A NEW board of trustees could be set up to govern Leverhulme Park.

Decisions on how to manage sections of the park given to Bolton Council by Lord Leverhulme currently fall to the council leader, Cllr Cliff Morris.

However, Bolton Tory leader Cllr David Greenhalgh called yesterday for the creation of a new board to manage the park, which is a registered charity.

The suggestion was made after a report sent to the council’s cabinet outlined mistakes made in the park’s management — including the building of a leisure centre on charitable land without the consent of the Charity Commission.

Cllr Greenhalgh said: “I accept that the council admits quite openly that it has made some errors in this process.

“Now that we know the history of it, why can we not have — as is the case with other charitable trusts — an outside trustee board that has other members on it?”

Borough solicitor Helen Gorman responded: “We could, but it is not the way our constitution has been prepared.

“If that is something that members wanted the council to look at, then we could.”

She added that the council had tried in recent years to reduce the number of committees it has and would not want to increase that number “given that our resources have been reduced”.

The borough solicitor also admitted that the council’s reporting to the Charity Commission “can be better”.

Cabinet members were told that decisions on Leverhulme Park fall within Cllr Morris’ portfolio, but can be deferred to another executive member if there is a conflict of interest.

The report into the park’s management was produced following Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from members of the Bolton North East Wildlife Trail (NEWT).

Following accusations made about the council’s role with the park on social media and in the FOI requests, Cllr Morris said that people should “be sure of their facts”.

The council is currently carrying out a review into its procedures for dealing with the park, after it was also discovered that the bowls club has operated within charitable land since 1986.

Since 2012, the council has spent £423,000 on the upkeep of the park.

The report sent to cabinet also outlined the council’s justification for not purchasing land at Long Lane known as The Cutting, after a petition called for it to be saved from being sold to housing developers. The council said maintenance issues with two bridges and Japanese knotweed meant that purchasing the £175,000-rated land did not represent ‘best value’.