Star date: 10th February 2017


Controversial Salford charity, Inspiring Communities Together (ICT), which employed bouncers on the door of its AGM, faced protests over gagging of members claims, and had a local councillor labelling some staff 'control freaks', is to bring in an independent mediator to try and smooth things out.

A statement by new ICT Chair, Mike Duddy, issued today, acknowledges 'a difficult period of development', appreciates that 'we will not always get things right', argues that there's 'no evidence' of corruption and explains that members should 'try to work together to find positive solutions'...

Full details here...

Inspiring Communities Together Inspiring Communities Together
click image to enlarge

It's been a controversial period for Salford charity, Inspiring Communities Together (ICT), during which community concerns have come to a head about the way it spends 90,000 of public money, a legacy of the 53million Charlestown and Lower Kersal project which ended in 2011.

Last December, members, the ICT Chair, Ray Walker, and local councillor Stephen Ord spoke out in the Salford Star about the state of the charity, with the councillor accusing the previous Chair and the CEO... "It would appear they have acted out of greed; power grabbing control freaks and self interest on a number of occasions..." (see previous Salford Star article click here)

Since then, East Salford Community Committee has demanded answers on the running of the charity from Salford City Council, which is accountable for the 90,000 (see here). And ICT member, Graham Cooper, protested outside the organisation's offices at Salford Innovation Forum, complete with a gag to highlight how, as a whistleblower on ICT's activities, the charity had attempted to silence him (see here).

When Graham Cooper turned up at ICT's Annual General Meeting last week, he was met with three bouncers employed by ICT to keep him out (see here)

At that AGM, Graham was eventually allowed access and the members voted in a new Chair, Mike Duddy, who has since been meeting all sides to try and calm things down. Today, he told the Salford Star that an independent mediator will be brought in to investigate ICT, while confirming that he will be present at the next meeting of East Salford Community Committee to answer any questions from the community.

Mike Duddy also issued a formal statement today, acknowledging 'a difficult period of development', appreciating that 'we will not always get things right', arguing that there has been `no evidence of corruption', and explaining that members should `try to work together to find positive solutions'. He also gives his email for anyone wanting to 'discuss concerns'.

The full statement reads...

"The Board of Trustees of Inspiring Communities Together (ICT) would like to take
this opportunity to thank all those who have offered support during the past few
months whilst the organisation has been through a difficult period of development.

Some members of the organisation have become frustrated about some of the
methods of working adopted by ICT and have chosen to use social media to air
those frustrations - the Board have rightly taken the decision to conduct their
business through their own policies and procedures rather than join in the
conversation through social media.

Throughout this period there has been no evidence that any trustee or member of staff has acted in an unlawful or corrupted way. The organisation is accountable not only to its members but to the Charity Commission and our funders including Salford City Council and neither of these organisations have given any indication that the organisation is not acting in accordance with the regulations set by them.

As the newly elected Chair of ICT I appreciate that as a small Charity we will not
always get things right but I can assure the membership, our stakeholders and
funders that the Board of Trustees are always happy to discuss concerns with people and try to work together to find positive solutions. I can be contacted via

I have already met with some of you to discuss your concerns and hope that over the
next few months we can all start to work together for the benefit of the residents of
Charlestown and Lower Kersal and support our staff team to continue to deliver the
positive work many of you heard about during our recent Annual General Meeting.

Please follow this link to discover more about the great work ICT carries out in

The trustees would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff for their continued
commitment to delivering a quality service during this difficult time and conducting
themselves in a professional manner whilst working out in the community. The
commitment and integrity of all our staff has never been in question and as trustees
we continue to have complete trust in our CEO to support and grow the organisation
in line with the aspirations of both the trustees and the community."

Yours sincerely
Mike Duddy
Inspiring Communities Together

Confused wrote
at 1:36:02 PM on Sunday, March 26, 2017
Where are the latest comments about what happened at the last CC meeting ?

No name needed wrote
at 3:25:59 AM on Wednesday, March 15, 2017
In reply, they will never step down they will cling on heavily and bring the ship down with them rather than let go and save the charity and its workers. This says it all don't you think ?????

