Westhoughton Labour chief dismisses crime fears saying ‘it is not the Bronx’

Labour’s town council leader used a recent meeting to declare that there is “no massive crime wave” in Westhoughton and that “it is not the Bronx”.

The comment is likely to raise eyebrows with residents following recent reports of armed robberies and thieves breaking into family homes.

Concerned residents will also be alarmed to learn that a Tory councillor tried to scrap Westhoughton’s vital town centre cameras.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Westhoughton campaigners Bernadette Eckersley-Fallon and David Wilkinson have put crime at the top of the agenda. Now, with the support of our White Horse by-election candidate Deirdre McGeown, there is a fresh voice for our town.

Residents have been able to quickly alert their neighbours to criminal activity through our popular Facebook page My Westhoughton, while the team are campaigning for Westhoughton’s policing numbers to be restored. If you agree, add your name to the campaign.

Tory councillor’s bid to scrap Westhoughton CCTV cameras

A Tory plan to scrap Westhoughton’s town centre CCTV cameras was thwarted.

The seven cameras, which cover Market Street and Pavillion Square, cost Westhoughton Town Council just £6,568 per year. Police have said that the cameras have provided crucial evidence in a number of cases.

The reckless plan to scrap the cameras was suggested by a Tory councillor who has now quit his role on the town council after toxic infighting in the local Conservative party. A by-election is being held in the White Horse ward on Thursday 8 March.

It comes as Bolton West Tory MP Chris Green has failed to challenge his boss Theresa May over the loss of 2,000 police officers across Greater Manchester.

Westhoughton has seen its policing team reduced by half. It is clear that the Tories are out of touch with crime issues in Westhoughton.

White Horse by-election candidate Deirdre McGeown said: “I’m concerned about the crime situation in Westhoughton but annoyed that the people who represent us don’t seem to be listening. Labour’s town council leader has dismissed the crime issue and the Tories wanted to scrap our vital town centre CCTV. They are both out of touch.

“I’ve been really impressed by the work already done by my fellow campaigners Bernadette Eckersley-Fallon and David Wilkinson and I would like to think that I can give residents like you and I a stronger voice on the town council.”

New Argos to open in Sainsbury’s Westhoughton store

A new branch of Argos will open inside Sainsbury’s supermarket in Westhoughton.

Some 20,000 products will be available the same day using the company’s click-and-collect service.

A spokesman from Sainsbury’s, which bought the Argos business in 2016, said there will also be a home delivery service as well as an eBay collection point.

They said: “Sainsbury’s has been part of the local community for a number of years and we are thrilled to welcome Argos to our store.

“It’s great news for our customers who are looking for easier and more convenient ways to shop.”

Westhoughton town councillor David Wilkinson said: “It will not be as big as a purpose-built Argos store but it will have stock and a pick-up point.

“People will be pleased to have an Argos close to us — the nearest ones are in Middlebrook and in Bolton at the moment.

“Sainsbury’s is obviously trying to maximise the square footage they have got. It is about smart business but it is something that will be beneficial for the community.

“It will be quite a bonus for shoppers as it will be easier to get to.”

Plans for 38 houses at former Perseverance Mill site

Plans to build 38 houses on the site of the former Perseverance mill off Bolton Road have been submitted to Bolton Council.

The Wiggett Construction Group plans to demolish the remaining buildings on the land and will construct a new estate made up of two, three, and four-bedroom houses if permission is given.

What do you think of the idea? Comment below.

THREE new shops to be built on Market Street

Three new shops are to be built on Market Street at the old snooker hall site.

The shops will be built on the derelict land next to The Beer School – but it almost never happened!

Shortsighted Labour councillors in Westhoughton previously APPROVED plans for houses on the site. One Labour councillor even said you would be “living in cloud cuckoo land” if you thought businesses would want to open in Westhoughton.

Westhoughton town councillor David Wilkinson, who is proud to back our town’s independent businesses, welcomed the news that shops would be built on the site instead.

Councillor David Wilkinson at the Gaiety site

Councillor David Wilkinson at the Gaiety site

David said: “This is brilliant news. Our town centre is booming and it’s great to see that we will have even more shops opening. We should be very proud of what is happening in Westhoughton.”

Town councillor Bernadette Eckersley-Fallon added: “I love our high street. There’s a real buzz about it now and that’s all down to local people opening businesses and residents getting behind them.”


Westhoughton’s newest restaurant has opened – and everyone loves it

The Kitchen is the newest restaurant to open in Westhoughton – and we already LOVE it.

The new Market Street restaurant is Greek-inspired, with feta and olives coming straight from Greece, but meats and vegetables being locally sourced in Bolton.

Westhoughton councillor David Wilkinson, who attended the launch party, said: “I love what they’ve done with the place and I wish them all the best.”

