THE FUTURE of a popular mobility lifeline has been secured by council funding.

Bolton Shopmobility users were told last week that the service may have to close on December 20 if they couldn’t get the cash to keep running.

Cllr Rees Gibbon and cllr Sean Hornby spoke to Bolton council leader, David Greenhalgh, and the service was given the funds it needs to run till the end of March.

Angela Twemlow, the service user who appeared in last week’s paper when The Bolton News reported the proposed closure, praised the two councillors for their work.

She said: “It’s absolutely brilliant, I’m over the moon, I couldn’t believe it, everybody was so pleased.

“It’s like being given a Christmas present, it’s only a little thing but it means a lot when it’s your lifeline.

"We don't have to worry about what happens next year and can keep having a laugh with our friends – we've got our lives back."

The councillors were called to the store when redundancy notices were handed to staff.

Cllr Gibbon said: “Shop mobility has been something that I have taken a great deal of time on over the last couple of years.

“I raised it in the council two years ago because of the way the whole thing had run down - machines weren’t getting repaired and it was too far out of town and the service lost well over 50% of their customers.

“What happened I think is that Comco have jumped the gun and have obviously panicked and put out this notice and they shouldn’t have done it.”

The location of the service was discussed with cllr Greenhalgh and they both agreed that a more central point should be found.

Shopmobility moved to Topp Way Car Park in 2009 after the service was forced to leave their previous location in Le Mans Crescent.

There has been a previous proposal to house the beneficial site in the transport hub but it did not progress.

Cllr Nadim Muslim said: “I’m proud that we have reformed how we provide grants through the Bolton Fund in a way that will see more organisations get access to funding in a fair, open and transparent way.

“We are fully aware of the contributions that are made to residents of Bolton through three organisations including Shopmobility.

"Therefore, I can confirm that we are writing to Shopmobility and others to say that we will be extending their funding for a further six months.”

Cllr Gibbon added: “Elderly people here built the borough and to remove that service would be an absolute disgrace, they deserve it.

“I don’t use the service because I have been blessed with good health but people need that service and it shouldn’t be taken away."