Janice Robertson wrote
at 1:48:03 PM on Saturday, March 11, 2017
Few words needed. This whole thing stinks to high heaven. Investigation needed now. CEO and past Chair step down or jump down now and do not take ICT with you.

I am also a community supporter wrote
at 12:53:03 AM on Thursday, March 9, 2017
I do not feel sorry for the new chair of ICT. He agreed to undertake the job of chair yet what does he do nothing but hoover rather than sweep the past dirt under the carpet. Question why is the CEO still running ICT when they should be under investigation not controlling the new chair as is obvious from the statement he or she put forward. OMG is he so nieve, when we the community have been fighting for the truth because we will not be fooled and he is very obviously fooled and not aware of the actions over the past 10 years. Where do you live new chair you need to act as chair and fight for the truth rather than just provide a cover for the actions of ICT and the CEO and former chair. It looks like you are doing as told and practicing your cover up, hoovering and sweeping actions. Reminder Salford people are not stupid and cover ups will not withstand so let's see just where you stand. Take the chair then support and fight for the truth for your community????? we in CHALK have been monitoring all for many years so do not tell us when you should value our knowledge and the truth. Bet that does not happen. I agree come on councillors support your community and speak out for your residents after all they voted for you so now stand up and vote for them. Let's See Who Does !!!!!!!! One word thanks to councillor Ord for supporting your residents, the only one to stand up for your members.

Edmond Tattersall wrote
at 12:33:57 AM on Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Charlestown Resident I have news for you the ICT CEO will still be running ICT until somebody (and as we have noticed it is not the new chair as he has already let her make him look well I will not say) can eventually bring the truth to our community and maybe it will be to late. So many people have tried to bring the truth but nobody is willing to act and stand for the communities annunity to be put to the community to give to our community the voice it deserves. Where are our councillors when you need their support in bringing justice? supporting ICT? or us the residents? Voices need to be heard and sooner rather than to late.

Julius Caesar the Roman geezer wrote
at 3:13:52 AM on Friday, March 3, 2017
Inspiring communities together logo is that of a tree, unfortunately this tree is now diseased due to the way things are run at ICT, Salford City Council environment services please cut this bloody tree down and get rid of those who have given the tree the disease, and in place, replace it with a tree from the true community and lets it be a fruit tree with this will blossom blossom throughout the community for many years

Charlestown Resiident wrote
at 1:38:18 AM on Thursday, March 2, 2017
The CEO and former chair of ICT are still going strong running ICT. You would think they would now know what the community think about them. They should stand down for the sake of the charity. The new chair needs to sort the board and CEO if he wants to give ICT a chance. The question is "Is he strong enough to stand up to these two as nobody has managed it yet" WATCH THIS SPACE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jacob Hersh wrote
at 2:59:23 AM on Monday, February 27, 2017
In reply to No Sense, Yes I agree with your thoughts and let's see just what Mr Duddy is planning or maybe it will be what the CEO is planning under Mr Duddys name, after all Mr Duddy gave the findings before an investigation happened. This was the worst start ever as it was very typical of ICT dealings and manipulating and indicates no change. Open your eyes Mr Duddy and see what is happening, it looks like you need to listen to the true Salford people who will not be fooled and who would not make a fool of you. Salford Star keep us up to date on the ICT dealings as this story is at the heart of our community and we want to see justice done for our community members.

No sense wrote
at 4:18:35 AM on Sunday, February 26, 2017
All of these concerns seems to me swept under the carpet per usual! Evidence has clearly been outlined with lack of support from Salford City Council, per Isiah the people of Salford are being ignored, so I won't be voting Labour and think we all should all do the same, But I know this won't be swept under the carpet by those concerned until Justice is done, the new chair Mike Duddy seems a waste of space.

at 9:26:43 AM on Wednesday, February 22, 2017
I agree with Beryl Norbury that questions need to be answered. 1, Who decides what mediation company is used. 2, When is the mediation going to start. 3, Does the CEO and former chair play any part in making the decisions made regarding planned mediation. 4, When is the investigation regarding the serious complaint made by Mr Cooper going to happen. We know Mr Duddy has the difficult investigation to deal with but the community just want the truth and justice with no cover ups or sweeping under the carpets. The Salford Residents will not be fooled so let the truth prevail Mr Duddy. Thanks must go to The Salford Star for keeping us all up to date on the full terrible behaviour (as told by our community members) of Inspiring communities together CEO and former Chair. Salford Star please keep us updated on the actions of ICT.

