PLANS for a £2.5m refurbishment of a town hall - which have been two years in the making - have been hit by further problems.

At a meeting on Monday, town councillors raised concerns about asbestos found at Westhoughton Town Hall. They said it wasn’t yet clear if staff would have to be moved during renovations, and who would be picking up the relocation bill. Bolton Council pledged £2.5m to works on both the inside and outside of the building two years ago. Town councillors say the most recent proposals are now around £1.3m to make the building secure and works will take up to 12 months to complete.

Cllr David Chadwick assured members that the town council would not be footing the bill and that staff would be moved during works. Cllr David Wilkinson expressed worries about the renovations of the “iconic” hall, saying that last year councillors asked Bolton Council about the plans but received no response.

He said: “It’s been trundling around for over two years. There’s problems with damp and rot. The roof is not 100 per cent. That’s what happens when the building is not maintained.

"It would be nice to make sure it’s fully utilised and get the problems sorted, get people in it and use it. I imagine everybody would have to move. It won’t be a very pleasant place to be. It’s going to go on for a long time.”

Cllr Wilkinson wants the process confirmed in writing, saying: “If the control of the council were to change in May and work hasn’t started, anything could happen.”