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  2. Jones Banda (27/03/1988) and Liam Fitzgerald (27/01/1995) are both wanted on recall to prison. They are aware that they are wanted and it appears they are actively evading police arrest. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Banda or Fitzgerald should contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
  3. Last week

    Shortly after 9am a man was assaulted by another man whilst shopping in Lidl on Fitzwarren Street in Pendleton, the attacker fled the scene before GMP arrived. Police say the man is not thought to have suffered serious injuries but was taken to Salford Royal to be checked over as a precaution. No arrests were made and GMP have asked for any witnesses to come forward. Anyone with further information can call Greater Manchester Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
  5. Bigger and better than ever, with even more spooky zones, scary characters, amazing special effects, stilt walkers and live dance performances. It’s frightfully good fun for the whole family, just as long as you’re brave enough!Why not come and join us from 2.30pm and enjoy spooky family fun with frightful face painting, gruesome glitter tattoos, creepy crafts, spooky story telling, skull coconut shy, climbing wall, fairground rides, curious critters and football tricks and turns and penalty shootout with Academy 92. Find out more.FAQsWhat are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?Limited onsite parking £1.00. What can I bring into the event? Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing, the walk will take you through the woods. No dogs allowed on the Witches Walk. Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event? Yes please either print your order confirmation or have it ready on your phone to show a member of staff.

    It’s following in the footsteps of leading international companies, including Coca Cola, Pepsi, Amazon, Tesco and Virgin Holidays, in signing up to Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme. The programme helps organisations working in everything from education and law to finance and government to review their policy and practice to improve the working lives of their LGBT staff. The aim is to create more inclusive workplaces which support staff in delivering their best performance. Councillor John Ferguson, lead member for workforce and industrial relations, said: Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme is supported by Barclays Bank and its founding partners include Google, BP, IBM and RBS. Members range from the BBC to universities, private companies and other local authorities. Salford City Council agreed to adopt the the Diversity Champions programme at a meeting of full council on Wednesday September 20.

    The Broadoak school pupil is the winner of a schools’ competition to design a poster spelling out the importance of getting vaccinated against the potentially deadly virus. Frankie’s poster encourages people who are eligible for the free flu vaccination to take it up to help them stay well over winter and protect themselves and their families from flu. It will be displayed in schools, Gateway centres, libraries, leisure centres, dental practices, care homes and other community venues. City Mayor Paul Dennett chose Frankie’s poster from dozens submitted by local schools, along with three runners up. Presenting Frankie with a £20 book token, he said: Dr Tom Tasker, chair of NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group, said: Free flu vaccinations are being offered to people aged 65 and over, registered carers, people aged under 65 who have long-term medical conditions and pregnant women. Children aged two and three can be vaccinated by nasal spray by their GP and children in reception and school years 1, 2,3 and 4 will be offered it via the school based programme. Front-line medical staff are also being offered immunisation to help prevent the spread of the virus. The poster competition was organised by Salford City Council, supported by NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Salford Royal Hospital which jointly run the flu immunisation campaign. Runners up were Ailsa Kirby and James Eddleston from Broadoak and year five pupils Vanessa Jackowska, Victoria Abiola and Julia Jaskolka from St Thomas of Canterbury School, Broughton who all received a £10 book token. Article Photo, Mayor Paul Dennett, Councillor Lisa Stone and the Amazing Frankie Cusack.
  8. Salford Cheerleaders and dance team 'The Red Hot Flames' who are currently based at Buile Hill High school, are raising much needed funds to improve our training facilities and to provide opportunities in education for young potential coaches. Peter Hook best known as 'Hooky' the founder member of Joy Division, New Order and the Light has kindly donated two tickets to attend the Hacienda Classical at the O2 Apollo, Manchester, in support of the Red Hot Flames fundraising auction. The tickets offer the winning bidder the exclusive opportunity to join the artists on stage for a "once in a lifetime" experience... Priceless! The auction is being hosted online at Red Hot Flames are an All Star Cheerleading and Dance team from Salford, Manchester. The teams, who range in age from 4-adult, compete regionally, nationally and internationally in pom dance and in every age category from tiny through to senior. The team attend competitions all over the UK and internationally and have had great success at all events including European and World Championships. The goal at Flames is simple, for every child to have fun, progress safely and feel part of their team and the wider Flames family. We love to set a goal and work towards it, and we are always encouraging our children to be the best athlete and person they can be. We promote teamwork, confidence and sportsmanship in all that we do, ensuring all children are praised for their achievements and dedication. We are now entering our 21st competitive season with over 150 members on register and success in all age divisions, the Red Hot Flames are the largest and most successful cheerleading and dance program in Salford. Red Hot Flames are hoping to ensure the regions young athletes can continue to advance in the sport at National & World level. Cheerleading was granted "provisional status" by the international Olympic Committee in 2016, placing it on the pathway for possible inclusion in the 2024 Olympic Games. More information about the Flames can be found on their website at the following link http:/
  9. The court heard that between June 2016 and February 2017 Shaker had posted a number of extremist propaganda videos to his personal Facebook account, often accompanying them with comments voicing his approval of their content. His extremist mind set was further displayed in his liking and commenting on other posts of similar nature to the videos he had been sharing. As a result of his online behaviour an investigation was launched and on 27 February 2017, he was arrested at his home address in Stockport. Detective Chief Superintendent Dominic Scally, Head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said:
  10. Plans for the new village were approved by Salford City Council planning, building and regeneration committee in September. Now permission has been granted, work on the ambitious scheme can begin early next year. The redevelopment of the two-acre site will be partially paid for through a £3m grant from LIBOR funding, a government initiative to redistribute the proceeds of banking fines. Fundraising by Broughton House is ongoing. The Broughton House Veterans Care Village is planned to be completed by 2020 and will include: 64 nursing home bedrooms with a dementia wing; 34 independent living apartments; A military support hub featuring an advice centre, gym, treatment rooms, café, hair salon and meeting rooms A memorial park with a cenotaph and remembrance walls; Landscaped gardens featuring an all-weather bowling green and a bandstand. Dooley Associates will manage the delivery of the scheme. The project team also includes architects Levitt Bernstein, structural engineers Curtins Consulting, service engineers Building Services Design, landscape architect Exterior Architecture, fire engineers Omega Fire and acoustician Sandy Brown. Ty Platten, chief executive of Broughton House, said: Brendan Dooley, managing director of Dooley Associates, which has offices in Manchester, Birmingham and London, said:
  11. Stories of this match have reached almost mythical proportions; stories of the crowd ranging from 10,000 to 20,000, the Mayor of Salford greeting the teams on the pitch, open top bus tours of Salford by the winning team, (The Grove incidentally), even stories of the match winner and the final score. However, SalfordOnline were delighted to hear from 98-year-old Charlie Oldham, who was not only at the game as as spectator but was one of the founder members of the Salford Sunday League Committee which was formed in 1947/48. Charlie has a remarkable memory, and was able to set the record straight once and for all. Charlie told us that the match had attracted attention throughout Salford and the initial print run of 10,000 tickets for the final sold out so quickly that another 5,000 had to be printed to cope with demand. Charlie approached the manager of Salford Rugby Club, a Mr Jim Douglas, and asked if the game could be played there, with the money being split 50/50 between Salford Sunday League Committee and Salford Rugby Club. The tickets cost 1 shilling and Charlie told us the fascinating detail that with their gate money Salford Rugby Club were able to purchase Tom Danby in August 1949 from the Harlequins, the first England Rugby union International player signed by Salford. On the day of the match George saw the size of the crowd and urged Salford to open a paying gate to deal with the large number of fans with no tickets, he reckons that were well over 16,000 in attendance, I'm certain that many must have climbed over and saw the match for free! As for the match, sadly the Mayor of Salford did not meet the teams, instead the pub landlord's shook the hands of the players along with committee members of the Salford Sunday League. The final score was 1-0 for the Grove with the goal a header being scored by Billy Hanlon in the Weaste Cricket Club end. As for the open-top bus tour of Salford by the Grove team - sadly not true - however a double-decker was used to take the triumphant team back to the pub on Eccles New Road, for a celebratory pint or two. Charlie also told us that he knew the bookie George Lowther who had betting shops in Weaste, and asked him if he would purchase a shield for the game and it would be named in his honour, this he duly did and paid £20 for it. The First Division Champion Cup which was also won by the Grove that year, holds a fascinating story in itself. Charlie and fellow committee members decided that a new cup would be in order for the start of the first season of 1947/48, they contacted a woman in Chorlton-cum-Hardy who was selling a silver cup for £100, they visited the lady and found that it was a bowling cup complete with a crown green bowler on the lid. The cup was purchased and Charlie took the lid to a jewellers shop on Trafford Road, Salford called Spinks, and for the sum of £5 they transformed the bowler into a footballer, and if you look at photographs of the cup you can see the man on the lid has been turned into a footballer! Charlie who was a painter and decorator lived on Bridson Street for many years, know lives in Warrington and will be celebrating his 99th birthday soon, it was a pleasure talking to him, and listening to the many tales of old Salford that he could tell, he really should write a book. So from everybody at we thank Charlie for his time and trouble and helping to set the record straight on that momentous day in Salford in May 1949. This story first appeared on SalfordOnline, in March 2013, it is reproduced here with the permission of Salford International Winger, Tony Flynn. Video by Joe McCarty.
