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SALFORD COUNCIL CUTS MEETING SHUT DOWN BY CAMPAIGNERS
 

Star date: 26th February 2014

PUBLIC VOTES NOT TO IMPLEMENT £24.5MILLION OF CUTS IN SALFORD 

"They're all playing the Government's game…and we're all going to suffer"

After a big protest outside Salford City Council Civic Centre this lunchtime, campaigners shut down the full meeting of the Council as it was in the process of rubber stamping £24.5million of cuts.

While the councillors shuffled off to a safe place, in the public gallery a vote was taken not to implement the cuts in Salford and was passed unanimously.

Full details here…


Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest
Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest
Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest
Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest
Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest Salford Council Anti-Cuts Protest
click image to enlarge

The full meeting of Salford City Council which, this afternoon met to rubber stamp £24.5million of cuts, was dramatically shut down by campaigners in the public gallery who constantly whistled and shouted down councillors and City Mayor Ian Stewart.

As Stewart said he was implementing the ConDem Government cuts with `a heavy heart', he was told to `Get a spine and oppose them', while the ceremonial mayor - who was trying to calm the noise down - was told to sell his `back scratcher [the mace] and that bling around your neck [the mayoral chain]'.

When Stewart talked of seeking to protect the most vulnerable from the cuts, he was again shouted down by families of those very people… `It's not good enough…What about disabled vulnerable adults?'

As whistles and abuse rained down from the public gallery, the meeting was closed and councillors fled the chamber. While they were gone, members of the public – who included trade unionists, Barton Moss campaigners, service users and families of those affected by the cuts – decided to have their own vote on whether to implement the cuts, given the lack of opposition from any councillor of both the Labour and Tory parties. To great cheers, it was unanimously decided that the cuts should not be made.

After around half an hour the councillors came back into the chamber - while being serenaded with the Star Wars storm troopers' theme tune – and the meeting re-commenced with more catcalls as the Tories put forward their alternative budget - which included taking away trade union facilities and three days unpaid leave for Council employees.

Replying, Labour councillor Bill Hinds came out with the most useful statement of the meeting… "Even we don't like ourselves" he said, while other Labour councillors rounded on Tory husband and wife Karen and Robin Garrido for taking £40,000 between them `from the Council and outside bodies'.

As the two parties began scoring political points amongst themselves, virtually everyone walked out of the public gallery in disgust.

"We've left the meeting because it just turned into a playground charade between a group of councillors who just want to have a go at each other while, behind the scenes, they're all in support of taking £27million out of Salford's budget" said Salford City UNISON branch secretary Steve North "It's ridiculous, you've got the Tories proposing attacks on the workforce, you've got the Mayor smirking because he thinks he's better than that - but he's voting through cutting people's jobs and indirectly attacking people's terms and conditions. But he thinks he's better than the Tories…

"The fact is they're all playing the Government's game, they're all playing the rich's game and we're all going to suffer" he added "And they hang about in that room on a Wednesday afternoon and pretend that there's some difference between them, when fundamentally they're all pro cuts and they're all taking decisions against the people of Salford."

Earlier, before the Council meeting started, there was a big protest outside Salford Civic Centre with speaker after speaker telling how they had been let down by Mayor Ian Stewart and the Council's policies.

Jane from Care On Call, facing a £600,000 cut and told to be `self financing' asked "What is going to happen to these vulnerable people? There'll be nothing. Who's going to pick them up at three in the morning, who's going to be there for them 365 days a year. Nobody."

Bernie, speaking on behalf of the families of special needs adults facing transport cuts, added "Salford has gone to the dogs for the vulnerable. We love all our services and need them…"

And Steve Cullen representing service users spoke of the Council taking support workers off those with mental health issues… "You are a Labour Council, start standing up for the constituents who voted you in."

Ameen Hadi, treasurer of Salford City UNISON, said that when he hears of the work Council staff do for the people of Salford, the cuts make him "almost tearful at times but angry…angry that the Council is letting this happen and not doing anything about it.

"We need to remind ourselves what these cuts are about" he added "These cuts are because a load of bankers got greedy and decided that their pockets were more important than our public services or our jobs. We've not been over spending, and the hypocrisy of what they say is incredible because they will find money for prestige projects around the country and they will find money, which we accept, when people are flooded out of their homes… money is no object when it comes to those things but when it comes to Salford no-one seems to care. We need to fight for jobs and services and if we fight together we will win."

