AS The Bolton News reported, Monitor, the health watchdog, has raised serious concerns about the Royal Bolton Hospital Trust and its leadership.

Several residents have asked why I have not called for the resignation of Cllr Cliff Morris as the chairman, following this damning report.

The answer is simple. Cllr Morris and his Board are highly paid to run the hospital. They have to answer the questions posed and put the situation straight to ensure the highest quality of healthcare for the residents of Bolton and beyond.

That is why I asked at the council meeting last week when would councillors be fully updated on the matter?

I was told the measures were being taken to address the problems. That is the very least that elected representatives should be told.

Instead, in answering the question, Cllr Morris’s deputy, Labour councillor Linda Thomas simply echoed the previous comments of Cllr Morris with a string of platitudes about how busy the hospital is and that it was just a few targets which have been missed.

Whilst there is no doubt some excellent care is provided at the Royal Bolton Hospital, as the Monitor report says: “We need to see more robust action from the trust board.” That is why I believe Cllr Cliff Morris should stay. Cllr Morris must stand accountable. He has been made aware of the problems.

He needs to address the issues raised by Monitor and must first put right what has gone so badly wrong under his chairmanship.

That in my view is the right immediate action and why I did not call for Cllr Morris to resign at this time.

Councillor John Walsh OBE Leader of the Conservative Group Bolton MBC