  12. The naming of Monks Hall could go back as far as the 1200's. It is known as a Tudor residence with modern additions, which would make Monks Hall almost as old as Ordsall Hall if not quite as grand a residence. From the 1230s the monks of Whalley Abbey owned much of the land in Eccles, which could haven given the hall its name. Alternatively, in 1394 there was living in the town a Henry de Monks; it could be that his family may have given their name to the house or taken their name from it. Situated on Wellington Road, this once-famous museum stands empty and has been sadly neglected for the last ten years as legal wranglings over planning permission to build flats on the site drag on. This building has not only an amazing history attached to it but it still has a place in the hearts of many people of Salford and Eccles, who have memories of visiting the attractively laid out gardens and special exhibitions. After the Reformation in 1660 the hall became a place of worship for the Nonconformist congregation established by the Rev Edmund Jones who in 1662 was expelled from being the Vicar of Eccles and when the congregation moved out a family named Willis took up residence. In 1836 Monks Hall was a farmhouse and it was further modernised in the 19th century. No mention of Monks Hall is complete without the story of the Monks Hall Hoard; when a new road was being constructed in 1864 a hoard of 6,000 medieval coins were discovered close to the boundary wall, money probably buried by the owners of Monks Hall when the country was torn with civil strife. In the latter half of the 19th century the building became a doctor's residence and for 50 years was the home of a Dr George Sidley and subsequently his son Dr I. M. Ridley. Dr Ridley was also the Doctor in charge of children at St Joseph's Home in Patricroft and often children would be invited along to the house for a look around. Eccles council purchased the house from him in 1959 after he had retired from practice, the house, land and furnishings cost £7,155. The opening ceremony was carried out on Thursday 6 July 1961 by Lord Derby, assisted by the Mayor of Eccles, Ald R. Benson, Cllr G. Edwards, Cllr Dow and Dr Owen, Director of the Manchester Museum. Interestingly enough the first exhibition was a collection of memorabilia loaned to Monks Hall by Manchester United, it contained such items as gold medals, trophies, team pennants, international caps and football jerseys worn by such stars as Billy Meredith and George Wall. Such was the interest in the new Monks Hall museum that it attracted a 1,000 visitors in just three days after the opening, obviously many of them had come to gaze at the Manchester United display! Over the years the museum held some fascinating exhibitions including artwork by LS Lowry, Harold Riley, and Geoffrey Key, also local schools and painting and photographic societies held regular exhibitions there. Many people still fondly recall the bee hive which you could observe through glass panels as they built their honeycombs, and the prehistoric dug out canoe on display in the magnificent gardens, which was found in the bed of the River Irwell when the Manchester Ship Canal was being excavated. I can recall a room at the museum that displayed children's toys from over the years, including dinky toys, dolls and games. There were also a couple of large grandfather clocks including one made in Eccles by a certain James Collier, again, where have they gone? As you went into the garden there was a replica of Nasymth's hammer and other items relating to the industry of Eccles. Sadly and for reasons unknown to us the museum closed its doors for the last time in the late 1980s. It remained empty and neglected for over a decade until a local business man, Grant Chapman purchased the museum and turned it into Monks Hall Restaurant in April 1997, this too closed in 2002. Property developer Mark Hammond then purchased the land with plans to turn the museum building into four luxury flats with a further 24 flats at the rear. No work has ever started on this development and the building looks as if it is ready to collapse following years of neglect and vandalism. So the future of Monks Hall looks bleak and I fear that once again another of our fine buildings will disappear and we will be left with just our memories. The above article first appeared on SalfordOnline and is lovingly reproduced here with the permission of a man with a few habits, Mr Tony Flynn.
  13. At 6.20pm on Thursday 21 September 2017, police were called to Pomona Strand, Trafford, to reports that a woman had fallen in to Manchester Ship Canal. Emergency Services were scrambled to assist and she was recovered safely from the water into a boat and the hands of paramedics. The 19-year-old woman was taken to hospital after suffering the effects of the cold water but otherwise her injuries that are not believed to be life threatening. It has not been disclosed how the woman ended up being in the water but we wish her a speedy recovery. Photo Copyright: Tracy M Parker
  14. The show, Who Cares, was written by Matt Woodhead and co-produced by The Lowry and LUNG Theatre. It was made in partnership with The Gaddum Centre’s Salford Carers Service. It features interviews with young carers about their lives – as well as input from their families and schoolteachers. Local councillors and MP, Barbara Keeley, were also interviewed - along with GP’s and young carers’ workers in the city-region. The play aims to help identify ‘hidden’ young carers in society – those who provide care under the radar of their friends, schoolteachers and local authorities - and signpost them to the support available. The 27-venues - none of which are traditional theatre spaces - have been chosen in partnership with Onside Youth Zones – a national youth centre charity; and Aldridge Education – the academy schools chain founded by ex-Capita Plc boss and Lowry chairman, Sir Rod Aldridge. Primarily located in areas of high deprivation - where the need for support services is strongest – the venues will see the work presented to more than 3,000 young people. The tour opens in Salford on Monday 30 October, with the final performance in Westminster set for Tuesday 5 December. The performance in The House of Lords will be hosted by Baroness (Jane) Bonham Carter, a trustee of The Lowry. Julia Fawcett OBE, chief executive of The Lowry, said: “Who Cares was a highlight of our 2016 programme and its national tour will ensure this potentially life-changing work will be seen by a further 3,000 young people across the country. “It is a great example of the role that theatre has to play in the education and development of young people - and we hope the opportunity to present the work to peers and MPs at The House of Lords will help highlight the importance of the need for young carers to be well supported”. Casting for the tour has been confirmed. RADA graduate, Lizzie Mounter, plays ‘Nicole’ a 14-year old caring for her mother. Bristol Old Vic favourite, Jessica Temple, plays ‘Jade’ a 17-year old caring for her brother and their dad after he was paralysed in a motorbike accident. And former Billy Elliott star, Joey Philips from Lytham St Annes, plays ‘Connor’ a 12-year old struggling to juggle his school work with his responsibilities at home caring for his mum who faces mental illness. Who Cares premiered to critical acclaim at The Lowry in November 2016. The national tour has been made possible thanks to funding from The Oglesby Charitable Trust and Curious Minds.
