Kevin Walsh
A word from the chair of the Bolton Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity. We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives.

This translates directly into the work we are doing within Bolton, campaigning for a more open, honest and accountable local council. Most recently we have been the only political party with councillors in the Town Hall campaigning against proposed fracking in Horwich, Westhoughton and surrounding areas. We are the only party pushing proposals to cut the number of councillors from three per ward to two per ward - saving more than £300,000 a year and making the council more accountable than ever. We are fighting for more public consultation on controversial plans - such as the recent decision to pour £3million into the short-sighted Newport Street revamp - and are pushing to allow more public scrutiny within all meetings.

If, like Bolton Liberal Democrats, you believe that you need to have a council that LISTENS to what you have to say; UNDERSTANDS the need for long-term investment to solve the problems within the town rather than short-term 'people pleasing'; and CHAMPIONS ALL communities within the town, bringing us closer together rather then encouraging divisions; then join us.

It's time we all worked together to #TakeBackOurTown
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Seven times the Bolton Labour Council attempted to keep the truth from the public in 2016

From a £300,000 grant to a solicitors to a £90,000 payoff to a man that was in a job for only five months. Bolton Liberal Democrat Chair Kevin Walsh looks at seven times that your Bolton Labour led Council have tried to brush questionable actions under the carpet during 2016.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is under fire from party activists, over a knighthood for an MP who has consistently opposed LGBT equality.

Spoiler Alert: They're talking about Bolton's own Labour MP David Crausby

Bolton Council have set a date and venue for the extraordinary meeting of the Corporate and External Affairs Committee that will scrutinise the grant given to Asons - and the details of the meeting suggest the Labour led Council are trying their best to keep as much out of the public spotlight as po...

Needless to say the Lib Dems have called for a venue rethink


Seven times Bolton Labour Council tried to avoid scrutiny

From a £300,000 grant to a solicitors to a £90,000 payoff to a man that was in a job for only five months. Bolton Liberal Democrat Chair Kevin Walsh looks at seven times that your Bolton Labour led Council have tried to brush questionable actions under the carpet during 2016

Redditch Cllr says you can "jog on" if you question the state of the streets. Labour really have gone down hill…

Tim Farron's New Year Message 2016 was a year when the unexpected happened. Britain voted for Brexit. Donald Trump is going to be President of America. Leicester City won the Premier League. So what you won’t get from me are any predictions for 2017. We go into the New Year surrounded by uncertainty. The Government has no plan for Brexit. No plan for life outside the Single Market. Our NHS and social care system is in crisis. We have a refugee crisis on our doorstep. There is widespread insecurity in our economy, in our world and in the lives of too many of our fellow citizens. If you believe, as I do, that Britain is at its best when it is open, tolerant and united, then 2017 is a year when you must make your voice heard. So if you feel uncertain or anxious about the way our country and our world is going. If you worry that the government is embarking on the most extreme, divisive version of Brexit possible, ripping us out of the Single Market with no regard for the impact on the lives and livelihoods of millions of our fellow citizens. If you are fed up with a Labour Party that would rather fight with itself than hold the Conservatives to account. Then join the real voice of opposition. Don’t shrug your shoulders. Don’t look the other way. Get involved. Every day, the Liberal Democrats are leading the opposition to the government – whether it is over Brexit or the under-funding of our NHS and social care. Every day, the Liberal Democrats are fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united. And every day, people who believe what you believe are joining us. So join us ( And together we can make 2017 a year for optimism. Happy New Year.

In a rare moment of transparency - Bolton's Labour led Council have published details of the planned scrutiny meeting to discuss the Asons grant. You can find it in a tiny box on page 3 of the Bolton News.

We hope you all have a fantastic Christmas. Best wishes to you all

Day of action against CETA’

CETA, the Canada/EU trade deal, is moving closer to becoming a reality. On 1 or 2 February the European parliament will vote to ratify this corporate power grab. Join an international day of action to stand up against CETA and send a clear message to our representatives that we won’t accept our democracy being undermined.

