The Foundations Documentary by film maker, Rob Ball, looks at Salford's current state and reveals the Council to be totally obsessed with the image of the city, seemingly above all else, as Councillor Derek Antrobus, Planning Lead Member, manages to mention `image' three times during his short interview...
"The Quays started to change the image of Salford so people were no longer concerned about investing in the city" he explains, before adding "I hope that the image of the city will be much better" and "We've got Media City which has been of immense value in changing the image of Salford from Dirty Old Town to something more about the future..."
Meanwhile, people from the community who are interviewed draw a different picture...
"Salford's changing and it's not for the better" says Colin Johnson, who points to the destruction of heritage, like the forthcoming demolition of the Black Horse and Ye Olde Nelson pubs.
"We were a community, it's not that now" says Jean Seddon, from Weaste, pointing out the lack of community facilities, like primary schools, in the area.
"My concern is that it's about bricks and mortar and not about the people who live in these areas" explains youth worker and community activist Graham Cooper "I don't think regeneration is what it is...to regenerate you have to de-generate and that's what they've been doing here for 15 years
"There needs to be investment in the communities where the regeneration is going on...you can't leave people behind" he adds "You'll have small places with really bad indicators of poverty, lack of aspirations, people with no hope surrounded by quarter of a million pound houses...We need to stop dismantling our communities and concentrate on investing in them..."
Antrobus also states in the documentary that that the Council made sure people got jobs and apprentices as part of the new development around Ordsall and the Quays but the documentary points out that just 26 jobs were created for Salford people at BBC MediaCityUK, while Jean Seddon remembers when an Enterprise Zone was created in Salford in the 1980s... "Not even a third of Salford people were employed" she says.
Antrobus adds that, during development of the Quays and Ordsall, the Council made sure the community was involved, citing Ordsall Angling Club and Ordsall Community Arts. Salford Council is currently proposing to cut Ordsall Community Arts' grant.
The documentary also contains an interview with Salford Star editor Stephen Kingston, who drawing on extensive research by the publication, concludes "if you've got a community that's got child poverty, that's got income poverty, that's got unemployment, social problems and whatever, and you put a load of young professionals in there, then all of sudden the figures start balancing themselves out; so Ordsall's suddenly climbed six places in the Multiple Deprivation Indices and the Council's crowing about it – but you haven't solved any of the problems...what you've done is diluted them."
The beautifully shot 12 minute film, containing some superb drone footage of the city, can now be viewed on YouTube.
"This documentary looks into the City of Salford which has seen massive amounts of development and economic growth in the last few years" says Rob Ball "I tried to explore how this development is impacting the local communities and how it will affect your average Salford resident."
See also recent Salford Star articles...
Ordsall Boom – click here
Charlestown Play Area Horror In Midst of Regeneration - click here
See also Salford Star print issue 10 for huge articles on planning and regeneration failures – click here