George Tapp, from the Salford Pensioners Association, told how the cuts "are killing people and we've got to stand up and be counted. This Government wants pensioners dead because dead pensioners don't claim pensions"

Barry, from Salford Against the Cuts, said that the Barton Moss anti-fracking campaigners were an inspiration with their `non-violent direct action'… "We need to say `Enough is enough'"

* Salford Council did, of course, eventually vote to rubber stamp £24.561million of cuts for 2014/15 plus £2.158million `step-up' cuts from 2013/14.


See also previous Salford Star articles…

Salford Council Cuts Services To Pay For Prestige Projects – click here

Salford Lobbies Labour Party Cuts Councillors – click here

Photos by Steven Speed

David cameron wrote
at 08:57:02 on 01 March 2014
Have people on hear not read previous Salford star article on the cuts, salford council are making nearly £25 million of cuts, when the government cuts to salford are just over £16 million, like to be a fly on the wall if Stewart gets his wish and has meeting with Cameron and Cameron tells Stewart that the government are cutting £16 million, so why is the salford Labour Party cutting £25 million from the salford council budget. Time for people to stop blaming the government and start asking this salford Labour Party council more detailed and in-depth questions. This salford Labour Party council are financially incompetent, couldn't run a bath.
 
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 20:07:16 on 28 February 2014
Every time you read a paper its cuts, cuts, and more cuts / But why are the cuts only for the people at the bottom of the Social Scale,Massive rises for Bankers/ City Slickers/ The Royals / Politicians/ Judges/ For Any body who is in the higher echelons of Society it a case of Carry on as normal Create another finacial collapse /The poorest can pay it this excuse for a Government tell us its the best way to get the Nations Deficit Down / This is a Government that has done nothing about £67 Billion of Tax Dodged Annually that's £2001billion lost to the Treasury since this pile of SHI#E took ove Here in Salford we have a so called New Labour Council who's Leaders also did nothing about this Cancer of Tax Evasion. Now they are aping this Con Dem SHI#E by attacking the poorest weakest Oldest in our City to balance the Books just to appease their Con Dem masters I would like to suggest they get off their knees and do the things that would benefit the oldest poorest and weakest in our City and bin a few of our over paid under worked Fat Cats / Tax Dodging Peel Holdings/ Lowery Centre/ Light Orchestra/ etc We do not need vanity programmes we do need our services
 
Steven Broomhead wrote
at 17:33:03 on 27 February 2014
How much can you cut before services totally have to be cut? We need smarter ways of working, how can we implement cuts when the solutions are not apparent. We have to prey that Labour get back in government and halt these cuts or else this could be devastaing for not just Salford but for the entire Manchester City Region. Bring back the NWDA!
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 17:32:40 on 27 February 2014
To Don't make your mark - I've read your argument on an anti labour vote come next election, there's just one teensy little problem with it...The figures don't add up. For two parties in coalition, Salford Conservatives and their Libdem Partners (ooh, cant call them that now, as mr clegg is doing that "distancing" thing, where everything wrong that's happened had s*d all to do with him or his party) are hammer and tongs against each other, let alone the Salford executive. The opposition would have to take all of the seats up for grabs, just for Labour to sit up and listen..and given they're the parties in central government causing the strife - I don't see Call me Dave or Nick "No Fees" Clegg knocking on my door - the property values too low for them I expect. I look forward to the likes of Claremont, Walkden, Swinton and all changing colour - it'll give the star and advertiser something to write about...but the news might be written in the next round of council elections...when our councillors might work a little harder for those expenses/salaries.
 
wrote
at 17:31:39 on 27 February 2014
What planet is Michael felse on, obviously not planet earth
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 11:22:11 on 27 February 2014
Well done Mr Mayor for getting a grip of the public concern. Even I would now vote you in for the MP's seat being vacated by the Salford and Eccles MP. We need Salford Councillors to take a page from their Council Leader and listen to the people that elect them. I trust this will be a new dawn for Salford.
 
Don't just make your mark, make a difference. wrote
at 11:21:23 on 27 February 2014
Just wait until the election in May, watch how many of these pigs currently emptying the trough get re-elected. They all will that's for sure until the people of this city wake up and realise that Labour in Salford is not working and vote for a real alternative then we will keep getting the same inept cllrs time and time again. Come what May just vote for anyone except Labour, if nobody voted Labour then it would not matter how the vote was split between the other parties one of the others will be elected. So if your left or right wing there is a party for everyone, just don't vote for the party of greed, Labour.
 
Sharon wrote
at 06:14:43 on 27 February 2014
We urge the government to rethink on these cutbacks , and the fracking situation only people who will benefit from this are the fat cats in government and the big companies. No local people
 
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