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HORSE & CARRIAGE . . . HEARSE & LIMOUSINE . . . AFFORDABLE CHOICE . . . DIRECT CREMATIONS . . . Pre Paid Funeral Plans Available - Ask for details. TONY Oakman, the chief executive of Bolton Council, has announced he will retire in October – stepping down from the post he has held since 2018. He has worked in local government and the NHS for more than 35 years and started out as a qual- ified social worker in Nottinghamshire. He came to Bolton in 2018 as chief executive following a rigorous recruitment campaign. In a statement announcing his retire- ment the council said: “Amongst a range of things, he has helped to change the strategic running of the coun- cil, achieve financial balance during some of the most financially challenging times and overseen a range of positive inspection and regulatory processes. “He also led the Bol- ton through the local resilience work during the Covid-19 pandemic whilst continuing to drive the ambition to modernise the council and deliver its ambi- tious plans in the con- text of a changing local political context.” Tony said: “From the day I was appointed it has been an absolute honour and privilege POLICE in the Bolton district made 15 arrests and saw a reduction in reported burglaries following dedicated week of action. The arrests also resulted in six individuals being charged in connection with various related offences. Officers also recoveredsix stolenvehicles andanumber of stolen items. Detective Sergeant Carla Deighton, of Greater Manchester Police’s Bolton district, said:“First and fore- most, I would like tohighlight that our fight against this type of crime and our efforts to prevent and reduce it do not stop here – this is just one example of our suc- cess in doing so. “We are committed todeliveringoutstanding service to our communities here in Bolton and we understand that they, rightly, expect that to include efforts to keep both them and their property safe whilst caring for thosewho have unfortunately been targeted. “We will absolutely continue to take action against those we believe are responsible for breaking in to people’s homes and taking items which don’t belong to thembut intelligence frommembers of the public is vital,soIaskthatthatisreportedtousorCrimestoppers.” GreaterManchester Police canbe contactedviagmp. police.uk or 101. In an emergency, always dial 999. Information about crime can also be shared anony- mously via the independent charity – Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Taking on the burglars Medical Sciences college is given the go-ahead UPDATED plans for the Bolton College of Medical Sciences (BCMS) have been given the green light by councillors. The granting of planning permission means construction work can start on the Royal Bolton Hospital site in Farnworth. BCMS – a vocational and professional skills and training facility – is due to open in 2024 and is expected to transform how NHS workforces are trained in the UK, alleviate healthcare staffing pressures in Greater Manchester, and provide improved levels of care to the local community. The planning committee’s decision to give BCMS the go-ahead follows the submission of an amended planning application to Bolton Council in March. The revised plan proposed to replace the mul- ti-storey cark park included in the original design – which was approved by the planning committee in June 2019 – with surface level parking. Apart from that, the amended application proposed no other changes to the pre-approved plans. The decision means that both BCMS and the wider Royal Bolton Hospital site will not only benefit from a state-of-the-art training facility – comprised of a teaching and learning space, a café, and a staff and service space – but also from increased parking provision, with an additional 250 car parking spaces being created on top of existing on-site hospital parking. BCMS is a collaborative project between the Uni- versity of Bolton, Bolton College, Bolton NHS Foun- dation Trust and Bolton Council and is understood to be the first development of its kind in the UK. It will give people a direct route into health and social care employment and provide unrivalled training opportunities for new and existing staff by focusing on practical skills-based learning in a live hospital environment. Over its lifetime, it will contribute £150m to the local economy and create up to 20,000 new jobs and apprenticeships. Mark O’Reilly, BCMS project director, said: “The result is a major win for the Bolton community as it unlocks the construction of a facility that will bring countless healthcare and occupational benefits to the area. “Its impact will also be felt beyond our town – we expect BCMS to become a blueprint for other NHS trusts nationwide and transform how NHS work- forces are recruited and trained across the country. “Bolton will lead by example on how the UK can address the NHS staffing crisis and attract more people to healthcare professions.” Revolutionary: A CGI of the planned Bolton College of Medical Sciences building COUNCIL CHIEF CALLS IT A DAY to undertake this fan- tastic role. “We have worked through some amazing and some very challeng- ing times and l have enjoyed every moment. “Unfortunately, I was not well in November last year, which led me to being hospitalised. Considering this seri- ous health incident and after a lot of discussion with my wife and fam- ily, I reluctantly con- cluded it was the right time to retire. “It has been an immense source of pride to serve the wonderful people of Bolton over the last five years.” Council leader Mar- tyn Cox said: “Tony is highly respected in Bol- ton as an innovative, determined and effec- tive chief executive. “As a chief he has acted with integrity and transparency, and has commanded respect from councillors, col- leagues, and partners. “I know everyone who has worked with him will wish him and his family all the best in his retirement.” The council will now begin the pro- cess to recruit a new chief executive.