The battle between building new homes and saving Salford’s greenbelt is to the fore as the city heads to the polls on Thursday May 6 to vote for a Mayor as well as all its councillors.
Labour’s Paul Dennett is favourite to remain the city’s elected Mayor in elections delayed by the Covid pandemic but he faces a raft of challengers including an independent Republican candidate who wants to abolish the post of Mayor for which he is standing.
The cladding scandal, post-pandemic jobs and litter are key issues but the main tension is over the housing shortage with the need to build new homes across the city putting some green belt areas under threat.
The candidates are as follows:
Paul Dennett (Labour)
Paul Dennett is the incumbent Mayor and has to be considered the clear favourite in the race. Salford has always had a Labour mayor since the position was established in 2012, with the current Mayor himself, taking office in 2016.
Some of his key policies are as follows-
– To tackle the extensive waiting list for social housing, by laying out a 10-year plan to address it.
-To restore Buille Hill Mansion, as well as protect other heritage buildings in the area.
-Appoint a new Secondary Education Officer, and improve the performance of secondary schools across Salford.
-Transform Salford into a ‘Learning City’ where educational opportunities are life long and available to all residents, regardless of background.
Today Salford City Council’s Cabinet took the decision to license 3 and 4 person Houses in Multiple Occupation in Salford, you can read more using the link in the Tweet below.👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 https://t.co/UPyBkNIiGN
— Paul Dennett (@paul4citymayor) April 13, 2021
Arnold Saunders (Conservatives)
Saunders has held a hard-won council seat in Kersal since 2017, the first Conservative councillor for 25 years. He is the most likely candidate to offer a serious challenge to the incumbent Mayor this year. Saunders is also a freelance rabbi.
If elected he will focus on ‘jabs and jobs’ helping to continue the efficient roll-out of vaccines in the area.
He hopes to capitalise upon the post-pandemic and post-Brexit opportunities by bringing more business, trade, and jobs to Salford.
He is very keen to protect the area’s green belt, keep council taxes as low as possible, and make the streets safer.
— Salford City Conservatives (@SalfordCityCons) March 13, 2021
Jake Overend (Liberal Democrats)
Jake Overend first ran for election in 2019 as the Lib Dem candidate for Salford and Eccles. He is also a graduate of the University of Salford.
Having last held a council seat in Salford City Council in 2008; the Lib Dems are looking to drastically turn around their fortunes this election. He feels that the party has recovered from the damage done to its reputation when it joined a coalition government with the Tories in 2010.
Overend believes that Salford is more anti-Conservative than pro-Labour, which his party could capitalise on.
The Salford Lib Dems have launched large campaigns across social media to address some key issues in Salford. They want to clean up Salford Quays, clean up Claremont, end the cladding scandal, and establish a nature reserve around Gnome Island.
With all our nominations in, I’m delighted to officially be on the ballot paper alongside the incredible @SalfordLibDems candidates running across our great city this year.
We’re running more candidates then we’ve run since 2004 – and I’m so proud of the work our team has done.
— Jake Overend 🔶 (@jakelibdem) April 8, 2021
Wendy Olsen (Green Party)
Wendy Olsen previously ran for Mayor with the Green Party in 2016, winning 8 per cent of the vote. This year she is also standing for councillor in the newly-formed Blackfriars and Trinity ward.
She has more than 30 years of experience in a trade union and is currently an equalities officer at Manchester University where she has worked since 2002.
Her campaigns have focused on litter, parking, traffic, carbon-neutral policies, green paths, cycling, and air pollution.
Recent polls have suggested the Green Party is now the third-largest party in the UK, based on voter intention. So there are high hopes for the upcoming election.
She also wants to improve the schooling system by giving them more funding and remove all flood risks in the area.
Our elections have three ballot papers. Vote Green for a big green breath of fresh air in Salford Council.
Stephen Ord (Independent)
Former Labour councillor Stephen Ord has eight years of experience serving Salford City Council.
He left after a dispute over the party’s position on Brexit and is now running as a “Brexit Mayor for a Brexit City”.
He wishes to scrap the mayoral system, for the council to sell off the AJ Bell Stadium, for the council to clean up the city, and to increase the budget for road repairs.
Ord has also raised concerns that supposed savings in the council are often just delayed repairs, and that deferring such repairs often ends up costing more when it comes to repairing them down the line.
Your City – It isn’t just time to Clean up the Town Hall, it’s Time to Clean up the City.
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Stuart Cremins (Independent)
He has been critical of cost-cutting measures implemented on the City and feels that the Council should first look at cutting its own costs from within. He also believes the bins need to be collected more regularly to help to create a clean City.
Salford is a city of history and culture and we should embrace it for every generation.
— Stuart Cremins (@StuartCremins) April 18, 2021