Neil Maher is your Liberal Democrat candidate for the Westhoughton South ward in the upcoming local elections on Thursday 6 May. We caught up with Neil to find out more about him and why he wants to represent you.
Neil, you work for the NHS, can you tell us more about your experience?
Sure, I’ve been working for the NHS for 18 years now. I am a director in an NHS trust and work with local people to provide care to our communities. I cover the five counties of the North West.
During Covid-19 it has been really challenging, often very stressful, and sadly we’ve lost too many people, including friends.
But in my work I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve. Everyone has kept going under extraordinary circumstances.
I joined the NHS in 2003. I have brought the estate and operational support services up to date creating a 21st century service offering to serve the population of the North West. Not only have I made several millions of pounds of savings for reinvestment into front line services, it has been achieved at the same time as improving the quality of services provided.
You previously served in the Armed Forces, can you tell me more?
I have served 22 years in the Armed Forces, including service in Ireland, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Kenya and the Falklands in which I commanded troops throughout the conflict in 1982. A key achievement was the introduction of a new communications process into the Corps inclusive of a complete rewrites of the training syllabus.
I also spent 16 years in the private sector. This involved working at a senior management level for international companies such as Cable & Wireless, Nortel Networks, and Virgin Media. My contributions to all the organisations have been significant, installing and operating large infrastructure.
You also volunteer as a school governor. What have you seen from that experience?
As a Governor of a local high school for 17 years I have had, and taken, the opportunity to make a difference. I first volunteered at a time the school was experiencing performance challenges and the school environment was in need of investment. Therefore, I focused on driving the Curriculum and Resources Committees and utilised my professional experience on key procurements. I am pleased to have seen the significant changes in the school environment, services that support health and wellbeing, and improved student results.
Why do you want to represent Westhoughton South on Bolton Council?
My wife and I enjoy living in Westhoughton with our family. We are really passionate about the town and the environment. I have a genuine desire to put something back into the community.
I’ve enjoyed working with my ward colleagues David Wilkinson and Deirdre McGeown since I was elected as a Westhoughton town councillor and now I’d like to take things further and represent our town on Bolton Council too.
It has been a real honour representing the town as a town councillor and highlights have included laying a wreath at the Cenotaph and putting up poppies all around the town. As an ex-serviceman I think it’s really important that we remember the sacrifices that have been made for us.
For years our town has been seen as the poor relation to Bolton, often forgotten about by the politicians who run the town hall and I would like to change that, working with David and Deirdre.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I am an avid football fan and have been supporting Bolton Wanderers since 1970. I have 25 years of season tickets.
I also love walking, trekking and just generally getting outdoors. That’s why you also often find me taking part in community litter picks to help keep our streets clean. It’s a fun things to do and hugely satisfying when you’ve filled many bags of rubbish!
Neil needs your support on Thursday 6 May. Please consider using your vote to elect him as your next Westhoughton South councillor.