Radcliffe has been in the national news lately due to the defection of Conservative MP Christian Wakeford to the Labour party.

Writing to you as someone who was born in Radcliffe and worked there for some 50 years, I think it is fair to say that by any measure Radcliffe is the poor relation within the Borough of Bury.

When I started work it was hive of industry and its once proud claim was that you could get almost anything made in the town. Sadly, those days are long gone.

Ironically and contrary to popular belief much of decline in industry occurred in the Tony Blair era.

Regrettably this country has never had an industrial strategy. The only ‘industry’ now is housebuilding. The old East Lancs Paper mill site, which has lain derelict for the last 20 years, is now destined to have 400 hundred houses built on it.

Back in the day I gather that one of the area’s largest manufacturers, James Halstead’s was interested in the site but it was at that time earmarked supposedly to be the site of the new school which never went ahead.

Just think what a boost that would have been to the town. Radcliffe has already some of the most congested and potholed roads in the borough and one wonders whether there are any infrastructure plans to alleviate this situation particularly if the housebuilding development goes ahead.

We will have to wait, and see.