Town councils are 'unnecessary', says councillor

The Bolton News: Cllr Andy Morgan Cllr Andy Morgan

TOWN councils are an “unnecessary layer of democracy” a Tory councillor has claimed — as Horwich prepares to go to the polls for the fourth time in just 12 months.

Cllr Andy Morgan, deputy leader of the Conservatives in Bolton, also hit out at the “one-party state” in Bolton and Horwich controlled by Labour.

In December last year, following the last by-election in Horwich, Cllr Morgan said three town councils in the borough — Horwich, Blackrod and Westhoughton — were not providing residents with value for money.

He has stood by his comments, as Horwich voters get ready to go to the polls again following the resignation of the council’s only Conservative member, Christine Flanagan, who cited work commitments as the reason for her departure.

Mr Morgan praised Ms Flanagan for the timing of her resignation, meaning that the by-election can be held at the same time as the Bolton Council elections on May 22, reducing the cost to the taxpayer.

He said: “In this case, because of the way Christine has timed it, there shouldn’t be too much of an additional cost, and she deserves praise for that.

“But I will continue to question the need for town councils in the current day and age when money is so tight.

“It is a layer of democracy that is not needed, because they do not have any power and in my opinion the money could be much better spent through area forums for a lesser cost.” Mr Morgan also suggested that Horwich, like Bolton Council had developed into a “one-party state.”

He added: “It is bad politics when one party is running things like in Horwich and Bolton, they can do whatever they like.”

Labour leader in Horwich, Cllr Kevan Helsby said: “I think the problem for the Conservatives is simply that they haven’t won any of the by-elections.

“They are struggling in Horwich.

“In terms of the town councils, I think people should be aware that unlike Bolton councillors, we do not collect any expenses and most of the money the council receives goes back into the community for things like the carnivals and to help voluntary groups.”

Comments (6)

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10:49am Wed 16 Apr 14

Tim Burr says...

Do we need a Council at all? In Bolton they're politically motivated and think nothing of using the Towns population as pawns in their pathetic 'games'. Privatise it.
Do we need a Council at all? In Bolton they're politically motivated and think nothing of using the Towns population as pawns in their pathetic 'games'. Privatise it. Tim Burr
  • Score: 8

5:38pm Wed 16 Apr 14

holloway_david says...

I hope voters can see the wood from the trees on this one and vote for anybody but Labour who have ruined Bolton, put up council tax, got rid of planning comments from the public and the list will go on if Labour is voted in again. We need to get rid of this majority council. .
I hope voters can see the wood from the trees on this one and vote for anybody but Labour who have ruined Bolton, put up council tax, got rid of planning comments from the public and the list will go on if Labour is voted in again. We need to get rid of this majority council. . holloway_david
  • Score: 8

7:01pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Brumas says...

Comment makers, lets get back to the point, Town Councils are a waste of Time.Cllr Morgan is right although I do not agree with his politics, they have no power, which is upsetting, but to rub salt into the wounds the residents of the three towns mentioned pay a precept averageing about £28 per household. That is what galls most of the people of these towns, in these autere times. Plus how do people suffer differently in un-parished parts of the Borough.
Comment makers, lets get back to the point, Town Councils are a waste of Time.Cllr Morgan is right although I do not agree with his politics, they have no power, which is upsetting, but to rub salt into the wounds the residents of the three towns mentioned pay a precept averageing about £28 per household. That is what galls most of the people of these towns, in these autere times. Plus how do people suffer differently in un-parished parts of the Borough. Brumas
  • Score: 4

7:05pm Wed 16 Apr 14

wsw69 says...

Oh shut-up Morgan! You sound like a bl**dy cry baby, stick your dummy back in to your whinging grid!
Oh shut-up Morgan! You sound like a bl**dy cry baby, stick your dummy back in to your whinging grid! wsw69
  • Score: 0

8:24pm Wed 16 Apr 14

steverock6@sky.com says...

Cllr Morgan would perhaps like Manchester to run all the North west or even that we are governed just by London! Before Bolton took over Horwich the money raised was spent on Horwich instead of going to Bolton like most of it goes now! The precept that is raised by Horwich council goes back to the town supporting many voluntary groups including Horwich carnival Horwich council only employ 3 people a town clerk, resource centre manager and a part time admin assistant councillors receive no allowances or expenses!
Cllr Morgan would perhaps like Manchester to run all the North west or even that we are governed just by London! Before Bolton took over Horwich the money raised was spent on Horwich instead of going to Bolton like most of it goes now! The precept that is raised by Horwich council goes back to the town supporting many voluntary groups including Horwich carnival Horwich council only employ 3 people a town clerk, resource centre manager and a part time admin assistant councillors receive no allowances or expenses! steverock6@sky.com
  • Score: -1

12:39pm Thu 17 Apr 14

atlas123 says...

Yes yes yes get rid of the town councils.


What does the town Clerk do? I can even name the clerk despite paying fir it for 35yrs!

The carnival is a vanity project of some races around a tatty town centre.. whyrun run the around rivington where the scenery is so much bbetter? It inconviences most of horwich for the amusement of a few.

The cllrs including the Rocks think they are doing a great social good and I dare say there hearts are in the right place (bless) but I'd rather have my precipt back and do away with it!

Places like bromley cross (one of the best places to live in the country according to a recent article) seem to do alright (and have an anual Fayr/carnivals) without the need for another layer of burocracy. Look at the fuss over wwsthoughtons cctv it just goes to show the town councils are a waste of time
Yes yes yes get rid of the town councils. What does the town Clerk do? I can even name the clerk despite paying fir it for 35yrs! The carnival is a vanity project of some races around a tatty town centre.. whyrun run the around rivington where the scenery is so much bbetter? It inconviences most of horwich for the amusement of a few. The cllrs including the Rocks think they are doing a great social good and I dare say there hearts are in the right place (bless) but I'd rather have my precipt back and do away with it! Places like bromley cross (one of the best places to live in the country according to a recent article) seem to do alright (and have an anual Fayr/carnivals) without the need for another layer of burocracy. Look at the fuss over wwsthoughtons cctv it just goes to show the town councils are a waste of time atlas123
  • Score: 1

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