UNCLE JOE STALIN AWARD FOR OPEN AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT
SALFORD CITY COUNCIL
October 2017 saw the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution which promised so much freedom and equality – until Joe Stalin arrived and subverted everything into a horrid one party state, where the Party was right and everyone else was wrong.
This Award, in honour of Joe Stalin, is the oldest category in the Salford Star Mary Burns gongs ceremony, and has been won every year by Salford City Council and its leaders. The regimes may change slightly but transparency, democracy and accountability always remain the same – almost non-existent.
When Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, was elected nearly two years ago he promised "a fresh approach to governance"...just like Ian Stewart before him...
"It was quite clear during the election process that transparency and accountability, or at least the public perception of those sorts of issues, is very much important amongst our electorate" he added "...So it's incumbent on us all...to tackle some of those issues around transparency, accountability and engaging the public in how we do our business."
Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act and, presumably, a huge kick from the Information Commissioner, we now a have a definitive window on how Salford Council 'does its business'.
On June 28th, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, the Salford Star submitted a Freedom of Information request asking for all emails between Councillor Paul Longshaw, the then Lead Member for Housing (who sadly, subsequently took his own life), and any staff/director at Pendleton Together/Together Housing during the two weeks previous. This was to ensure there was no 'cover up' over the materials used for cladding the nine Pendleton high blocks that the Council owns.
Six months later, after the Information Commissioner became involved, 14 emails were released which, while confirming there was no 'cover up' between these parties, did reveal how the Council tries to control the flow of information to residents via the Salford Star.
On 14th June, Daniel Klemm, Head of Policy and Communications at the Together Housing Group, of which Pendleton Together is a part, wrote to Paul Longshaw stating, in response to an innocuous request for a quote from the Star, "As per our agreement with the Council we did not respond to the Salford Star..." (see here)
'Agreement with the Council?'...If Pendleton Together has an 'agreement with the Council' not to respond to legitimate press enquiries from the Salford Star, which other companies and organisations also have the same 'agreement'? Organisations that, like the Council, rely on public money yet are not accountable to the public, via the media.
Ladies and gentlemen, jiggle your Bolsheviks and break out Bill Withers while you sing 'Lean On Me' for the winner of the 2017 Salford Star Mary Burns Uncle Joe Stalin Award for Open and Democratic Government
...Salford City Council!!!
If someone from Salford Council would like to make an acceptance speech please use the comments box below
Winners of 2017 Salford Star Mary Burns Awards...
Feed The Rich Award (part 1) – Fred Done – click here
Disappearing Salford Award – Villafont – click here
Dick Turpin Award For Services to Bridge Hold Ups – Peel Holdings – click here
Carly Simon Award For Vanity – Councillor Derek Antrobus – click here
Feed The Rich Award (part 2) – Conservative Government and the HCA – click here
Corbynista Council of the Year – Salford City Council and Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett – click here
Grenfell Tower Urgency Award – Salford City Council – click here
Shameful and Unacceptable Practices Award – Greater Manchester Police – click here
Self Destruction Award – Salford UKIP – click here
Our Friends In The North Memorial Prize – Salford City Council – click here