Contrast and, to some degree, extremes add a huge element of flavour to business around the Bolton West constituency. A good example recently is when I listen to the needs and interests of those going to school and also of pensioners.
With the cost of living being so challenging for many and especially those who are on fixed incomes, the triple lock has become a prominent issue again. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is under a huge amount of pressure to cut taxes as well as to increase funding in health and education.
Talking to many local residents, securing the triple lock for pensions in the Budget is one of the biggest concerns. With inflation being so high now is not the time to bring this formula to an end. This is why I and a group of colleagues raised this with the Chancellor at a recent meeting. Obviously, he set out how difficult the next spending round is going to be but still left the meeting with the certainty the our pensioners need the support and reassurance that he can give.
I am holding one of my Older Person’s Advice and Information fairs on Friday 3rd November at the Blackrod Sports and Community Centre between 2pm and 5pm. It is always a good time to catch up with constituents to hear their concerns.
On a recent visit to Bolton College, it was a delight to hear about their ‘T’ Level vocation qualification programme and their apprenticeship programme. Matching academic work with practical experience gives a great start when the pupils are looking at further education or going into work.
I was invited into St Joseph’s secondary school in Horwich to hear the health concerns that some of the pupils have about vaping and a group should be visiting Parliament in the near future to better understand the legislative process and how to effect change.
Culture often doesn’t receive enough attention so I was delighted to visit the Snug in Atherton to hear what they are doing as a fabulous music venue; Bolton Steam museum which is home to the largest collection of working textile steam engines in the country and is well worth a visit; and the amazing Festival of Horwich with all kinds of shows and activities from the local area.
Back down to Parliament today following the conference recess and I wonder it holds in store.
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