THE Conservatives have been voted in for another year in power at the town hall as Bolton Council holds the first virtual annual meeting in its civic history.

Cllr David Greenhalgh was re-appointed as council leader at the meeting on Wednesday evening, keeping him in post until May 2021.

With no overall majority, the Tories relied on the votes of the Lib Dems, UKIP and the two hyper-local independent parties to stay in control at the council.

Former council leader Linda Thomas, who stepped down from her role of leading the Labour group last week, chaired the meeting – her first as mayor.

The Tory cabinet remains unchanged with the exception of outgoing mayor Cllr Hilary Fairclough taking on the environmental service delivery portfolio.

The position was previously held by Cllr Anne Galloway who was given the children’s services brief after Cllr Christine Wild died suddenly in February.

Newly-elected Labour leader Nick Peel has also revealed his shadow cabinet.

He will cover the council’s strategy, budget and external affairs brief and deputy group leader, Cllr Akhtar Zaman, will watch over the development and regeneration, skills, culture and property portfolio.

Cllr Kevin McKeon, who stood against Cllr Peel for the position of leader, will take his rival’s previous post as shadow cabinet member for the environment.

The new role of “climate change champion” has been created for Cllr Martin McMulkin who put himself forward for the position of deputy leader twice.

In an email to Labour councillors, Cllr Peel said Cllr McMulkin had already been working on this brief but this would now be formalised by the new role.

He said: “When we retake power in Bolton, a new cabinet member for climate change will be created, with overseeing powers on all other portfolios whose decisions affect the environment.

“Martin’s role over the next 12 months will be to work up a ‘job description’ on how this new portfolio would operate, as well as coming back to the group with proposals for new group policies on the environment.”

The shadow cabinet member for stronger communities will be Cllr Madeline Murray, a post left vacant by Cllr Anna-Marie Watters when she left the party.

Cllr Martin Donaghy will take the childen’s services brief from Cllr Ann Cunliffe.

His previous post covering strategic housing and planning has been handed to Cllr Richard Silvester who has been replaced by Cllr Mohammed Ayub as shadow cabinet member for highways and transport.

The licensing and environmental regulation committee will now be chaired by Cllr Fairclough but Cllr Mudasir Dean will continue to chair a sub-committee.

The planning committee will still be chaired by Conservative councillor John Walsh with Labour councillor Mohammed Ayub staying as vice-chair.

Labour councillor Richard Silvester will now chair the corporate and external issues scrutiny committee with UKIP councillor Sean Hornby his vice-chair.

Lib Dem councillor Doug Bagnall will continue to chair the place scrutiny committee and Farnworth and Kearsley First councillor will remain vice-chair.

Labour councillor Mohammed Iqbal will now chair the children’s services scrutiny committee, taking over from former cabinet member Ann Cunliffe.

Labour councillor Martin Donaghy will chair the health overview and adult services scrutiny committee with Farnworth and Kearsley First councillor Julie Pattison still serving as vice-chair.