There will be an elected Mayoral Candidate in Manchester to halve its Council Tax
We announce to the people of Manchester that if, like Salford has done they vote YES to an elected Mayor on 3rd May just as is now happening in Salford we will support a Mayoral candidate who will cut Manchester’s Council Tax by at least half next year.
This can be done at least as easily as in Salford since an even smaller proportion of the gross money Manchester City Council receives (well under 10%) comes from the Council Tax.
Therefore contrary to the opinion of a couple of dozen supposedly big hitting friends of the existing regime of Manchester City Council, people especially ordinary and less wealthy people will have the opportunity to gain massively from having an elected mayor.
Labour has been in power in Manchester for over 40 years. In the past people could never vote effectively to change the council leadership. Instead people have voted in droves with their feet to leave Manchester and relocate elsewhere. With an elected Mayor residents will have a proper opportunity to change the person running Manchester City Council every four years.
We hope Manchester voters like Salford voters take the opportunity to transfer power exclusively held by local Labour Councillors to themselves and give themselves the option we will provide at a Mayoral election of more than halving their Council Tax
Stephen Morris – North West Chairman – English Democrats
Follow Elect A Mayor campaigns up and down the country with the links on the left.
ENGLISH DEMOCRATS - Salford Mayoral Candidate
24th February 2012 Press Release
The English Democrats North West is pleased to announce that Michael Felse has been chosen to be our candidate in the forth coming 2012 Mayoral elections in the City of Salford.
“In May, the people of Salford will directly elect their Mayor in redefining the Future.
My belief is that our priority must make sure Salford has a Mayor that puts people’s needs before the needs of party politics. The English Democrats do not operate the party whip system like the other party’s; this allows me to truly represent the people from all corners of the City and from all walks of life.
Over the last few years we have seen pet projects costing us millions. It is easy to understand why people think the council does not listen. But my simple message is Salford Council Tax is too high. One of the highest taxes in the country and is at least 14% higher than anyone paying for the same home band in Manchester. People living in Salford want this to change.
My strong belief includes protecting vulnerable citizens and protection of our green belts. The recent Labour council cuts do nothing to reduce the council tax but hurt those living in our city that are least able to protect themselves. The answer should have been to shred the BBC gifted £20 million by embarrassing that BBC agreement. We must reverse a wrongful effect that robs our ability to protect those in most need.
On green issues I want a new CiC (Community Interest Company) to be established in Salford and owned by local people, transferring green belt decision making rights by creating a multi million pound enterprise. It will create jobs and new opportunities for local people. My new initiative will be a message from Salford to all UK regions that planned change brings prosperity. Salford is open to Eco businesses that create a new wave of inward investment. I will insist on getting real jobs for local people.
We need to make a strong statement to Europe that it is not OK for the hard pressed people in Salford to have to pay almost half the equivalent amount of council tax in bailing out Greece. This was not a problem of our making and must be resisted for the chain reaction the bad practices in Europe are causing on the longer term prosperity of our northern community.
There can be few political parties that would not agree with me that we have to solve the youth crime in society. I will head up the creation of a policing charter, tackling crime in the community by engaging with the Greater Manchester new Police Commissioner to ensure Salford gets its equal spend on policing. We pay more per head in Council Tax than those in Manchester which demands we get adequate services in return. My war on youth crime will see young people brought in as City Ambassadors, sitting in with the Mayor to directly influence the future of Salford.
The potential for Salford’s future comes from new media; this is close to my heart. I was the business development manager for coal regeneration projects that helped many ex coal miners become social entrepreneurs. I will work with the University and third sector to create 400 new social enterprises, driven by the visionary and innovative minds of young people in what they want to be the future prosperity of Salford. The youth improvement plan will be a 3 million pound investment in real jobs in partnership with Salford Council attracting people to look at the undiscovered country of Salford. Time for Change means being bolder, inventive and creative.
