhile, Peel continue to be involved in `skinning cats' and `dancing with the devils'.

Being non political, the Salford Star neither endorses nor opposes any candidate at the local election in May. We do, however, urge everyone in Salford to vote on issues that matter the most.
  

Graphic by Jamie Reid

 

Cassie Baker wrote
at 1:34:23 AM on Monday, January 10, 2011
Peel Industries,Peel Energy,are in the same bowl, they lie and cheat to obtain money to line their our pockets.
 
Liverpool Preservation Trust wrote
at 6:40:46 AM on Friday, March 26, 2010
http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.com/2010/03/salford-star-tells-it-like-it-is.html Salford Star Respect for your Honesty
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star Hoodies
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: GREATER MANCHESTER PETITION TO HALT UNIVERSAL CREDIT
UC does not take into account those with complex needs. An example of this is the removal of the disability component of tax credi... [more]
article: CONTROVERSIAL SALFORD CHARITY TO BRING IN INDEPENDENT MEDIATOR
Researcher I agree with you. I must say if you are researching NDC in Charlestown I can help you. I live in Charstown and the NDC ... [more]
article: CONTROVERSIAL SALFORD CHARITY TO BRING IN INDEPENDENT MEDIATOR
Members of ICT would today have received a voting pack, said a membership resolution information and vote pack, just very confusin... [more]
article: CONTROVERSIAL SALFORD CHARITY TO BRING IN INDEPENDENT MEDIATOR
Salford Star bring us up to date on this terrible Inspiring Communities Together so called Salford Charity. Please tell us on your... [more]
article: GREATER MANCHESTER PETITION TO HALT UNIVERSAL CREDIT
This policy is a failure, particularly in terms of the 6 week wait... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

WORSLEY WOODS CELEBRATION OF AUTUMN

Star date: 21st October 2017  

FUN RUN, FORAGE WALK, TREASURE HUNT, ART COMP...

Celebration of Autumn
Saturday 28th October 1pm-4pm
Beesley Green Community Centre free

Next Saturday, Worsley Woods Action Group, in partnership with St Mark's Primary School, is holding a Celebration of Autumn to raise funds to improve the path through Worsley Woods. There are stalls, a fun run for under 12s, an art competition, den and bird box building, a treasure hunt and loads more.

Full details here...

SPORTING MEMORIES FOR THOSE WITH DEMENTIA IN SALFORD

Star date: 21st October 2017

ECCLES TO HOST WEEKLY SPORTING MEMORIES SESSIONS

New weekly sessions for people living with dementia are to be held in Eccles. The informal group is tailored to older sports fans who are into football, rugby, cricket snooker or any other sport.

Full details here...

THE END OF THE WORLD COMES TO SALFORD KINGS ARMS

Star date: 21st October 2017

WHAT WOULD YOU DO AT THE END OF THE WORLD?

Collision Course
Wednesday 25th October - 53two Deansgate
Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd November, The Kings Arms 7:30pm £10

Front Row Theatre brings Collision Course, the story of two friends with opposing views hiding out in a garage during their last moments at the end of the world, to 53two Deansgate on 25th October, and then The Kings Arms on 1st and 2nd November, as Ian Leslie reports.

Full details here...

SALFORD PRECINCT HOSTS HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR

Star date: 21st October 2017

LANTERN MAKING, FANCY DRESS, MASKS AND DANCE

In the run-up to Halloween, Salford Precinct is hosting events culminating in Spooky Saturday (28th) and Sinister Sunday (29th) where there will be face painting, mask and lantern making, a fancy dress competition and free lucky dip.

Full details here...

GREATER MANCHESTER PETITION TO HALT UNIVERSAL CREDIT

Star date: 20th October 2017

OPEN LETTER FROM GREATER MANCHESTER TO SECRETARY OF STATE

Previous to the humiliating defeat of the Tory Government this week, Greater Manchester Housing Action launched a petition calling for a halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit.

The petition is in the form of an open letter to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions..."We believe that we should not stand for such wilful ignorance of the impacts of the new system" it states "We urge individuals, groups, organisations, MPs, councillors, landlords and housing associations to stand in solidarity against the Universal Credit roll-out."

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx