Star date: 2nd March 2018


Cash-strapped Salford Council is sending City Mayor, Paul Dennett, and supporting officers, to the huge MIPIM property bash in sunny Cannes this month.

Dennett is to speak on Salford's Smart New Neighbourhood, revealing the Council's joint masterplan with Salford University for thousands of apartments, new buildings and student accommodation around the Crescent – before anyone in the local community has been consulted on the plans.

Full details here...

Sunny Salford
click image to enlarge

Days after warning of a 'catastrophe' in local authority finances, cash-strapped Salford Council is sending at least three people to sunny Cannes in the South of France for the annual MIPIM property bash, famous for yachts, parties and flowing champagne.

Definitely going on the jaunt are Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, Chief Executive, Jim Taylor, and Head of Development, Shelagh McNerney, who are all due to speak at 'Manchester Pavilion' events; along with Urban Splash stalwart, Tom Bloxham, Manchester Council Leader, Richard Leese, and new property player and Salford City FC joint owner, Gary Neville.

Last year Salford Council sent just one officer, who stayed at the four star £230-a-night boutique Hotel Canberra for the four day duration of MIPIM (see here). This year, there will be three people and maybe more in Cannes between 13th and 15th March.

City Mayor, Paul Dennett, is due to speak on Salford's Smart New Neighbourhood in a joint session with Shelagh McNerney, Phil Cusack from the University of Salford, Iain Jenkinson of the North West Evergreen Fund and Jon Matthews, Director of 5plus Architects.

The Salford Star understands that they will be unveiling a masterplan for what is being referred to as 'Salford's Northern Quarter', in a 240 acre area running right down the Crescent, including Salford Museum and Art Gallery and The Meadows.

The plans include 225 buildings, open space, new academic property, accommodation for over one thousand students and almost two thousand residential units.

5plus Architects won the contract for the masterplan, which was announced last summer, part of which was to "to create a new city and academic district that links with the wider community..."

Since then, according to the Salford University website, there has been a "consultation process", "options workshops" and "feedback from key stakeholders"except that no-one from local community organisations that the Salford Star has spoken to knows anything about the huge masterplan or any consultation.

Indeed, two weeks ago, the Salford Star emailed both Salford University and 5plus Architects asking for details of any community consultations on the plans. Neither responded.

Instead, it will be champagne swigging property speculators and developers in the South of France who will be the first to know the details of the masterplan, delivered by the Salford Mayor – while the local community remains in the dark...

Main photo by Steven Speed shows Salford City Mayor marching with the 'red bloc' at the start of the Conservative Party Conference last year

