THE borough's newest political movement held its official launch at a meeting attended by dozens of potential voters.

Farnworth and Kearsley First was officially registered as a political party by the Electoral Commission just over two weeks ago

And the group launched itself as a new contenders at the ballot box at Trinity Methodist Church, in Market Street, Farnworth, last week.

Paul Sanders, the party’s director of publicity gave an hour-long presentation on how the structure of the party will work as it moves forward.

Party leader Peter Flitcroft said it was an ‘exciting’ night for the new party, with plenty of passion and enthusiasm on display.

He said: “It was really good, we had about 70 people in the room and lots of support.

“Our membership numbers are on the way up and people are fully supportive of us. There was a lot of encouraging feedback on social media as well. It was a very enthusiastic meeting.”

The party now has in the region of 70 fully paid-up members and has appointed half of its executive following nominations and voting.

“We are a democratic organisation and we had an open discussion on areas and topics and subjects that the people of Farnworth and Kearsley would like us to fight their cause on,” said Mr Flitcroft.

“There has been momentum behind it. We have a plan and we are starting to cast the net out for potential candidates to stand in the next election .

“We have our formal meeting structures in place and within the next couple of weeks our executive will be fully formed and we will be building foundations for the future.

“The meeting was the start of developing our manifesto for the future.”

There was an open discussion in which residents were invited to highlight the issues they want the party to campaign on.

Among the thorny issues raised were potholes, regeneration of Farnworth market, the new bus station and Farnworth Park.

Mr Flitcroft said: “There was a lot of passion in the room. It’s always quite hairy when you open something up like that up and don’t get any response, but it was a bit like Question Time with Dimbleby, once one person had put their hand up.”

But despite the challenges facing the two towns, Mr Flitcroft said there was a real sense of optimism at the end of the meeting.

He said: “The general feeling was one of enthusiasm. When the meeting finished probably half the room came forward to engage with us, wanting to find out more.

“There’s a lot of passion for Farnworth and Kearsley, people really want this to work.”