I share the dream of a stronger England identity as part of the United Kingdom. This is one of the biggest opportunities for Salford. I see creation of an English Regional Assembly HQ in the heart of Salford. It will be based on Salford’s pride, honesty and commitment. The plan sees us shifting local councillors into the communities that elected them along with eliminating Civic Centre waste. This is an ideal location for us to pitch locating England’s Regional Assembly HQ (funded by external investment), taking out of Salford council spending the ridiculously high cost of our Civic Centre and by redefining Salford’s future by attracting 5,000 jobs into Swinton.
I do not believe the current Civic Centre reflects a true spirit of civic togetherness and will take the lead from Doncaster where inward investment is creating a new Civic Centre that is a gathering for arts, heritage and council services that truly engages with people. I want a major mind shift from elected councillors which is why the Council Cabinet will be an eight person team with automatic membership from the varied elected parties and the elected independents. It will respect the diversity of Salford people by adding a new structure that empowers co-opted membership into the Cabinet, giving young people, ecologists, historians and community activists the best opportunity to help us create a better city driven by change, built on passion.
My commitment is to create change that will improve life in Salford, being open to new ideas that local people have been denied putting forward. It is Time for Change.
My personal priority is to listen to the people of Salford and bring changes by:-
1) Cutting council tax by 50% using my investment and innovation action plan.
2) Committing all council staff into providing a “customer knows best” culture.
3) Remove council staff and councillor concessions and terminate added privileges.
4) Protect statutory essential services, reducing none essentials to best save money.
5) Steam-line public services to do things cheaper, faster and to save more money.
6) Eradicate service duplication including ending the employee wasteful job shares.
7) Terminate all Council gifted deals and re-evaluate adverse sponsorship deals.
8) Offer quota skill based scrutiny committee places to include local ward activists.
9) Issue Salford Council’s apology to residents who suffered during its regeneration.
10) Guarantee practical assistance to Salford’s dedicated and proud community groups without whom many local services would suffer. Social Capital will prevail.
In addition I will print my plan on council tax cuts in my election address that will be delivered to each home in Salford. Opinions are important to me and everyone’s right to comment is welcome. I will answer all comments through expanded explanations according to individual requests. I will make your council more public.
I congratulate Salford people for boldly deciding to elect a Mayor. Your message is loud and clear in demanding change through new ideas and enthusiasm. I am proud of my life achievements, starting from a working class coal miner life at the age of 15 to becoming the author of works used by Universities, Colleges and Schools. Living in Salford means I am part of this unique 2012 election. I know this is the time for change as we renew into being a low council tax city, fit to create a brighter future based on what local people can afford.
I am aware that many people living in Salford are struggling during the difficult times and call on the political parties to stop blaming each other. I refuse to be restricted by national politics but instead will put our City first. I believe it is your council Mayor’s responsibility to make sure your tax money is spent protecting the essential front line services. To give the best return on services ironically we must turn Salford into a low cost place, where people want to live, where cost effective business creates jobs. The more people living in Salford the easier it becomes to spread the costs. I want more real jobs for local people. These measures will create a more prosperous future.
We need change and I will bring change faster than any other prospective candidate by using my extensive local government experience. During these next week’s I will explain on my facebook in more detail what each of my priorities for Salford mean.
Today is by necessity Salford’s most important time for strategic changes.
Salford Mayoral Prospective English Democrat Candidate.
Fellowship of School for Social Entrepreneurs.
Life Honorary Member of City & Guilds. Press Release Ends
North West Area Chairman
Not Right Not Left Just English!
Liverpool Update 7th February 12
At tonights Council meeting in Liverpool the ruling Labour party put a motion forward to change how Liverpool was to be Governed, from the system where Councillors decide behind closed doors to the open and Democratically accountably system of elected Mayor. The vote was 62 for and 3 Against with 12 abstentions.
It would appear that the councillors changed the system not because it is more Democratic, but appears they were bought by the coalition government for around £130 million to change the system.
Robin Tilbrook - English Democrats Chairman
Chris Beverley, Deputy Yorkshire Chairman of the English Democrats, reports on an excellent meeting in Sheffied at which our party's 'Yes' campaign for Yorkshire's mayoral referendums on May 3rd was launched.
