THE £1 billion masterplan to transform Bolton town centre has been backed by the borough’s Conservative group.

But senior Tory councillor Martyn Cox says that while his party wants to see the regeneration plans succeed there will be “no blank cheque” for the controlling Labour group.

Cllr Cox was speaking after yesterday’s announcement that town hall chiefs had bought Crompton Place for £14.8 million.

He said: “The Conservatives are broadly supportive of what the council is trying to do corporately in regenerating the town centre, we made that clear to officers and the Labour group.

“We’re not going to give them a blank cheque, but we’re not going to go out there to deliberately cause trouble, we want it to be a success.

But Cllr Cox said the council would need to keep his party properly informed.

He said: “We want to make sure we get value for money, the only way we can know if £14.8m is a fair price is if they share information about how to it. No one can say its a great price unless they have specialist knowledge about those matters.”

But despite that caveat, he continued: “We have passed motion after motion asking the council to do something about the town centre, so we’re not going to play politics with it, but we’re not necessarily going to agree with every single thing.”