Can­di­date claims Jewish ar­eas are un­fairly favoured

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY JONATHAN KALMUS

THE LIB-DEM can­di­date for Sal­ford’s first may­oral elec­tion has claimed that Sal­ford Jewish neigh­bour­hoods have been favoured for mil­lions of pounds of in­vest­ment while other lo­cal ar­eas re­main derelict.

Crit­i­cis­ing the “willy nilly” re­gen­er­a­tion of the Jewish area, Nor­man Owen said the sit­u­a­tion had caused re­sent­ment among other com­mu­ni­ties. “Mil­lions have poured into Broughton at the ex­pense of ar­eas like Lang­wor­thy, which is derelict.” Even so, Mr Owen al­leged that the Labour-run coun­cil had “not given the Jewish com­mu­nity what it de­served”, main­tain­ing that the Broughton G r e e n h o u s i n g project in the Jewish heart­land had been car­ried out with lit­tle con­sul­ta­tion and that the homes were low qual­ity.

He branded the coun­cil­funded Beis Yaakov Jewish High School cam­pus and the Her­shel Weiss Chil­dren’s Cen­tre as “facelift” fa­cil­i­ties that were not part of a co­her­ent strat­egy. “I’m say­ing we have to be in­clu­sive. I’m not seg­re­gat­ing the Jewish com­mu­nity from any other and we should have far wider con­sul­ta­tion with the Jewish com­mu­nity.

“We have had just a slip­shod de­vel­op­ment here and there. There needs to be stronger con­sul­ta­tion with eve- ry­one. The last thing you want is di­vi­sions.

“That’s when you get the likes of the BNP com­ing in and peo­ple say­ing: ‘Why are they get­ting this and that?’ That has been said to me. We could have avoided all of that by de­vel­op­ing ar­eas so ev­ery­one gets their own in­put.”

Peter Kop­phen­heim, a lo­cal Jewish res­i­dent who has ad­vised on coun­cil re­gen­er­a­tion, said Mr Owen “has got it quite wrong.

“The coun­cil have done a tremen­dous amount of work, es­pe­cially the re­de­vel­op­ment of 88 houses [with ‘kosher’ fa­cil­i­ties] about to be built in Broughton. The coun­cil has re­de­vel­oped other parts of Sal­ford and hun­dreds of houses have been built else­where and have not gone to the Jewish com­mu­nity. I’m sorry he’s got the wrong end of the stick.”

Labour’s can­di­date for the May 3 e l e c t i o n , I a n Ste­wart, de­clined to respond to Mr Owen’s claims.

How­ever, Sal­ford Labour coun­cil­lor Peter Con­nor re­jected any sug­ges­tion that re­gen­er­a­tion was poorly planned or favoured cer­tain ar­eas.

“We have to es­tab­lish where the big­gest needs are for hous­ing and in­vest­ment. The gov­ern­ment have to agree with the ar­eas the coun­cil and in­de­pen­dent in­vestors se­lect in or­der to at­tract public money and en­able re­de­vel­op­ment.

“Broughton Park has large fam­i­lies and par­tic­u­lar hous­ing needs and the Jewish com­mu­nity have the right to be con­sid­ered. Mr Owen is ei­ther not fully un­der­stand­ing the re­gen­er­a­tion process or it’s just elec­tion time.”

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