Beryl Norbury wrote
at 5:13:00 AM on Tuesday, February 21, 2017
A question that needs to be asked is When does this mediation start? and who decides on the mediators? or is this just more manipulating by the CEO? Just when will ICT give a straight answer? maybe never?

Charlestown poet wrote
at 11:39:25 AM on Wednesday, February 15, 2017
There was a new chair, who said this is not fair, Seeing this type of bullying going to far to compare Making us all in this community so very aware of what's really going on over there Now we have three idiots who really do not care So it's better to see them On go ........yes go compare

Fan of Charlestown Poet wrote
at 1:04:43 AM on Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Where is the Charlestown Poet gone? We look forward to her/his very valuable comments and value her/his knowledge of our community and their true comments regarding the very corrupt way things have been happening in our community. Come on Charlestown Poet bring us up to date 😄

Community supporter wrote
at 1:04:19 AM on Wednesday, February 15, 2017
I feel very sorry for the new chair of ICT. After a matter of days as a trustee and indeed the chair of ICT a statement is put out stating there was no evidence of corruption ( impossible after just days on the board ) After all the publicity why has this statement been shared just days after the new chair was elected, maybe because they wanted Mr Duddys name put to this very obvious untrue statement. Question who compiled this statement? CEO? Who is very good at manipulating. Mr Duddy listen to the community members who will tell you the truth and will fight with you to bring the truth to the forefront and support our community. Do not Mr Duddy let people who are experts at manipulating minapulat you and make you a scape goat as they are obviously doing. Rise above this terrible behaviour and keep your dignity. Support your Community Mr Duddy, fight corruption.

James E wrote
at 3:52:26 PM on Monday, February 13, 2017
It looks like the new trustee on the ICT board is a PHYSIC who can tell us the results of an investigation that has not yet happened. What confidence does this give our residents NONE. Maybe we should celebrate having DYNAMO the magician on board NOT. Just a reminder " We community members are not stupid "

Sandra Barker wrote
at 12:19:35 PM on Sunday, February 12, 2017
I totally agree with Edmond Tattersall. Mr Mike Duddy you state that you have complete trust in the CEO well maybe you need to hold an investigation first as then you would be in a position to judge. Your statement sounds like the CEO has compiled it for you praising herself as she always does. I think you have started out on the wrong foot with statement before investigation when it should be investigation before statement. Please can you explain why? Thank you.

Edmond Tattersall wrote
at 12:57:04 PM on Saturday, February 11, 2017
How can anybody state that there is no evidence of corruption after a couple of weeks on the board and no investigation. Is this again words that mean nothing and the same old way of working. At least hold an investigation before making decisions and statements. Typical way of how ICT works. No change then giving no confidence in governance yet again. So very Sad and not a good start for the new trustee.

Compo on its way wrote
at 11:00:46 AM on Saturday, February 11, 2017
Good point Diogenes what these people dont realise by hounding the 2 people they will have a valid case for long term sick pay and constructive dismissal and will get a helleva payout from the very pot they have for the community. People at this level certainley the CEO would get tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds to go.

Diogenes wrote
at 12:46:05 AM on Saturday, February 11, 2017
Is it just me who thinks that the ICT 2 are playing a long game and at some point are going to either (1) go on long term sick due to "stress" OR (2) go for the "Constructive dismissal" and payout? Hmmm

Charlestown Resiident who will not be fooled. wrote
at 12:38:16 PM on Friday, February 10, 2017
What a load of rubbish, swept under the yet carpet again. Does this new chair know he cannot just sweep up and all is good. Do not underestimate the local residents Mr Duddy. Just a matter of interest where do you live Mr Duddy ?

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