Pledges: Our Local Economy
Supporting our local economy
Labour will urgently remodel Bolton and Townships town centre regeneration schemes, to make them fit for a post Covid world:
Bolton town Centre is a major employment hub, and Labour began the ambitious plans to revitalise this centre, creating new homes and jobs as well as strengthening the retail and office sector. We are not attempting to recreate a town centre that is no longer relevant for the modern shopping word, but instead create new communities with thousands of family homes, cultural activities and enhanced open spaces to be a fundamental part of the office and retail offer in the town centre.
We see an opportunity to achieve this at the same time decarbonising our LGPS by encouraging divestment from Fossil Fuel extraction using the divested money to Train a workforce that is able to build manage and maintain our residential, retail and commercial centre. We are disappointed that the plans have not progressed under a Tory coalition / independent Council, and we are disappointed that little note seems to be taken of the changes to working and retail patterns post Covid.
- We will therefore remodel both Bolton and Townships schemes to ensure they continue to be financially viable.
- It is extremely worrying that the Council missed out on a £16M grant for the town centre because they put the bid in too late! We will review processes to ensure that this never happens again!
- We will develop an Environmental Impact Assessment to protect valuable buildings from unnecessary demolition thus contributing positively to the environment and climate change.
- We will learn from examples of good practice in relation to physical regeneration from other authorities
- Plans for Bolton and Townships should include high quality bio diverse green areas and public spaces.
- Transport links to and from our town centres are vital to their success, and we will ensure town centre parking and public transport remains available and economical.
We want the Council to have more powers to tackle empty shops:
Labour wants to see councils being given the powers to take over shop units that have been left empty for long periods by their owners. These units can then be used for a variety of purposes. We will also explore the possibility of providing financial support to bring empty shops back into use and campaign for greater powers.
Labour is committed to supporting £15 living wage employers across the borough:
- It is our stated aspiration to ensure that our most valuable asset – our workforce – receive the salary, support, training and career progression that they need to provide a quality and dedicated service to the people of Bolton
- We will encourage partnership organisations and major employers in Bolton to do the same.
Labour is committed to our pledge for local funding and support to all our townships:.
- The last Labour Council committed capital sums to assisting local town centres, on priorities based upon local needs. We commit to continuing with and adding to these projects.
- District shopping areas, in all parts of our borough, cannot be left out and we will ensure that they are supported as well.
- We will do this in consultation with local communities in all Townships.
Keeping the Bolton Pound in Bolton:
- Labour will review all existing council procurement policies, so that more contracts go to local businesses.
- We will encourage our high spending partnership organisations to do the same. And we will seek to create a Joint Procurement Hub (including the Local Authority, NHS, Bolton University & Bolton at Home) to help bring this about.
- We will develop policies making council business opportunities accessible to local small businesses.
Strengthening our Local Economy
- We want to build on the success of our Shop Local campaign by actively encouraging local people to support local businesses
- We will encourage the development of local co-operatives.
- We will Create Green Enterprise Schemes with interest free loans, and business support for small innovative business ideas that will help us achieve our environmental and economic objectives.
- We will explore the option of generating clean and cheap energy for our residents and work with neighbouring councils to achieve economies of scale.
- We will encourage all local businesses to become accredited Living Wage employers
- The Council’s business support and assistance schemes will be strengthened
Labour will plan for the jobs market of the future:
The jobs market in Bolton is vital to our future success, and it is vital that Bolton residents have sufficient access to new opportunities, so we need to ensure that residents are equipped with the right skills and qualifications for the jobs for the future.
- We will work with schools, colleges, the University, Trade Unions and employers to plan for the skills needed for the future.
- We want to create a digital hub for young people and for adults who wish to retrain.
- We will offer new investment loans via our Green Enterprise Scheme for new micro businesses, education partners and voluntary groups.
- We will seek to improve transport links between areas of highest unemployment and employment hubs
- We will work to establish free Broadband in all areas of the borough
We will make Bolton Council a fully accredited real Living Wage employer:
- Bolton Council will become a fully accredited real Living Wage employer with the Real Living Wage Foundation. (This will include pension as well as income).
- A future Labour Council will influence contractors through the development of procurement policies and proactively encourage all businesses benefiting from a council contract to become fully accredited Living Wage employers.