By Joshua Powling, Political Correspondent
Twitter is at the centre of another controversy as a Salford Councillor appeared to belittle the efforts of a Manchester-based transport group on the social networking site.
Councillor Iain Lindley, Conservative representative for Walkden South, made the comments after Mancunian Matters published a story which included the Greater Manchester Transport Campaign.
The voluntary group has more than 100 members and around 20 corporate members, helping to promote the interest of passengers in Greater Manchester.
Without solicitation Councillor Lindley said on Twitter: “Who exactly are the Greater Manchester Transport Campaign? I’ve never heard of them.”
Pressed on the meaning of his outburst, he was asked: “An interesting response. Do you not take on board the views of interest groups you haven’t heard of?”
Councillor Lindley then replied: “They make some very good points, but their chosen moniker suggests a high visibility pressure group and that does not seem to be the case.”
The Greater Manchester Transport Campaign was formed in 2004 when members of a voluntary committee splintered off from the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA) after a perceived lack of action on the authority’s part.
Things came to a head when members published a report on Greater Manchester’s bus stations, comparing them unfavourably to neighbouring regions.
Tony Fawthrop, Chairman of the group, said: “Peter Garvey [their Press Officer] did a survey of our bus stations and how pathetically awful they were and they were 40 years out of date.
“We published our findings, whereupon the Greater Manchester Transport office went absolutely berserk and they went round and censored this and not a word was put into any of the local journalists.”
Councillor Lindley was asked to clarify his statements, but declined to comment further.