  15. Based on Newton Street in central Manchester, this unassuming building holds some incredible material for serious researchers, as well as an awesome array of guns, knives, bats and even a mace confiscated from enthusiastic criminals. Librarian Duncan Brodie tells us about the Salford Aliens records - a world-class collection of discovered in the bowels of a Salford police station in 1999. The original Victorian cells would have held up to 12 men each as they awaited their fate - and all are open to visitors to pore over and enjoy. Just don't forget to ask for the key before you enter... This first video only scratches the surface of the treasures you can find within, and we'll be going back to the museum to uncover more fine detail in the near future. The Greater Manchester Police Museum is open to the public every Tuesday from 10.30am � 3.30pm as well as Thursdays at the same times during the school holidays. Archive appointments can be made on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (during term-time) and Fridays. Find out more at the Greater Manchester Police Museum website. This article appeared on SalfordOnline on the 9th of April 2014, it is republished here with the permission of Officer of the Lore, Mr Tony Flynn.
  16. Salford, as with many big cities in the North West of England was to endure heavy German bombing in the Second World War and it is recorded that 215 people were killed, 900 injured and 8,000 homes damaged or destroyed in the city. There were many personal tragedies but this incident is particularly poignant. In the early hours of 2 June, Manchester and Salford came under heavy bombardment from German bomber crews raining death and destruction from above. As the air raid sirens went off the Salford Royal nurses, most of them trainees, took shelter in the basement of the hospital hoping for safety. Sadly the hospital took a direct hit from an enemy bomb which tore through the building. A rescue party was set up to try and rescue the people still trapped in the rubble, led by surgeon Dr Robert Wyse. Despite the imminent danger from severed power cables, escaping gas and 30 tonnes of falling masonry they managed to claw their way into the basement which was pitch black and ankle deep in water. Incredibly the team managed to rescue three nurses who had been trapped under the rubble and who had been missed by an earlier search party. It was reported that Dr Wyse actually amputated a trapped nurses limb in an effort to save her, sadly she was to die from her injuries. The bodies of the 14 nurses were found in the ruins of the basement. Amongst those who perished were three nurses from the Sutton area of St Helens, they were Ellen Sheridan, Rose Moffatt and Margaret Lowery, all aged just 19. These three young girls had all joined the nursing services together and had only just started their basic training. All three were buried in the same grave at St Anne's churchyard in St Helens amidst outpourings of grief from family and friends. In September that year Dr Wyse was awarded the George Medal for his incredible bravery. In February 1944 a memorial was unveiled by the Duchess of Kent listing the names of the nurses who perished on that fateful day. A memorial fund was also set up which raised £14,500 to fund new beds in memory of the nurses. With the formation of the NHS Trust in the mid-1990s this saw the closure of the Salford Royal Hospital on Chapel Street, with the building now turned into The Royal Apartments. The memorial is still in place and is worth looking at the next time you pass by the building - a fitting tribute to these brave young women who died so tragically and so young. This article first appeared on SalfordOnline on the 2nd of June 2014, it is republished here with the blessing of Leading Salford Historian and part time paper and comb player, Mr Tony Flynn with video editing by Young Tom Rodgers.
  17. In December 2016, a 16-year-old girl had been located by officers after being reported as missing from home. When taking her home, the girl made a disclosure to police that she had been repeatedly sexually abused by Windle since 2014. Following this disclosure, GMP’s Specialist Protective Services Team launched a thorough investigation and a number of other reports were made to police that Windle had sexually abused young girls between the ages of four and 16. In September 2016, Windle was arrested and bailed pending further enquiries but failed to cease his offending, continuing to sexually abuse young girls up until his final arrest in December 2016. Today, Wednesday 20 September 2017, he has been jailed at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court. Detective Constable April Hopwood of GMP’s Rochdale Borough, said: Greater Manchester is nationally recognised as a model of good practice in terms of support services available to victims. - If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police, or a support agency so you can get the help and support available. - You can call Greater Manchester Police on 101, or alternatively people can refer themselves to St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0161 276 6515, whether or not you want make a police report. - St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester provides a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and medical aftercare service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them via Greater Manchester Police, or as a self-referral. - Manchester Rape Crisis is a confidential support service run by women for women and girls who have been raped or sexually abused. Confidential helpline: 0161 273 4500. - Survivors Manchester offers support and counselling for adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape, regardless of when the event happened. Contact 07919 246 267.
  18. Weaste cemetery was sealed off due to reports of a suspicious device (now confirmed to be a World War 2 Grenade) found within the grounds by council workers. The Royal Logistics Corps EOD team performed a controlled explosion on playing fields near too Stott Lane. It's believed this was a live, viable device. Police and bomb disposal were on scene at Cemetery Road in Weaste and after assessing the situation carried out a controlled explosion of what is being described as a rusting World War 2 Grenade which had been dumped along with a blue carpet and several other items. The grenade was removed to a more suitable location at Stott Lane fields for its disposal to be carried out, several residents in the area heard the explosion, GMP has confirmed the grenade has now been made safe. This comes after our article on fly tipping in the Weaste and Seedley area which can be found on the link bellow. Fly tipping has become a huge problem in the area with seemingly nowhere off limits to the dumpers. GMP told us..... At around 2.14pm today, Wednesday 20 September 2017, police were called to reports that a suspicious item had been found in the grass by council workers at the cemetery. Officers are at the scene and bomb disposal officers were made aware and sealed the area. Anyone with information should contact 101 quoting reference number 1094 of 20/09/17 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
  19. We have shared this here as it may be possible that he has next-of-kin living in the Salford area. Police are appealing for the public’s help to find the next-of-kin of a man from Urmston. It’s believed he has relatives living in the Urmston area and anyone with information that could help police trace any next-of-kin is encouraged to contact the police coroner’s office on 0161 856 9696.
  20. Shortly before 4.30pm on Monday 17 September 2017, the victim was walking to meet a friend along Great Cheetham Street East towards Teltow Lane. Two men have grabbed him from behind and pulled his jumper over his head before pulling him backwards to the floor. The attackers then continued to punch and kick him, resulting in him sustaining a punctured lung. The first man was described as mixed race, about 5ft 7ins, in his late 20s and was wearing dark clothing. The second man was described as black, about 5ft 8ins, around 25-years-old and was wearing dark clothing. Both men rode off on bikes onto Orient Street. Detective Sergeant Wendy Grace, from GMP’s Salford borough, said: Anyone with any information about this attack should call police on 0161 856 5630 quoting incident number 1453 17/09/17. Image: Google Maps
  21. Lewis Edwards was last seen at around midday yesterday (Monday) in Rivington. He did not return home to Garstang, but has links to Rawtenstall, Preston, Horwich and Birkenhead and may have travelled to one of those areas. Anybody with information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact us as soon as possible. PC Natalie Craddock, of Lancaster Police, said: Lewis is described as white, of thin build, around 5ft 6ins tall, with short, dark brown hair. He speaks with a Liverpool accent. He was last seen wearing a white polo shirt, black trousers and a black coat. Anybody with information should contact us on 101, quoting log number 564 of September 18th.
