Reg Howard has never belonged to a political party but says he was determined to stand in the local election this year to get his voice heard. What he didn't realise was how huge his ward of Pendlebury is and how difficult it is to reach the people he needs to convince to vote for him.
"I've got a few people helping me to deliver leaflets and I've been out in my buggy and my car but the ward is massive" he says "It's real David v Golliath stuff."
Reg was prompted to stand to highlight the problems faced by disabled people and pensioners. He talks about the nightmare he had trying to get decent care for his late wife - ironically a nurse at Hope Hospital - in the face of cuts in social and health services, and his own experiences of being compelled to look for work…
"I've got lung cancer, I'm registered disabled, I'm 60 years old – who's going to give me a job?" he says "They said `If you don't come for an interview you'll lose your benefits'. They sent me on a course that cost £650 to get me back to work. The wastage is just phenomenal."
He also talks about the financial penalties faced by the elderly and the disabled when they get their pensions and all the benefits stop.
"When I try to speak to someone at Salford Council about it they don't want to know" says Reg "So I thought `No-one is going to speak up for me so I'll do it myself'…The only way I'm going to get my voice heard is to get on the council."
...With the help of his battle bus buggy, of course.
The candidates for Pendlebury are…
Reg Howard – Independent
Valerie Gregory – Lib Dem
Bernard Lea – Labour
Keyth Scoles – Tory
Stuart Cremins – Independent
Wayne Taylor – BNP
* Before current Salford councillors get their knickers in a twist, the Salford Star would like to point out that, being non political, it does not endorse any candidates in the local or general election. This is just a very nice little story of someone trying to get their voice heard against all the odds – so do one!