After attending some meetings in my office yesterday morning and dealing with some surgery matters I spent some time in the Millgate doing a bit of shopping. Despite spending half the year in London I never dream of doing my shopping down there I much prefer to shop locally. In Tottington or Ramsbottom where I can and if not then Bury. When the new Rock Triangle was being built I received many complaints that it would spell the end for the Millgate but I have to say considering all the problems facing the high street such as from internet shopping the Millgate seems to be thriving. Hardly any empty shops. Some new ones have opened since I was last in for a good look round and most importantly it seemed pretty busy to me.
Yesterday evening I attended a sell out dinner to raise money for Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People at The Red Hall Hotel. The Mayor and his consort, the Leader of the Council and lots of other generous supporters attended and helped raise over £3,600 to help those without sight or with sight problems in our town.
Some readers may have heard me on BBC Radio Manchester’s Breakfast Show earlier discussing with Alan Beswick the suggestion put forward by the Member of Parliament for Manchester Blackley that Parliament could be moved to Manchester in order to help close what some perceive as a North South divide. Last year the Labour Peer Lord Adonis suggested moving the House of Lords to Manchester.
It seems this issue has risen up the agenda again following the publication of the 2014 Cities Outlook by the charity Centre for Cities.
The report contains lots of interesting facts and figures but as with all these reports it is worth delving behind the headlines. For example although it is called the 2014 report many of the figures and statistics are based on the period 2010 to 2012. This was when the Government were still putting in place the long term plan to turn round the British economy and the position then should not be confused with the progressing situation now.
Also, the report compares dozens of what are referred to as cities. It is not surprising to find Manchester in the list but it is more difficult to explain why it is that of the ten local authorities in Greater Manchester Bury for example is lumped in with the City of Manchester (as are Oldham, Stockport, Salford, Tameside and Trafford ) but Wigan , Bolton and Rochdale are all given individual billing and treated as separate ‘cities’. Strange but true.
Latest figures just in from Duport Limited one of the Countries leading Company formation agents show an increase in the number of new companies set up in Bury during the third quarter of 2012.
According to Duport’s Business Confidence Report between July and September there were 191 new company registrations, up 26% on the previous year. The net growth in the number of new companies also increased to +40 from -37 in the previous year.
The Managing Director of Duport commented:
“Bury is clearly a town that is recovering from the economic downturn and looking to the future.”
Referring to new developments like the Rock Triangle and the new Fusiliers Museum he added:
“With such exciting developments taking place in the town centre, it is no surprise more and more companies want to set up there.”
The residents of Bury have voted by a margin of 3 to 2 to reject the proposal that Bury should have an Elected Mayor. The result was:
The turnout was 18.25% and there were 28 papers rejected.
I am pleased that the proposal was rejected and I am only sorry that the whole exercise has cost the taxpayers of Bury a sum likely to be in excess of £100,000 and this money could have been better spent on other Council services.