  22. Updated 18:03: GMP have confirmed the Volvo which was found burnt out in Weaste was the same one used in the robbery. Updated 15:52: Police have now issued the following statement. Shortly before 7:10am on Tuesday 19 September 2017, police were called to Salford Precinct to reports that a cash in transit driver had been robbed.Two men wearing balaclavas approached the driver before assaulting him with a crowbar and stealing a significant quantity of cash. The two then fled the scene in a silver Volvo.The cash in transit driver has been taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.Anybody with information should contact police on 101, quoting incident number 354 of 19/09/17, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. ---- We are looking into reports that the Royal Bank of Scotland at Salford Precinct has been robbed around 7am this morning, photographs on Social Media show police tape around the entrance to the bank. Our thoughts as always are with the staff involved and affected, we hope that none of them have been injured or suffered harm. A spate of armed robberies have targeted local banks in the past few months. In late August police were called to the Nationwide after it was held up by thieves wielding sledgehammers. And less than a fortnight ago masked thieves held staff at gunpoint as they targeted an early morning money delivery at the Walkden branch of Santander. We are also trying to establish if a report of a dark silver Volvo car set alight on Kennedy Road in Weaste this morning is related to this latest incident. We will have more as soon as we get it. Image Copyright Davina Emily Brown
  23. Following two acclaimed West End seasons, when it played to over 100,000 people and received standing ovations at every performance, this unforgettable theatrical tour-de-force will tour to 11 cities and towns across the UK including The Lowry from Tue 3 - Sat 7 October. The cast features David Ahmad, who has won universal praise as the show’s narrator, Amir, and award-winning Emilio Doorgasingh, in the pivotal role of Baba, who was named Best Actor of the Year in Eastern Eye’s Arts Culture & Theatre Awards for The Kite Runner’s West End premiere. The cast also includes: Jo Ben Ayed as Hassan, Ravi Aujla, Bhavin Bhatt , Ameira Darwish, Oliver Gyani, Ezra Faroque Khan, Umar Pasha, Jay Sajjid, Karl Seth, Danielle Woodnutt and Tabla musician Hanif Khan. Based on Khaled Hosseini’s international best-selling novel, this haunting and powerful story has been adapted into a stunning stage production. A haunting tale of friendship which spans cultures and continents, it follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption. Afghanistan is a divided country on the verge of war and two childhood friends are about to be torn apart. It’s a beautiful afternoon in Kabul and the skies are full of the excitement and joy of a kite flying tournament. But neither Hassan or Amir can foresee the terrible incident which will shatter their lives forever... The Kite Runner, published in 2003, was Khaled Hosseini’s first novel. It became an instant bestseller across the globe and has since been published in 70 countries, selling 31.5 million copies in 60 languages. The Kite Runner is adapted by Matthew Spangler and directed by Giles Croft. It is produced in the West End by Martin Dodd for UK Productions and Derek Nicol & Paul Walden for Flying Entertainment. It was originally produced by Nottingham Playhouse and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. Listings Information The Kite Runner Dates: Tue 3 - Sat 7 October Times: 7.30pm. Wed & Sat 2pm. Tickets: £22.50 - £33.50. Conc £2 off. Website
  24. Earlier
  25. With the upcoming Claremont By-election just a few weeks away (Thursday 5th October 2017) we thought we would ask the candidates to get involved in a little questionnaire we put together. The aim being to help those they are seeking votes from to get a better understanding of each candidates views on a number of both local and City wide issues. Before going any further though I wish to take a few moments to reflect on the reason for this By-election, the sad death of one of Salford's finest Councillors, a man who was held in high esteem by not only his colleagues, his local community and the whole of Salford but also myself who gave him nothing but the highest praise. His death came as a blow to Claremont and local politics alike and I am sure that all candidates involved in this article would agree that whom ever wins, they have huge shoes to fill. I am talking about no other but Councillor Joe Murphy, a true, proud and honorable Salfordian in every sense of the word. A week or so back we contacted ALL candidates standing in the Claremont By-election, it took a while to get all of the responses in but I am happy to say that apart from just one, they all responded. Sadly for whatever reason, we were unable to gain a reply from the Green Party and their candidate Daniel Towers, there could be many valid reasons for him not responding so I ask that people do not read anything into that as he was under no obligation to take part. We did make several attempts to make contact but unfortunately it was not to be and so unfortunately we can not bring you his answers. However the door is always open and should it be decided differently then I would be more than happy to include them and update this article. To that effect I have added his name above to show that he is a candidate but I have left his photo blank and where applicable I will simply place the words 'No Reply' in place of any answers. So as to be fair and not show preference to any candidate in the order of their replies I will try to randomise replies the best I can.... and so without further ado let us begin.. The first question candidates were asked was simply.. What issue do you identify as the most important Claremont Community faces and why? Charlotte Woods - Conservative People want to live where they feel happy and safe. Whilst bins, litter, drains and anti-social behaviour may seem like small issues, combined they can impact upon how residents feel about living in a community. If I was lucky enough to be elected as the representative for Claremont, I would fight daily to improve our area wherever possible, working with all members of the community to make Claremont an even better place to live. Stef Lorenz - Liberal Democrats Claremont feels to me like a neighbourhood that has been abandoned by those in power, as it doesn't tick any of the boxes. It is relatively affluent, but doesn't have the wealth or influence of other areas. It has its share of crime and poverty, but can't compete with inner city wards, so just gets forgotten. Over recent years, its Youth Club has closed and the premises boarded up. The Children's Centre at Summerville has been moved to Swinton. The nearest leisure facilities are in Langworthy , Swinton or Eccles. There is no community centre no decent restaurant although the local churches are doing what they can. The shopping parade along Bolton Rd is a shadow of its former self and looks sad and neglected. The streets and alleyways are strewn with litter and piles of rubbish, which no one has the heart to deal with. The ward itself is cut in half by the East Lancs leaving the area around the old hospital isolated from the rest of Claremont. Mike Pevitt - Labour This depends on which part of Claremont you live in, off Lancaster Road there is the problem of on street parking from the Hospital, and the Duncan Mathieson plating fields, Claremont Road, there is the problem of traffic using this residential road as a cut through and driving dangerously. Around the park people want to do more to get more use out of the park for local residents and to improve the facilities there. Around the college there is the problem of buses clogging up the streets morning and evening picking up and dropping off students. Then there are the problems of fly tripping around the back streets off Bolton Rd. The increase in properties to let, which uncontrolled, can lead to a transient community and a less than positive community spirit. There is the continuing problem of street litter; although FOLP organise fortnightly litter picks in the park. ASB continues to be a challenge, often in parks. A major problem for families with young children is the Governments current plans for schools funding, which will see another cut of up to £500,000 between the 3 primary schools in Claremont which equates to a loss of 7 teachers. Mary Ferrer - Independent I think the best people to answer that question are the residents themselves. A private company in June of this year did a questionnaire in Claremont. These are the answers given by residents in the ward. Drugs and alcohol. This came up frequently Community Sprit 58% of people they spoke to said there wasn't a good sense of community in Claremont local environment. Rubbish,litter,fit topping and dog fouling was highlighted Employment and training. 46% said there were not enough jobs in the area.opportunities were limited.Better information about support that is available. More job clubs were needed. Crime and safety. crime and anti social behavior in the area.especially fighting and noise nuisance. Health and well-being. 54% of people taking part they would like to see more affordable activities taking place in Claremont to help keep them healthy and improve their well being. Daniel Towers - Green Party No reply --- The second question asked was How do you propose to tackle it? Mike Pevitt - Labour These are just an example of the important issues the community face, some are much more problematic than others, especially where Government have made it easy for developers to virtually build where they want, It is vital to talk with the residents most affected and help them to organise themselves into groups to collectively resolve the problems, with the support of councillors. This, after all, is how the CCA was formed in 1984 and more recently, FOLP. Light Oaks Park I intend to work with the friends to identify national funding streams to assist with the development, Buses around the college, there needs to be a dialogue with the college to come up with a planned route which does not inconvenience local residents but also does not put the students at risk. On Claremont Rd we could investigate reducing the spend limit to 20 mph and introducing cameras also could look at access only solutions. Stef Lorenz - Liberal Democrats Somehow we need to bring the community together and give it back its heart. To this end I have been trying to get a range of initiatives underway. I have enlisted the support of the Mayor and the local MP in getting the former Youth Club premises restored as a Community Centre. I have been working with Aldi, local retailers and the private owners of the land between the shops and Bolton Rd. To improve the shopping area by more planting, the provision of seats for the elderly and a community noticeboard in store. I have gained the agreement of Salford College to open up the facilities at Pendleton Sixth Form College for the community and have set up the Claremont Art Circle which runs each Thursday evening. I am working with Environmental services to provide regular reports on fly tipping and abandoned rubbish which is then removed. I am in the process of encouraging groups of local residents to get together to clear the gated alleyways behind their houses to provide safe spaces for children to play. I have joined the Friends of LightOaks Park helping them with their events and maintenance of the park Mary Ferrer - Independent Drugs drink and crime and safety.I would first look at the last 12 months crime and anti social behavior record for the ward.Find