Mayoral candidate Nick Buckley MBE handed out red roses for Lancashire on the steps of Bolton Town Hall on Saturday as part of his campaign to give borough residents a say.

Bolton is one of 10 councils within the Greater Manchester region, but part of an ongoing debate is whether or not it should return to the historic county of Lancashire.

The borough became a part of Greater Manchester on April 1, 1974, after the introduction of the Local Government Act by the Conservatives' Edward Heath Heath administration.

Mr Buckley said: “The reason I am supporting this is because there’s a gap in democracy.

“In 1974 all 10 councils were forced together.

The Bolton News: Trevor Jones and Nick Buckley handing out rosesTrevor Jones and Nick Buckley handing out roses (Image: Newsquest)

“There was no public consultation and no referendum, and since then, and certain areas have never got over it or been asked.

“It’s important in our democracy and our country that they have a say.

“I’m not saying if it’s a good or a bad thing, I just want to make sure that the people of Bolton have a voice and that they are heard, and that we bring democracy back into Greater Manchester, even though it’s 50 years too late.”

In partnership with Bolton For Change and British Counties Campaign, Mr Buckley has promised to hold a referendum to decide the future if elected mayor next year.

Leader of the Bolton For Change party, Trevor Jones, was also supporting Mr Buckley at the weekend.

He said: “Right from the beginning of starting Bolton For Change I knew it was a massive issue for the people of Bolton, and it has never sat right with them.

“And we have a huge amount of history in the borough.

“We have always been Lancastrians and never accepted ourselves as Mancunian, and we are trying to give people a choice.”

Mr Buckley is a social campaigner and charity founder and has spent more than two decades working in the most deprived neighbourhoods of Greater Manchester and has been nationally recognise for such work.

He intends to hold an additional referendum to ask people in the region if they want to have a mayor or not.

Pam Moorhouse, British Counties Campaign and founder of Pam's County Petition, said: “We want traditional counties back.

“Why should we lose them to please a selfish government from 1974, most of who are no longer here, including the then leader, prime minister Edward Heath?

“We were forced to give them up by the new councils, including Greater Manchester, only 'shouting' the new names.”

There is currently an online petition to restore the historic British counties.

Click here for more information (

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