It’s like buses. You wait ages for government money to turn up, then three lots of cash arrive at once.

In recent weeks, you may have heard more than £100m is coming to our borough, following years of hard work by your council, building up the case for the investment. We’ve won two £20m grants from the Levelling Up Fund, which will go towards our ambitious plans to regenerate Radcliffe and the area around Bury Market. And we are expecting at least a further £60m from the Greater Manchester bid to improve our public transport infrastructure, the centrepiece of which will be a new interchange for Bury town centre.

When I became leader of the council 18 months ago, I said that despite the challenges of the pandemic we would continue to work tirelessly to get our borough what it needs. That hard work and persistence has started to pay off.

I want to thank all those at the council who put in the hard graft developing these bids, as well as all those residents who supported Bury Labour’s 'Back the Bids' campaign. Together we have shown what we can achieve when our ambitions are high and we don’t lose hope.

The £20m for Radcliffe will create a new hub, home to new leisure facilities, businesses and services. It will complement the additional money the council is putting into the regeneration of the whole town centre, which will be transformed with new housing, a new high school, and much more. In Bury, the £20m will help build a new flexi-hall on our market, with modern facilities that will ensure our historic and famous attraction thrives for many more generations.

But these grants cannot overshadow the fact the Government has stripped over £100m from our budgets over the last decade. This is £100m - every single year - we no longer have for essential services, from social care to the bins and pothole repairs. One-off investment for flagship schemes is very welcome, but it is no substitute for being properly funded for the day-to-day services that residents and taxpayers expect and rely on.

Let’s not forget the same budget which gave us the one-off grants, also proposed a council tax increase of three per cent to cover rising demands on local services. This will squeeze household budgets at the worst possible time and so the Government also need to cough up the funding to stop this being necessary.

It's an odd coincidence that the money taken from us is practically the same as the money we’re getting on this one-off basis. But it remains my view, that this will not level us up.