Politics often has its competitive elements. Usually, this can be quite positive because it can drive improvements in service and outcomes but, all too often, it can also descend into more self-serving behaviours.
There has recently been a bit of a kerfuffle over the Government in Westminster allocating funding for an upgrade to Daisy Hill railway station to enable step free access to the platform. TfGM and local councillors have long wanted this to happen but they never allocated the money for it. Constituents told me that they wanted an improvement and I was able to secure the funding from the Minister but she could not tell me exactly when the work would happen as the Civil Service procedures can be quite slow.
I could have been political about it and gone immediately to press to claim a victory but thought that it would be more reasonable to wait until I had the exact details of the upgrade. I won’t take the lesson that I should be more political and am just glad that a lift will soon be installed at the railway station so that more people can get about.
A few years ago, I invited the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, to the Horwich Loco Works to see the site and hear concerns from local residents and Horwich First Community Group. On the back of those conversations, I was able to secure £12m funding for a spine road through the project that will not only mean that those 1,700 houses will not cause more congestion for the local area but will actually alleviate some of the pressure around the Beehive Roundabout.
The trucks, diggers and even a type of pile driver are now on site and you can see the progress they are making if you look up from Horwich Police Station.
Disappointingly, Bolton Council have agreed to let off the huge NCP carpark company with about £1.2m debt which has had quite a mixed reaction from people across the Borough when local finances are so tough and the Council want to raise your council tax by the maximum.
Parts of Heaton and Smithills have not had their bins emptied for up to six weeks which is especially difficult over Christmas when so much more waste is produced. Working with the Council, collections now seem to have been made but if you are still having problems, please do get in touch.
I have already had what I suspect will be my most popular Facebook post of the year. I didn’t expect missing and empty gritting bins to be such a big concern but I have been working with Bolton Council to replace and fill them with some urgency especially because of the winter weather we have been enjoying/suffering of late.
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