THE new council leader’s job has felt like “turning an ocean liner”, but he is pleased with the progress so far.

Cllr David Greenhalgh, who was appointed as the first Conservative council leader in Bolton for nearly 40 years back in May, told The Bolton News that he has been at the town hall every day working to deliver on his pledges.

He praised council staff for their efforts towards putting the Tories’ new policies into action as soon as possible.

Deputy leader Martyn Cox said the greatest difference with the new administration is the speed at which changes have taken place.

He said: “The Labour administration were announcing projects and nothing was happening. We want to get resources out into the community. We don’t want it to sit there in the accounts of this town hall. I think we have been quick to spot that.”

Since the Tories took control, two council bids for government cash to regenerate high streets in Farnworth and Bolton town centre have progressed to the next stage.

Although the bids were put forward under the previous Labour administration, the Tories claim they “tweaked” the proposal for Bolton town centre which was named as one of 50 additional towns to get to the second phase of the Future High Streets Fund.

Cllr Cox put the success down to the Conservative leadership communicating with ministers directly.

He said: “Our biggest achievement was getting the Treasury minister up here and in effect reversing a decision that could lead to £25m coming in to this town.”

Cllr Greenhalgh admitted that belonging to the same party as the ruling government of the day opens up certain lines of communication which is beneficial for the town.

He said that the Conservatives will continue to take advantage of the special “access” it benefits from.

But Cllr Cox said that ministers still need to be convinced that Bolton is a worthwhile investment.

He said: “A government is not just going to come to Bolton and say, ‘what do you want fellas?’ They’ve got to be convinced that what we have got is beneficial, credible and deliverable. It’s foolish to think that myself or David can say, ‘we’re Conservative so send us some money up’.”

One of the other achievements the Tories take credit for is a £10m investment to repair roads, split equally between each of the borough’s 20 wards.

This was one of their key manifesto pledges and the first of 25 points in the agreement they signed with other parties which allowed the Tories to take control.

READ MORE: 100 days of a Conservative council: ‘Most of our 25-point plan will be complete

Cllr Cox told The Bolton News that the group was able to deliver on this commitment so quickly because the plan was fully costed.

He said: “The £10m wasn’t plucked out of thin air. It was discussed with officers. Others were asking for £50m and much bigger sums. The reason it got done so quick was because we did our homework.”

The Tories have made progress on most areas of the 25-point plan, according to Cllr Greenhalgh.

He said: “It shows the direction of travel for us. But we are under no illusion that there’s more to do.”

But Labour leader Linda Thomas 15 of the points are either a reaffirmation of the work that the council had already started under her leadership or work that was completed.

She said: "The first 100 days have been little on substance so far. The one thing that they have highlighted is an additional £10m into highways.

"This is nothing new, as the previous Labour council would regularly inject millions more one-off capital amounts into highways, but would do this from available resources.

"The £10m that the Tories have announced is borrowed money, and they are still to be clear about how this money will be paid back."

READ MORE: The 25-point agreement which party leaders signed to put the Tories in power

She added: "There are no signs that the Tories are willing to challenge or fight the continuing austerity cuts that we are suffering from under successive Tory Governments, and this coalition council is itself faced with cutting an additional £22m from frontline services.

"Labour is particularly concerned with the stretched budgets for vulnerable adults and children, yet the Tories have still to announce how they intend to face this challenge. It is not surprising that one of the first actions of the Tories, backed by their coalition partners, is to grow the number of senior managers in the council. Labour have called this decision in for further scrutiny."