Bolton Council missed a deadline for the £16m Levelling Up Fund bidding process because of an email that was too large.
It’s been reported by the BBC that Bolton Council missed the application deadline because its ‘submission had been too large to be received by the government’s server’.
The council had intended to apply for funding for Bolton’s Crompton Place scheme, which will create an ‘improved retail and dining experience’ near the Town Hall.
The deadline was June 18, but council bosses blamed ‘technical issues’ for missing it.
Labour has accused Bolton Council of ‘dropping the ball’.
In a meeting on Monday, Bolton’s director of place Gerry Brough said: “Two bids were being simultaneously submitted.
“Both bids involved collating many separate documents and third party letters of support and unfortunately we did not receive all necessary signed documents until that morning.
“At the point of submission, it became apparent that file size limitations on the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government server meant that both bids had to be broken down into four separate parts, so they could be attached to four separate emails.
“The medical college bid was submitted first and in full before the noon deadline [but] the Crompton Place bid could not be submitted in full before the deadline.”
He said that no indication was given that the bid was unacceptable and that the missed deadline wasn’t highlighted as an issue until October.
Labour councillor Nick Peel said: “Had I not pursued this, the public of Bolton would have been kept completely in the dark.
“These are not the actions of an open and transparent council.
“The fact is that the council did drop the ball [and] it is quite frankly a very costly mess.”
Featured Image – BCEGI Construction
Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone cameras are now being used for ‘detecting crime’
Cameras installed for Greater Manchester’s now-discarded Clean Air Zone (CAZ) scheme are apparently being used for “detecting crime”.
A total of 407 automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras were installed across the region back in February 2022 ready for the start of the controversial £60 million scheme that never happened – but now, councillors in Bolton have revealed that the technology isn’t going to waste, and is actually being for an entirely different reason all together.
After Horwich councillor David Grant “raised concerns” about the cost of running the cameras at recent Bolton Council meeting, leader Martyn Cox revealed that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has been closely controlling them and using them “to good effect in detecting crime”, according to BBC Manchester.
“Now that the Mayor of Greater Manchester has graciously confirmed that the area of Bolton will most like not be subject to any clean air zone can the leader confirm that he intends to demand that the presumably now defunct cameras be removed?,” Mr Grant asked at the meeting.
He continued: “Secondly, bearing in mind these cameras are live and drawing electricity from our street furniture, will he be requesting a payment for electricity estimated Greater Manchester wide at £375,000 a month?”
Council leader David Cox then explained to Mr Grant that information from the cameras released in line with data protection legislation has been used to support at least two murder investigations, one high risk missing person case, one county lines drug supply case, two separate fatal road traffic collisions, and an aggravated burglary.
“However, it is acknowledged that there are concerns around the use of number plate recognition cameras and allowing direct access to the cameras to organisations such as Greater Manchester Police when these are no longer required for a charging clean air zone,” Mr Cox continued.
“There is a commitment to undertake public consultation on the future use of cameras once we have a decision from central government on the investment led clean air plan.”
The Clean Air Zone was to initially hand motorists daily charges of up to £60 for some of the most polluting vehicles on Greater Manchester‘s roads.
The government agreed to delay the deadline for the scheme until 2026, but local leaders wanted to scrap all charges and help to fund vehicle upgrades instead.
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) then set out evidence supporting an investment-led, and, crucially for residents and motorists, a non-charging Clean Air Plan back in June 2022 – which it said was “the best solution” to address the roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) problem.
Ministers are reportedly still yet to respond to this latest plan.
Featured Image – The Manc Group
Bolton bakery run by ex-offenders ‘delighted’ after huge British Pie Awards win
A bakery in Bolton run by ex-offenders has been left flying high after winning big at the 2023 British Pie Awards.
Proving that everyone deserves a second chance, the bakery scooped up two gongs at this year’s prestigious ceremony held inside Melton Mobrawy’s 12th Century St Mary’s Church, also known as the ‘Cathedral of Pies’.
Cleaning up, the team of ex-offenders impressively won two gold medals in the Pub Pie category for their Joseph Holts Classic pie with Lancashire, cheddar and mozzarella, onion and potato pie, and Joseph Holts steak and ale pie.
Sharing the news to social media, the team wrote: “We are delighted to say that a couple of our pies have won gold awards this week.
“We are so very proud of our team again and we will be sharing more details about the pies very soon.”
Fans were quick to comment, with one person writing: “I remember when you were first starting out. Look how far you have come. So proud of you and your team. Congratulations mate.”
Another said: “A well deserved result. Well done Lee and all the team. X”
HM Pasties, set up by former prisoner Lee Wakeham in 2018, offers a lifeline to those in need of work experience after leaving prison.
Using ingredients from local prison farms wherever possible, the bakery makes delicious Cornish pasties and pies.
They weren’t the only ones to win big, either, with a total of five different Greater Manchester pie makers taking home gongs this year.
Awards also went to Ate Days A Week in Stockport, Baldy’s in Wigan, The Crown Hawk Green in Marple, Plau in Preston and Cheshire Pie Company in Sandbach.
Wigan favourite Baldy’s took home a gold medal for its Michelle’s chicken carbonara in the Chicken With Other Meat Pie category, as well as scooping up a bronze award for its chicken and pumpkin pie (aka Olivia Mai – The People’s Pie) – named after the eight-year-old customer who requested it.
After announcing its wins, Baldy’s shared a message from Olivia’s mother who said the bakery was ‘really on another level’ and had made her eight-year-old daughter ‘very happy’.
The message continued: “She was so pleased when you told her you were entering her pie into the competition but to win an award is something else!”
Baldy’s also scored bronze in the Chicken & Vegetable / Herb Pie category for its Gino De Pesto pie, and in the Lamb Pie category for its Uncle Joe’s mint ball lamb pie.
Other big wins for Greater Manchester pie makers included a gold medal in the Pub Pie category for The Crown Hawk Green’s chicken ham and leek pie, two silver medals in the Meat & Potato Pie category for Ate Days A Week’s lamb Pie Of The Tiger and ox cheek Pie of the Tiger, and a silver in the Lamb Pie category for Plau Preston’s Lancashire hotpot pie.
J McRobb Butchers Ltd in Chorley also won a bronze medal for its McRobb’s chicken, ham and leek pie, whilst further afield Macclesfield’s Treacle Town Pie Company won bronze for its chicken, pancetta and lemon thyme pie, and in Sandbach the Cheshire Pie Company took home a gold for its Christmas pie.
Cake Loves Cake in Greenheys, South Manchester took home a bronze medal for its meat and potato pie, whilst Wilmslow-based frozen meal company COOK won bronze in the Vegetarian Pie category for its roasted veg, lentils and kale pie.