Challenging Salford Council’s spending, and development plans for greenbelt land top the campaign list for Conservative candidate Robin Garrido who is standing for re-election in Worsley in the Thursday, May 2 local elections.
He heavily criticised the current Salford council, saying: “All in all we would say that Salford is a failing council. It’s failing to spend its money wisely.”
Mr Garrido is trying to push the council to address the environmental problems in his area, saying: “For the last few years I have been extremely active in fighting proposals on the green belt.”
When asked whether he has seen any impact in the last few years he said: “In terms of what the local residents, together with ourselves as councillors, have been able to do, yes I think we’ve made a lot of progress.
“Unfortunately, that’s not always been supported by the council or in recent times by the Greater Manchester Mayor.”
However, he says that despite this he has seen an “extremely positive” response from the local residents.
Mr Garrido also talked about the congestion problems in Worsley and Boothstown saying it is often heavily gridlocked throughout the day.
He says that there needs to be major changes to the infrastructure, proposing a new junction onto the M60 from the East Lancs road, saying: “It’s a big issue that we need to be pushing the council to discuss with Highways England and the government.
“There needs to be a wholesale look at how our roads operate in the area.”
Mr Garrido has been one of only nine Conservative councillors in a council dominated by Labour which coming in to these elections had 50 councillors. He said: “I think people are now coming to realise that if they do vote Labour what they are getting back is the threat of building on the green belt.”
Although he accepts that there is a need for more housing Mr Garrido believes that there are sufficient, more eligible sites that can help alleviate the housing problem
He also criticised the council’s own building practices claiming that it is not building houses and is instead buying up existing houses or houses that were going to be developed anyway “so they’re not actually solving the homeless problem.”
Mr Garrido has also criticised the council’s handling of its finances, claiming that Salford Council had £85 million in earmarked reserves. He also challenges the Council to make clear how it has spend £11.5 million from developers, as part of Section 106 planning agreements,which he says should be funding facilities in Salford.
He said he was “very concerned” about this because the council says it is short of money.
The other Worsley candidates are Christopher Bertenshaw, Green; Ian Chisnall, Liberal Democrat; Norman Joseph Owen, Labour; Arthur Snelgrove, Ukip.
Polls open on Thursday, May 2 at 7am and close at 10pm.
For details of all the candidates go to the Salford Council website