Term delayed at St Ambrose Barlow

Extremely disappointing news from St Ambrose Barlow. The new extension being built to accomodate pupils displaced from St George’s High School will not be ready on time, so children entering year eight and year nine will get an extra two weeks of summer holiday.

This is two weeks of school that those pupils will not get back, and it will create a real headache for working parents who will now have to sort out two weeks of extra childcare. I hope that the school, Council or contractor can make some provisions to support this.

Of course, this whole situation would not have arisen if the Council had not starved St George’s of funds until the school gave up and acquiesced to the closure. The school will close their doors for the final time later this month – a very sad day.

Council set to flog Hilton Lane green fields to developers


Despite my strong representations on behalf of local residents, the Deputy City Mayor last week decided to sell the former St George’s High School playing fields on Hilton Lane to developers. I am appalled by this decision and along with Conservative colleagues I have asked for the decision to be “called-in” for further scrutiny.

It beggars belief that the Labour Council can on one hand claim to support green field sites and then with the other hand attempt to flog off green field sites which belong to the people of Salford. Even worse – the decision notice includes a proposal to have a cosy behind-closed-doors meeting with Peel Holings who as residents know own the neighbouring land.

Hilton Lane simply does not have the infrastructure to cope with even more housing. As this land is already in public ownership, it should be easy to protect, and yet here are Salford Labour planning to sell it to the highest bidder.

“Jam Butty Camp” Saved!

I’m absolutely thrilled that the management committee of the Salford Children’s Holiday Camp have reversed their decision to close the camp down. Salford children can now enjoy visiting the camp again in 2015.

This is a huge victory for the camp campaigners, led by Nick Abbott, who have done an absolutely phenomenal job on behalf of local residents and the camp. They can be truly proud of their efforts although I am sure that they are the first to realise that the hard work is far from over!

You can support the campaign team in making sure that the camp opens for business again in 2015 by joining their Facebook group or donating via their JustGiving page.

Thank you so much for your support!

iainles_countI am absolutely thrilled that local residents in Walkden South have chosen to re-elect my friend and colleague Les Turner to serve as their Councillor for a further four years. Les has worked tirelessly for our area and I am delighted that he has been given the opportunity to continue that hard work. Thank you so much to all the residents who went out and voted on what was a pretty miserable polling day as far as the weather was concerned. Your support is hugely appreciated and we will not let you down.

The full result was:

  • Les Turner (Conservative) 1186
  • Robert Sharpe (Labour) 1105
  • Albert Redshaw (UKIP) 626
  • Matthew Clark (Green Party) 145
  • Paul Whitelegg (English Democrats) 55

I’m also extremely pleased that my colleagues Graham Compton (Worsley ward) and Jillian Collinson (Boothstown & Ellenbrook ward) were also re-elected and are able to continue to serve the communities they represent. Across the City, our Conservative candidates did a fantastic job, in many cases increasing their votes significantly despite the massive extra resources that the Labour Party in particular are able to call upon. Well done to them all and many thanks to all the residents who came out to vote Conservative.

Finally, I am very grateful to people from across the North West region who have re-elected Jacqueline Foster and Saj Karim as Conservative MEPs. I am particularly pleased for Saj who is a great friend to Salford Conservatives and to our City as a whole, and I look forward to welcoming Saj and his team back to Salford in the near future.

Les Turner for Walkden South

DSC_1713bIt has been my great privilege to work alongside my colleague and friend Councillor Les Turner for the past eight years.

Les is a fantastic Councillor who gets things done. He works tirelessly on behalf of local residents, and does his very best with every problem and query he is presented with, however large or small. He always puts Walkden first – from protecting our green fields to supporting St George’s and opposing the Leigh Misguided Busway – and he has been a strong and clear voice for our area in the Council Chamber.

On Thursday 22nd May, local people will go to the polls to choose a Councillor to represent them on Salford City Council. Residents who have a postal ballot will have the opportunity to vote over the next few days. There is a clear choice in Walkden South between a hard-working local Conservative Councillor in Les Turner, and Labour Mayor Ian Stewart’s candidate – a vote for anyone else will just let the Labour Mayor’s man in through the back door.

I will be voting for Les Turner and I hope that as local residents you will choose to do the same. I know he would be deeply honoured to have your support.

If you support Les, and you are able to help out by displaying a poster or delivering a few of his election leaflets, please do get in touch. All your Conservative leaflets are paid for and delivered by local Conservative volunteers – unlike Labour we can’t count on big donations from the Trade Unions and helpers who are parachuted in from elsewhere.

Salford Childrens’ Holiday Camp Should Have A Future

As an eleven-year-old pupil at James Brindley Primary School in the summer of 1994, I had the privilege of spending a week at Salford Childrens’ Holiday Camp in Prestatyn. I had a great time and only wish that I had a photo or two I could dig out to illustrate this piece.

So it was with great sadness that I learned that Councillor Pennington had announced that the camp was to close, despite the spirited campaign to save it. However, that sadness quickly turned to concern and upset – because it doesn’t need to be this way. The camp should and could stay open. I firmly believe that the grant cut is just a smokescreen – an excuse – and that the camp is perfectly capable of being run as a going concern with or without the Council subsidy.

The campaigners are a friendly, brilliant and extraordinary group of people who have raised a small fortune in a short space of time, devoured information and put together a detailed proposal for continued use of the camp – yet they have not even had the courtesy of a response from either the Trustees or from the City Mayor. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a definitive list of the Trustees and Management Committee. This should be published immediately so that we can see who has actually made this decision.

Meanwhile, Councillor Pennington says the camp is “outdated”, but he has been running it for the last twenty years. If the camp is outdated then he only has himself to blame!

The campaigners are fighting on – and rightly so. They have my full support. You can keep in touch with them on Facebook and on Twitter.