On Tuesday night a meeting was held in Sheffield to launch the English Democrats' 'Yes' campaigns for the upcoming referendums in Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, and Sheffield on the question of whether those cities should move to a democratically elected mayoral system.
The meeting was ably chaired by Sheffield English Democrats Chairman David Wildgoose.
David delivered an interesting speech which explored the possible consequences of the people of Scotland voting for independence from the UK in the referendum which is planned to be held north of the border in autumn 2014. A yes vote would have all manner of interesting effects on the rest of the UK, both domestically and internationally, the meeting was told. See here for an interesting article by David on this theme.
I spoke next, and detailed three important campaigns for which our party must prepare in 2012, namely; the local elections on May 3rd, the mayoral referendums which will be held on the same day, as well as the elections on 15th November to elect police commissioners.
Following a break, party Chairman Robin Tilbrook addressed the gathering. Robin explained a bit about his own background and talked about the formation of the English Democrats in 2002.
Speaking about our campaign for the introduction of democratically elected mayors, he explained;
"The Mayoral system is a better and more democratic one than the only legally permitted alternative of a councillor who is selected by other councillors, no doubt on the well worn principles of "Buggins' turn" and "back-scratching" to be the Leader with a cabinet.
Both roles have exactly the same powers and exactly the same pay and term of office. The sole legal difference is that the Elected Mayor is chosen by the People.
So for a democrat – and we English Democrats chose our name carefully because we are about both England and also about democracy – for a Democrat the option of having an Elected Mayor is clearly the only proper one."
Facebook pages have been set up for the 'Yes' campaigns in the four Yorkshire cities in question. Please show your support by 'liking' these pages to help us spread the word and highlight the arguments of our yes campaign.
Campaigns for the YES vote have taken heart and given a boost after the success of the English Democrats led campaign in Salford.
Don't forget that bringing Democratic accountability to our City's leaders is not restricted to the English Democrats and we welcome input from all parties that support a directly elected mayoral system of local government .
There are links on the left to various groups and Facebook sites promoting the YES campaigns, we will also be please to add links to other yes campaigns from other parties or organisations, just drop us an email and we will add you..
31 January 2012
The Mayoral Alliance of the English Democrats N.W. and the Community Action Party was formed to bring Democratic accountability to the City of Salford’s leadership in the form of a directly elected Mayor, to change a system that was having a detrimental effect on its citizens.
The recent referendum gave the people of Salford a chance to change how the city was governed, the Mayoral Alliance campaigned for a “YES” vote and although the turnout was low our campaign was successful, with the Mayoral elections due to be held in May the Mayoral Alliance has achieved what it had set out to do.
With immediate effect the Mayoral Alliance consisting of the English Democrats N.W. and the Community Action Party has been dissolved and we will now be campaigning on our own manifestos.
The English Democrats and I are very much committed to reducing the City’s council tax by 50% whilst protecting frontline services and respecting those who provide those services, to also reduce the crime levels that has blighted the city for too long, promises we made during our recent referendum campaign.
North West Area Chairman
Well what a result in the Salford Mayoral Referendum, voter apathy in Salford is a major problem and has been for a number of years because people felt they could not change both the ruling regime or system. From the votes cast for our "Yes" campaign the ruling regime will now have to sit up and take notice, they are now accountable to the people (is this why they fought so hard against it) however this is not the end but just the beginning of bringing Democratic Accountability to our Council Leaders.
We now have both the local and Mayoral elections for Salford in May. We also have the Manchester Mayoral referendum or possibly Mayoral elections, depending on how Manchester Labour reacts to Salford’s result and with Labour controlled Liverpool also changing to the democratic system of local government.
This is a tremendous time for the English Democrats in the North West and our partners in the Mayoral Alliance, The Community Action Party. who have worked together to bring this changea
Regards Stephen Morris
North West Area Chairman - EnglishDemocrats
Voting Day in Salford Mayoral referendum
Polling day has finally arrived in the Salford Mayoral referendum, very busy morning with last minute flyers going out and mobile P.A. system travelling around the entire city. The Vote "YES" team have raised the benifits of an elected Mayor and hopefully these have been taken on board by the good people of the City of Salford whilst seeing through the lies and deceits made by the current ruling regime bent on protecting their own interests.
