Leaders have had their say on the calls by Horwich Town Council to consider breaking away from Bolton Council.

Town councillors wrote to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick after they passed two key motions at a meeting of the town council. 

The first looks to reconsider Horwich’s place in Bolton Council, as town councillors believe Horwich’s voice isn’t heard when it comes to funding or planning.

The second motion wants to review Horwich’s current boundary, which doesn’t include all of Middlebrook or Horwich Parkway train station.

Cllr Steven Chadwick, Horwich’s deputy mayor, said the approval of plans to build 48 homes on Pickup Fields and delays to Horwich getting a modern health centre were just some of the reasons many residents feel it would be better to not be part of Bolton.

Cllr Chadwick has proposed that after a government review, and extensive public consultation, Horwich could potentially become part of Chorley Council or join with neighbours Westhoughton, Blackrod, Atherton and Leigh, to form a new Greater Manchester area.

Chris Green, Bolton West MP, covering Horwich, said he felt sympathy with the town council and understood why residents may feel this way.

He said: “Historically, the towns and villages surrounding Bolton have been forgotten and everything concentrated on the centre.

"But I do think that is changing with the new administration in the council and £4m of investment earmarked for Horwich town centre.

“I far more often hear about Horwich’s place in Lancashire, rather than Greater Manchester, as opposed to people focussing on independence from Bolton.

"I want to respect the views of local people and if there was a strong groundswell of support, I’d be happy to work with the community to explore options.”

Cllr Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said he understood why some in Horwich may want to join them as it’s a “great place to be a part of” but said the decision must be made within Greater Manchester.

Cllr Bradley said: “We know Chorley borough is a great place to be a part of so I can understand why the town council might want to look at the possibility of joining our area.

“Ultimately, that is a decision for the people of Horwich and the wider Greater Manchester area to make in conjunction with the Government.

“We know the frustrations of working in areas where decision-making may feel separated from the local people and that is why we have been supporting a review of how local government is structured in Lancashire.”