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SALFORD LABOUR COUNCILLOR ACCUSES POWER GRAB REBECCA LONG-BAILEY SUPPORTERS AS HE RESIGNS THE WHIP
 

Star date: 11th November 2017

SWINTON LABOUR COUNCILLOR WHO SPEAKS HIS MIND DE-SELECTED

Howard Balkind, the sitting councillor for Swinton South, has resigned the Labour Party whip after being de-selected at a ward meeting this week. In an email to 'colleagues' yesterday he wrote "with immediate effect I am resigning the whip and I will sit as an independent Labour councillor and make my own mind up for the next six months".

In an interview with the Salford Star he accuses a member of Rebecca Long-Bailey's staff of "actively campaigning to get me removed". The new candidate for Swinton South will be Stuart Dickman, a full time communications officer for the Salford and Eccles MP... "It's ending up almost like nepotism" he says.

Full details here...


Howard Balkind speaking at anti-cuts meeting Howard Balkind on anti BNP rally
click image to enlarge

Howard Balkind, the current ward councillor for Swinton South, has resigned the Labour Party whip and will sit as an 'independent Labour councillor' on Salford City Council until the next local election.

In a damning email to Labour Party colleagues yesterday, Councillor Balkind wrote...

"Dear All
Please note with immediate effect I am resigning the whip and I will sit as an independent Labour councillor and make my own mind up for the next six months. I just wonder whether the so called spokesman who said I was not a good councillor has the guts to name him or herself.
Regards to those of you that are still my friends..."

Councillor Balkind was de-selected at a ward meeting of Swinton South Labour Party this week, with 12 out of 14 members voting for a new candidate, Stuart Dickman, who is the full time Communications Officer for Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey.

Dickman is also the Campaign Coordinator for Salford and Eccles Labour Party and a part time PR student at Manchester Metropolitan University (Lecturers please note: he's not very good - the Salford Star is still waiting for a quote from Rebecca Long-Bailey promised by him almost a month ago...).

Now Councillor Balkind is accusing a different member of Rebecca Long-Bailey's staff of "actively campaigning to get me removed..."

"I've heard it from more than one person" he tells the Salford Star "I challenged him on it but he denied it. Rebecca Long-Bailey said she was furious about this guy supposedly campaigning to get rid of me but said she's spoken to him and been assured that he wasn't doing it. However it was interesting that he turned up at the meeting and sat outside almost waiting for the result – if you put two and two together..."

The current Swinton councillor argues that his de-selection was a "fait accompli", believes his de-selection was decided in advance by a separate short-listing meeting and noted members at the meeting he'd never seen before...

"Normally, we're lucky to get six people at the meetings, now suddenly there were 14, and 12 voted against me, including a senior member of the Cabinet" he says "I think people want to be able to influence the Council and, basically get Rebecca Long-Bailey's people in. Although I've always supported Rebecca strongly, I feel as though I'm an outsider..."

Councillor Balkind is noted for speaking his mind on issues, both in public and behind closed Labour Party doors, which don't always tally with the leadership, including attending community meetings opposing Salford Council cuts to vulnerable people...

"I believe in speaking my mind" he says "Everyone originally wanted to shut up about the Salford Jam Butty Camp. They wanted to shut it down but for me it was a part of history and all it needed was a change of trustees. We got that and it's stayed open.

"I've also spoken out recently about other things, and I think certain people wanted me forced out" he adds "There's too much power in too few hands in my opinion. Someone has got five positions both on the Council, on the Labour Group and within the Labour Party constituency. They wield so much influence that I believe it's ending up almost like nepotism – a lot of people aren't happy but they won't speak out...

"As a councillor, I am a political animal but I've done charity work for over fifty years and I see myself acting as a conduit between the people who live in the ward and sorting out council matters for them" he explains "That's the work I love to do. I spoke for five minutes at the section meeting on this casework but it fell on deaf ears. I think it was a total waste of time."


What is interesting is that, while a backbench Labour Party councillor gets de-selected in what is being described by others as some sort of Momentum purge (all twelve of them!), ancient Cabinet members who were around from the Hazel Blears days, and who implemented affordable housing demolitions, cuts to services for vulnerable people and lots more under the last Labour Government are still around in safe seats...Very odd.


Main photo shows Howard Balkind speaking at a Boycott Dogs4Us protest


Salford Stu wrote
at 18:58:35 on 14 November 2017
I'm still amazed after all these years and all the years of utter nonsense that Salford people are still voting Labour in again and again. Whatever reasons people had for voting labour have long gone - this isn't the party you think it is. They have systematically destroyed every service this area has had over the last 30 years and simply blamed Government cuts when the reality is they have just consistently lined their own pockets all along. Can we please give them food for thought and get them out on their ears as soon as possible - it really doesn't matter who gets in, it genuinely can't get any worse.
 
Swinton South Resident wrote
at 09:15:06 on 14 November 2017
As a Swinton South resident, I have the guts to say that Howard Balkind was not a good ward councillor. A good ward councillor would respond to the concerns of constituents, return telephone calls and read and reply to emails, instead of deleting them unread.(Mr Balkind,think before deleting unread emails, there are such a things as read receipts!). I couldn't make the selection meeting last week due to family circumstances, but Stuart Dickman would have had my vote.
 
wrote
at 09:24:40 on 13 November 2017
Balkind for Mayor
 
Salford crisis concerned wrote
at 12:39:36 on 12 November 2017
OK can Mr Balkin confirm Labour has a candidate in Langworthy from the Bahai church, founded in IRAN where the country has a refugee crisis? Will they increase the refugees numbers coming to Salford?
 
Slurp wrote
at 17:19:47 on 11 November 2017
When the time comes Mr Balkind needs to stand as an independent. Salford needs more independents full stop. There's so much stuff happening in terms of local governance that it needs someone totally objective and free to say what they want. The more so now that a Trotskyist calal is taking over the council.
 
wrote
at 17:19:08 on 11 November 2017
Balkind suggesting our Council has secrets?
 
wrote
at 11:17:28 on 11 November 2017
Are we seeing Momentum take over Salford as traditional Labour members are driven away from attending meetings. Sounds like my ward at the other end of Salford.
 
retired socalist wrote
at 11:16:50 on 11 November 2017
Speaks his mind? surely not the man who on the star in answer to a question said where whipped. I see sadly a case of sour grapes his own colleague in Swinton South supported the other candidate at the meeting and others stated he was not fit they even left the quote with the MEN. George Wilson the ex Mayor got deselected one Cllr from PENDLEBURY got wind up he was to be deselected and returned from Holiday not a peep from them but Mr Balkind to be expected feels the world his against him. I live in Swinton and never see the man good riddance is all I can say.
 
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