Bury candidate: Losing Jewish seats will affect charities


A defeated council candidate in Bury has claimed that the failure of Jews to win seats could negatively impact on Jewish community projects.

After losing a closely fought contest in Sedgley, which has a large Jewish population, Tory Jonathan Grosskopf said the resignation of Peter Redstone in a nearby Whitefield ward had left the council with few members with a decent grasp of Jewish issues.

Tory Raymond Solomon, who trailed a distant third in St Mary's ward, claimed the new council composition might make it harder to obtain planning permission for the proposed Prestwich eruv.

Frustration has been voiced within the community that Liberal Democrat councillors have not given support to facilities like the Maccabi youth club and culturally sensitive children's services for the strictly Orthodox.

This was rejected by Sedgley Liberal councillor Vic D'Albert, although he did "take on board some criticism in recognising the need to have a closer dialogue. It's something we will look to do in the future".

Elsewhere in Bury, Conservative Bernie Vincent held his Whitefield seat of Pilkington Park. Despite fielding 10 candidates, the BNP failed to gain any seats, although it did attract over 4,000 votes in total.

In Salford, home to Greater Manchester's largest Jewish community, Labour's Howard Balkind held off the Liberal Democrats to take a seat in Swinton South.Tory David Wolfson lost out in Kersal ward where former Manchester Great and New Synagogue president Harold Kershner was the unsuccessful Liberal Democrat.

In the Stockport elections, 23-year-old Adam Calmonson garnered nearly 3,000 votes for the Conservatives in Cheadle and Gatley, but still lost out in a Liberal Democrat stronghold. June Somekh held her Lib Dem seat in Cheadle Hulme North, where Benjamin Ash was the unsuccessful Tory.

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