Lee wrote
at 3:06:40 PM on Tuesday, March 6, 2018
What a joke, I read he's off on a jolly the day I receive a leaflet telling me my windows shouldn't be opened because they have identified an 'issue', and also a possible manufacturing default with the Nibe boiler involving a wire that may not have been connected properly (a fire risk if ever there were one surely?) ! No further information provided, it's the windows in particular I'm worried about, there's little air in these flats now, being able to open the windows is a must.
Phil wrote
at 7:29:31 AM on Sunday, March 4, 2018
With all respect to you Gerrant, you're talking out of your dirtbox. The Salford Star isn't just a blog run by an unemployed bloke with an axe to grind. It is actually a hard hitting, city-wide internet "newspaper", and one that does stories on a variety of topics. There was a time when it was a real magazine, made from real paper, but due to a lack of funding those days are long gone. Also, The Journalist, is a real journalist. I met him once in Pendleton Gateway. I was with someone from Spruce Court who was complaining about Pendleton Together. This was about four years ago. So I know from my own observations that Steve invetigates stories. I think that the main problem with Steve, not that I know him, having only met him for about half an hour; but having read the Star for years, is his hard Left bias. For my opinion, Steve, as good a journalist as he is, is too much of a Lefty. Too much of a Marxist. And in this, with presumably his fantasies of a future Socialist Utopia, he has become an anachronism. He's like something from the seventies, a dinosaur, an antique. His ideology has been and gone and will never come again. Not that is, unless we all end up living in some Post Apocalyptical dystopian Mad Max style world. Hard Left Socialism is dead, and is unlikely to ever rise like a phoenix. In The Final Analysis, Steve should have come in from the cold years ago. If he had have got with the project and become a Councillor, by now he would undoubtedly be an Assistant Mayor and would be making this City a better place. The days of the likes of Derek Hatton and Arthur Scargill are over. Their ideological fantasies are kaput, Steve needs to rid himself of this ludicrous morally bankrupt hardline Socialist mentality and just get with the project. Saying that though, the Salford Star is a quality read.
fantasticMrFox wrote
at 4:50:49 AM on Sunday, March 4, 2018
Completely agree with Graham Cooper.
Bob the regular wrote
at 4:50:14 AM on Sunday, March 4, 2018
A couple of weeks ago, it was all in the news about that big booze up at the Dorchester. remember it?. It was all in the press and they said most of them there were all the top property guys in the country. It also mentioned this Cannes lark as well. These no doubt are all the lovely shysters Dennet wants to get involve with. At least we can rest assured that our Mayor will not show us up in the same sort of fashion that lot at the Dorchester exibited.
Phil wrote
at 4:49:53 AM on Sunday, March 4, 2018
I get sick of the constant anti Dennett comments that Commenters send to the Salford Star. The comments are almost exclusively from "The Usual Suspects", and the bitterness and the spitefulness that come off those comments is palpable. I get the impression that these Commenters who view Mayor Dennett with such animosity would like to see him punished somehow for the collective failings of decades of various Salford City Council policies. These "Commenters" seem to view him as some kind of "Scape Goat", and that is exactly what he would be, as what has he done wrong? You pillory him for living in a council flat. You pillory him for going on a "Council business trip" to the South of France (in March). What next, are you going to pillory him for having a beard, or from not being Salford born; or for not living on minimum wage, like the staff of Quality Save, but instead getting a salary of sixty plus K a year. You spiteful and vindictive Commenters, for my opinion your comments simply show the type of people that you are. As far as I am concerned, I believe that the future will show Mayor Dennett to have been one of the most outstanding Local Government politicians in Salford's history. I say this because Mayor Dennett is obviously a high calibre man with a breadth of vision rarely seen in a local government politician. In The Final Analysis, I can see Mayor Dennett ten to fifteen years down the tracks as a Member of Parliament for Salford, a crusading M.P in the mould of the legendary Frank Allaun; and as a future Home Secretary or Foreign Secretary, very possibly under the Prime-Ministership of Miss Long-Bailey. Can you imagine the two of them, Becky and Paul, running "The Kingdom"? I can, and the thought of it makes me feel good.
Gerrant wrote
at 4:47:27 AM on Sunday, March 4, 2018
Moan moan moan....some of you are so short sighted or just jealous you do not have a job that takes you from the bank of the ship canal. Someone labelled this a paper above...its not..its a blog for some guy to just smear and ridicule anything the major or council do. How about the guy writing this rubbish gets a real job and stops writing like we all owe him something?
at 7:48:55 AM on Saturday, March 3, 2018
The long-range forecast says it's going to be 16°C in Cannes. Wooooh. Do you think he'll be able to take his coat off?
Alice wrote
at 5:17:54 AM on Saturday, March 3, 2018
The Mayor puts his foot in it by this decision. If he could put out a press statement via this newspaper, explaining his aims and his intentions we might accept this decision. Without this reasoning people just think the worst and think " oh off they go to the Sun whilst we shiver in the cold and maybe hunger!" It is essential that the Mayor (and the Council) gets over this ' shunning of the Star' and uses it for his benefit and for the residents of Salford. It is an honest medium with a superb journalist, which the Council is trying to silence. It will not work as been shown by many world wide examples. I agree with Graham, a person I admire for his intelligence and amazing community work. Talk to him and the Star and I believe a different, more possitive almoshere will result.
Felsey wrote
at 5:17:39 AM on Saturday, March 3, 2018
Salford Northern Quarter is an ambitious plan but must not be at the expense of Salford Nurseries. If I was Mayor I would place a development tax on the 240 acres, pulling in £60million to Salford Council, sell our Manchester Airport shares to raise £180million and thereby not give Manchester Airport the extra £10million of borrowed loan cash, claw back developer lost levy for 7 years to bring in £40million and pursue cladding cash back from the clad builders for the £25million replacement. Also revamp the PFI's in Salford to reduce interest by £50million and surcharge waterway mooring at a Landowner's standard fixed tariff up to £400million. Even with that extra total of £765million into Salford Council I do feel sending any representative to the South of France would be wrong. Instead I would get the BBC to host the conference at the glitzy MediaCityUk venue free or risk claw back of £millions we give to their Philharmonic. Salford needs a Business Mayor to grab all cash opportunities that would fund local services. Now.
