SALFORD CITY COUNCIL FOR ITS FAB WORK ON THE YOUTH OFFENDING SERVICE MOVE
One of the most bitter battles of 2009 between the community and Council was centred around the Youth Offending Service (YOS) moving from its current home to the old Salix housing building in Greengate.
Salford Council has already won one MARY for withholding a Freedom of Information request around this subject – and now it's winning another for its fantastic community consultation!
It was in September '09 that the Council was forced to defend its behaviour surrounding the YOS building move at a special meeting the East Salford Community Committee at Fit City Broughton.
There, it was revealed that the Council had indulged in a bit of ghost consulting with `Gemini Blackfriars' and `Age Concern' – except that `Gemini Blackfriars' doesn't exist (there is a group in Charlestown which is miles away). Age Concern doesn't have an office in Greengate either, and no-one could confirm whether anyone from the Council had ever consulted them. Neither had the Council consulted with Graham Cooper, the chair of East Salford Community Committee.
Meanwhile, a member of the community also revealed that he had checked out other buildings that the Council had looked at for the YOS move but ruled out as unsuitable - but some, he said, didn't even exist. Others at the meeting complained that formal complaints and petitions had gone awol too.
"You have a duty to consult, inform and involve" said Paul Brody, chair of Vertical Villages residents association "You haven't consulted, you've listened and you've ignored…you've not engaged with the community."
The response from Councillor John Warmisham, Leader of Youth Services?
"This is an internal move" he roared "We don't have to consult!"
However, John Merry, Leader of Salford Council, kind of apologised…
"I'd be the first to agree that the consultation hasn't been perfect…maybe we should have done more consulting" he said, with the understatement of the year "I don't think that the consultation was right. We didn't realise that an office move would create this amount of storm…"
He added, with his tongue definitely not in cheek… "This meeting is a good example of consultation…"
Er, yeah, after the Council had been dragged screaming to a special Community Committee meeting!
Ladies and Gentlemen. Ghost consultations indeed! Put your sheets over your heads and go `Woooooo' for the winner of THE COMMUNITY CONSULTATION OF THE YEAR AWARD PART 2…
SALFORD CITY COUNCIL
If anyone from the Council would like to make a speech please fill in the Comments box below