A NATIONAL report on council spending on empty commercial properties has been described as "misleading".

Bolton Council appears ninth on a list of local authorities which spent the most money on non-residential buildings.

The report by the TaxPayer's Alliance claims that Bolton spent more than £1.2m on empty properties.

However, almost 90 per cent of this was spent on renovating the Brazley Community Centre in Horwich.

Council leader David Greenhalgh said: "This statistic does not paint a full picture and is misleading. However it is important that council taxpayers' money is not wasted on the upkeep and maintenance of empty under-utilised buildings.

"Part of the regeneration of the town centre should not just be about flattening areas and starting again, but about renovation of existing, often proud and impressive buildings that are part of this town’s heritage, and utilising the first, second and third floors of buildings that are currently lying vacant.”