BOLTON is set to receive a string of visits from government ministers after its council leader told the Conservative conference how to oust Labour.

Cllr David Greenhalgh was given three minutes of prime time from the Manchester gathering’s main platform to explain how he became the borough’s first Tory leader in nearly 40 years.

Now having explained the ‘magic formula’ which led Bolton Council to go from red to blue for Conservative representatives, he is expecting senior ministers to come to the town regularly to see first-hand how it was done.

Cllr Greenhalgh was the star turn in a conference session on campaigning on Tuesday hosted by party chairman James Cleverley.

He was introduced to the hall at the Manchester Central Convention Complex with congratulations on becoming ‘our first Conservative leader for Bolton in almost 40 years who is already bringing about many local improvements’.

Cllr Greenhalgh told representatives: “It isn’t always that easy being a Conservative in the north.

“Over the years I have certainly learnt how to do disappointment but I must pay credit to the local associations and volunteers who have campaigned tirelessly, targeted fiercely and selected candidates wisely.

“At the last election the residents of Bolton voted for change. It is now our responsibility to deliver.

“In our first 100 days we have set out a clear direction of travel with an extra £10 million to resurface Bolton’s worst roads.

“With a £1.5m into the cleaner greener agenda, investing in our parks and children’’s play areas, purchasing more effective and efficient cleansing and grass cutting equipment, planting more trees and wild flowers, and cleaning up the borough.

“We immediately reversed Labour’s proposed increase in councillor allowances, did away with political assistants and make decisions in a more open and transparent way.

“And Bolton is open for business with an ambitious £1.2billion masterplan to rebuild the town centre and with the private sector’s help and investments.”

Cllr Greenhalgh then took part in a question and answer session with other Tory council leaders from the north who had gained power in Labour strongholds.

He said last night: “I was asked to go to the conference and explain the magic formula which had enabled us to oust Labour from power in Bolton.

“It was about offering people change and going into areas which are not traditionally promising for the Conservatives like Breightmet and Tonge.

“We worked hard for a long time and tackled issues like poor roads and the cleaner greener agenda.

“It was about selecting good candidates, including good black and ethnic minority candidates, and being light on our feet to seize upon Labour's mistakes.

“The conference was a great opportunity to ‘Big Up Bolton’, highlight its successes and network with potential investors.

“I am now looking forward to a series of high-profile ministerial visits to see at first hand how we did it in Bolton and what we are achieving in the borough.”

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry, who shared a platform with Cllr Greenhalgh at a fringe meeting on ‘Are our towns being left behind’, said: “It was great to see David explaining how the Conservatives can take over Labour’s Northern urban strongholds.

“There were lesson to be learnt from him by the party right across the country.”

Cllr Greenhalgh also met with local government secretary Robert Jenrick to discuss Bolton Council’s high street and town centre funding bids and shared a fringe meeting platform with Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers.