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SALFORD LABOUR MP CANDIDATES SALFORD STAR SURVEY
 

Star date: 13th July 2014

LABOUR GENERAL ELECTION CANDIDATES ON FRACKING, MAYOR, HOMES, CHARITY AND TRANSPARENCY

Before the next General Election, sitting Salford and Eccles MP Hazel Blears is stepping down, and over the next few weeks Labour Party members will be selecting their chosen candidate to stand in her place.

Given that Salford is almost a safe Labour seat, the Salford Star asked all the candidates to guarantee to do five things - oppose fracking, live in the constituency, stand up to City Mayor Ian Stewart, give 1% of their pay to charity and be transparent in their dealings. Would they agree?

Full details here…


Salford Labour Party Selection Candidates
click image to enlarge

Normally, the person chosen by the Labour Party to stand as Salford and Eccles MP in the General Election would really be none of the Salford Star's business. However given that this has always been a safe Labour seat, members of the Party are effectively selecting the next MP, so we thought we'd help them out with their selection by asking candidates to guarantee five things.

The nominated candidates*, from an all-women selection list are…

Sue Pugh: Current councillor for Claremont
Rebecca Long-Bailey: Solicitor and Salford Mayor Ian Stewart's choice
Sophie Taylor: Current councillor for Old Trafford
Sara Hyde: Works for Moving On project in London
Sarah Brookes: Works for Manchester Airports Group**

GUARANTEE 1: If selected and elected would you guarantee to live in the constituency?

Sue Pugh: I already live in Salford and Eccles constituency and represent people in Claremont Ward on the Council. I can guarantee that I will remain living here.

Rebecca Long-Bailey: Yes, I think it is important that MP's are part of the communities they seek to represent.

Sophie Taylor: If selected and elected I would consider moving to the constituency. To say I would guarantee it would be disingenuous.  My current home in Trafford is just over the ship canal and literally a 10 minute drive from the constituency. I do not believe that living outside the constituency would be a barrier to me serving the people of Salford and Eccles to the best of my ability and being an excellent representative both locally and in Parliament. I would be accessible to and visible to my constituents at all times.

Sara Hyde: Yes, of course.

Sarah Brookes: That's easy. I already live in the constituency and I have no plans to move.

 

GUARANTEE 2: If selected and elected would you guarantee to be transparent and provide interviews when asked by the local press, including the Salford Star?

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I believe it is the responsibility of an elected Member of Parliament to comment to the local press and to use the media to inform constituents of the biggest issues affecting them in Westminster. Accountability is the cornerstone of democracy and I intend to use every means to uphold the right of constituents to hold their Member of Parliament to account. It is important that a constituent knows that as an MP you are their voice in Westminster, not Westminster's voice to them.

Sophie Taylor: Yes, absolutely

Sara Hyde: Yes. As an elected representative it is important to consider how you can be both transparent and accountable to those who elected you. I will publish my expenses, write a monthly newsletter outlining my activities and how I have progressed on my election pledges. I could also offer a regular column on local and national issues, if that were of interest.

Sarah Brookes: Any elected representative has a duty to be transparent, including MPs. I have been transparent and provided interviews to other media and would be happy to talk to the Salford Star too, as long as they get my email address right in future!

Sue Pugh: I am an honest and transparent person who believes that an MP is answerable to the electorate. I believe in a free press and that residents are kept informed. I guarantee to be interviewed by all the local press including the Salford Star.

 

GUARANTEE 3: If selected and elected would you guarantee to publicly oppose or stand up to the elected City Mayor on behalf of constituents if need be?

Sophie Taylor: All elected representatives including Members of Parliament and elected mayors are accountable to the people they are elected to serve and should be open to scrutiny.  I would not be reticent in standing up for what I believe is in the best interests of my constituents and voice opposition if needed. I would however, strive to develop an honest and effective professional working relationship with the City Mayor and to work collaboratively to ensure fairness and secure  the best possible outcomes for the people of Salford and Eccles. 

Sara Hyde: Publicly opposing the elected mayor would not be my first move but rather a last resort in any hypothetical conflict. I would be forthright in robustly representing the needs of my constituents with the present or future mayors, knowing from experience that much can be achieved through dialogue. I greatly respect Ian Stewart and his democratic mandate, we both have politics grounded in the trade union movement and I can't envision any matters that couldn't be resolved in a professional and amicable fashion. We would have different remits, and although there may be disagreements along the way, fundamentally we both want to see Salford thrive, served by a Labour administration.

Sarah Brookes: It's an MP's job to stand up on behalf of their constituents and I would have no problem standing up to anyone in the interests of Salford and Eccles, including the City Mayor. My preference would be to have good working relationship with the City Mayor, without the need for public disagreement. But I would have no hesitation in standing up for Salford and Eccles if the need arose.

Sue Pugh: Standing-up for my constituents is paramount. If need be, I will stand-up for the people in Salford and Eccles against ANYONE.

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I would stand up to anyone if it is in the interests of my constituents and the City of Salford. We need to recognise some of the great work done by Salford City Council while also recognising its failings and limitations. Sadly, as a direct result of the Tory led coalition's harsh austerity measures, limitations are not just specific to Salford but are found across local government in Britain today. I want to work in partnership with Councillors, the City Mayor, trade unions, faith organisations, charitable groups and the wider community to work through areas of concern and hopefully find resolutions for many of the complex issues affecting the constituents of Salford and Eccles.

 

GUARANTEE 4: If selected and elected would you guarantee to give 1% of your salary to local charities or good causes?

Sara Hyde: Yes, I would expect to give more than that. Giving money is just one expression of engagement with charities and local good causes. I would want to champion the excellent work done by many grassroots organisations here, like the Reclaim Salford Girls project or Salford Women's Centre.

Sarah Brookes: I already contribute to good causes, particularly the British Heart Foundation. My father was very poorly with heart disease when he died last year, so I'm passionate about improving the lives of other sufferers and funding improvements in research and development. I'd have no problem committing at least 1% of my salary to good causes.

Sue Pugh: I already do and will continue to do so. I currently make monthly donations to The North West Air Ambulance Service and St Ann's Hospice.

Rebecca Long-Bailey: Of course but in practice I would seek to give more than that to favoured charitable/good causes, the Labour Party and Trade Union movement as well as publicly championing and assisting their fundraising endeavours.

Sophie Taylor: I am already committed to regular giving with a number of local and national charities and good causes.  As well as financial support, charitable organisations benefit from the public support of Members of Parliament  to raise their profile and awareness of their campaigns locally, nationally and globally. 

 

GUARANTEE 5: If selected and elected would you guarantee to oppose fracking in Salford***?

Sarah Brookes: Yes. Like many Salfordians, I am concerned about fracking at Barton Moss. The shale gas companies have done nowhere near enough to engage with the community about their activities, or to respond to legitimate environmental and safety concerns. I'm particularly concerned that the current Infrastructure Bill going through Parliament will effectively give companies 'freedom to frack' at sites like Barton Moss. This is completely unacceptable and something I'd want to take action against as your representative in Westminster. 

Sue Pugh: It is unlikely that Fracking will ever be proposed within the Salford and Eccles constituency, but I firmly believe that Fracking on Barton Moss would be wrong. Barton Moss is a site close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) that should be preserved for future generations, is too close to homes and the effects on the local environment could be very damaging.

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I am sceptical about Fracking and I am also worried about the energy polices coming from central government. I would work with concerned constituents to oppose further fracking should central government decide to grant licenses to frack against the clear wishes of this constituency.

Licence to frack is granted by central government and I fear they are rushing through this policy without taking the time to fully assess the potential environmental impact it may have. We have also yet to see any clear scientific evidence to confirm that the practice is indeed safe.  My trade union, Unite, is also concerned about the small and unsustainable numbers of jobs created by the surface Gas extraction industry.

It is quite clear that we need a sustainable and environmentally sound energy policy in Britain that creates skilled jobs for the long-term. We must also address the issue of high energy prices for the consumer. It is not right in 21st century Britain that pensioners have to choose between heating and eating!

I want an energy policy that puts Salford and Eccles constituents needs before the profits of energy companies and as an MP I will fight for a clear strategy that stops energy market exploitation in its tracks. I would also actively champion the development of a new national green energy strategy which would not only create jobs and growth but would also put the health and well being of our people first. 

Sophie Taylor: We need to consider a range of options to provide us with energy sources however I am concerned that too much is unknown about fracking and there is insufficient evidence regarding its safety and environmental impact. I would oppose any application to use fracking in Salford and Eccles where I believed the process to be unsafe or damaging to the quality of life of local people. 

Sara Hyde: Yes, the technique remains untested in the long term and the danger signs from earthquakes, the mass use of water and the arrogant government plans for infringing private property all mean fracking should be ruled out at present.


All responses were unedited. For more information on candidates see…

Sue Pugh: see Sue Pugh For Salford and Eccles Facebook site – click here
Rebecca Long-Bailey: Rebecca Long Bailey for Salford and Eccles Facebook site – click here
Sophie Taylor: doesn't appear to have a site
Sara Hyde: sarahyde.co.uk 
Sarah Brookes: www.sarah4salfordandeccles.org.uk

Voting will be on 2nd August at the Salford Suite in the Civic Centre, or by post if eligible


* These were candidates who picked up nominations. Two other candidates who responded to the Salford Star survey didn't get nominated but below we print their responses…Did Labour Party members nominate the right candidates?

GUARANTEE 1: If selected and elected would you guarantee to live in the constituency?

Angela Pober: Yes, I would guarantee that I will be living in the constituency.

Jacqueline Robinson: Yes I would have guaranteed to live in the constituency. I was down in Salford last week looking at a flat I want to return to the North West (my son lives in Whitefield) I grew up just off Waterloo Rd so my loyalties are local. 

GUARANTEE 2: If selected and elected would you guarantee to be transparent and provide interviews when asked by the local press, including the Salford Star?

Jacqueline Robinson: As an activist - Housing (stock transfer) and Social Services - I believe that main problems arise from Ivory Tower politics - all out to get elected then sit back and reap in the money - basically makes me want to puke. If I had been elected I would answer to electorate and press alike, where I would give answers. I would like them represented accurately - transparency works both ways.

Angela Pober: I value my current relationship with the press in my ward and Borough, and I would envisage that no less a relationship will be forged for the local blog writers and press including the Salford Star. If you visit my website you will get a flavour for my views on openness in public life and that includes transparency that does not breach duties. Interviews? Try and stop me.

GUARANTEE 3: If selected and elected would you guarantee to publicly oppose or stand up to the elected City Mayor on behalf of constituents if need be?

Angela Pober: I cannot guarantee this until I understand the Salford Star's position regarding the phrasing of this question. Happy to talk, please call me if you wish to do so.

Jacqueline Robinson: As I do now, I would stand up to anyone if required and on behalf of constituents, including the PM at whatever forum that had to be.  Obviously, personal viewpoints must be secondary behind presenting those of people you represent - isn't that the purpose of standing in the first place? Although at the moment I can be totally myself lol.

GUARANTEE 4: If selected and elected would you guarantee to give 1% of your salary to local charities or good causes?

Jacqueline Robinson: Yes I would/do support charities donating more to causes such as the ex Pendlebury hospital appeals (my younger son was an out patient). I tend to give what I can rather than %ages - I have no idea what 1% would be. I would favour inequality causes more, and local activity type things e.g. after school type things. I would chase authorities about what I consider duty causes - day centres but would support activity days etc. Although I do have extra expenses due to disability, I disagree with the expenses culture in which an MP can claim a decent annual wage worth of expenses in a single month - now that's sponging.     

Angela Pober: No. The reason for my answer if that this would limit and in fact reduce the money equivalent of the work I currently do in, and for, the community. In addition to fund raising for breast cancer charities, I donate my time as treasurer of the local (to me) HomeStart charity and do pro bono work with not-for-profit groups, this amounts to more than a flat rate 1% if my time was costed, and I would therefore be reducing my 'donation' if it were money rather than time dependent. 

GUARANTEE 5: If selected and elected would you guarantee to oppose fracking in Salford?

Angela Pober: Yes. I base this on not being convinced by the pro-lobby statements that it does no harm. I caveat my answer with my desire to get access to the documents and scrutinise the claims of evidence to the contrary from around the world. I would want to understand the impact of the gases being released into the atmosphere (there are legal cases fighting on this position in the USA), the stability of the ground structure and the legal challenges are being invoked world-wide that would give me an indication as to how much of the whole picture has been made clear or muddied for the lay person.

Jacqueline Robinson: Fracking is detrimental to eco environment and built environment. Investment should be placed into better more sustainable forms of producing energy Salford Uni can probably educate on these as this is where I gained more insight into environmental, sustainable ways of life as part of my Leisure Course. Fracking is a high risk, low yield option to obtaining energy especially in Salford that has a network of tunnels from Agecroft underneath it. Sink holes could become common place - it is a ludicrous suggestion in my opinion.

** Salford Star apology time: We did, indeed, send Sarah Brookes the survey but we sent it to the wrong email address (.co.uk instead of .org.uk). We totally apologise to Sarah for insinuating that she didn't want to fill it in and wish her good luck.


*** It should be noted that any fracking proposals at the moment are not for the Salford and Eccles constituency. Barton Moss is actually in Barbara Keeley's constituency of Worsley and Eccles South. We asked candidates for their views on fracking in Salford, which would include the whole of Salford or both constituencies.

See also related Salford Star articles: Salford Council's Politically Restricted Head of Press Spins for Labour Party Candidate - click here and Salford Council Spin Doctor Resigns After Salford Star Story - click here

 


Ex Lib Dem wrote
at 13:41:50 on 19 July 2014
come on Salford Star how could you not report on the MEN newspiece about possible skullduggery in the selection of Hazel Blears replacement? Its hugely important for Salford! Not that I am at all surprised that Sarah Brooke who had the same amount of nominations as Sue Pugh lost out to someone with only 1 nomination, especially as the selection panel is full of Sue Pughs mates!! Good luck to Sarah on her legal challenge! The last thing we need in Salford is a Sue Pugh/Hazel Blears tag team interested only in furthering themselves, local maybe but certainly not the best for the job!
 
Ex Lib Dem wrote
at 12:21:28 on 18 July 2014
Hahaha Michael Felse endorsing Sue Pugh, now that has to be a spanner in the works for her, even with a the political machinations of the Wheeler/Pugh clan. Talk about being sold down the river now, if that lot get into power moving out of Salford!! For sure it would mean they wangle Hazel Blears the mayors job.
 
Andy wrote
at 11:44:30 on 17 July 2014
Why all this stuff about 'standing up' to mayor Iain Stewart? He was actually elected by many of the same electorate likely to vote in a new Labour MP. Isn't there enough toy town local government political infighting already?
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 11:44:05 on 17 July 2014
Sue Pugh is my best choice for Salford. The others still on the contender list are just not home grown. Salford deserves a local for obvious reason. Sorry to all those not making the final round, but if you are serious in your quest then stand as Councillors next May to tell us what you can do for us. Labour has an innovative Mayor and Cabinet, built by hard work, now having solid experience. It is time Salford Council objectors stopped kicking the elected. Instead grow up and help those peers protect local services.
 
wrote
at 06:37:50 on 17 July 2014
A quote from the Mayor under Spirit of Salford propaganda 'our people are our greatest strength'. Another quote 'our greatest asset is Salford people'. Not it seems when it comes to selecting our MP - he's backing a Cheshire residing candidate, seems Salford residents are not good enough.
 
Reg Howard wrote
at 06:37:42 on 17 July 2014
Did anyone expect anything else from a group who selected, Hazel Blears & Ian Stewart ? "somewhat flawed" is not what I would describe the selection process as , although the last word would begin with F.
 
Salford lad wrote
at 06:36:21 on 17 July 2014
Labour can put who they like forward, I won't be voting labour, so the candidate is irrelevant. This is how all of salford should be voting, anyone but labour. @wrote as someone has pointed out on here you wouldn't be sue pugh's partner labour councillor peter wheeler would you, you sound like a sue Pugh cheerleader family member. This is one reason why sue Pugh should be avoided like the plague for the position for MP of salford, more labour cronyism, jobs for the boys and keep it in the family, all family of sitting councillors or MPs should be disqualified from this position, stinks of nepotism.
 
Labour Camp Insider wrote
at 15:39:38 on 16 July 2014
It's official; Labour's subgroup has shorlisted 3:- Only 3 names remain in the final ballot to members:- Sue Pugh: Current councillor for Claremont, Salford. Rebecca Long-Bailey: Mayor's choice from Trafford. Sophie Taylor: Current councillor for Trafford. Labour's selection system somewhat floored ?
 
wrote
at 15:39:32 on 16 July 2014
Salford Labour in melt down? Complaints flood the Labour Regional Office about Salford next MP choice with its own executive culling off local names. http://labour-uncut.co.uk/tag/sue-pugh/ Cast Offs United? Facebook site shows names going onto Salford's final list were rejected by other areas, raising question on loyalty to Salford. http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2013/06/08/wine-buff-has-nose-for-victory/ https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=248026405219248&story_fbid=569138559774696
 
Totally fed up labour wrote
at 20:47:22 on 15 July 2014
It's a no brainer - has to be either Sue Pugh or Sarah Brooks, unlike the mayor and his sidekicks we have to support the local candidates. All the others are interested in are getting a safe seat and building their careers at our expense. The mayor and his assistants should be ashamed...goes against their Spirit of Salford!
 
