IN less than two months Cllr Jean Gillies has gone from being one of three Labour councillors in Farnworth to being her party’s only representative in the ward.

Fledglings Farnworth and Kearsley First won their first seat on the council when Paul Sanders won a by-election triggered by Asif Ibrahim’s resignation.

And in this month’s local election Cllr Maureen Flitcroft took the Farnworth seat vacated by retiring Labour councillor Noel Spencer to give the borough’s newest political force a majority in the ward.

Party leader Peter Flitcroft says residents understand it will take time to deliver on their policies and that voters know things “won’t change overnight”.

It’s an assessment Cllr Gillies agrees with. And despite the sometimes strong criticism levelled at her she acknowledges the need to work amicably with councillors Sanders and Flitcroft

But Cllr Gillies, who has represented Farnworth since 2011, believes the new party might find delivering on its promises more difficult than expected.

She said: “I have more insight than they do, because they have only just been elected to the council.

“I know 75 per cent of our money is already allocated to adult services, children’s services , education and other frontline services.We have only got 25 per cent to ‘divvy out’, so what do you do?

“If you add up all the council tax and business rates collected it’s still not enough to cover all the services we already deliver.”

And she adds that money, such as that available through area forums or the highways budget can only be spent on specific things.

She continued: “It’s these things they need to understand and learn. It’s going to be a learning curve for them. It’s taken me years and I’m still learning all the time.

“People say “Bolton councillors have done this, Farnworth councillors have done that,” but sometimes your hands are tied to the point that in law you don’t have a leg to stand on.”

For 15 years before I was a councillor I was on the Neighbourhood Management Board. I was one of the people in the community that worked with the council to try to better things for Farnworth.

“Just like them I used to say councillors do nothing, but when you get on the other side you realise how difficult it is.”