BOLTON’S failing town centre ­— what about the other towns in this borough?

Despite Bolton taxpayers’ funds of nearly £5 million being spent on Bolton Market, £3 million on wobbly paving in Newport Street and £100 million on the second Bolton Town Centre Masterplan, we are back to the debate about failing Bolton town centre.

I’m sure I heard somewhere that the definition of madness is repeating the same action only to get the same result.

It is quite obvious that the ruling Labour group has the reverse-Midas touch when it comes to using public money in this borough and instead of looking at how other towns attract shoppers, they continue to starve the outer areas of this borough in pursuit of that ever elusive success in Bolton town centre.

Has Bolton done well from the success emanating from Manchester? Clearly not.

Yet, week in week out we hear from the ruling party that, "success will emanate from the centre", and this hypothesis has become a stock response for Labour’s continued madness despite the fact that they cannot give one single example of where in the UK that this has previously worked.

The stock answer for Labour’s failure to attract shoppers is "the internet and changing shopping habits", despite surrounding towns of Wigan, Chorley and Bury getting on with the challenges of the Internet and doing a very good job of it.

Nearly one year ago the council leader Linda Thomas announced to this borough that Farnworth was Labour’s "priority number one".

Cllr Thomas said that it was actually Cllr Adia who was dealing with "the Farnworth problem".

Unfortunately, the Labour Party just cannot help themselves and yet again we have Cllr Adia talking about Bolton, Bolton, Bolton (The Bolton News, November 26).

Quite clearly, Farnworth is not this council’s priority and in the lull between elections Labour has slipped back into Bolton mode.

We are all aware of the current challenges facing High Streets across the UK and the people of Farnworth would be the first to complain about throwing away good money.

In the midst of funding cuts, perhaps we should be looking at cutting red tape and actually allowing our pedestrianised-streets to be taken over by traders.

Or, allowing bars and restaurants to open their businesses on to the streets.

The council should also consider offering reduced rent to traditional high street retailers including butchers, bakers and fruit and veg shops ­— it is these kind of shops that are attracting people to Wigan, Chorley and Bury, and this would be far cheaper than throwing millions of pounds at some kind of potential white elephant.

"Success will emanate from the centre" is clearly not working and the time has come to turn this notion on its head ­— could success actually start from the outside and work its way to the centre?

Paul Heslop

Election officer

Farnworth & Kearsley First