UoS wrote
at 20:47:09 on 15 July 2014
I must say, these questions seem ineffective. First, it looks like there was an opportunity to provide prepared responses. Second, you would be better to cross examine these candidates on their knowledge of the workings of Parliament, the process of creating legislation, the method for determining a budget, the procedures available for them for advocating on behalf of their constituents. I would guess NONE of them have a cogent idea of how to do the job they are actually seeking. It is just an opportunity to get their faces on the telly, feign importance and dip their snouts in the trough that is the public purse. Why not ask them who will GUARANTEE not to take up Ministerial office at the first available opportunity? Or will they follow the ranks of the rest of the slimy, mendacious Labour lackeys (Chuka Umunna, Rachel Reeves, Ed Balls) and take the Ministerial car almost the very moment they are elected, stuffing the interests of their constituents in the process.
 
Labour Camp Insider wrote
at 14:46:38 on 15 July 2014
It is predicted only 3 names will stay in the Labour MP selection list, once Salford Labour Sub-Committee has weeded out executive decided unwanted. Will any answer be given to those it casts out (Labour said it will be transparent). No bets taken for guessing which 3 will remain; Sue Pugh: Current councillor for Claremont Rebecca Long-Bailey: Salford Mayor Stewart's choice Sophie Taylor: Current councillor for Old Trafford. The Labour Selection system is somewhat flawed.
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 14:10:15 on 14 July 2014
Warning to Labour. Please remember this is only your internal Labour Party selection. Salford is no longer a safe seat owing to high priced developments towards the Manchester boarder. So respect, listen, hear and work as a team, or risk having a big nasty shock from the larger public vote come the General Election.
 
wrote
at 11:26:41 on 14 July 2014
Sue Pugh, Sue Pugh, Sue Pugh, every time according to her response to the survey. I would rather have a bona fide working class woman who has lived the ordinary life representing me, who I firmly believe when she says she would put her constituents needs above those of the party every time. Labour voters need to get this one right....funny how some of the other candidates have just popped up into the limelight as the gravy train begins to role...I fear they would be nothing more than an inside man for Stewart..
 
Jacqueline Robinson wrote
at 18:10:08 on 13 July 2014
Thanks for including me in this article- it is the first time that I have been able to put myself across. As a disabled woman (wheelie), I appreciate the value of inclusivity as so often not only do you lose your gender but also become "thick". I am on benefits and could not afford to send out glossy leaflets to members that "supported" candidates could do :-) I am still looking for my local home and hope that the Labour members vote for someone who is blunt, to the point and not have a stereotypical "waffle" response. Based on the above if I was a member of Salford Labour party I would now be canvassing hard for SUE PUGH as her responses are direct, honest and obviously from a "North west" woman. As a wheelchair user I have been campaigning for there to be more disabled representation in Parliament so that the vulnerable members of society who are being persecuted by inhumane cuts have a voice.
 
Salford Star wrote
at 18:09:51 on 13 July 2014
See Sarah Brookes' comment below - we'd love to hear your views. With Labour Party mistrust and slurs whirling around Salford we thought you were not going to engage when we didn't hear from you. If you say you didn't receive the email we totally believe you - and have re-emailed you. If it doesn't get there let us know! Look forward to hearing from you
 
Sarah Brookes wrote
at 17:57:00 on 13 July 2014
Hi I would have loved to have taken part in your questionnaire but I never received anything from you. I've been responding to all requests and would have done the same for the Salford Star if I had received anything, but unfortunately I didn't. Thanks Sarah Brookes.
 
not happy wrote
at 17:56:49 on 13 July 2014
Why is it that there is only woman selected for MP, seem like sex discrimination to me but if a woman has to be elected my vote is for Sue Pugh. 1 she lives in Salford 2 she stands up to the Mayor. 3 one and two are good enough. The others shouldn’t even stand for Salford they’ve to got many other interest, we need some body who as Salford peoples interests, not somebody who lives in another area or some body who is going to be a puppet for the Salford Mayor
 
Stephen Horrocks wrote
at 11:59:25 on 13 July 2014
I don't agree with all women selection lists anyway - by their nature they are discriminatory! If a suitably qualified man wants to stand he is barred from doing so by such a ridiculous policy! On the positive side, it's good to see that 4 of the 5 candidates did respond to the questions posed, so I wish them well in their campaigns.
 
David cameron wrote
at 11:58:27 on 13 July 2014
Where are the male candidates, more leftwing, yogurt knitting socialist, social engendering gerrymandering crap again. No wonder the country is going to hell in a hand cart, should be based on the best person for the job and not on who gives the best bl*w job.
 
Joe Oneill wrote
at 11:00:20 on 13 July 2014
Steve I love it reading the article was similar to the old story , if I had two bikes I would give you one. The sad reality is we have a situation where most of them would say anything to get elected I think we should all look closer to home with Mr Stewart if we wish to see how Labour commit to promises made pre Election.
 
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