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SALFORD CITY COUNCIL FACES NO OPPOSITION AT ALL AS DEMOCRACY FAILS
 

Star date: 17th May 2017

DEMOCRACY INACTION AS TORIES FAIL TO UTTER A WORD OF OPPOSITION

This morning, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, welcomed pupils from Oasis Academy to the full meeting of Salford City Council, so they could "observe democracy in action".

What the pupils saw was nothing of the sort, as the Tory opposition failed to utter a word of challenge to endless grandstanding speeches by Labour Party councillors, stage managed 'questions' by those same Labour councillors...and what happened to a report on the controversial AJ Bell Stadium that was due to be discussed?

Full details here...


Salford City Council Full Meeting May 2017
click image to enlarge

During almost two hours of the full meeting of Salford City Council this morning, the Conservative Party opposition failed to challenge the ruling Labour Council on anything, while only two of its councillors spoke at all.

These full council meetings are supposedly a chance for the opposition to hold to account Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, and his Labour colleagues. And there's plenty to hold them account for...

....Salford Council's housing list slashed in half (see here); proposals to shut The Grange, the only residential care home for disabled children in the city (see here), secrecy over non-payments of planning fees by huge property corporations (see here)...it goes on and on and on...

...But throughout, the Tories stayed silent, as the bemused ceremonial mayor, who was chairing the meeting, asked for questions to all Cabinet members and the City Mayor himself.

There were no questions from the Tories at all, except for Councillor Saunders asking a 'non-political' question about IT security, and Councillor Lindley defending himself over accusations of lying about Labour's 'plan' to bring in a congestion charge.

...Apart from that, nothing; so much so, that Councillor Antrobus joked at the end of the charade that council meetings should be shortened, "given that the opposition have nothing to say".

It was embarrassing and humiliating for the Tories, especially given that this was the last full Council meeting before the General Election.

Earlier, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, had welcomed pupils from the Oasis Academy MediaCityUK... "It's absolutely fantastic to see young people observing democracy in action..."...More like, 'democracy inaction'...

...As the Tories stayed silent, Labour councillors stood up in an endless stream of grandstanding speeches about how they are helping the 'vulnerable' (see The Grange above) etc, without being challenged by anyone.

Instead, Labour councillors fed stage managed questions to Lead Members, a horrid example being Councillor Burch, who asked Councillor Lancaster, Lead Member for Environment and Community Safety, about Salford's music service, MAPAS,..."I was just wondering" she mused "how many people are involved in this wonderful service?"

The Salford Star was actually present at a scrutiny committee meeting two days ago, chaired by Councillor Burch, where this figure was shown on a huge screen right before her eyes!
 
A few minutes earlier, Councillor Warmisham had asked Deputy Mayor, Councillor Boshell, if she was 'appalled' at the use of foodbanks in the 21st Century and to give her views on Theresa's May's comments on the subject....Councillor Boshell then proceeded to literally read out a pre-prepared five minute speech...

This was citizenship, China style...

And finally, right at the end of the council meeting agenda, councillors should have possibly been challenging a report on the controversial AJ Bell Stadium, joint owned by Salford Council and Peel Holdings, with millions in loans from the cash-strapped Council...

The report was also incredibly relevant at the moment, given the 'Salford Forever, Manchester Never', campaign by Salford Red Devils fans, trying to stop owner, Marwan Koukash, from allegedly moving the club out of the city and out of the stadium*...

...Except that the report on the Stadium Joint Venture Company wasn't published in the papers for the meeting**. Councillors were all set to approve it, until someone pointed out that no-one had actually seen it...

...Instead a discussion on the stadium was conveniently postponed until the next Council meeting in July!



*For a full background on the Salford Forever, Manchester Never campaign see here

**The Salford Star emailed the Council's democratic services yesterday asking for a copy of the Stadium report and didn't even receive a reply...

Joe o'Neill wrote
at 08:28:16 on 24 May 2017
Peter sorry I have to disagree, you are given every chance to speak in council. The reality is labour have the numbers and therefore don't have to listen. You raise your arguments in the hope the media pick up on the points you raise and in that action hope you shame the buggers into action. We the people due to apathy have allowed Labour the same rights as a one party banana republic.

Peter McHale wrote
at 04:17:25 on 24 May 2017
The reason why the Conservative Party do not speak in full council meetings is the Labour Party gang up on them and they don't get a chance to respond back, just go to Salford Councils youtube channel and see it happen I have. Robin Garrido Conservative Councillor spoke about bringing in more bus lanes and the then mayor said he was wrong and the the only person who could speak on those matters was Roger Jones and how dare him challenge Jones as he knows more about transport then anyone else - https://youtu.be/mMsC8LbSCzM?list=FLYKluMxbtoy_FUlApCvxx_g

Michael James Felse wrote
at 11:01:07 on 18 May 2017
Breaking silence to say @SalfordStar is correct. I have held off posting owing to the barrage of abuse. My father was terminal, taking all of my strength. I am sure all who stand up get abused. I even had to complain to the BBCweb last month about abusers. Is it just me or do others think community action suffers because abusers get us to step aside. @White reminds me I also go back to the 1970's (then was agent to Harold Walker MP where I typed and corrected the drafts for Health and Safety at Work Act (100% typed correctly in those days before computers) for Harold to take back into Parliament to get The Act passed. It was Labour I then supported but now am moved by personal belief in Theresa May on Brexit. These important times need us all to pull up our socks and to be sure I will be back.

white wrote
at 09:24:37 on 18 May 2017
down but not out: Probably nothing has changed that much in 43 years regarding priorities. I can remember a report of the first meeting of the new Salford council in 1974. The main and most important topic of discussion was whether to have to front door of the Town Hall [Swinton] open to the public.

Salford Star wrote
at 09:24:23 on 18 May 2017
See wrote's comment below - no Michael Felse does not get his comments blocked. He stated quite clearly that he wasn't going to be posting - and comments bearing his name have no email address so cannot be verified.

wrote
at 09:21:55 on 18 May 2017
Labour is going to need all the floor to debate when Conservatives win the General Election. Isn't Salford Counicl opposition just treading water till that day of rule. I hear the blogger Mr Felse gets his comments blocked since joining Conservatives! No wonder news we get is one sided in favor of the local Labour leaders instead of broadcasting all!

down but not out wrote
at 18:13:10 on 17 May 2017
I was at a crucial meeting at the town hall with many others trying to stop the cuts to transport for our most vulnerable Community members. One Labour Councillor was more interested in the abbreviation of words in the minutes than the future mobility of people with disabilities. We don't need to invite a Circus to Swinton Town, take a seat in the Council meetings at the Town Hall.

mary ferrer wrote
at 15:44:18 on 17 May 2017
This must show the people of Salford we don't have democracy. Can't understand why the Tories just sit there and challenge nothing. I have always said unless its in Worsley/boothtown they couldn't give a dam.This labour council have done what ever they won't for years with no opposition.How can they shut the Grange ,but no doubt they will,if that's what they want.The people of Salford don't have a voice in what happens in our city. If Labour want it,they get it.

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