the hotspots and have meetings with our community police officers. I must say I haven't seen a visible police presence within the ward for a very long time. we have to work with the resources we have available.Community Sprit within the ward. I know we have a very active Friends of light oaks Park. this is good for our younger members of the community.But there is not a great deal going on for our older residents.If there is,it is very poorly advertised. I would go into our residential homes and church groups to find out what they would like. We no longer have a youth club in Claremont, which I only found out in the last few weeks. We have had an active youth club all my adult life.That would be very high on my "To do list"Well I think we all know my options on our environmental department. Think a sit-down with officers and talk about common sense.The issues with training I will hold my hands up, I don't know what if any is available in the ward. I am sure it is out there,just needs advertising in Doctors,the library, churches and schools.Health and well-being. I do know we have a health improvement team, but again I would have to look at how it is taken out to the community and sold to the residents. it's ok taking it to Community committees, but you find it's the same people who attend. Charlotte Woods - Conservative In order to identify and tackle the issues facing residents, I pledge to hold frequent surgeries in the ward, canvass residents all year round - not just during election time, establish a frequent community newsletter to provide residents with an update on what I’ve been doing on their behalf and ensure I am easily contactable should residents wish to raise concern. Daniel Towers - Green Party No reply --- In order to find out a little insight into how the independents view themselves against their competition we asked.. What sets you apart from your fellow candidates? Mary Ferrer - Independent For a start I live in the ward,and have done all my life.The other candidates are not residents. I have been the ward Councillor for 4 years. Before that I was Chair of the local community association and I have continued since my time in office. I am well known in the area.The problems that effect the ward also impact on myself and my family. Stef Lorenz - Liberal Democrats While I have lived in Salford for over 40 years, I live outside the ward, as do all the other candidates except Mary. I have, therefore, tried hard to get to understand Claremont and the issues faced by its residents. To that end I have joined a number of local groups and now use the library, local shops and services. Charlotte Woods - Conservative I believe that I will bring fresh new ideas to the Council. Being a councillor is not something a 23 year old person usually aspires to, but I am passionate about our area and would like to give young people more of a voice in our democratic process. As well as being a representative for the residents of Claremont, I would use my role to speak about issues facing the young people of today, including increasing house prices, the cost of living and employment opportunities. Mike Pevitt - Labour It’s not about me but what the team can do working together in Claremont for the good of the residents to help improve their lives. In my previous job as a community outreach worker in Langworthy I involved local residents and other agencies to engage in different projects in the area so that residents were providing the answers and solutions and taking ownership of mthe task such as Seedley and Langworthy In Bloom. Daniel Towers - Green Party No reply --- To gain some insight into each candidates backgound and experience in politics we asked them all... What experience in local government do you have? Please be specific. Mike Pevitt - Labour School Governor for the past 26 years at Sommerville, Langworthy Rd and now Walkden High. Member of the Seedley and Langworthy Partnership Board 2001 – 2007. Board member of Seedley and Langworthy Trust since 2001. Worked with various council groups during 2001 – 2004 during regeneration of Seedley and Langworthy. Mary Ferrer - Independent I was a ward Councillor from 2006 to 2010. I sat on the Planning committee, licensing committee. I attended full Council and have a track record for being outspoken and not frightened to ask questions and challenge decisions. I have been i involved in campaigns over the years. Helped save the Height cottages. Campaigned to keep funding for the Salford Women's center. which is going from strength to strength. Questioned the proposed Hotel in buile hill park. to name a few.. Charlotte Woods - Conservative I stood for election to the Claremont ward earlier in the year, during the first by-election in the ward. Sadly, I was not lucky enough to be elected but I have chosen to stand again as I would love the opportunity to represent Claremont and local people. Whilst I have not previously been elected to local government, I take an interest in what happens at Salford City Council, as well as in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, including on big issues such as the GMSF. I also volunteered on the Conservatives' campaign during the Mayoral election earlier in the year. It was great fun and it added to my knowledge of how the tiers of local Government intertwine. Stef Lorenz - Liberal Democrats Trained as a child psychologist, I worked as a local government officer across the North West for over 20 years, including 4 years in Salford. I have also worked as a volunteer with Salford Citizens Advice and at the Lowry since it opened. Daniel Towers - Green Party No reply --- Question 5 was split into several parts in order to gain an insight into the views each candidate held on a number of local Claremont and Salford wide issues. What are your opinions on the following issues a. Homelessness within Salford b. Local development plans for the area c. Anti Social behaviour in Claremont d. Child poverty in the community and wider area. Charlotte Woods - Conservative a. Homelessness is an issue close to my heart - everyone deserves a home to call their own. Unfortunately, homelessness isn't a straightforward issue with straightforward answers. Instead, it needs a joined up approach, including with our health and social care providers, to ensure that those without a home receive thorough and appropriate help. I support the devolution of powers in relation to health and social care so the Greater Manchester can establish its own policies to best suit our residents, something I believe will aid in helping to tackle the homelessness issue current facing the region. b. Salford needs new affordable homes but they need to be the right homes in the right locations, with the right local infrastructure needed to support those homes – especially transport, schools and health services. If elected, I’ll work with local residents to ensure that the new local plan delivers the new housing our young people need and respects the views of existing residents in Claremont and across the City. c. Nobody should feel unsafe in their own home and anti-social behaviour is completely unacceptable. If I was elected to represent Claremont, I would seek to build strong relationships with the local police / PCSOs and the relevant officers at the Council in order to communicate with these individuals on behalf of residents. d. As in the case of homelessness, child poverty is not usually a two dimensional issue. Instead, tackling the issue of child poverty is best achieved with the collaboration of a number of council, community and Government funded services. If elected, I would seek to engage with the community and local schools in the first instance to see how best I could help to tackle the issue of child poverty. The best way to prevent child poverty is to ensure that families are able to work, so it is great news that more Salford residents are in employment than ever before. Stef Lorenz - Liberal Democrats a. Homelessness is a growing problem across Greater Manchester, linked closely to problems of mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse. If we are to tackle the issue, resources must be increased to deal with the underlying problems. In this area Salford is one of the better authorities in the North West, but could always do more. b. In response to the question on the local development plan, I dug it out and was amused to find among its priorities for 2020 the following: The development of green neighbourhoods including a 20 mph speed limit on Claremont Rd. In cooperation with businesses on Bolton Rd. to improve the appearance and range of shops. To bring the Duncan Mathieson Playing Field back into use as a sports field Wouldn't it be nice if the recommendations in the plan were actually carried out! c. Crime figures reported by the police at the Claremont and Weaste Neighbourhood meetings show that Antisocial behaviour is only a minor problem in Claremont. However with lack of local facilities, benefit cuts and limited job opportunities things could get worse. d. In a time of massive funding cuts, Salford Council clearly needs to rethink its financial strategy to focus on those in most need and less on helping developers and Sports Clubs. It also needs to reevaluate its reliance on PFI funding which leaves a legacy of debt in its wake. But while it conducts its decision making in a climate of secrecy, it will be very difficult to question its actions. Mike Pevitt - Labour a. I fully support the Mayor’s Homelessness programme to eradicate this terrible situation for homeless people in the City, building new social housing and affordable homes in the city to replace the 100s of council houses that were sold under the Tory “right to buy” scheme which meant people could buy their homes but the council could not replace it, leading to the situation we see today with record number of families now homeless. As a non-paid director of the Seedley and Langworthy Trust, we used a Government grant in 2015 to purchase 5 houses in Salford which had been empty for other 6 months. These were then renovated and brought back into use providing homes for 5 families paying not market rents but social rents making them affordable. b. Local development plans for the area The Duncan Mathieson playing fields, off Lancaster Road, are owned by a charity, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Manchester. The playing fields have been proposed for continued recreation land in the Council's draft Local Plan. The plan says there is a shortage of playing pitches in the area and better use should be made of the Duncan Mathieson playing fields. ,Consultation on the Local Plan proposals has just finished. One of the responses to consultation was from the charity and Barratt Homes. They suggested that the land should be developed for housing along with the neighbouring Lancaster Road school playing fields which are owned by the Council. Ward councillors have strongly objected to the Barratt Homes plan and a public meeting to seek residents views attracted some 300 people. Sport England is monitoring this issue. We understand that the charity needs to raise money but we cannot afford to lose playing pitches in this part of the city. There are no plans to sell the Lancaster Road playing fields which the council own, and no one has submitted evidence which challenges our view that there is a shortage of playing fields. We do need to work with partners to see how best we can make the playing fields usable. Support for friends of parks groups. For example, the use and development of the unused summer shed in LO Park could provide basic services such as: running water; toilets and a cafe etc. c. Having suffered ASB personally in the past I know how it feels to come home from work and then spend your time worrying about what will happen next. I and my Labour colleagues are keen to work with residents and Police to address this problem and give residents a better life. We also, need to link up with other providers in order to resolve the problems. A good example is the way in which the youth service were involved in meeting with children in Lo Park after bouts of ASB (FOLP helped to co - ordinate this). We also, need better facilities for young people e.g. Improved tennis courts and organised sessions of tuition etc. With the help of recreational services (who might be able to utilise the improved facilities in the summer shed!). d. To think we are in the 21 st century and children are going to school hungry, spend school holidays starving and their parents have no means to address this due to the Tory Government’s Austerity programme. It is wrong that one of the biggest growth areas is in food banks, with average families facing £1000’s in cuts. