With the Blackfriars and Trinity by-election on November 4 approaching, Liberal Democrat candidate Joseph Ross Allen plans to bring clean, green and community friendly areas to Blackfriars.

Mr Allen’s interest in politics began only three months ago, after having concerns over a seven-story car park being built outside his window, he met with fellow Liberal Democrat Alex Warren who encouraged him to join the party and to run for a seat on the council.

Mr Allen said: “He [Alex Warren] sat me down and explained to me in 40 minutes how planning applications work and here’s what I need to do. 3 months ago I was like I can’t engage in politics but that changed in a 40 minute conversation.

“If we don’t stand up for these little things, they will slowly cause things to fall apart, I can either stay angry in bed waiting or try and do something about it. So for me that was like okay how can I try and stop this car park from being developed.”

After moving to the ward, Mr Allen began to notice the difference between the Blackfriars and Trinity areas in terms of community due to the ongoing apartment developments.

Construction within the Trinity area and the new planning applications of the Chapel Wharf have caused Mr Allen and Blackfriars community members to be worried that these developments could begin to leak into their area.

Mr Allen said: “These big apartments don’t have a sense of community, we’re all sort of angry about fire safety certificates, lease hold scandals, carparks being built.

“Over in Blackfriars we’ve got families and it’s a very very different area, what I’m seeing is that the Trinity area is getting very highly developed and is becoming a neighbour to Manchester, which I don’t really think is the point of the ward, we should have our own community.”

Mr Allen also flipped the coin to see the benefits that the Chapel Wharf could bring, believing that the developers could help to reinforce community values for the Trinity ward.

“It would solve a lot of the problems. Developers need to be responsible, I think to me, the council could also really help by rejecting planning applications and encourage developers to create more community spaces.”


Liberal Democrat candidate Joseph Ross Allen


Throughout the run-up to the by-election, Mr Allen and fellow party members have been out campaigning to Clean Up Blackfriars.

If Mr Allen wins the by-election and gains a seat on the council he will continue this initiative, eliminating the amount of littering occurring to create safe and clean spaces for community members and their families.

Reflecting on these ongoing problems, Mr Allen said: “Once there’s a little bit of litter, there starts to be a lot of litter, then starts to be fly-tipping and bins overflow.

“You can look around here and there’s so many little bits of trash, the council aren’t going to pick up these stray little bits so it’s all about what we can do in the middle ground and how can it be so there is a consistently clean area.

“What we should be doing is looking at areas that receive a lot of reports and sort out scheduling, and I assume that’s how it currently works but for me it’s quite easy to walk around the ward and go okay, here’s something that needs to be sorted.”

Fly-tipping found in a park by Mr Allen

With the May 2021 election giving the Liberal Democrats their first seat in over 10 years, this by-election could bring more party diversity to Salford City Council and another pivotal movement to the party.

Votes for the Blackfriars & Trinity by-election will open from 7am to 10pm on November 4 with ward residents being able to attend the polling stations located at the Stay Inn on Blackfriars Road, the Youth Offending Service on St Simon Street or the Sacred Trinity Church on Chapel Street.

The full list of candidates includes:

  • Joseph Ross Allen for the Liberal Democrats
  • Roseanna Wain for the Labour Party
  • Christopher Bates for the Conservative Party
  • David Jones for the Green Party

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