Your Local Independent 124

2 February 2019 NEWS Follow us on facebook: yourlocalindependent PUBLICATION MANAGER: Jayne Meadowcroft E: ADVERT SALES: Barry Gallon E: T: 01204 478812 M: 07753 447397 CLASSIFIED SALES: E: T: 01204 478812 EDITOR: Mike Hulme E: No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without the express permission of the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure that the articles and advertisements that are carried are authentic, however the publisher of the Your Local Independent accepts no responsibility for claims made. Investors in Publishing Ltd 2018. Cheshire Independent is published monthly by Investors in Publishing. Publishing House, 3 Bridgebank Industrial Estate, Taylor Street, Horwich, Bolton BL6 7PD. Tel. 01204 478812 Fax. 01204 667345. www.independentnewspapers. SEASONS INDEPENDENT FUNERAL SERVICE SEASONS INDEPENDENT FUNERAL SERVICES Telephone 01204 61620 1-3 Morris Green Lane, Bolton BL3 3JD A service with trust and compassion at a time of great sorrow Funerals for all denominations 24 hour service at all times We offer pre-paid plans, an extensive choice of flowers, monumental masonry and horse-drawn carriage We also offer ‘Ashes in to Glass’ and a huge range of urns to help remember your loved one. Over 10 years of personal service Booking the trend: Visitor boost for library and museum Fury as First Bus drives up passenger fares Extra car parking spaces planned A £3.8m refurbishment and a varied calendar of events have brought 133,000 visi- tors to Bolton’s Central Li- brary and Museum in the last three months. This is an 18 per cent increase on the same period in 2017. Bolton’s Egypt, a new exhibit showcasing thousands of ancient Egyptian artefacts, opened its doors in September last year. The exhibition, which features a full-sized recreation of the tomb of Thutmose III, attracted al- most 10,000 visitors on its first day alone. Since then, the exhibition has been complemented by a number of activities which have helped Bolton’s Central Library and Mu- seum buck a national trend for declining footfall. Events have included late night openings, guided tours and more than 80 class visits for 3,000 schoolchildren. Terry Deary, the world-famous author of Horrible Histories, brought his play ‘The 11th Hour’ to the Library Lecture Theatre in November and popular pic- ture book character ‘Stick Man’ was brought to life through in- teractive storytelling in the fes- tive period. During a pre-Christmas late- night event at the museum gift- shop, visitors enjoyed discounts on items ranging from Constance Howarth designer products to children’s toys. Similar success can be seen across the borough where Bolton’s network of libraries saw borrow- ing rates increase in 2017/18. Against a national backdrop of falling library use, the decision to abolish late fees for young readers has seen a 7% increase in books taken out by children in Bolton. Bolton libraries’ growing e-book and audiobook collections has also kept adult borrowing at consistent levels. Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Culture and Sport, Cllr John Byrne, said: “The continuing success of the Central Library and Museum and of Bolton’s Egypt is testa- ment to the hard work of every- one involved and is something the whole town can be proud of. “From children’s stories to adult learning, there is some- thing for everyone both in the town centre and at all the librar- ies across the borough. “At a time when library at- tendance is falling nationally, we are committed to ensuring as many people as possible can benefit from this vital communi- ty resource.” PLANS for an ex- tra 200 car park- ing spaces to help Ramsbottom businesses and residents are be- ing drawn up by Bury Council. The new car park will be situat- ed on land next to Ramsbottom Pool and Leisure Cen- tre, and will more than double the existing number of spaces on council car parks from its current 180. The proposal is part of a wider car parking strategy for Ramsbottom, which will look at creating long-stay and short-stay car parking, along with residents-only parking zones. Councillor Kev- in Thomas, deputy cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We all know that there is a shortage of public car park- ing in Ramsbot- tom, which affects local businesses, visitors, shoppers and residents. “We’ve been look- ing at how best to solve this problem for some time, giv- en the lack of land available and the costs, and these plans should go a long way to meet- ing local needs.” The scheme will have to obtain planning permis- sion, and full cost- ings drawn up, but it is hoped that initial work on the site will start this summer. Council leader Rishi Shori added: “Ramsbottom has flourished in re- cent years, winning national acclaim for the variety and quality of its inde- pendent shops and restaurants. How- ever, one side effect has been an in- creased demand for car parking near the town centre. “We are deter- mined to help the local economy pros- per, and I’m sure local residents and businesses will welcome these proposals, which will be supported by a robust busi- ness case.” ROCHDALE Council’s transport spokesman has hit out at planned price hikes for First Bus passengers in January, amid claims of shod- dy service. Cllr Phil Burke, who represents the council on the Transport for Greater Manchester committee, condemned the increases, which came into effect on Jan- uary 2. He also slammed moves which will mean that people who have the First Bus MTickets App on their phones will avoid price rises on certain routes, which those without the app will have to shoulder. He said “People already pay a lot of money to travel around the borough and into Manchester and as First Bus is the main provider, our residents don’t have much choice but to use them. “Bus passengers can’t afford price ris- es, but it’s a particularly bitter pill to swallow when the service is so poor. I’ve received upwards of 70 complaints re- garding First Bus services this year from residents all across our borough. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve raised these issues with First Bus, but all I hear from them is excuses. What we don’t see is any action.” Cllr Burke highlighted a number of issues passengers have raised with him about the service, including buses miss- ing off large sections of routes, often without letting passengers know when they board the bus, not running at all and being severely delayed. He also condemned moves to freeze hikes of certain routes, but only for us- ers of the app, as discriminatory towards people who don’t use smartphones. “A lot of people in our borough, partic- ularly older bus users, won’t necessarily have access to apps, and it can’t be right that they are being penalised for this,” he added. Councillor Burke is planning to raise the issue at the next meeting of the Transport for Greater Manchester com- mittee on 10 January. He said: “Although we can’t reverse these unaccept- able increases, the very least we can expect, especially in light of these rises, is that the many issues we’ve raised about the unacceptable level of service by First Bus are tackled once and for all. It’s the least our residents should be able to expect.” There have been 133,000 visitors to Bolton’s Central Library and Museum in the last three months Homelessness charity needs new vehicle A HOMELESSNESS charity has appealed for help to find a new vehicle. Emmaus Bolton, which currently supports 22 formerly homeless people — known as companions — by provid- ing accommodation and work oppor- tunities, is in need of an automatic people carrier. The charity, which is based at Derby Barracks in Fletcher Street, needs a new vehicle for communi- ty-based tasks. Tony Stephenson, executive lead- er, said: “The gear box has broken on our existing vehicle, and the cost of repairing it would be more than the car is worth. If someone has a people carrier that they are willing to sell at a reasonable price we would be very interested in hearing from them. “We need the vehicles to transport people around, or for basic tasks such as shopping, to keep the companions fed and watered. “We also like to have cars available so they can get around, visit family, attend the doctors and make simi- lar journeys.” If you can help, email tonys@ or call 01204 398 056.