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  • "Bury, Wigan, Salford, Chorley etc is a long way short as being as good as Bolton. We have much more to offer.
    Yes improvements are required and shops will prosper when we build areas central to OUR town for entertainment, recreation, sport etc for ALL to use.
    Cinema complex, Skating (like the old Navada) ice or roller (or both) with skate park, sports complex, and more. Specialists’ shops would add balance (old market hall types). Several areas for clubs to use for all ages.
    I am not sure we need a new transport interchange. The current setup is acceptable for current demand. However plans to be ready to bolt on to above attractions when we have affordable transport within the Bolton borough.
    Affordable car parking should be refundable to any person who uses old and new attractions or part of monthly or annual memberships.
    What do our young children want! Research required at primary and secondary schools.
    We have fantastic Town Hall buildings and Crescent that I am sure is the envy of other local towns? Quality period buildings,Octagon, Parish Church. Man and Sythe and some great big shops M & S to name just one, New Bolton 1 etc and much more.
    Certain buildings should never have been built since the 60’s, and are not in line with much older and better.
    Knock them down; we all know which ones they are. Just walk down Churchgate! And many more.
    Let’s save the good and do away with the bad, and build new in line with theme.
    Bradshawgate gets a lot of bad press from readers and quite rightly so, but if we change some of the purpose (not all) for this area, most of buildings are aesthetically very good. How can it be a good idea to have a kebab takeaway opposite Preston’s of Bolton! (Nothing against late night takeaways, but not there) or ensure exterior and decor needs to be in line with neighbours.
    We are and could be even further “streets” ahead of local towns?
    No more supermarkets, we have enough!!! No more money to Middlebrook / Reebok. Involve Emerson etc in town centre?
    The powers that be need to be ruthless with the regeneration of Bolton. There has been much press about certain plans, but I feel the plans are building around poor. Flatten all area from corner of Great Moor St. (opposite old 123 cinema) all the way to Trinity St and up to University and across to Fire Station. Wm Morrison’s and Casino needs relocating? Hargreaves House needs to go and occupants housed in better. Seamlessly linking it to Le Mans crescent were restaurants, bars would be. Shops opposite old Odeon, Elizabeth House would need to go! Lever Chambers could stay maybe? Improve were necessary The Market and Bus station, but don’t spend too much of the budget here. It’s not broken.
    Certain appearances of roads leading into Bolton of course need sprucing up!
    lets just get on with it and all political parties stop throwing stones and blaming each other, what's been done is history ! learn from it and knock down and rebuild for the future ."
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Bolton town centre 'is a mess'

First published in News

A ROW has erupted between one of Bolton’s Labour MPs — who branded the town centre “a disgrace” — and the leader of the council.

David Crausby, MP for Bolton North East, made the claims after he was criticised for publishing a political pamphlet with a picture of empty shops in Bolton town centre headlined “closed for business”.

The Boltonian pamphlet claimed government policies were sending people “from the town centre to the JobCentre”.

Mr Crausby told The Bolton News: “The town centre is a disgrace.

“It’s in a mess and we need to pull together and do something about it.

“The reason for it is the state of the economy. I’ve been going on about this for years and years, with the rise of internet shopping and we’re facing a triple-dip recession.

“We need to take action and we need a long-term plan.”

But Bolton Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris called on the MP to get behind the town.

Cllr Morris said: “We don’t think it’s helpful to talk the town centre down. We shouldn’t forget 20,000 people work in the town centre.

“Bolton is actually holding its own compared with our comparable rivals, and we work with businesses to try to attract investment.

“The coalition’s economic policies are hurting the town centre, because people’s spending powers have been reduced due to wage freezes and high VAT on goods.

“We know that the town centre faces a significant challenge and will have to restructure to reflect the changed economy and customers shopping habits.

“We have put a strategy in place, which we believe responds to these challenges.”

Mr Crausby has now spoken to Bolton Council’s director of regeneration, Keith Davies, about the issue.

The MP said: “I’ve met with Keith Davies and told him what I think.

“I don’t think the solution is to have more town centre shopping and more town centre living.

“We need more green space, more industry and leisure in the town centre.”

Mr Crausby’s pamphlet was first criticised by Conservative Bradshaw councillor Mudasir Dean, who said the town’s Tory group had been previously attacked by Bolton Council’s ruling Labour Party in the past for calling for more action to regenerate the town centre.

He claimed Bolton’s Labour Party was sending out “mixed messages”.

At a council meeting in October, Astley Bridge Conservative Cllr John Walsh was jeered by the Labour benches, branded “a dinosaur” and accused of “bashing Bolton” after he called for a debate on town centre regeneration.

Cllr Dean said: “Whenever the Conservatives have tried to contribute by offering positive ideas to improve our town centre, we have always been accused of “knocking the town centre and not supporting it” — these were the exact words of the Labour leader Cliff Morris at a council meeting.

“The Boltonian has been sent out headlined Closed for Business — and if this is not knocking the town centre then what is?

“I suggest Mr Morris and Mr Crausby work out a single message they want to give the people of Bolton on this sensitive matter.”

Bolton’s Conservative leader, Cllr David Greenhalgh added: “I suggest Cllr Morris has a word with Mr Crausby to get him on message.”

Cllr Morris said: “We’ve given this message to the Tories, and we’d ask David Crausby to also support our town centre, rather than knock it.”

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