Salford Mayoral Debate 14th December 11

The English Democrats have been campaigning up and down the country for directly elected Mayors, it was the English Democrats who started the campaign in Salford (can be found on the internet). I as North West Chairman had previously worked with Mr Berg on the successful Anti-Congestion charge campaign in Greater Manchester and with Mr Berg believing in the same Mayoral system we agreed to work together once again and he took the lead as petition organiser, he successfully got the signatures required for the referendum whilst I organised activities in other areas.

The Mayoral Alliance took up an invitation to attend a debate over the Mayoral referendum to be organised by the Lib Dem Leader Norman Owen (Lib Dem group being him and 2 mates) on 14th December, we were already aware through our researchers that this was going to be a Labour party meeting which had been rearranged from their usual location. This didn’t phase us, we still took up the challenge and attended, Labour came with their usual professional hecklers to attack Mr Bergs proposals to cut Salford Council tax in Half (although highly educated and very astute on financial issues he is not a good public speaker and this was shown by the Labour hecklers who wouldn’t allow him to finish answering questions). I myself was not phased as I quoted actual facts, figures and policies of their own party back at them, their own waste of tax payers money on frivolities whilst Salford languished as one of the most deprived areas in the country (even after 13 yrs of a Labour Government) and at times you could hear a pin drop. When they tried to heckle that they were “Lies” I just asked them to “Google it” or referred to the Labour party campaign document that we had as proof, they couldn’t answer. Over the cost of the referendum Cllr Merry came out with another figure, his 5th so far ranging from £100k to £400k, Cllr Merry even admitted to have “Experience in referendums with the one in May” he also has experience of organising a referendum from the Congestion Charge referendum but instead makes up figures to try and scare the voters adding another false accusation that we would target elderly care when we have publically stated we would protect essential front line services.

Cllr Merry stated that M Berg who owns up to 17 business properties in Salford and is a Salford tax payer that he had “No connection with Salford what so ever” Cllr Merry continued “as not experienced the services of Salford” as you can read this is a blatant “lie” from Cllr Merry.

Cllr Merry has previously made aspersions that the BNP are part of the Mayoral Alliance just because they support an Elected Mayor, the Alliance does not include the BNP, it also doesn’t include the Tory’s or Hazel Blears and Babara Keeley the Labour MPs for Salford who also support directly elected Mayors, the Alliance is the English Democrats, Community Action Party and some independents.

We want the 168,000 voters of Salford to choose who they want as a directly elected Mayor and leader of the Council, they either succeed and get re-elected or fail and get voted out, they will not have a safe seat and can no longer look at it as a “Job for life”, if they make a promise to you the voter and they don’t stick to it then 168,000 will have the chance to vote them out (obviously keeping promises may limit the Lib Dem participation for office)

Cllr Antrobus made a comment about regeneration in his ward of Swinton North, he was soon put in his place by a Swinton North resident who said “You’ve done nothing for years” “It’s a disgrace”. Cllr Antrobus was the Cllr who tripped and broke his ankle on an ungritted pavement whilst in charge of Highways and gritting.

Michael Moulding of the Community Action party who is targeting his Swinton North ward to oust Cll Antrobus wasn’t on the panel but had to correct the Labour Cllrs on a number of issues when the Labour group started to give out false information when attacking his party.

A tactic of deriding and misinformation by the Labour activists was planned as published in their campaign strategy document.

Stephen Morris

North West Chairman

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