An indication of how important Bury is seen by the major parties is that Keir Starmer launched the Labour Party’s local election campaign there last month and Boris Johnson himself visited just last week.
The council is currently Labour run with them holding a solid majority of 28 of the 51 seats, the Conservatives have 15 with four Liberal Democrats, three
Radcliffe First and a single Independent member.
This year will see an ‘all out’ election with voters able to cast three votes to select an entirely new council.
A total of 147 candidates are standing for three councillor positions in each of the 17 wards which make up the town.
The elections will take place on Thursday, 5 May, from 7am until 10pm.
Candidates from the Labour and Conservatives will contest every seat in every ward and hyperlocal party Radcliffe First will field nine candidates for the nine available seats in the town’s three wards.
The Liberal Democrats and Green parties are fielding several candidates and are joined by a number of independents and a single candidate each from the English Democrats and the Communist Party.
A total of 11 sitting councillors are not seeking re-election this year, among them the current Mayor, Tim Pickstone and Trevor Holt, the borough’s longest serving councillor with 37 years.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the leaders of the parties standing for their comments to voters ahead of the elections.
A Labour spokesman said: “Use all three votes for Labour on May 5 to send the Tories a message and elect councillors who’ll be on your side through the Tory cost of living crisis.
“Your Labour council will spend £2.5 million this year helping thousands of local people with everyday costs, making life just that little bit easier.
“Your Labour council will invest £450,000 in Gigg Lane, working with both Bury FC Supporters Society and Bury AFC to develop a sound business case and achieve the goal of one, fan-owned club operating from Gigg Lane.
“Bury’s Labour council continues to work constructively with fans across our town to unite in our shared bid to return league football to Bury.
“We’ll spend more than £25 million between now and 2025 to fill more than 50,000 potholes and resurface dozens of local roads across the borough.
“Labour is committed to cleaning our air, but we don’t support charging businesses and self-employed workers in the middle of a Tory cost of living crisis.
“We’re now developing a clean air plan without charging. If the government insist on charging they will have to impose it.”
Conservative leader Nick Jones, said: “On Thursday, use your vote to elect a Conservative council which will put our communities first and invest in frontline services.
“This election is a referendum on Labour’s Clean Air Zone Charge, a stealth tax on hardworking people simply going to work.
“The current Labour controlled Bury Council have let the Borough down with plans to concrete over our precious greenbelt, Council Tax hikes as well as approving the Clean Air Zone Charge policy.
“At the same time our roads are like a crazy golf course with potholes on most roads
“A Conservative Council will scrap the Clean Air Zone Charge, fill the potholes and resurface the roads, protect our precious greenbelt and keep council tax low and invest in frontline services.
“Vote Conservative for a council which will deliver our borough, deliver real change making Bury an even better place to live work and socialise.”
Liberal Democrat leader Michael Powell, said: “Liberal Democrats are campaigning across Bury for a fair deal for local residents.
“A fair deal in the cost of living crisis, a fair deal for local services, and a fair deal for the future of our local communities.
“We have ambitious plans for our community: a greener future, where we protect green spaces and tackle the air pollution that affects so much of the borough and a safer future, investing more in visible local policing and taking steps to tackle congestion and speeding traffic.
“Labour keep getting big decisions wrong in Bury, from pushing through the ‘Places for Everyone’ housebuilding plan last year, to putting off the decision on the Greater Manchester Clean Air charge on small businesses until after this election.
“A strong team of Liberal Democrat councillors will be campaigning hard for a greener and safer future, and a fair deal for local residents.”
A Radcliffe First spokesman, said: ” We are not politicians we are everyday people who care about Radcliffe.
“At Radcliffe First we are not trying to build careers in politics, our only reason for wanting to become councillors is to make a difference for Radcliffe.
“Being a councillor is not a stepping stone to something greater it is our final destination.
“We want to give Radcliffe a voice in Bury Council, something it has been lacking for a long time.
“We are involved in the community not to boost our political careers but simply because we care about Radcliffe and want to make a difference. “We need your vote to allow us to do that.”
The Green Party in Bury said it had consulted residents over several months and will continue to be committed to continued engagement with local communities.
They added: “Our local agenda is focused on maintaining a safe and clean urban and rural environment.
“Green councillors will be committed to addressing issues of concern including: pollution, the condition of our roads, cycleways and footpaths, access to our open spaces and public rights of way, and formulating crime prevention strategies in consultation with local residents
“We will continue to contest planning applications that do not fully address the needs and requirements of the local community in terms of housing and commercial developments and will contest applications detrimental to our green spaces, wildlife corridors and areas of ecological interest.
“The Green Party is standing 17 candidates in Bury in the local elections, so please vote Green if you want a change for the better.”