THE deputy leader of Bolton Council claims fledgling political party Farnworth and Kearsley First will soon be “found out” by voters.

Cllr Ebrahim Adia made the scathing remark at Wednesday’s full council meeting after being challenged by Cllr Paul Sanders on his previous comments about how Farnworth benefits from the authority’s coffers.

In March Cllr Adia told the chamber that the council spends £32m on schools in the town, as well as £17m in housing benefit and £2.5m in council tax support, adding “I could go on”.

But he was taken to task by Cllr Sanders, of Farnworth and Kearsley First, who put disputed that the council was responsible for the spending he set out.

Addressing the chamber he said: “It is my understanding that Farnworth did not receive a single penny from Bolton Council in respect of housing benefit or council tax support, as this was paid for by the Department for Work and Pensions.

He continued: “In respect of funding for schools, it is my understanding that £32m spent in Farnworth is funded by central government via the department for education.”

And the Farnworth ward councillor challenged Cllr Adia to “set the record straight” over the origin of the funding he had highlighted in March.

But he received short-shrift from the deputy leader, who said Cllr Sanders’ description of the funding process was “incorrect”.

And he suggested Cllr Sanders and his party colleagues would benefit from spending some time with the borough treasurer to learn how the “annual accounts are constructed.”

Cllr Adia said: “There seems to be some misunderstanding here. The fact that council tax support and housing benefit funding passes through the council doesn’t mean we are simply a vehicle for passporting money.

“The council is responsible for eligibility assessments, establishing needs, investigating casework and training staff.

“It’s not as straight forward as Cllr Sanders is describing. We are the steward of all the funding we receive from the tax payer.”

“Perhaps the Farnworth and Kearsley First councillors would like to ask me about their pledge to make Farnworth independent. It would be fascinating to understand how they will pay for highways, adult social care, emergency planning, and the many other services the council provides and what burden this would place on the residents of Farnworth.”

And he also said that every time Farnworth and Kearsley First councillors voted with the Tories and UKIP – parties he claimed do not believe in funds being focused on deprived areas such as Farnworth

He said: “Each time you vote with the Tories and UKIP you are betraying your voters, and we will remind you of that.

“Farnworth and Kearsley First have made the commitment they simply can’t deliver. And as with independents elsewhere, they will be found out, it’s just a matter of time.”

But speaking after the meeting Farnworth and Kearsley First's election officer, Paul Heslop, said Cllr Adia had "wormed his way out of answering the question".

He said: "We would expect him to answer specific questions. Who paid for the millions in housing benefits? He refused to answer the question. We will not be letting this issue go. They can stand in the chamber and tell the people of this borough."