CETA threatens to give corporations vast new powers over our lives, to sue governments for putting people over profit and to undermine vital social and environmental protections. If CETA passes through the European parliament, we can still stop it by getting our government to vote against, but this is the last chance to kill the deal at the EU itself.

This day of action that has been called by a coalition of campaigners in Belgium, France, Greece, Portugal and the UK. Get involved and do a stall, a stunt or a public meeting with your MEP.

For resources on CETA and action cards to send to your MEPs, contact Global Justice Now on And whatever you’re planning, post it on this page to let others know.

TODAY Bolton Council finally breaks its silence over the Asons controversy.

Do you think it answers the questions? We certainly don't. Nothing about the due diligence. Nothing as to why if the decision was made in January why it took until November that anyone other than the Leader and the officers knew about it. This is a carefully crafted response form the Labour Party looking to save itself. It's taken a month for them to come out with these answers. Why did it take so long? The whole debacle just highlights what an awful lack of transparency and accountability we have in our Council. We insist its time for that to change.

JOINT STATEMENT FROM HORWICH LIBERAL DEMOCRATS AND HORWICH INDEPENDENT TOWN COUNCILLORS Following the decision by the Horwich Labour led Council to refuse a recent proposal By Town Councillor Ken Denton and Seconded by Town Councillor Glen Atkinson to include discussion of the Asons grant at a meeting of Horwich Town Council, Horwich Liberal Democrats and Horwich Independent councillors would like to express our sincere disappointment and have come together to make the following public statement. As Town Councillors we were elected by the people of our local area to scrutinise decisions that affect the lives of our local community. To act as 'critical friend' to Bolton Council and provide important insight into the questions and concerns that local residents have on the issues that impact them. Whilst we are happy to hear that Bolton Council have at last agreed to Cllr Hayes' calls for an extraordinary meeting in order to scrutinise the grant, we are dismayed that we are unable to ask our own questions on an issue of major importance to the people of Horwich at a Town Council level. At a time when Bolton Council are making devastating cuts that will reduce access to front-line services for children, families and people coping with disabilities throughout Horwich - to give a grant of over a quarter of a million pounds to a company run by a man who can afford six Lamborghinis in four years is truly mind-boggling. This money could have been used to secure school crossing patrols, ensuring that children would arrive safe and sound at the doors of the many Horwich primary schools. It could have been used to help ensure vulnerable young people leaving the care of the many Horwich foster parents have access to the vital support they need to live independently. It could have been used to secure the jobs of many of our local public sector workers who now face redundancy. It wasn't. It was given to a firm of solicitors, in secret, to 'renovate' a building. A building that had been purchased and decorated over three months prior to receipt of the grant. Not only do we disagree with this payment, we condemn Cllr Morris' use of emergency powers to authorise this payment in secret. We believe the Bolton Labour group have a lot of questions to answer regarding this payment and we fully support Cllr Greenhalgh and the other leaders of all the Borough's opposition parties in demanding answers. We also believe our Labour Bolton Borough Ward Councillors should publicly justify their unanimous support for Cliff Morris and his payment of £300,000 to Asons Solicitors, and we urge our Labour Horwich Town Council colleagues to publicly provide their own opinions on this grant. We, and the residents of Horwich, look forward to their response. Cllr Glen Atkinson (Liberal Democrat, Church) Cllr Marie Brady (Independent, Church) Cllr Steven Chadwick (Independent, Lever Park) Cllr Robert Graham (Liberal Democrat, Claypool) Cllr Stephen Rock (Liberal Democrat, Claypool) -----END----- Notes 1. At a recent meeting of Horwich Town Council, a member of the public asked Horwich Town Councillors to comment on Cliff Morris' £300,000 payment to Asons Solicitors. We were advised this could not be discussed as it was not an agenda item. Cllr Ken Denton proposed to add this to a future agenda, this was then seconded by Cllr Glen Atkinson and agreed by a majority of members present to note members' wishes to have this placed on the next agenda. We have subsequently been advised that we cannot now discuss Cllr Morris' payment in Council, as it falls outside the scope of Horwich Town Council.