IT is an undeniable fact that the reason Pickup’s Field is both at risk of being built on in Lever Park/Horwich North East and of being disposed of is 100 per cent down to the previous Labour led administration allocating the land for housing in Bolton Council’s allocation plan.

If it wasn’t in the plan, it wouldn’t now be subject to disposal. For this position, before their recent ‘Road to Damascus’ moment, Labour must take full responsibility.

It is also true the Liberal Democrats could have called in the decision much sooner. However, we are where we are.

It is also a fact that the planning application for housing on Pickup's was rejected by both Horwich Town Council and then by Bolton Council as the planning authority.

As a result of that planning application being rejected, the best way to now protect Pickup's is clearly for Cllr Martyn Cox, the Deputy Leader of Bolton Council — the individual ultimately responsible for whether to dispose of Horwich’s playing field or not — to simply refuse to sell the land.

If the planning application was refused, there is now no need to offload this land.

We were told this new Council would be open and transparent and that it would listen to areas which have been neglected in the past by the previous administration.

Well, Cllr Cox, this is your chance to prove that the views of Horwich residents do count and that we are not just a part of this borough when it suits, namely, to fulfill Bolton’s housing quotas and be a cash cow. Deeds not words are required!

We appeal to Cllr Cox to listen to the 456 strong objections which have been received from concerned Horwich residents. Cllr Cox should also listen to the views of Horwich Town Council who are unanimous, regardless of party, in their opposition to building on, or disposing of Pickup's.

If Cllr Cox will not listen to Horwich, then how about listening to Bolton Council’s own scrutiny committee which has now woken up, heard the strength of feeling locally and also recommended that the land should not now be sold.

This recommendation to retain the land has now also been backed up by Bolton Council’s own full council, which recently recommended this land is NOT disposed of.

It would be unthinkable, given the strength of feeling, for the Deputy Leader to deviate away from a recommendation of a majority of his colleagues in full council.

Personally, we would have no confidence in any administration which disposes of this land.

Cllr Steven Chadwick

Cllr Stewart Burke

Cllr Ken Denton

Town councillors for Lever Park, Horwich