A ROW has broken out after claims that Horwich would be better off out of Bolton — and becoming part of Chorley.
The leader of Chorley Council, Cllr Alistair Bradley, says he is flattered to hear that some people in Horwich would consider cutting ties with Bolton and forming a new authority with neighbouring Chorley.
Cllr Bradley said: “It’s very flattering that residents in Horwich would like to join with Chorley if we became a unitary authority and it shows people outside the borough can see that we are an ambitious council who want to do what’s best for its residents.”
Rivalry between Bolton and neighbouring Chorley came to a head earlier this year after a publicity stunt saw Chorley light up the famous Rivington Pike landmark, which borders both towns, in red lighting to promote their Choose Chorley campaign and attract businesses to the area.
Following this, fitness industry business ServiceSport UK left its Bolton base and re-located in Chorley stating that the council there had offered them more support than Bolton.
Cllr Bradley added: “Since the lighting of Rivington Pike as part of our Choose Chorley campaign we have had a business relocate to Chorley from Horwich and now it seems the whole town wants to move.
"Either that or they just want the Pike back in the boundaries of where they live.”
Horwich resident Mick Stevens suggested the town should break away from Bolton during a meeting of Horwich Town Council.
Chorley Council recently announced plans to potentially break away from Lancashire City Council and form its own unitary authority. A referendum could be held as early as next year.
Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris said it was an “exaggeration” to suggest the whole of Horwich wanted to leave Bolton.
He said: “It seems to be one person who has suggested it and if he wants to leave he can move to Chorley.
"We have no intention of letting any part of our borough go at any stage - we work very well with the people of Horwich — and them with us.”