People want to know that their vote sent us a message that we have listened and we are doing something about it.
The poorest areas of our towns in Bolton have been hardest hit from the politically-motived Tory government cuts. Residents are rightly angry that their money is taken away from services they deserve and pay for – that’s £500 less we’ve got to spend on each and every household since 2010.
What’s left? Over fifty per cent of our controllable budget is committed to the care of thousands of vulnerable elderly and disabled adults, two thousand children in need and six hundred in our care. This means massive pressure for us to be able to fund and deliver other services that people deserve and pay for.
This was the year Labour fought back by kickstarting the change voters told us they wanted to see. Since I became leader there have of course been continuing challenges, but I pledged then that the Councils’ priority would be to begin to redress the balance in parts of the town which have suffered because of the Tory cuts.
Our bold Billion Pound Masterplan has attracted developers and businesses to back Bolton, invest in our derelict brownfield sites and secure future revenue which will help us continue to deliver. This in turn will take pressure off developing on our green belt.
The last year is a record of delivery and laying the foundations for great strides to be announced across our towns in Bolton
“This is an exciting time for our local economy as businesses choose to invest in our towns in Bolton”
– Cllr Ebrahim Asia, Deputy Leader speaking to BBC News.
2018 was a busy year…
MAR: Andy Burnham backs Bolton’s ‘ambitious’ vision for Farnworth town centre
MAR: Muse is named as the first developer to kickstart Billion Pound Masterplan which will focus on the ‘Church Wharf’ development area – one of 5 in Bolton town centre.
MAY: Bolton-based architect Good & Tillotson chosen for £2.5m refurbishment of Westhoughton Town Hall.
JUNE: Council acquires Crompton Place for £14.8 million
JUNE: Children’s Services upgraded to ‘Good’ by Ofsted
JUL: Marks NHS at 70 with historic Strategic Health & Care Partnership formed between Council & Health colleagues to improve local health and social care, giving the system more local accountability
JUL: Millions watch IronManUK race through Bolton’s breathtaking landscape
JUL: More confidence in towns in Bolton: £12 million Next superstore opens at Middlebrook
AUG: Private sector investors agree £250 million town centre masterplan which will lead the redevelopment of the Crompton Place
AUG: End of an Era: Bolton bus station demolished as £48 million Interchange opens to public
AUG: The Food and Drink Festival breaks records (again) with 270,000 visitors, boosting Bolton’s tourism to an expected £430 million
SEPT: £11 million redevelopment of the Octagon Theatre begins, supported by 50% Bolton Council investment
SEPT: Bolton’s Egyptology opens after £3.8 million Council refurbishment, recording 100,000 visitors this year
SEPT: Building Development Partnership appointed to work with local residents to create a new masterplan for Farnworth town centre
SEPT: Progress for new Horwich Health and Wellbeing Hub – GP practices, in-house pharmacy and 173 parking spaces
OCT: Children welcome ‘beautiful’ Chorley New Road Primary School after multi-million pound development
NOV: Unemployment down in our towns across Bolton with new opportunities at Logistics North boosting local employment with 5,000 jobs created.Largest logistics site in region
NOV: Job and career support team at The Workshop wins Gold award. Search: “The Workshop Bolton” on Facebook
NOV: Bolton named as one of most improved councils in the country for our commitment to spending taxpayer’s money most effectively
NOV: 10000 extra secondary school places created as part of £15 million investment in school expansions across our towns in Bolton
NOV: Recycling saves £3.5 million in waste disposals costs… thanks to you!
NOV: Local Labour reinvested this cash to address local priorities including respite for carers, school crossing patrols and an additional £2.6 million for road and pavement repairs across our towns
DEC: Council Leader Linda Thomas and Housing Exec Martin Donaghy sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bolton@Home for a continued partnership to deliver affordable homes
DEC: Park Road in Westhoughton is the first site, of many, compleated aimed at meetings the need for affordable homes and getting ahead of the housing crisis
DEC: Mayor Andy Burnham meets with Bolton Council, local NHS nurses and voluntary sector champions demonstrating Bolton’s joined up support for the Greater Manchester Homeless Strategy
Happy New Year to you and all your loved ones.
Councillor Linda Thomas, Leader BMBC