Leader's new year message 

Happy New Year

Despite grim economic times and deep spending cuts there are grounds for optimism in 2012.  Bolton Council is determined to make the most of the next twelve months and do all we can for local people and the local economy.

I want to reassure everyone that despite the big cuts in funding that we receive from the government, which is cutting too far and too fast in my opinion, I will ensure that the savings that the council has to make do not impact on services for the most vulnerable children or older people. It has been the Labour Council's priority to protect these groups despite having to cut £60m or 25% of our budget.

Next year will see a number of important projects such as Bolton One, which includes the new town centre pool coming to fruition.  The year will also see the completion of the £7m refurbishment of Queen's Park and new build schools opening in Kearsley and St Katherine's in Breightmet.

New projects will also be getting off the ground with work starting on the £48m bus / rail interchange and plans finalised for the refurbishment of Bolton Market.  All of this is important not only for the improvement of facilities that this will bring but also the boost these projects will bring to local jobs, businesses and the wider economy.  The council will also be doing our bit for the local employment by re-launching apprenticeship in January.

A new initiative that I am also very pleased about is that the council is to designate 2012 "A year of sport". This is recognition of the Olympic year and to give a focus to our plans to capitalise on the buzz that will give to the country.  More detailed plans will be announced over the next few weeks but I can reveal that there will be a host of events for the young and old alike and we will be teaming up with schools and voluntary groups to maximise the involvement of our young people.  The Ironman Triathlon will once again be back in Bolton as will the Food and Drink Festival.

With all good wishes for a happy and peaceful new year.

Cliff Morris

Seasonal opening times - find everything you need for Christmas in Bolton from opening times to events.

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