The secretary of Salford Green Party has spoken out about the problems with Salford council.

Wendy Olsen also questioned some of Labour’s decisions and  explained her ambitions for the Green Party. Olsen is running as a candidate for Councillor in Irwell-Riverside in the elections on May 2.

The senior member of the Salford Green Party explained: “We’re shocked at the poor performance in the waste removal. We’d like to see amnesty skips on every street to allow waste to be put to the tip.”

Also a University of Manchester professor, Olsen expressed her opinion on the current housing situation and Labour’s attitude towards it: “Labour are building these very expensive high-rise flats so it’s enabling incomers, so we say we’re helping Salford people to get affordable homes. I mean that should be a Labour policy but it’s not. A lot of people in Salford are very angry, feeling not represented and there’s now some independent candidates running against Labour.”

Photograph from Wendy Olsen

Olsen continued, saying: “We’re quite concerned by the mayor, they gave these reduced prices to developers to build high rise buildings, these reduced prices meant the developers didn’t pay for the three key amenities including pathway, parks and schools.

“Labour have decided to damage the green belt by building houses on it. They want to build houses on Buile Hill Park. We oppose that because we have existing sites that are not being built on and they should be.”

Photogrpah from Wendy Olsen

When asked about Salford council, she said: “You put your notice in and then you get no response. We don’t get any response, they’re not any good at replying, that’s not right.”

Olsen mentioned her colleague, Natalie Bennett, who will be campaigning in the Old Pint Pot in Salford on April 9. “We’ve campaigned on the green belt issue, the trash, recycling, water quality, we’ve campaigned on many issues to raise our profile.”

“There are some people who are criminal at night and it’s dangerous, it’s their right [council] to protect everybody. You put in a request and nothing happens. This is partly because of austerity, but it’s become an excuse for bad services.”

When asked about other parties during the current campaign, the secretary of Salford Green Party replied: “Labour has lied about Brexit, it’s got a confused economic policy. So we can anticipate getting onto the council, and we’ve got over 150 councillors dotted over the country.”

On plans for the near future, she commented, “Next year we have the mayoral elections, but we want to see the role of mayor abolished. The alternative to mayor is a cabinet system, which should be responsible for the council. So, it would be having the leader of the council with a team that supports the cabinet, we don’t need a mayor.”

Ms Olsen spoke out about the current situation in parliament, saying that the Conservatives are “making money in the finance industry, they’re like parasites.”

She continued “We participated in the march to support remain. We have taken the view that the migration is helping with schools. In Scotland, there has been a labour shortage. About 5% more people now live in Scotland which is migrants and they’re helpful.”

She voiced her opinion on the Green Party saying: “It’s an active party, a party that represents fairness, it’s not just about the environment it’s about having control of your life, in your community with a voice.”

When asked about the main point she wanted to get across, Olsen said: “Salford Green Party care about the voters, the other parties only care about themselves.”

Image credits – Wendy Olsen.

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