Salford City Council triumphs again, at the Salford Star’s 13th annual Mary Burns Awards. Guest article from the Salford Star.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 13th annual Salford Star Mary Burns Awards, which are given out to honour the most deserving individuals and organisations in the city for their stupid statements, dodgy dealings and iffy activities over the past twelve months.

This year, another new category has been created, the ‘We Might Be Bulldozing Swinton But We’re Not Telling You’ Award, which does everything it says on the tin. So ladies and gentlemen, rip up your Lancastrians and tear down the Civic Centre for our winner.

The ‘We Might Be Bulldozing Swinton But We’re Not Telling You’ Award goes to Salford City Council.

Just a few years ago, it was all about Eccles town centre…’How can we make it better? Let’s get Mary Portas down there!’…Now it’s ‘Fuck Eccles, let’s sort Swinton!’

Indeed it’s just been announced that Swinton was successfully nominated as a pilot area to benefit from up to £25million from the Future High Streets Fund which, according to the Government, “will lead the way in rejuvenating town centres with expert and tailored support”…

Meanwhile, Salford City Council has been throwing money at a secretive Swinton Transformation Masterplan – handing Urban Vision £200,000 two years ago to come up with a plan which would be “informed by technical surveys and a business case to demonstrate delivery”…

…Then in June 2019, the Council’s Procurement Board met to discuss a ‘Swinton Transformation Plan – Local Partnerships’ agreement…except that all details were kept secret (or in Part 2 of the meeting) because “The publication of this report at this stage may cause financial concern and uncertainty in the locality” and that “This report provides details in regards to potentially commercially sensitive information which form part of a larger long-term project.”

The Council published the details after the decision was made – £92,000 was handed to Local Partnerships LLP a joint venture between the Government and the Local Government Association for five months work ‘To enable the completion of a Business Case for Swinton Town Centre’…while Cheetham and Mortimer property consultants got £50,000.
So, in this ‘open and transparent’ city there are no clues as to what the Swinton Transformation might entail. Well, there was one little, possibly red herring, snippet on the Council’s website two years ago when proposals were aired to bulldoze Swinton and Pendlebury Leisure Centre and relocate it to a new £11.9million facility by 2022/23. The report stated that the new facility would be part of a “remodelled Civic Campus”, ie the land on which the Civic Centre stands.

Who knows if that’s the current plan. What we do know is that we don’t know what the hell is going on, except that Eccles has been fucked off…

So, ladies and gentlemen, swing out your sister and drive your swine downtown for the winner of the ‘We Might Be Bulldozing Swinton But We’re Not Telling You’ Award…

Salford City Coooouuuncil!!!

If someone from the Council would like to make an acceptance speech please use the comments box below…


First Published in the Salford Star, 4 January 2020

See other winners of the 2019 Salford Star Mary Burns Awards…

The Rome Wasn’t Built In Two Decades Award – Salford City Council – click here

Uncle Joe Stalin Award for Open and Democratic Government – Salford City Council – click here

Wizard of Oz Scarecrow Award – Hazel Blears – click here

Uncle Joe Stalin Award for Open and Democratic Government Part 2 – Salford City Council – click here

Feed The Rich Award – English Cities Fund – click here

U-turn of the Year Award – Salford City Council – click here

Local Government Scandal of the Decade Award – Salford City Council – click here

Fat Cats of the Year Award – Salford City Council and GMCA – click here

Feature image: Wikipedia Commons (Swinton Civic Centre)

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