Town leaders discuss future of Bolton at 'vision conference'

The Bolton News: Bolton College Bolton College

THE “Bolton family” came together to discuss the future of the town at the annual Vision conference.

More than 200 representatives from the public, private, community and voluntary sectors met at Bolton College to see how they could work together for the benefit of the town.

Discussions on the table included the future of health and social care, regeneration plans to boost the town centre economy and the council’s anti-poverty strategy, designed to stop people spiralling into debt.

In his opening speech, Bolton Council chief executive Sean Harriss said the event was a fantastic opportunity not only for networking, but to assess the council’s ideas on how to grow the economy in the face of significant cuts in public spending.

He said: “The challenges that we face continue — and in some respects, financially, it will be harder.

“But we need to continue driving forward to improve services in Bolton — and there is a real importance in working in partnership.

“Things in Bolton will continue to be challenging but I have more confidence than I have had in many years, by seeing that Bolton is really going places.”

Now in its 16th year, organisations in attendance included Hoot credit union, Bolton CVS and the Moorgarth Group, which recently bought The Market Place.

Chris Parkinson gave his last speech as chair of the Bolton Vision Partnership, before passing on the baton to his successor, Dave Singleton.

He said: “Partnership working is a really tough gig and it doesn’t come naturally to most organisations — not least public organisations.

“We need to have courage to do the right thing, and it’s a lot easier not to change.

“But we are changing for the benefit of the people of Bolton, and I think we are on the right track.”

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