Community not cash

First published in Letters

Recently I had the pleasure of the Christmas light switch-on and various conversations with people in the community which made me feel I should share them.

So, Chorley’s Christmas celebrations are under way, as this week saw the grand switch-on as crowds gather to see that big button press.

However, not one to put a Ba-Humbug on proceedings, I do question some of our local council’s tactics and planning of this event. We saw a good turn-out of local voluntary organisation which certainty warmed the community cockles.

However, as a local council tax payer, I do somewhat question where my hard earned retirement money is going, for example I was led to believe that the ‘Ice Rink’ was going to be an amazing spectacle of local people interacting, in fact what we got, was a layout of plastic tiles in a rink smaller than my terrace house yard!

As I understand, this paltry excuse for an ice rink cost tax payers £8,000!

Also it was good to see the showcase of talent that voluntary organisation Chorley FM had lined up for us, some outstanding local talent however, I do feel that the event organisers seemed to disregard them and locate them off the beaten track quite a fair distance from all the main activities.

I have a friend who has been supported by this organisation and it is apparent that the council seem to disregard their hard work within the community.

I was lucky enough to experience Cheshire lights switch-on, a much better organised even with a heavy presence of their community radio station (Cheshire FM). Cheshire council help fund the station with outstanding public service announcements, they work together as a partnership and achieve amazing things.

According to the volunteers at Chorley FM I’ve spoken to, our local council aren’t interested in them at all and won't acknowledge support to them. I strongly believe that amazing things can be done by volunteers and question why a similar partnership can’t be achieved here.

Chorley Council need to revise their funding and organisational strategies, before what little remaining community groups their are left, simply disappear and what a sad loss to the area that would be.

DA Ross, (retired) Bolton Road Chorley


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