A COMMUNITY forum descended into a heated argument tonight after residents demanded more information on the Farnworth masterplan.

Some in the township have become extremely disillusioned with the level of funding Bolton Council have invested in the area and the issue of town centre regeneration has been a key sticking point since plans in 2014 failed to come to fruition.

At a tense meeting held at Trinity Methodist Church, on Market Street, a number of residents asked for further details on the latest plans, which come after Farnworth was put forward by the council for the Greater Manchester Town Centre challenge.

The turning point came when Paul Heslop, a resident and the election officer for political newcomers Farnworth and Kearsley First, asked why the council had not revealed the official financial commitment it would make to town centre regeneration. Mr Heslop cited the Bolton town centre masterplan and the relatively short time it took for money to be committed to the project after its initial announcement.

His question was met by cllr Ebrahim Adia, the council's deputy leader and executive member in charge of development and regeneration.

Cllr Adia said his party had "made an absolute commitment as a Labour group that we will invest whatever it takes" in regeneration.

He added: "The bit that's different is that we have a number of partners in Farnworth - Bolton at Home and the University of Bolton for example - so we need to understand what it looks like and cost it up and find out exactly what contributions are being made towards it by others to give us an idea of what the council's financial commitment is."

Cllr Adia also committed to reveal the official extent of the funding at February's council budget meeting, when the next two years of spending will be set out. He went on to say that, in the case of the Bolton town centre regeneration plan, he felt the council had been discussing the issue for significantly more time than it seemed when it was announced.

However, the meeting took a bad-tempered turn when Mr Heslop began to address questions to Bolton Council's leader Linda Thomas, who had also attended.

The two have clashed previously, leading to an increased police presence at an event that Cllr Thomas attended in Farnworth Park to celebrate the life of suffragist Mary Barnes, after a Facebook post made by Mr Heslop was judged to be threatening.

A number of people left the meeting room while discussions between the two, along with other attendees, grew heated.

Cllr Thomas has previously called the regeneration of Farnworth a "priority" for her, but some remain sceptical of these claims despite the announcement of the latest masterplan.

The event was chaired by cllr Paul Sanders, and included cllr Jean Gillies, cllr Maureen Flitcroft and officers from the council.

It was concluded after a short presentation on the initial principles that the masterplan would seek to follow.

As part of the masterplan, a premises on Brackley Street has been taken over to provide a place for people to come and discuss their ideas or potential plans from the area.