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists “could have been written today rather than 105 years ago. Mary Ferrer - Independent a. I have found a lot of the young people living rough are the result of reaching the age of 18 and being within the care system. We need to look at putting in place some form of after care. we need to work with groups like "Coffee for Craig" b. local plans for the area. When I was a Councillor I worked with local residents from both Claremont and weaste. There were other councillors and officers .We spent months and months on a plan for the future.It now sits on a shelf somewhere within the civic. it's fantastic all the planned Building for Salford as a hold. but where are the affordable House's,where is the inferstructure, Schools,are now bursting at the seams, Doctors, Dentist.What about the Roads. Claremont at the moment is one big rat-run.The proposed development on Duncan Mathieson playing fields.100 houses,and could be more. Lancaster Road is now tail to tail will it copy with 200 more cars, because you look at 2 cars per household c. Think I covered that above d. We have within the city a quarter of children living in poverty.I know the council have done a strategy on how to combat the problem. The Government cuts have done nothing but harm to our most needy within our city. it's hard to believe we are living in the 21 century and we have people living on the streets,food banks and children going to school hungry. Daniel Towers - Green Party No reply --- Question 6 was regarding what issue each candidate identified as the most important facing Salford as a whole. Which issue do you identify as the most important across the whole of Salford? Mary Ferrer - Independent I think there are lots of issues which effect the whole of the city.The major cutbacks have brought poverty,an increase in crime. Famlies are finding it hard to live day to day. Do they pay their rent or put food on the table. Our Council are not helping by the growing amount of loans we have committed the city into. The interest comes from the pot of money that pays for our main services. Our Council appear to be putting the developers first.No affordable housing, no planning fees and no 106 monies.the latter would help with the infrastructure. So I think the housekeeping within our Council is a major issue. Mike Pevitt - Labour Austerity is attacking every Salfordian with the Government cutting £187m from the council budget or 42% since 2010, this affects roads, public transport, bin collections, schools, local schools stand to lose a further £500,000 which equates to 7 teachers. We also see a rise in crime as police numbers are cut and longer waiting times at Salford Royal because Salford residents cannot get an appointment with their GP and this will only get worse as we approach winter. The CPSO's have proved to be a huge asset on our ward and they are well known, however, even these have suffered from the cuts! Given that we have suffered considerably from the cuts, could we not use the existing services more effectively by integrating support when necessary? For ASB, maybe the youth service, police, councillors, community groups and recreational services. Recycling is another area where due to government cuts black bin collections have now gone to 3 weekly cycles which is common in the majority of the country, this was piloted in the west of the city and was very successful. Food waste and garden waste are still collected weekly with paper and bottle/plastic collections fortnightly. Other parties may say they will want to return to weekly bin collections which now is not economically viable and is also an attack on the environment, there is only so much landfill space. Stef Lorenz - Liberal Democrats Probably housing. The provision of affordable housing linked to the growth in homelessness and the question of safety and cladding of tower blocks. Charlotte Woods - Conservative The face of Salford is rapidly changing. Increased investment and growth in Manchester stemming from the Northern Powerhouse project has undoubtedly impacted Salford. A stronger conurbation has been positive (for example more jobs -especially skilled jobs - is always good news for our residents) but we need to make sure that no-one is left behind, and that new opportunities are available to residents. With further devolved power and forthcoming infrastructure such as HS2 and the Ordsall Chord, these issues will become even more apparent. Daniel Towers - Green Party No reply --- Upon hearing what candidates view as the most important issue facing Salford we asked.. How do you propose to tackle it? Charlotte Woods - Conservative I care about Salford and I care about our communities. If elected, I will lobby our regions politicians to ensure our communities benefit from these forthcoming powers to ensure that we get the best deal and continue to remain a welcoming, inclusive and enjoyable place to live. Stef Lorenz - Liberal Democrats To resolve this problem the council must stop letting developers off from their legal responsibilities to provide section 106 money and include a proportion of genuinely affordable houses or flats in their glossy new developments. Mike Pevitt - Labour Working with my fellow Labour councillors and the Labour elected Mayor we will further lobby the Government to treat Salford residents like it treated Surry residents and provide more money to city. Mary Ferrer - Independent I would question every decision regarding funding and planning fees. I would challenge decisions made behind closed doors. I would bring anything I found to be questionable to the powers that be. And the community. Daniel Towers - Green Party No reply --- We then asked... Why should the electorate vote for you? Stef Lorenz - Liberal Democrats I will regularly get out on the doorsteps and listen to residents concerns. 1 will take up issues with relevant council departments and keep on at them till a solution is found. Mike Pevitt - Labour Only Labour can deliver for the people of Claremont, lone voices “highlighting” this that and the other does not get things done, we have seen many 100’s of jobs already created on the Quays for Salford people by the Labour Council’s vision for what was an industrial waste land 25 years ago, something other candidates may wish it would have stayed that way. Charlotte Woods - Conservative I would be humbled to be a representative for Claremont's residents on Salford City Council. I am excited about the opportunity to serve local people and have a genuine fire in my belly about the opportunities available to the community. I would work tirelessly for those I represent and I would not simply be a backbench Labour lackey - I would be someone willing to fight for our community, no matter what. Mary Ferrer - Independent I am passionate about Claremont and my city. I am rather gobby. I am not frightened of standing up and asking questions, or challenging decisions that I feel are not in the best interest of Claremont or the city. Daniel Towers - Green Party No reply --- Don't worry its nearing the end now folks, we asked each candidate how they think the area would benefit by choosing them Councillor. How will choosing you as local Councillor benefit the area? Mike Pevitt - Labour Working as a team and using our experiences from our work in the other areas of the city, working in the community, in advisory and advocacy capacities and union reps can only be a force for good for the people of Claremont. Mary Ferrer - Independent This is my home. I have brought up 4 children,2 live in the ward. I want the best for them and my grandchildren. So I think my skill would be my love for Claremont. I want to see the area getting better and better. I would do my very best for the people of the ward. Stef Lorenz - Liberal Democrats I will work with Councillors across all parties to improve services . I will work with traders and local businesses to make their lives easier and their businesses more successful. Charlotte Woods - Conservative I am a hard worker who doesn't give in. Colleagues have referred to me in the past as a "work horse" as I am always 100% committed to the things I chose to do. I hope I can be something different, some fresh blood who has new ideas about the Council and how it's services can be run. But most importantly, I will know I will serve the Claremont community well and be the voice the community needs. Daniel Towers - Green Party No reply --- And finally the last question we asked was about what skill candidates considered to be their most valuable that would help them serve as a Councillor. What is your skill that will serve you best as Councillor? Mary Ferrer - Independent I think I have served the community as best as I can over the last 30 years Stef Lorenz - Liberal Democrats I will be a voice for Claremont whenever and wherever I can. Charlotte Woods - Conservative I'm a doer. I don't take no for an answer and I'm willing to fight for what I believe in. If elected to Claremont, I promise to get things done. Mike Pevitt - Labour Getting people to come together to organise and work for their community to improve their lives in the area and them to work together to overcome many everyday problems. Working with team Labour to improve the lives of the many and not the few. Daniel Towers - Green Party No reply --- And there you have it folks, we really do hope these few questions will help give an insight into each candidate and allow you to make an informed judgement on which one best represents you best. Our aim here is not to show bias towards any candidate, simply just allow them to answer a number of questions that concern both Claremont and Salford. I would like to thank all Candidates for taking part in this article, without their involvement it would have not happened and so I can not thank them enough. I personally wish each and every one of them the best of luck in the upcoming election, no matter who wins or who looses they are all community champions and winners as they are standing up for what they believe in and making their voices heard. So you have seen the questions, read their answers, all that is left now is for the people of Claremont to get out there and vote, so make sure that vote counts and your voice is heard by heading down to the booth's on polling day and putting your mark where you think it will have the most impact. We will be there at the count to bring Salford the results LIVE as they are announced. And with that I now conclude this article the way it started, by saying a huge thank you to Councillor Joe Murphy who put his heart and soul into his work, tirelessly served his community and will be sorely missed by all. May he rest in peace. For Joe.

