A key question is set to be posed on how £100,000 of council money should be spent in an “open, transparent” manner.

This comes more than three years after the last area forum meeting, which gave people the opportunity to ask and find out about how money was being spent in their areas, was held in Bolton.

Last December The Bolton News reported various area forums still appear to have £1,000s worth of funding to spend and questions are now set to be put to the council about reviving meetings like these.

Cllr Debbie Newall said: "Currently, we have over £100,000 of devolved funds to be spent in the ward of Kearsley and it is important that our residents have an understanding of the rationale behind any spending decisions, and indeed provide input into how they feel that these funds should be spent

"Previous meetings, known as area forum meetings, were well attended by residents and numbers often exceeded 50 people.

The Bolton News: Cllr Debbie Newall plans to pose questions about Area Forum MeetingsCllr Debbie Newall plans to pose questions about Area Forum Meetings (Image: Bolton Council)

"The meetings afforded residents the opportunity to present questions to councillors along with receiving presentations on local and topical initiatives and projects.”

Cllr Newall, of One Kearsley, argued that this was key to her commitment to “openness and transparency” when it came to public spending in her area.

Area forum meetings across Bolton last meet before the first lockdown in March 2020 and have not returned more than three years on.

Much of the money under discussion was spent on community functions such as supporting food banks, sports clubs and seasonal events.

In June last year a proposal was lodged to scrap area forums and replace them with "Community Alliances."

But according to the council’s website, Kearsley’s area forum still appears to be operational despite it not having been updated to take account of the most recent election results.

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Other area forums are still listed for all of the borough’s wards despite no dates for meetings being listed.

Cllr Newall said: "Area forum meetings disappeared across the borough during Covid-19 but have never been reintroduced.

"We would like to see the return of ward-based meetings at which residents can effectively engage with councillors and officers.”

Cllr Newall was set to ask about the possibility of bring back area forum meetings or introducing something similar at the full meeting of the council on Wednesday, September 6.