THE leader of Bolton Council has pledged to work with the new police commissioner to tackle child sex exploitation.

Cllr Cliff Morris is one of 10 Greater Manchester council leaders on the new police and crime panel which is tasked with holding new commissioner Tony Lloyd to account.

The panel also includes two independent members, and, after it’s first meeting, Labour’s ex-Manchester Central MP Mr Lloyd urged the council leaders to work with him to tackle organised crime and child sex exploitation.

Mr Lloyd said: “Child sex exploitation is an issue that challenges us all, which is why I invite all 10 councils to sit down with me so we can share best practice in tackling this issue.”

The policing budget, the pressures caused by 20 per cent funding cuts, and preparations for Mr Lloyd’s first police and crime plan — which is due to be published by the end of March — were also discussed at the meeting.

Cllr Morris told The Bolton News he would be happy to work with Mr Lloyd to tackle child sex exploitation.

He said: “He’s coming to see me and the chief executive and hopefully he can speak to our head of lookedafter children.”

He added: “The meeting went very well.

“It was more a case of setting up the next meeting and getting to know people, as well as the two new lay people on the panel. Tony’s going to come around and meet all the leaders of every council and we’ll be seeing how we can work together.”

Mr Lloyd is Greater Manchester’s first police and crime commissioner and replaced the police authority after winning an election with just a 13.9 per cent turnout last month.

He is one of 41 commissioners across the country and has the power to hire and fire the chief constable, set policing priorities and budgets, and is required to hold the force to account.