    The city, which launched the UK’s first free public library in 1850 is planning to buck the national trend by expanding its service in the face of hundreds of national closures or volunteers being drafted in to run libraries. A report will go to Salford City Council’s cabinet next week (Tuesday September 26) for approval to invest £590,000 over the next four years across the service, including spending £100,000 on replacing all IT equipment and providing digital learning as requested by members of the public. The funds will help to provide library services from seven new sites, including a watersports centre and local leisure and community centres. The money from the council’s capital programme will help the council save £1.26 million over four years through better use of technology and by locating services alongside partner organisations. City Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett said: Ambitious plans for the next four years will see Salford libraries expand into seven new sites, some offering library services in that area for the first time. These are: Irlam and Cadishead, Worsley and Broughton leisure centres, and Beesley Green, The Valley and Wardley community centres and the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre bringing library services to the thousands of people who live and work at Salford Quays for the first time. Weekly opening hours will be doubled and extra opening hours in the evenings and at weekends are also in the pipeline. New investment in IT facilities will involve more than simply upgrading computers. Library visitors will be able to charge personal laptops, tablets and mobiles and print from them. Digital novices will be given more support to get online, while those wanting more advanced or specialist learning will also be helped. Over the past five years Salford City Council has worked with the NHS to boost library services by creating community hubs. Broughton Hub and the new Gateway Centres at Eccles, Swinton, Walkden and Pendleton bring together health and children’s services as well as local libraries, enabling the buildings to stay open late into the evening. Mayor Dennett added: A Link to the report can be found bellow:
  27. It has been over FOUR years now since I first realised that there was a growing problem in Salford, one which has only gotten worse as cuts to services bite and bin collections have become more infrequent. Over those years I have seen it all, from an entire garden shed dumped on a street behind the Ashley Brook to the proverbial kitchen sink complete with unwashed cutlery dumped in the middle of a roundabout. Looking at and removing rubbish has become a bit of a hobby I would rather not partake in but am strangely addicted too. For me it started with the simple act of trying to get a smelly bin bag removed from the back entry of my mums house in Weaste. The bag was what the council would now term 'Contaminated Rubbish' which effectually means it was a mix of food stuffs, plastics, metals and packaging etc.. As one of the neighbours had placed it at the side of the bin, the refuse collectors refused (No pun intended) to take it and so it was left in situ. My mum being the neighbourly person she was took it upon herself to sort through it and place all of the items into the right bins, mainly just to get rid of it, as she lived at the end house which was the focal point for the bin collections. A few days later another bag appeared along with several boxes, the night after that another bag turned up and then another and another. In the end there was a pile of bags at the side of her home and the Bin Men were refusing to take them as they were all 'Contaminated'. At this point I got involved and called the Council to ask if someone would come out and remove it, I was told that someone would be out the following day and it would be gone. Two weeks and several calls later it was still there and still smelling. The Bin Men were adamant that they would not take it and so a very angry telephone call was placed to the council with the threat of going to the local news outlet with the photos. Low and behold the very same day a nice man in a truck turned up and the now mountain of rubbish was removed. UNTIL a few hours later when a bag was placed at the end of the entry... and then another... and well you guessed it the problem was back. By this time I had moved out of the area to Winton but my kids were still in school in Weaste and so I ventured there daily, on my journey too and from schools each day I started to notice that the problem was not just exclusive to my mums street but was one which was widespread across the area. As time went on I could not help but notice it and that some of the bags were being left for upwards of a month at a time, so I started reporting them on the Council website. They would go on and I would get an email confirming but shortly afterwards they would mysteriously go missing or be marked as job done when it clearly had not. So I headed onto social media to see if others were noticing the same thing as I was. The response was not what I expected as people flooded my post with photos and stories of bags being dumped for months at a time and left to rot even after being reported. Some of the stories people were posting were shocking, almost as shocking as the photos accompanying them. So I decided to start documenting the rubbish myself AND most importantly to try and understand why it was happening, who it was dumping it and why. Within a few days I noticed in this particular area one glaringly obvious thing, most of the rubbish was being dumped at the end of Alley Ways (Entry's for us Salford Folk), more so the gated ones. It seemed that where ever there were terrace houses with Entry's, there was a corresponding issue with bag dumping. There were a few anomalies in which some streets seemed to not have the issue BUT I quickly started to understand that there was another underlying problem that added to the problem. The majority of the streets that did not have the problem seemed to be those with a far higher level of home owners and less private landlords, neighbour's knew each other and it was in their interests to keep their own areas clean and tidy as they owned their homes and would be most likely living in that area for a long time. In other areas that were predominately privately rented properties the situation was not so well. I noticed that there seemed to have a fairly high churn rate of residents living in these rented properties, they stayed a few months and then moved out for whatever reason. These particular properties had an additional problem, mainly that of household items being dumped. Things like cookers, fridges, chairs, beds, mattresses etc.. To me at least it seemed like when a family moved out, either they or the landlords would just take whatever they were not wanting to the end of the road and dump it. As I grew to know the areas better I noticed that whenever a property became vacant there was usually some kind of household goods dumped at the end of the road. I kind of figured it was related. Other areas were different though, some were not so easily explained. One particular area was Weaste Lane, in particular the lower part of it where the Post Office and the Chemist are. I noticed seemingly big three story homes (4 with the converted cellar) which had the same issue. At first I assumed they were large single homes but after investigating a little further I discovered that many were multi occupancy homes or shared houses, with rooms being let to students etc.. These properties had a number of individual people dwelling in them , all of whom seemingly shared communal bins. Once those were full then the issue of getting rid of rubbish was a problem. You guessed it, the rubbish would end up at the end of the gated entries in bin bags which the bin men refused to remove. On the whole though I discovered that each area within Weaste had its own unique problem, and this therein is the issue and why it is not so straight forward to fix. One fix does not suit all. I see Salford Council getting a lot of stick on social media and although some of it is seriously justified (The reporting system's failings etc..) some of it is equally not. Most of the rubbish dumped can easily be sorted into the correct separate bags/bins. For some it seems that it is just too much effort and not their problem, so even though they are provided with the correct bins they are just too plain lazy to make the effort. We really can not blame the Council for that, bins are provided to most households and it is their choice that they don't use them correctly. That said there is also another issue in play in which bins are left out long after 'Bin Day', in which time others have seized the opportunity to get rid of a few spare bags by dumping in them. So they end up filled with 'Contaminated' rubbish and the Bin Men refuse to empty them. In my view this is where the Council are failing as much more should be done to ensure that bins are removed and taken back into properties within an allotted time. Not only do left out bins fuel the temptation to dump rubbish in them but they also become a hazard to people trying to get past them as they block pavements. It is kind of like an open invitation for people to dump in those bins and more often than not as the above photo shows very clearly people will seize upon the chance to get rid of those bags they have been storing up. No article on bins however could go without making mention to the Councils changes to collections, in particular the issue of reduced black bin collections. I see people mentioning this issue more than most and there are two sides to the story. The emphasis for the Council is on recycling as it reduces the cost of having to landfill rubbish. That said not all rubbish can be recycled, those with children for instance will have a much larger problem as the only bin that disposable nappies can go into is the black bin. Some would argue that people can fix