Questions have been raised about why Bolton appears to have just one police officer working on late night venue licencing in stark contrast to smaller boroughs.

A recent Bolton Council meeting heard how a single officer is believed to work with its licencing team, which oversees bars and late-night venues and deals with concerns about crime and violence.

This was discussed at a meeting between licencing committee chair Cllr Sean Fielding and several nightclub owners, who had been discussing plans for a “late night levy” in the town.

Cllr Fielding said: “One thing that came out of that which was quite interesting is the perception that Bury has three police officers working on licencing whereas we only have the one.

“I don’t know whether that perception is accurate or whether they are structured in a different way so those officers who do licencing also do other bits and pieces.

The Bolton News: The issue was discussed at Bolton Town HallThe issue was discussed at Bolton Town Hall (Image: Newsquest)

“But I think its something we need to get to the bottom of because Bury has a much smaller population, smaller area and if anybody should have more officers then it should be us.”

According to the most recent census, the borough of Bolton has a total population 296,041 compared to just 193,846 in Bury.

Cllr Fielding, who represents Breightmet, had been addressing a meeting of Bolton Council’s corporate and external issues scrutiny committee during a discussion about community safety.

The “late night levy” has been one proposed solution to ongoing concerns about violence and anti-social behaviour in the town centre, particularly around Bradshawgate.

If approved, the levy will see businesses that any refreshments between 3am and 6am in the town centre pay an extra charge.

ALSO READ: Have your say on charging town centre businesses in the fight against crime

ALSO READ: Change to plan for late night levy on businesses put forward after feedback

ALSO READ: Bolton's anti-social behaviour issue is an 'epidemic' in town centre

The money raised from the charge, set by the government, will then be used to fund dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour.

The original proposal, put forward this summer, would have seen businesses anywhere in the borough pay the charge, but only if they sold alcohol between 3am and 6am.

In response to Cllr Fielding’s questions about numbers of police officers, the meeting heard that this had been put to Greater Manchester Police and council officers hoped to have answers soon.

A public consultation on the late night levy will run until January 22 and can be found on Bolton Council’s website.