At the council the Conservatives have decided to combine two sets of monies, unwisely in my opinion.

There is money that goes to every council ward called Area Forum monies. The minutes online show detail of typical small spends.

Neighbourhood Management monies are different; they are not ward based. They are based on defined areas of the borough where there is poverty and hardship and the borders can cut through some wards. Farnworth Neighbourhood Management has some of Harper Green Ward and some of Kearsley Ward in it.

Neighbourhood Management is an evidence based policy promoted by national governments since the millennium to provide support for our more deprived areas. We all benefit if we can improve deprived areas.

There are arguments now about the value of the money spent and where the evidence that the money produced good outcomes is.

In Bolton the public want good value for every pound. Using actions like neighbourhood management that are evidenced by research is wise action.

In neighbourhood management when it was agreed to support Men In Sheds projects such as woodwork and food growing for isolated mostly older men there was already cross sectional studies academic research on this.

The arguments are about outcomes from neighbourhood management work since around 2002. If many other parts of England are not ending neighbourhood management for deprived areas, why should Bolton?

Neighbourhood management has been ongoing throughout government austerity policies and deprived communities have been the most heavily affected by austerity.

Austerity since 2010 has precipitated more people with rent arrears, more home evictions, more debt, closure of childrens and youth centres, more fuel poverty, more internet exclusion, reduced welfare money and an increased reliance on charity.

726 homeless people died in England last year. Think of all the matters related to this in deprived communities. Neighbourhood management has contributed to supporting some people throughout this time.

Labour’s duty has always been to support those who have the least and to provide people with more opportunity for the chance of a good life.

Cllr Sue Haworth

Harper Green Ward