CONSERVATIVES are "thinking the unthinkable" with controversial policies to reduce town hall jobs and build new roads as part of their local election pledges.

The party, hoping to take control of Bolton Council next Thursday, unveiled its manifesto with the slogan "Putting Boltonians First".

At the centre of the document is a pledge to make Bolton a cleaner, greener place, with zero-tolerance for environmental crimes.

"We will be making an example of those that tip and fly-post and throw their gum all over the floor," said Cllr John Walsh, leader of Bolton's Conservative group.

"Bolton needs to be tidied up. It is the one message I get from my colleagues time and time again."

The Tories also plan to reintroduce park wardens to fight anti-social behaviour.

Other pledges include tackling the council wage bill, which is approaching £200 million a year. Although there would be no redundancies, Cllr Walsh says filling vacancies would be deferred for six months, after which departments would have to go before a panel to justify why the post needs filling.

"We also need a root-and-branch review of every single department budget," said Cllr Walsh.

"We are going to have to think the unthinkable."

Targets for cutbacks could include council grants to the Citizens Advice Bureau, Welfare Rights Service and the TUC Unemployed Workers Centre.

"Essentially it is a duplication of services. We only need one," said Cllr Walsh.

Driver-friendly proposals include building new roads to encourage investment and make Bolton easier to access; campaigning against congestion charging, creating more free and cheap town centre parking places, and scrapping pay-and-display spaces in favour of pay-on-exit car parks.

If put into power, the Conservatives say they would call an immediate halt to the creation of speed humps and instead introduce 20mph zones in residential areas, naming and shaming those caught speeding.

Bolton Tories would also withdraw from the regional assembly - an alliance of senior councillors from across the North-west - and resist attempts to take powers away from town halls to regional bodies.

In education, they want a major review of Bolton schools.

"We need to find out why we are falling behind our neighbours and in national standards," said Cllr Walsh.