THE leader of Bolton Council has rubbished suggestions that he is set to retire — after he handed over many of his responsibilities to another councillor as part of a cabinet reshuffle.

Cllr Cliff Morris said he was instead taking on more responsibilities across Greater Manchester.

He said: “The rumours are wrong. I’m not ready to retire yet — I’m taking on bigger roles in Manchester.

“It’s like everything else, you have to have that balance, and I think we’ve got that mix in the cabinet.

“As the government gives more power to Greater Manchester I’m going to be spending more time in Manchester. We have a good team, and I’m pleased with all the work we’ve done.

“Things like skills — getting young people into work and private sector housing — have been prioritised.”

Rumworth councillor Ebrahim Adia has been named as a fourth executive cabinet member and will now be responsible for the host of portfolios previously under the remit of Cllr Morris.

These include economy, development and regeneration, sports, libraries, youth and cultural services.

Cllr Linda Thomas will stay put as deputy leader and is in charge of adult and children’s services plus public health, while Cllr Nick Peel keeps his post as the executive member for environmental services.

Underneath the top four is another set of councillors, who head up specific departments and answer to one of the executive cabinet members.

Cllr Kate Lewis, only elected in 2012, is now in charge of housing and social inclusion, while Little Lever councillor Anthony Connell is no longer the representative for youth and culture.

Cllr John Byrne will take that role, moving away from neighbourhood and community services.

In the reshuffle Cllr Sufrana Bashir Ismail has been taken off public health to concentrate on community services, with Cllr Kevin McKeon taking over her place, away from schools and skills.

Cllr Elaine Sherrington, previously a cabinet member for waste, recycling and housing, will now be in charge of schools and safeguarding children.

Staying put is Cllr Chris Peacock, in charge of adult social care, Cllr Akhtar Zaman for development and regeneration, Cllr David Chadwick for highways and transport and Cllr Derek Burrows for police and community safety.