Bolton Liberal Democrats have condemned the decision by councillors to ignore proposals for a £0.5 million investment in industry as a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation puts Bolton 3rd amongst the worse performing northern towns.
Last Wednesday Lib Dem councillors on Bolton council put forward an idea to work with Bolton university to help develop new high tech and high skills work. Sadly Bolton's Labour run council said NO!
Today, Bolton Lib Dems have condemned opposition councillors for the decision, as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report places Bolton 3rd in terms of relative economic decline, with wage growth and economic prosperity dropping far below other North West towns.
"A chance to bring more jobs into the town has been lost due to Labour's short-sightedness." says Bolton Liberal Democrat Leader Roger Hayes who moved the recent amendment "Without a radical change in thinking from our council leadership I really do fear that Bolton could be left behind as Northern Powerhouse funding goes towards areas with greater economic prospects. Saunas and steam-rooms are great for an economically growing town, but we need more than 'hot-air' if we are going to combat our economic decline."
The recent report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows Bolton is lagging way behind many of our Greater Manchester counterparts in terms of economic growth with only Burnley and Greater Manchester colleagues Rochdale taking the two top spots.
last month statistics showed that unemployment in the town has grown by 290 people whilst recently released data from the Office of National Statistics shows average hourly wages in the town lie at 93p less per hour than in Wigan (ranked 12th in the JRF report) and almost £2 less than closest neighbours, Bury.
The recent budget amendment by Bolton Liberal Democrats called on the council to:
..use £500,000 of the unallocated 2014/15 Airport Dividend as a Launchpad for a competition (in conjunction with Innovate UK and Bolton University) to stimulate development of a new industry in the area Potential examples might be High Technology Materials and Fibres and High Value Manufacturing
But was voted down, along with proposals to cut councillors perks estimated to amount £205,000 and invest £0.5 million to build upon projects to alleviate homelessness and worklessness throughout the town.
Cllr Hayes added "We hope this damning report serves as a wake up call to other councillors throughout the borough who, instead of using their vote for political point scoring, listen to the public as Bolton Liberal Democrats have and work with us to make a real change to the fortunes of Bolton"
1) Full details of The Joseph Rowntree Foundation report can be found at https://www.jrf.org.uk/file/48934/download?token=w....
2) ONS data taken for average wages taken from most recent data. Available here http://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/pe...