The main contenders to lead Bolton Council in next week’s election have spoken on their visions for the borough, with regeneration, the environment and 'town hall culture'  becoming key issues.

The battle over Bolton town hall will be one of the most important contests in the country, with the results locally likely to indicate the fate of the two main parties across the rest of England.

But Conservative leader Cllr Martyn Cox believes says that local regeneration, more investment in the roads and further levelling up bids will be key on the ground in Bolton

He said: “Its about the regeneration of the town centre and the district centres.

“We’ve worked on 450 roads since we’ve come in, people like that, they appreciate that and we’ve done it all while protecting greenbelt land.

“Building on brownfield sites, that’s a really important part of what we’re trying to do.”

He added: “We’ve also changed the culture of the town hall.

“We thought it had gone awry and we wanted to make it a place where people want to work.”

Cllr Cox also said he hoped to see further “levelling up” bids made soon, particularly in the Bolton West area.

His opponent, Labour leader Nick Peel agreed on the importance of regenerating the town, but added more had to be done to improve people’s quality of life and protect the environment.

He said: “What Labour has to offer is a quite radical alternative manifesto.

“We want to open up the town hall and we want key partnerships that devolve budgets to key stakeholders in the community.”

He added: “We’re not afraid as a council to say to other organisations we can’t do everything so we want to bring in their expertise.”

Cllr Peel said that he also wanted to protect pocket parks and ensure that Bolton Council became a living wage employer.

He also said that the environment would be a key consideration, with plans to create a new cabinet member for the environment and to overhaul the planning system so it would be more environmentally friendly.

Voters will go to the polls on Thursday.