Friday 25, November 2011
Salford residents campaign against radical boundary proposals
BOUNDARY COMMISSION proposals to change the political boundaries of Salford have been met with resistance from local residents, reports Joe Turner.
The Boundary Commission is considering amalgamating some constituencies and reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600 in a latest attempt to cut costs.
Should the proposals be sanctioned, several of Salford's key institutions, including MediaCityUK and the University of Salford, would become part of neighbouring Manchester.
Victoria Connett, 28, from Salford, has started a campaign opposing the plans, which were announced on September 13.
The campaign was launched on social networking website Facebook and has attracted over 6400 members to date.
"People feel that the heart is being ripped out of Salford. Slowly but surely little things are going," said Miss Connett.
"People from Salford are really passionate and really proud of where they come from. The proposals are the straw that broke the camel's back."
If the changes go ahead it will mean that most of Salford Central will become part of Manchester Central, while Irlam and Walkden will be in Leigh and the remainder of the city will become part of Swinton.
The Boundary Commission document states: "We propose that the existing Manchester Central constituency extends west to incorporate wards from the City of Salford, specifically Salford Quays and the surrounding area."
These plans would see high profile landmarks such as MediaCityUK and Salford Quays move into Manchester, as well as the University of Salford and Salford Cathedral.
Added Miss Connett: "A lot of things have changed around Salford that haven't necessarily been for the people of Salford. They feel this is another thing that could wipe Salford off the map completely.
"At the moment it's just the political map but it's only a matter of time before it grows and then they will say 'well you don't really need a city of your own, you don't really need a council etc etc'.
Angry Salfordians have taken to the Facebook group to express their frustration.
Ian McCaffery wrote: "Perhaps it's fate that today we all join together and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation.
"We're fighting for our right to live, to exist. We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on, we're going to survive."
Salford MP Hazel Blears is also backing the campaign. She said: "The Boundary Commission proposals are an insult to the people of Salford. These proposals rip the heart out of Salford and seek to destroy our 1000-year-old City.
"These proposals make little geographic or historic sense and I hope the people of Salford will speak out loudly and clearly against these disgraceful plans."
For more information about how you can get involved with the campaign you can visit the Save Salford website at www.savesalford.org.uk
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