How much will you save?

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I am immensely proud and pleased that the Conservative-led Government is cutting income tax for over 25 million people, and lifting 3.2 million out of income tax altogether – including thousands here in Walkden and across Salford.

Click on the image above to find out how much you will save!

Salford Stadium: Another £205k of taxpayer money down the drain…

On Monday, the City Mayor made the decision to sink a further £205362 of taxpayers’ money into Salford City Stadium. This is on top of previous money handed to the stadium, on top of the £1.5m owed to the Council from Salford Red Devils, and on top of the massive loan that the Council took out to build the stadium in the first place.

We all know that the Council has to make some difficult decisions in the current financial climate, but residents will be rightly appalled to see the stadium receive priority from the City Mayor over frontline services. Of course, the background documents to this decision are being kept secret, and the Labour Chair of the appropriate scrutiny committee has rolled over and signed away his right to call-in the decision for scrutiny.

Essentially, though, I only have one question about this transaction. The stadium has three high-profile tenants who are presumably all paying rent – Salford Red Devils, Sale Sharks, and Manchester United reserves. That’s on top of any hospitality or conference income. So why does a stadium with three steady tenants need a bailout from the taxpayer to keep going? Surely three big tenants should be bringing enough money in to pay the bills?

This is taxpayers’ money, we should have a right to know.

Giving You Security In Retirement

Last week’s budget will give local residents in Walkden and across the country more freedom and flexibility over their pensions, so you can plan for the future and enjoy a more secure retirement.

I agree that those who have worked hard and saved for their pension pot should be free to decide what to do with their money. The 2014 budget ends the system which forced people with defined contribution pensions to buy annuities, and scrapping the punitive 55% tax rate that restricted how much they could take out.

These long-term changes will give millions of people greater security in old age. You can show your support for these changes by signing the online petition.

Protect our Walkden green belt!

localplanlhwResidents may be aware that the Council’s “local plan” consultation is under way – this will decide our local planning policy over the next few years. Last year, residents, local organisations and developers were asked to propose any sites they thought were suitable for building on. I’ve written previously about the suggestion that the recreation land at Rydal Crescent by used for housing – something to which I know residents are opposed.

Peel Holdings have suggested that all of the green belt land between Walkden and Swinton is suitable for building on. I couldn’t disagree more – the green belt is a precious green lung that must be protected, and our local roads and schools cannot cope with thousands of extra housing on green belt land.

The local plan is at an early stage still and I have every confidence that this proposal will not be accepted – but we need to make sure. The deadline for submissions to the current consultation is this Friday, 21st March. I want to hear your views – but you can also go to www.salford.gov.uk/localplan and make sure that you have your say!