Residents Attack £500,000 Spent On ‘Audits’

Furious residents in some of Bolton’s most deprived areas hit out after learning almost £500,000 will be spent training locals to carry out community audits’. Residents groups say the cash would be better used on facilities for education, training and sport.

Funding for the Connected Care project is being provided from social care provider Turning Point, Bolton Council, Bolton at Home and town’s Primary Care Trust with the long-term aim of helping people to tackle health, social care and housing problems.

It will be used to train local people to enable them to carry out an audit to decide how future funding could be spent on improving their communities. But local people want to see cash pumped into education, training, sport and working with communities to increase tolerance.

Chairman of the Farnworth Central Residents Association, Brenda Berry, added: “This money should be spent in the community. I don’t want to see yet another survey if there is no money to make the improvements we need at the end of it.”

Osman Hassan, chairman of the Pikes Lane Community Club in Deane, said: “We’re handed money and told how to spend it, rather than investing it in things that we know we need. At the moment our voice isn’t heard and the cash is allocated by pen pushers with little knowledge of how it could be put to good use.”

But Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris believes the scheme will benefit local people by encouraging services to work together. He said: “The Connected Care pilot will provide a fantastic opportunity to focus on three specific areas of the borough. “Our partnership with Turning Point will allow us to bring in the support of health and social care to sit alongside housing advice, community safety and adult learning to provide tailored support to adults with complex needs.”