THE delivery of a Cash Converters leaflet at the same time as Bolton Council’s newspaper has been branded “unacceptable”.

Cllr Roger Hayes has raised concerns vulnerable people in Smithills would have received the leaflet with the Bolton Scene — and inadvertently thought Bolton Council was endorsing the company, which is a pawnbroking franchise firm, as well as a retail store.

A council spokesman said it was investigating how it had happened.

Cllr Hayes, of Park Cottages, Smithills, noticed the Cash Converters advertisement reading: “Looking For A Little Loan – Look No Further” was pushed through his door at the same time as the newsletter.

Bolton’s Liberal Democrats leader said: “I understand the council pays a premium for the Bolton Scene to be delivered to residents as a solo delivery.

“It’s very concerning. For somebody who doesn’t know, they might think the council was recommending Cash Converters. They were the only two things that came together through my letterbox that day.

“It’s associating the council with a company that I don’t think it wants to be associated with.”

The council blocked access to payday loan websites from public computers in August last year, and has dedicated £1 million to tackle poverty in the town, including measures to stop people going to the companies which charge huge amounts of interest.

A council spokesman said the two publications should not have been delivered together.

He added the council had not received anothercomplaint about Bolton Scene being delivered alongside a Cash Converters leaflet.

The spokesman said: “The contract for the delivery of Bolton Scene is for sole delivery independent of other materials.

"The delivery of the leaflet was not authorised by the council and we were first made aware of this when Cllr Hayes asked if the council newspaper is delivered on its own.

“We have spoken to the distribution company to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”