Remember with an elected Mayor - THIER YOUR CHOICE - THIER YOUR VOICE - WITH YOUR VOTE - MAKE IT COUNT.
Why an Elected Mayor?
Local Government in Salford is failing the people of our City.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
The power to change the way our city works is in the hands of Salford people.
From New York to London, from Chicago to Sydney, dynamic Elected Mayors are fighting for their cities and re-building their communities.
These Mayors answer directly to the people they serve. Everyone knows who’s in charge, who to credit and who to blame.
In Salford, decision-makers hide behind red tape and a confusing collection of quangos and committees.
Power that should be in the hands of the citizens of Salford is carved up between anonymous officers, unelected bureaucrats and part-time politicians.
Major challenges facing us – poverty, the breakdown of community and lack of opportunity – aren’t being addressed.
The dynamism of the business sector is being stymied. Innovative thinking from other cities in the UK, Europe and the US is ignored. Energies that should be devoted to the people of Salford are spent on infighting.
An Elected Mayor for Salford would bring vision, fresh ideas and real accountability to City leadership.
An Elected Mayor would build on Salford’s great traditions of solidarity and community.
An Elected Mayor would champion local business, and support the many voluntary organisations at the heart of City life.
And an Elected Mayor would have to stand or fall by their record in office, and be answerable to the people of Salford through the ballot box
20th Jan 12
A report by the BBC tonight suggests that the Labour controlled Liverpool Council could be about to change to an elected Mayoral system, we beleive that this may also be the case for Labour controlled Manchester who have been very quite on the subject of elected Mayors and may be awaiting to see which way the wind blows with the referendum in Salford.
The English Democrats have been campaigning up and down the country for directly elected Mayors, it was the English Democrats who started the campaign in Salford (can be found on the internet). I as North West Chairman had previously worked with Mr Berg on the successful Anti-Congestion charge campaign in Greater Manchester and with Mr Berg believing in the same Mayoral system we agreed to work together once again and he took the lead as petition organiser, he successfully got the signatures required for the referendum whilst I organised activities in other areas.
The Mayoral Alliance took up an invitation to attend a debate over the Mayoral referendum to be organised by the Lib Dem Leader Norman Owen (Lib Dem group being him and 2 mates) on 14th December, we were already aware through our researchers that this was going to be a Labour party meeting which had been rearranged from their usual location (email proof). This didn’t phase us, we still took up the challenge and attended, Labour came with their usual professional hecklers to attack Mr Bergs proposals to cut Salford Council tax in Half (although highly educated and very astute on financial issues he is not a good public speaker and this was shown by the Labour hecklers who wouldn’t allow him to finish answering questions). I myself quoted actual facts, figures and policies of their own party back at them, their own waste of tax payers money on frivolities whilst Salford languished as one of the most deprived areas in the country (even after 13 yrs of a Labour Government) and at times you could hear a pin drop. When they tried to heckle that they were “Lies” I just asked them to “Google it” or referred to the Labour party campaign document that we had as proof, they couldn’t answer. Over the cost of the referendum Cllr Merry came out with another figure, his 5th so far ranging from £100k to £400k, Cllr Merry even admitted to have “Experience in referendums with the one in May” he also has experience of organising a referendum from the Congestion Charge referendum but instead makes up figures to try and scare the voters adding another false accusation that we would target elderly care when we have publically stated we would protect essential front line services.
Cllr Merry stated that Mr Berg who owns up to 17 business properties in Salford and is a Salford tax payer that he had “No connection with Salford what so ever” Cllr Merry continued “as not experienced the services of Salford” as you can read this is a blatant “lie” from Cllr Merry.
