FORUMS for local residents to air concerns about where they live have been postponed ­— because of the General Election.

The move, which has left one councillor cross, means five area forums will be rescheduled and have been pencilled in for the New Year.

A spokesman for the council said: “The meetings will be rearranged as the council is abiding by pre-election restrictions, which come into force in Bolton on Friday

“The guidance, also known as ‘purdah’, imposes pre-election restrictions on a range of matters including publicity, using council facilities and resources, as well as undertaking activity that could call into question political impartiality.

“Council officers attend area forums and due to the nature of the topics set to be discussed the decision has been taken to postpone the meetings.”

Little Lever ward councillor, Sean Hornby said the decision had left him “fuming” saying that the meetings were vital in keeping residents updated about the multi-million pound town centre plans.

He said: “Whist understanding the reasons for the cancelling of the area forum I am fuming, Little Lever Residents need to be informed of updates on the proposals to start works on the town centre “Plan of the £4m plus investment desperately needed for the village plus the updates on building works and highways improvements.

“The forum is unlikely to take place now until after Christmas after the demolition of the former Tesco building has started.”

The former supermarket is being demolished to make way for a new library and health centre.

Plans are also being drawn up for a £4million cash injection into Little Lever to improve and regenerate the area as part of £16 million pot of funding for Bolton’s four townships.

Area forums which have been cancelled are Little Lever and Darcy Lever on November 11, Breightmet on November 13, Halliwell on November 16, Rumworth on November 18, Crompton on December 4 and Great Lever, although no date had been set for this forum.

Area forums are a means for residents to find out what’s going on in their community and ask questions to councillors, council officers and partners about the services provided locally.

The new dates will be posted on Bolton Council’s website at