that issue by using the old Cloth nappies which is fantastic in theory but not so practical in real life as in this day and age both parents are often working to make ends meet and time is precious and limited. Likewise things like yogurt pots can not be recycled as the recycling centre's can't cope with them. This leads to many families unable to cope with the current three week collections and others in different situations wondering what the fuss is about. We need to remember and understand that each family makeup is dynamic and different and it stands to reason that so is the refuse they produce. Something I think Salford Council should be paying more attention too and accepting and addressing. You really can not just treat Salford as a whole when it has different types of property and families living within it. So ultimately who is at fault here? Well in my four years of looking at this problem I have concluded the following..... The fault lies with us all, but there is no one single thing that you can point at and say 'That's it'.. Each of us should be taking pride in our areas, we should be reporting ALL and ANY rubbish we see dumped on the streets. At the moment it seems that many accept it as they can do nothing to alter it. DON'T ACCEPT IT. Complain and whinge about it until things get done, it's what I have been doing for the past four years and I can tell you I have had more rubbish removed in Salford than I care to think about. You are not a Whinger, YOU are a Salfordian, be proud of that and don't let others drag your area down. Those who can not be bothered to separate their rubbish into the correct bins should be ashamed of themselves and the Council should be far far more proactive in ensuring they are brought into line and pulling their weight. Salford Council, get it into your heads that putting up signs does not work and is not the best use of tax payers money. It may be the easiest option and the cheapest option but it is far from the most effective. As you can see from the photos I have posted along with this article (All taken in Weaste and Seedley today), many have signs warning against fly tipping and all of them without question are being ignored day in day out. Salford Council needs to accept that this is NOT a fix and it clearly does not work, people are not taking a blind bit of notice and it has no effect whatsoever other than costing money. The evidence is right there for all to see. In Weaste and Seedley a solution was suggested in which large bins were placed in specific problem areas, it would work well if done correctly. However it is not and the failure here is that those bins have not been placed in the correct areas to be effective. Take for instance the photo bellow. This one has been placed on Seedley Park road facing the Park, when the issue is 500 yards away around the entry ways of Seedley's terraced houses. This bin is empty when just around the corner there are streets filled with bin bags. The same could be said for the second photo whereupon one has been placed outside the butty shop facing the tram stop in Weaste, far from where the problem is on Foster Street and Borough Road. This bin once more was empty when I checked it, as around the corner there are piles of bin bags strewn around the streets. A little common sense and people who know and understand the problem would go a long way here and cut down on many of the problems people have in these areas. Salford Council need to take a long look here, learn to understand the problem (It took me a long time) and work on solutions that actually fix them. It is all great that they have placed large bins in certain areas but they will not be effective unless they are in the correct places and where needed most. In my view there should also be far more of them for people to use. The truth of the matter is we could all be doing more, each and everyone of us could be taking pride in the area we live in, if you see rubbish, report it. If the council are not doing anything about it then contact your Councillor and ask them to intervene on your behalf. Most of them get slated for doing nothing but unless they are aware of the problem they can not get it fixed. I started off venting my anger at Councillors but in the end understood that in most cases they DO try and get things moved, sadly as soon as that happens the lazy section of society choose to continue to blight the area and just dump even more. Salford Council should be doing far more to solve these problems as at now over £350 per tonne to landfill rubbish then it is in their interests as well as ours to get as many recycling as possible. Some don't see it as their problem, why should they? and that becomes our problem as the more money we have to pay out to clean up after these people then the less we have for other services. At the same time the Council need to understand the bigger picture and how these changes affect individual areas and specific families, its not a simple case of one solution fits all. More help should be given to those who need it and if they are to continue with these collections then they need to accept that they need to increase the frequency street cleaning. Large families and those with young children can opt for a larger bin but most say its like jumping through hoops trying to get one. So in short and to sum up.... We as a City need to do more to report things needing removing, if it does not get done then raise it with your local Councillor, if that fails then by all means share it on social media sites and highlight it. Unless people know of the problem they can not come together to get rid of it. The Council needs to be more proactive in dealing with offenders, they should also be a lot more proactive in searching out dumped rubbish and removing it so that it does not become a problem in the first place, they can't have eyes and ears everywhere though and so rely on the public to inform them, so if you spot something then let them know as its no use expecting someone else to do it as they may be expecting someone else too etc... Those who are causing this problem need addressing and dealing with, if you see someone or know someone dumping rubbish then they are basically crapping on your doorstep, blighting your area and inviting vermin onto the streets. What's more is the cost of these cleanups come directly out of Council funding, the same funding you pay into when you pay your council taxes. This reduces the money available for other much more vital things we need in Salford. Accept that you do pay Council Tax but those who are dumping this rubbish as basically taking the hard earned money you pay from your pockets and may as well just be sending that to the tip instead. Councillors need to be more proactive on Social Media where things like this are being reported as a final resort because they feel no one else is listening, some Councillors are fantastic at it and have made huge changes in some areas, some less so. This is NOT a problem the bin men have made, its unfair to slate them when their numbers are being cut to shreds and street cleaning services are under increasing pressure to perform with dwindling staff and resources. Salford Council need to take a long hard look at the system for reporting rubbish, as well as the response times for its removal, they are shamefully inadequate. Fortunately I have never been alone in my complaining about this problem, too many posts to count have appeared on local social media sites over the years, people who live this City just wanting it to sparkle and shine. Long may they continue to demand clean streets and a decent level of service, without them reporting problems and trying to get them fixed then this Salford we love so much would be in a lot worse state than it is now. They are the unseen and unpaid workforce acting as they eyes of the Council, reporting that which needs reporting for the benefit of their communities. Without them standing up and making their voices heard we would quite literally be knee deep in..... And so ends PART ONE of my THREE part look into what is just the tip of the iceberg of this problem.
  28. There are periods in our life when things for either ourselves or our loved ones can medically take a turn for the worse. At these times we turn to our medical professionals to patch us up and fix our bones, treat our illnesses and put our lives in their hands. These miracle workers are backed up by an often forgotten group of volunteer angels who are just as vital, they selflessly volunteer to ship blood through often busy traffic, when and to wherever its needed. When the call is given they are on standby to jump into action and get those urgently needed and vital supplies on the road, heading to their destination. I am of course talking about our 'Blood Bikes' and their heroic volunteer riders whom are dedicated to delivering the red stuff and have saved countless lives in doing so along the way. They are the emergency service that the emergency service depend on, and they need your help. If you have ever had an emergency transfusion then they have most certainly been active giving up their free time and doing their part to get you on the mend. And so it comes to pass that these 2 wheeled (and 4) heroes need your help with fundraising. They are asking for people to help them crowdfund in order to provide a new vehicle and other essentials to help continue their service. They have a crowfunder page available bellow for the public to donate, and they are also offering a selection of key ring designs for just £1.50 each to help raise much needed cash. So if you or a loved one have ever needed blood, they helped you so please find it in your heart to give a little back and help them. For more information about their service please take a look at their website... They are also looking for volunteers, so if you match what they are looking for then please consider giving a little time to help this amazing group of people.
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