Cllr Merry has previously made aspersions that the BNP are part of the Mayoral Alliance just because they support an Elected Mayor, the Alliance does not include the BNP, it also doesn’t include the Tory’s or Hazel Blears and Babara Keeley the Labour MPs for Salford who also support directly elected Mayors, the Alliance is the English Democrats, Community Action Party and some independents.
We want the 168,000 voters of Salford to choose who they want as a directly elected Mayor and leader of the Council, they either succeed and get re-elected or fail and get voted out, they will not have a safe seat and can no longer look at it as a “Job for life”, if they make a promise to you the voter and they don’t stick to it, 168,000 people will have the chance to vote them out (obviously keeping promises may limit the Lib Dem participation for office)
Cllr Antrobus made a comment about regeneration in his ward of Swinton North, he was soon put in his place by a Swinton North resident who said “You’ve done nothing for years” “It’s a disgrace”. Cllr Antrobus was the Cllr who tripped and broke his ankle on an ungritted pavement whilst in charge of Highways and gritting.
Michael Moulding of the Community Action party who is targeting his Swinton North ward to oust Cll Antrobus wasn’t on the panel but had to correct the Labour Cllrs on a number of issues when the Labour group started to give out false information when attacking his party.
A tactic of deriding and misinformation by the Labour activists was planned as published in their campaign strategy document.
The English Democrats are delighted to announce that sufficient signatures have now been collected to force Salford City Council to have a referendum on directly electing their Council Leader (aka “Executive Mayor”).
The English Democrats’ Campaign for Elected Mayors passes its first landmark tomorrow at 10.30 at the Salford City Council when 10,500 signatures on our petition for a referendum on the issue will be handed in to Salford’s Returning Officer.
Stephen Morris, the English Democrats’ North West Area Chairman said:- “I am delighted that here in Salford we are leading the way to a better and more open local democracy for the people of Salford City. Salford has long needed a leader who will fight for Salford and have the democratic clout to do so. If Salford voters choose to vote ‘yes’ in the referendum then we will have a democratically elected leader with a mandate to equal the Government’s proposed mayor for Manchester!”
Stephen continued:- “We only needed 8,505 to force a referendum but to ensure that Salford’s Council Labour leadership can’t pull any tricks we collected over 10,500.”
Robin Tilbrook, the English Democrats’ Party Chairman said:- “Last September we launched our campaign for directly elected council leaders for every local authority in England and I am delighted that the fantastic work of our local volunteer, Geoffey Berg, means that Salford City Council will be the first to achieve the necessary 5% of voters signatures to trigger a referendum under the Local Government Act 2000.”
Robin continued:- “All the British Establishment Parties nationally have pushed for elected mayors to sort out the abysmal standards of both local government decision making and of democratic accountability but at the local level their councillors have usually been too buy looking after their own interests. This referendum will give the people of Salford the opportunity to have a Mayor to rival London’s Boris Johnson!”
Under the current "Strong Leader Model" a small clique of Councillors from the leading group (Labour) will decide who runs the Council, this is not democratic and as long as they keep that small click of friends happy they will always be the leader whether you like it or not.
With an elected Mayoral system every single voter in Salford will be given the chance to choose the Leader of the Council, if they fail to fulfil the promises made to YOU, then YOU get the chance to vote them out, making the Council leader answerable to the people. That's Democracy.
The English Democrats is encouraging the development of the directly elected mayor agenda in England, viewing the model as a possible means of bringing about the modernisation of local government and strengthening local leadership and civic engagement.
Directly Elected Mayors were introduction in the Local Government Act 2000. The English Democrats have supported and advised local mayoral campaigns since 2008 and tracked local developments.
The Mayoral Forum
With eleven directly elected mayors in place, there is an established a Mayoral Forum to offer practical support to this group, to facilitate regular meetings, learning and peer support for the mayors, and to disseminate the key messages and lessons to stakeholder groups in including central and local government, media and the public.
The Forum is concerned with the development of relationships between mayors, chief executives, other senior officers and key agencies; responding to needs and requirements arising from regular discussions on policy and strategy; and ‘action learning’ through collective visits by the elected mayors to one another’s authorities.