Published: 12th Feb 2019

Tony Oakman has been chief executive of Bolton Council since January 2018. New Start met him at his Town Hall office to discuss Bolton’s £1bn regeneration plans, why people think they are ‘bloody mad’ for buying a shopping centre, and how Bolton can benefit from its proximity to Manchester. What attracted you to Bolton? I’ve always been motivated by places. I’d been approached about other jobs in the past but always said I wasn’t interested for different reasons, but I thought Bolton was interesting. It’s a cliché but the people here are fantastic. They are very down to earth, friendly and compassionate. They really care and that’s a strong starting position. The place – what is there not to like? The public realm has a real focus to it. In my interview [for the role] I said Bolton was a sleeping giant. It’s flatlined a bit – but for me, … (To read the full article, subscribe below)