Graham Cooper wrote
at 2:13:50 AM on Saturday, March 3, 2018
Bit of a long rant for me! Firstly and foremost I was a founding member of the Salford Star and what it stands for and hopefully always will do. (I have a top hoody to prove the point £25 well worth it) I don’t want to go against the flow of comments but in a financial scale the costs are insignificant. Showcasing Salford and its communities on such a stage is important. Developments without REAL consultation and building on this Cities image and past are different issues. In essence this development like many others could make many promises like we have seen in the past This image our City has is UNIQUE in its geographical location and skills within are so untapped. Many meetings I go to talk about “skills gap” yet in fact its Skills Lost or talent within Salford that are often overlooked and not built into any real contracts with developers. They will claim that 1000s of jobs will be created but then cannot evidence such benefits. This needs to change and so does the transparency of how developers engage with the communities they serve. For me the costs of the trip and its future impact is costs effective in the long term, what is not acceptable is for others, elected or not to promote a vision that is theirs and then pretend it’s a mutual partnership. Without sounding contradictory I have nothing but time for this Mayor and his vision, energy, commitment and challenges he creates to the established “Status Quo” within our council and its officers. I do believe that he has an understanding of what makes this fucking great City TICK, he has a role to play in making Salford what it should be which is integral to the growth/success of not just ourselves but the Greater Manchester area as a whole. Our communities have often been overlooked for many a year through stigma often not deserved, now it’s DIFFERENT and we need to optimise it for all, not just those looking to make a profit. There are so many success stories in the past ten years that I have been a part of not only in changing individuals lives but also communities , all based on the back of the total spend in construction and associated opportunities. I have seen several estates historically affected by circles of crime and no hope transformed via the developments around Manchester and Salford. So for me it’s not the “selling” Paul but what you are packaging as OUR Plan that concerns me. I say this as an activist for real change and also someone who belongs to a Charity that’s has created additional investment of over £5 Million in less than 12 years and employment for in excess of 300 people, without any funds from yourselves to deliver this a as a local authority. My concerns are also around future movement of many set against “closed communities” and dilution of areas of high depravation by affordability of new property. I have seen areas near Media City change in respects of poverty.avearge earnings and professional qualifications that have no relationship with the houses or established communities on their doorstep. Developments like the Pendleton PFI/New Deal for Communities have only served to prove how ineffective they are in promises of economic change within the communities they make promise to. If such grand developments actually happen, will you build in our new “council houses” as a part of that community? What guarantees will you get on local labour and skills development? In the bigger picture of developments this pales into insignificant compared to what has already occurred and the broken promises of Regeneration and its objectives. What does work is employment and upskilling of those directly affected by such developments. Making any development mandatory of utilising local labour is fundamental progress for all not just our strategic planners and building into this VISION not just the strategic view but also the community’s needs. There is often criticism of this Mayor and his councillors but I am happy to give him the “nod” due to his persistence in trying to change the Status Quo of the image and reliability on funds/grants, but what I will not do is acknowledge the Top down approach and it’s here they have got it wrong once again!
at 1:43:25 PM on Friday, March 2, 2018
Before our Mayor trips to the South of France can he remind us how many people are sleeping rough in the worst winter for 30 years on his Salford streets and what is the price we are paying to fly the three off to the beautiful sunshine event?
Phil wrote
at 1:43:10 PM on Friday, March 2, 2018
I don't get you guys. You guys just seem to have a cob on for Mayor Dennett and Salford Labour Council. Trust me, this relentless campaign of constant negativity is only hurting this once great City of ours. We need to get behind Our Mayor, and Our Council. You may not have the sense to realise this, but they're the best hope that we have. What's the alternative? The likes of Felse, Ferrer and O'Neil? That's some alternative ... An "Alternative" of Lemmings. And big deal, Mayor Dennett is going to the South of France. WOW! Listen, it's a business trip. It IS NOT A holiday. He's not going shopping on Salford Council Taxpayers largesse in Cannes or Nice. He's going for us. For ALL of us... For the benefit of us ALL... and for that, we should be grateful... 😇
hedley hopper - political columnist & international Travel Guide wrote
at 11:03:08 AM on Friday, March 2, 2018
Amazing, isn't it!!! That overseas "Fact Finding" tours by elected Representatives and Officials to exotic places with a warmer climate always seem to coincide with the coldest weather in the UK! All that Matron at the Salford Maximum Security Twilight Home for the Politically Inconvenient has suggested for us "inmates" is a trip to Thornton Cleveleys next week!
Michael Collins wrote
at 8:48:50 AM on Friday, March 2, 2018
As usual and from first hand experience, this is purely for the financial benefit of property speculators who wish to build over-priced housing so the rich can park their money in Salford. You're a Labour Council FFS. Act like one, act in the VERY best interests of the people of Salford and not in your own interests and those of your rich friends. You stitch us up on this like you have in the pas,t and the people of Salford will punish you for it at the ballot box. Times are changing and changing and changing very quickly, get with the programme or make way for someone who will.
Gareth L wrote
at 8:48:44 AM on Friday, March 2, 2018
Is he speaking at as an example how not to regenerate a city. Or is the speech about how to socially cleanse Salfordians from their city? Can we not get him and the others a one way ticket?@
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