Hypocrisy and or victimisation YOU decide
Michael Moulding campaigned with Geoffrey Berg and others to change the system of government in Salford and Michael Moulding asks whether Geoffrey Berg is being victimised by Salford Council ?
Michael Moulding, now Deputy leader of the Community Action Party, campaigned with Mr Berg and others to persuade Salford People to have its own directly-elected Mayor. A few years ago, the Community Action Party and Mr Berg campaigned separately on a cause to persuade the people of Greater Manchester to vote No in the congestion charge referendum debate which the NO vote got overwhelming success.
Therefore, Mr Berg is no stranger to challenging the authorities.
However, many months ago we found out that Mr Berg was in a separate and private battle with Salford Council over one of his properties that was blighting a local neighbourhood in Irlam. Salford Council asked him to ensure certain jobs were done that made the property respectable and mr Berg decided to challenge what he was being asked to do in court.
The Community Action Party and myself have always maintained that Mr Berg should do the decent thing and bring his property up to a standard that is acceptable.
However, although Mr berg has been to court hearings twice, ordered to pay now what amounts to several thousands in court costs alone, Mr Berg continues to challenges small rulings and orders made by Salford Council.
We hear this week that although Mr Berg lost and ordered to pay nearly £5,000 in court costs, he was told the Council cannot dictate what colour he should paint his shop front. Then I thought, can a Council dictate what colour you paint your own property for goodness sake ?
It immediately reminded me of the dreadful orange at The Robin Hood in Swinton and thought it cannot be right that a property owner is actually told what colour he paints his own property ? But it seems in Salford they tried ?
But I ask the question as a community campaigner why has a property in Swinton North been left for over a decade which I brought to peoples attention with no action taken ? I deliver leaflets in their thousands about the matter, nothing gets done on the property and when this case gets highlighted, which no doubt only came out because Mr Berg challenged the decision, then when I highlight the hypocrisy of the Council's decision to pursue one owner to the extent that they have done, but did absolutely nothing in Councillor Derek Antrobus' own electoral patch for 12 years and then out of the blue literrally, the property we were campaigning for improvement, miraculously is upgraded and indeed is painted blue ?
Why would a businessman waste thousands of his own money on a pointless exercise it seems for the sake of a tin of paint ? Mr Berg said its a point of principle as he believes he is being victimised by Salford Council ?
I believe him.
Pictured right is a property that was left in this condition for over a decade blighting the Swinton Community on the "Top Rd" until it was upgraded a few weeks ago.
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