I took a drive through Weaste and seedley to see the improvements made to the fly tipping situation over the past year, and I was pleasantly surprised.
I think its fair to say that I occasionally go on a rant a bit on Salford Online's Facebook Group about the state of Salford's streets and back entries. Recent re-working of the bin collection rota had seen black bin collections go from fortnightly to tri-weekly across the city and the impact was never felt harder than in the already struggling areas of Weaste and Seedley.
Well I over this past year things in both of those areas have been definitely changing for the better and I am pleased to see a huge improvement. That improvement has mainly been down to the hard work and dedication of its local councillors who have been at the forefront of the change, along with local groups that have gotten their hands dirty, they have clearly shown what a difference a little pride in an area can do.
Both Councillor Paul Wilson, his father and current ceremonial Mayor, Ronnie Wilson and their colleague Councillor Stephen Hesling have brought about a huge shift in the areas direction by simply listening to the problems that people are enduring and working with them to get them rectified before they escalate into larger issues.
Paul in particular has been extremely proactive and spent a lot of time to understand the unique issues that each part of his ward has, this has enabled him to see the unique issues each face and so has better equipped him to deal with problems as they arise.
As someone who has previously spent endless hours online slating the area for its issues in the past, I have found the improvement is blindingly obvious in some areas with levels of litter and rubbish adorning the streets dramatically cut over this past year.
Many of the issues are still there but they are now being dealt with much more swiftly and to greater effect than before. This has minimised the impact in many areas.
So it would seem the team in Weaste are getting it right, their actions are bringing positive results and those results are in turn being noticed by both residents as well as those passing through. Yes it is not perfect, lets face facts it would take a miracle and a huge cash injection into the refuse collection and street cleaning department by the Mayor to get that; but the results so far have shown clearly just what having good proactive councillors in an area can achieve.
The positivism also reflects well for the local councillors with Paul's popularity at an all time high, having become one of the most respected Councillors I have come across in recent times. His no nonsense direct and straight to the point attitude has been seen as a refreshing change and resonates with the community he serves.
I was recently chatting to one lady that I know to have been plagued by issues with fly tipping at the rear of her property for years, she was delighted to report that her suffering was now over and that there had been a huge improvement. She was quick to give credit to the local councillors when asked what she thought had turned things around.
It is fair to say that Weaste in particular had become a bit of a mess but there has been a massive shift over the past few months and the streets are looking a lot cleaner and people are actively getting involved and encouraging others to join in with improving things.
For instance an amazing group of residents on Barf Road have made a huge difference to the back gated entries and streets by holding regular litter pick days, weeding front and back gardens and arranging for dumped items to be removed ASAP. The "This is it Salford" group (main photo) recently won a much deserved heart of Salford award for the work they have put in to their area and bringing their community together this year.
The change they have made is staggering and shows clearly just what can be achieved when people come together to alter their surroundings for the better.
In a city in which Labour councillors are constantly criticised it is refreshing to see a success story instead. So, long may that last, the councillors actions are clearly working and the results can quite literally be seen on the cleaner streets.
Obviously more work needs to be done, it's a never ending task, but finally Weaste is starting to look like Weaste again, Seedley is starting to look a lot better and may they continue to make great changes.