Pledges: Looking after our Bolton family
Looking after our Bolton family
Supporting people who are ‘just getting by’:
- Tackling deprivation in hot spots around the borough has been a long-standing priority for Bolton Labour. All citizens have a stake in our future.
- Labour will strongly challenge cuts to spending at the Council that is helping those with the lowest life chances get on, such as in money skills, a hardship fund and welfare rights.
- Labour will work with all partners to better maximise the income of families, single people and older adults where possible. We will assist more older residents to find out about pension credits.
- We will actively promote the Credit Union and seek to eradicate the scourge of loan sharks and high interest credit.
- Labour will have an anti-Poverty Strategy at the heart of the Council’s work
- Labour will set up a ‘Referrals First system’ in Bolton for people in hardship or just getting by. Evidence at other Councils shows that ‘signposting’ has low success and robust referral works much better. It means more people having some money in their pocket every week. Labour will succeed where the Conservatives have failed.
Local Area Budgets to improve local areas:
- From Halliwell to Horwich, where there are people who are in hardship or just getting by, Labour wants to share the Council’s resources and priorities with local people. We will establish new area-based groups of local residents and councillors who will decide how Council money is spent to support people and their neighbourhoods.
- A fair funding formula will be drawn up and results in local areas will be regularly checked.
- These local area budgets and spending will be open and transparent for residents to find out about, and this work will be scrutinised.
We will protect and promote community centres, UCAN’s and other facilities:
- Labour will review the neighbourhood asset stripping began by the Conservative Council, and get the best long-term arrangements for Council land, buildings, and sports facilities.
- Labour will work with partners regarding their community buildings with the aim that residents in the Borough can get the best community provision.
- We will prioritise the provision of local neighbourhood hubs to ensure residents have access to computers, job search, and education classes.
- Schools are often vital community hubs. After school hours, these great facilities should be open to local communities for a variety of uses. We will work with schools to make this happen.
- Many people now access council services online, and we will continue to support this option. However, the ability to speak with another person face to face is in danger of being lost. Labour will continue to provide a fit for purpose, accessible, ‘One Stop Shop’ offer for council services, and seek to expand this to other areas.
Advice and Support Services – Better lives for all:
- From young to old, from rights to rent, Labour will ensure a broad offer of support and advice services in our Borough.
- We will work with the charity, voluntary, and Council partners to see the advice and support offer flourish.
- Labour will gain every opportunity from Government and Greater Manchester finance to help more people get on-line in order to reap the benefits of cheaper goods, services and utilities.
- We will prioritise money skills services. They are crucial. Lives are transformed by the help of face to face and telephone appointments. Labour is committed to a fair spread of these appointments across the townships. Everyone who needs it will get access.
- We fully support the smart clothes offer help like ‘Working Wardrobe’ with job interview advice and support which supports hundreds of young people in particular.
- On day 1 of the new Labour Council, the Leader will sign up to the Care Workers Pledge which guarantees basic human rights for care workers. It is a scandal that the Tory Council refuses to do this.
- Many care services are provided by external agencies out of Council control, but we will do everything in our power to encourage these other care providers to also sign the Pledge.
- Labour is committed to supporting all the invaluable unpaid carers in the Borough who care for their family members and friends. At the last estimate there were around 40,000 unpaid carers in Bolton. We will ensure that the voices of Bolton Carers are heard loud and clear at the Council.
- Labour will bid for funds to provide more digital support to some of the 40,000 carers at home.
- Over 1,200 of the Borough’s carers are young carers, many of whom would benefit hugely from support and someone in touch who understands. We will therefore work to expand existing support service for young carers in the Borough.
- We will become a national example of a Dementia friendly borough
- We will protect budgets that provide aids and adaptations in peoples homes.
Labour will establish a Disabled People’s Panel:
- Our Borough has above the national average of disabled people including people with mental health problems and learning disability.
- Labour will go beyond co-production, and end the too often occurrence, that there are no disabled people in the room when key decisions are being prepared that directly affect disabled people’s lives.
- The Panel can be a real independent voice for disabled people and amplify the voices of people with lived experience of disability and long-term conditions locally.
- The Panel can work alongside us, make proposals and recommended to the Council and its partners on all aspects that may affect the lives of disabled people.
We will strengthen the Armed Forces Covenant:
- Our former servicemen and women must be recognised with the respect they deserve.
- Labour will strengthen and broaden our Armed Forces Covenant work in the Borough.
- We will honour the Covenant on matters of mental wellbeing, and we will include this in the Borough’s Population Mental Health Wellbeing Programme.
- We will work with the Armed Forces Community including The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) on the Covenant and matters of the return to civilian life in the Borough.
Service users and health:
- Working with our NHS partners, Labour will work to reduce the long waiting lists for mental health support which have increased in the Covid years.
- Social isolation causes ill health; therefore, we will work with the voluntary sector to relentlessly drive it down and will promote befriending and home visiting services.
- Mental health issue for men is often ignored. We will prioritise support for men’s groups and men’s activities
- Health inequalities across our borough are a scandal that we cannot ignore. We will seek to invest in additional services, including health education, to reduce these inequalities.
- Social services, health and Housing providers must work closer together to renew the offer for people with substance, mental health and offending issues who can be found begging in town centres and neighbourhoods. Other towns have helped them more. So will we.
A new co-operative partnership with the community and voluntary sector VCSE:
- Labour recognises the great value that our army of volunteers do on a day-to-day basis. We want to build on this for the future.
- We will work with Bolton CVS to help strengthen local groups and associations and encourage new ones to form., where there are geographical gaps.
- We will recognise groups that make a real difference, by developing new reward and incentive systems, and properly equipping.
- From fracking decisions to planning powers, local citizens rights are being removed by the Government. Instead, Labour will assist active residents locally and we will listen.
- Labour backs the Bolton Fund administered by Bolton CVS and we will seek more partners and investors to come on board so that local groups can continue to receive funding and flourish.