DEPUTY leader of Bolton Council has been formally elected to lead Bolton's Conservative Group following the tragic and shock death of Cllr David Greenhalgh last month.

Cllr Martyn Cox was appointed leader of the Tory group following a meeting of Conservative councillors this evening.

He is currently acting leader of Bolton Council until a meeting of the full council on Wednesday determines who will become the new council leader, a position Cllr Greenhalgh was said to have been proud to have held.

Cllr Cox, aged 53, said: "I have been chosen in circumstances nobody would have wanted. David was a terrific leader and the Conservative Group had full confidence in him.

"I very much enjoyed the economic and regeneration portfolio I held, and I had this fabulous guy who was fantastic with people and we all made a good team.

"Primarily I was upset at losing a wonderful friend, a fantastic person and I knew I would have to step up to the plate.

He added: "I want to continue to ensure the Conservative Group offers a credible alternative to Labour in Bolton and that working people who want to get on and do their bit, regardless of their background, see it as the natural party for them."


Cllr David Greenhalgh and Cllr Martyn Cox, picture taken before Covid

(Team: Late Cllr David Greenhalgh with Cllr Martyn Cox in 2019)

Cllr Cox, who lives in Lostock, was first elected to Bolton Council in 2003 before stepping down in 2007 to spend time with his family.

He re-entered politics in 2010 elected councillor for Westhoughton and Chew Moor.

The father-of-three was born on Crompton Way, his parents were well known Frank and Pat Cox. Frank, who died at the age of 86, was known for his work at George Cox & Sons and Pat was an active volunteer with the WRVS in Bolton.

Cllr Cox lived in Breightmet until the age of seven, attending SS Osmund's RC Primary School before moving to St Cuthbert's RC High School and continuing his studies at Thornleigh Salesian College's Sixth Form.

After graduating from Plymouth University, Cllr Cox spent time teaching in Spain, where he met his wife Rosa Garcia, who died at the age just 57 in December 2019.

Cllr Cox went into the family civil engineering business where he stayed as director for 27 years.

In 2019 Cllr Cox was elected deputy leader when Bolton Conservatives formed their first administration in 40 years.

Cllr Cox has held a range of portfolios, including culture, children's services and a member of the police authority.

He said: "I came into politics because I was interested in it from a very young age and wanted get involved in the civic life of my town, Bolton."