As the national press picks up on the story of Salford Council banning the community from financially supporting the Salford Star, a statement has been put out by the Council saying that it was the Community Committees themselves that rejected the Salford Star application.
This statement, as verified by members of Community Committee budget sub groups, is totally misleading. They were instructed by Salford Council that they would be "breaking the law" if they agreed to fund the Salford Star and therefore had no option on the decision.
Minutes from the Claremont and Weaste Budget Sub Group clearly state that the Star request for £500 was recommended… "refuse as advised by senior officer".
The quote from Sue Lightup, Salford City Council's new Strategic Director for Community, Health and Social Care (and wife of a Labour Councillor) stated that "the East Salford Community Committee decided that the Salford Star did not meet the criteria and therefore did not accept the application for funding".
This is, in our opinion, false, inaccurate and misleading. The East Salford Community Committee did not decide anything – they weren't allowed to!
The Council is still insisting its comments are accurate.
Once again, we repeat – the Community Committees "did not accept the application for funding" because they were not allowed to accept it.
When Hazel Blears was Communities Secretary her department put out the following statement…
"Cumbria and Salford Councils have been named by Hazel Blears…as 'empowerment champions'. Already pioneering a range of people power measures, these councils will work with other areas of the country to show empowerment in practice, share the lessons they have learned and help others to revive their local democracy through twinning programmes and regional empowerment road shows."
The Salford Star says: `If Salford Council is an `empowerment champion', God help the rest of the country!'
...and there go the pigs flying over Salford Precinct...