• Monday, September 26, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

‘We’re bucking the trend’: Labour celebrates surprise success story in Salford

Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long Bailey and Salford mayor Paul Dennett at the 2021 council election count at the AJ Bell Stadium. (Photo: LDRS)

By: Sattwik Biswal

By Joseph Timan

LABOUR are celebrating success in Salford, where they have come out stronger from an all-out election in which they secured a surprise win against the Tories.

The ruling group have gained two seats overall, taking their total to 52, which leaves the Conservatives with seven councillors and the Lib Dems with one.

Labour secured a surprise victory in Worsley and Westwood Park where the Conservatives only held onto two of a possible three seats in the ward.

The Tories also missed out on a third councillor in Kersal and Broughton Park where the Lib Dems have won their first seat at Salford council since 2008.

Labour also held onto all six seats in Walkden South and in Cadishead and Lower Irlam where the results were so close they required a recount.

Core Independent councillor Darren Goulden lost his seat in Higher Irlam and Peel Green and the other three candidates in the group failed to secure a seat.

Salford mayor Paul Dennett said he is ‘delighted’ with the wins for Labour.

He said: “When you look at what’s happening here in Salford compared to what’s happening nationally, we’re bucking the trend. And you’ve got to ask yourself why.

“It’s because of the hard work of many Labour Party councillors and many Labour Party members.

“But it’s also the visionary proposition we’ve made to the electorate here on housing, on the economy, what we’re doing on the green infrastructure of the city.

“There’s real hope and optimism behind what the Labour council are doing in Salford.”

Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long Bailey said the national picture has been ‘catastrophic’ for the Labour, but the party could learn lessons from Salford.

She pointed to the ‘vision’ of the local Labour group as the key to its success.

The Labour MP was asked about Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership of the party after the results of elections elsewhere in the country, including in Hartlepool.

She said: “I think he’s going to have to look at places like Salford, frankly, and realise why the message has landed in our city – what policies have been effective on the doorstep.

“We should be building a policy platform around economic policies like the ones that Paul’s been setting out here in Salford to improve living standards and the welfare of the people right across our city and other constituencies across the country.

“I think if we spend the next three years just waiting for the Tories to fall down and attack them, we’re not going to win the next general election.

“We’ve got to have a vision and the policies back that up.”

Conservative councillor Robin Garrido, who held onto his seat in Worsley and Westwood Park, said he did not understand why Labour were so successful.

Labour candidate Tony Davies came third in his ward, only four votes behind Coun Garrido, and beating the third Conservative candidate by 138 votes.

Coun Garrido said changes to ward boundaries worked against the Tories.

He said: “We’re not going to look at this as a setback.”

The Lib Dems won their first seat in Salford for 13 years, coming third place in Kersal and Broughton Park where the Tories had hoped to win all three seats.

Avrohom Yitzchok Walter, who won the seat, said he was ‘overwhelmed’.

He said: “I am in awe at the responsibility, yet not naïve as to the upward struggle to truly make change.

“I shall endeavour to the best of my ability to repay the confidence placed in me and shall work tirelessly for the people of Salford.”

(Local Democracy Reporting Service)

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