These are some of the five-star reviews since it opened last week:

A group of 7 of us dined at The Kitchen last night and will certainly be visiting again. Every single dish was delicious. I’m not usually a Courgette fan but the Courgette balls are something else! Converted. Had the Chicken Souvlaki for mains and never wanted it to end! And the Tzatziki is up there with the best i’ve tried! Friendly staff, cosy decor, reasonable prices and excellent food. We’ll be back!!
– Hope Cooper

And they even won over this Greek food sceptic:

I was sooo sceptical with the whole greek food as I’m so fussy!! The chicken was the best thing I’ve ate in ages, loved the skewers!! It was delicious. I will definitely be bringing my other half back!! Great atmosphere, Great hosts!! I love it all. Well done on making such a great place!!! Sending love Sam & Marilyn xxx
– Samie Jane Hodgkiss

The Kitchen Westhoughton

This diner thought it was a fantastic little find:

Dined at this fantastic little find last night. It was amazing. The food was to die for,the atmosphere was authentic and Nikki the host and Ode the chef made everyone so welcome. Will be visiting again soon
– Sandra Derbyshire

And there’s just something incredible about that courgette starter it seems:

I dined last night which was opening night with my husband, the atmosphere was fabulous, very authentic – Rustic Greek feel but very tasteful decor. The staff were lovely. The food was delicious especially the courgette starter! We really wish you & your team every success.
– Angela Maguire

And Sue will be coming back again soon:

We went on opening night and the food was delicious and the service was excellent.
Highly recommended and we will be coming back on a regular basis.
Well done!!!
– Sue Churchouse

The Kitchen has opened at 93 Market Street. Book a table by calling 01942 574743.

New road surface for Park Road

Park Road was resurfaced this week following complaints about the poor condition of the road.

The stretch between Market Street and Cricketers Way was given a new surface by Bolton Council.

It follows complaints from residents and Westhoughton councillor David Wilkinson.

David said: “It’s good that Bolton Council gave us a few crumbs off their table to resurface this road, but I’ve got a list as long as my arm of other roads that need the same treatment.”

Southfield Drive is also being resurfaced this weekend.

This Labour councillor’s comments about Westhoughton will make you mad

A Labour councillor in Westhoughton has claimed people are “living in cloud cuckoo land” if they think new businesses would want to open in Westhoughton.

The comments by town councillor Gillian Williams fly in the face of successful recent new openings in the town centre including The Beer School, Koo cafe bar and The Card Factory.

In a public Facebook post Councillor Williams commented:

“I think that anyone who thinks that a business would want to open a new shop in Westhoughton is living in cloud cuckoo land. People want small houses in the town centre.”

The comment came just months after Labour councillors scrapped start up grants to support new Westhoughton town centre businesses but found £300,000 for Asons solicitors in Bolton. They then approved house building plans for the Gaiety snooker hall site next door to The Beer School.

Westhoughton town councillor David Wilkinson, who is backing our town centre traders, said: “This bizarre comment by a Labour councillor shows what they really think of our town. While they might be happy talking our town down, we are inundated with people who are finally getting excited about all the new openings in our town.

“A number of local people have invested their time and money to open new businesses and I fully support them. It is not easy but look what happens. We now have a really thriving town centre with only two empty units.”

Gaiety site to be sold for NEW SHOPS as houses plan falls through

The former Gaiety snooker hall site in Westhoughton is to be sold as a 10,000 sq ft retail space.

The announcement that the derelict Market Street site has been put up for sale comes just days after Westhoughton councillor David Wilkinson has argued that house plans should be dropped.

The developer who owns the site has permission to build two rows of terraced houses.

But it now seems that plan has been ditched in favour of a sale for retail purposes according to this advert:

“Land for sale, situated next to The Wheatsheaf on Market Street Westhoughton. Approximate 0.8 Acres. Outline planning permission in place for up to 10,000 sq ft of retail units. Would suit ‘mini supermarket’, ‘express’ or ‘extra’ type concept store or similar. Subject to planning. Development package available for freehold site.”

My Westhoughton has been contacted by a source close to the developer, who said: “The site has been listed with various agents for commercial development for years, with no real enquiries. It has always been Michael’s preference to go down the commercial route.

“To use the site for residential purposes is purely a commercial fall back option for Michael and not a preferred one.

“I would very much like to work towards improving and creating the ‘buzz’ again that Westhoughton once had.”

The developer is keen to hear from business owners who are looking to open up in Westhoughton.

Build new shops on Gaiety site, urges Westhoughton councillor

Westhoughton councillor David Wilkinson has urged the landowner of the former Gaiety snooker hall site to keep the site for new shops rather than building the houses he has permission for.

The site has permission for two rows of terraced houses after Labour councillors backed the plans.

But since permission was granted the town’s economy has continued to grow with the opening of The Beer School, Koo Bar Cafe and now The Card Factory.

David said: “I would hope that the multi-millionaire owner of this site now recognises that our town centre is growing and this is a prime location which would be ideal for new retail units.”

New Greek-inspired restaurant to open in Westhoughton

A new Greek-inspired restaurant has been given permission to open on Market Street at the former dry cleaners.

The Kitchen

New home for The Kitchen restaurant

It will serve modern food and this picture shows some of the inspiration for the place. What do you think?

The Kitchen

Westhoughton town councillor David Wilkinson said: “It’s great to see yet another new business opening on Market Street and it sounds like an exciting venture. I wish them well.”

What happened to Westhoughton’s new chicken restaurant?

Earlier this year we had the news that a chicken restaurant was to open in the former Mario’s cafe.

Work started but now seems to have ground to a halt, causing some local residents to wonder if the project has ended.

Westhoughton town councillor David Wilkinson said: “We understand that there have been some problems but we hope that it can get under way again soon and not remain an empty shop on the street.”