The battle for control of Bolton town hall is well under-way.

A total of 118 candidates in total are standing for election in each of the 20 wards which make up the town on May 2.

The 60-strong council has been Labour led for a year, their group having the largest number of seats without an overall majority.

A third of the council along with a single vacancy in Horwich is being elected, meaning 21 seats are up for grabs.

The town of Westhoughton, which has two wards, is typical of the complex political make-up of the council.

As things stand there are four Liberal Democrat councillors, one Conservative member and a single Labour council member.

Each of those parties will be hoping to maintain their status or make gains in the two wards of Westhoughton North and Hunger Hill and Westhoughton South. A total of 13 candidates will be on the ballot papers in a fortnight with the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens, Westhoughton First Independents and Reform/ Bolton For Change fielding a full slate of two candidates each and a UKIP candidate also standing in Westhoughton South.

In recent years, one of the main complaints from Westhoughton residents has been over development, with new build housing estates approved and more possibly to come.

Other issues include the problems of road congestion, the state of roads and pavements and the long-running issue of redevelopment of the town hall.

READ MORE: When will Bolton Council declare 2024 election results?

The candidates standing in Bolton Council local elections 2024 by ward

The Local Democracy Service visited Westhoughton this week to ask shoppers what they thought the issues and priorities for the town were.

Paul Hardy, 42, said: “I’ve got a young family and Westhoughton is generally a good place to live but I think a priority should be facilities for youth. I’m not going to tell you which way I’m voting but I’d support ideas from any party for things like a new youth centre.

“If we invest in stuff for children now it will prevent all kinds of problems such as anti-social behaviour and crime in the future.” Dave and Christine Lonsdale, from Westhoughton, were clutching their postal votes to post as they embarked on a shopping trip.

They said they were each voting for different parties based on national issues.

Dave, 73, said: “I really don’t think Labour under Starmer are offering anything new and I don’t trust them. I’ll be voting Conservative although Christine has gone for Labour this time.”

John Roberts, 74, said that over development and traffic were two issues affecting the quality of life for Westhoughton folk. He said: “Me and my wife are both retired but we don’t go out in the rush hour in the morning and evening as the roads here are gridlocked, especially up to the Chequerbent roundabout towards the A6 and M61.

“There’s been a lot of development over the years, estate after estate and it’s a concern whether the services for health and schools are coping with all the new people moving in. I’ll be supporting the Liberal Democrats at the local level. One thing that sticks in the mind is that they opposed the council spending money on bike lanes and traffic calming on Market Street and wanted to spend the money on improving the park instead.

“That would have been a better use of the money.”

Jane Reynolds, 42, from Daisy Hill is also concerned about traffic and that could even be made worse by future developments. She said: “It sends you mad all the congestion around here, for large parts of the day you’ve got to allow 20 minutes to a half hour extra just to get to the M61.

“There’s also plans to build hundreds more houses at places like Hulton Park which will just make it worse. Westhoughton in the past 20 years has been developed to the point that there’s too much traffic for the roads.”

Poppy Tate-Lancashire and her friend Libby Bray both have the opportunity to vote for the first time this year as they will turn 18. Poppy said: “I really don’t see the point in voting, it won’t make any difference to how things are run.”

Libby said she would consider voting but needed to understand more about the policies that the parties were offering.


Below is a list of all the candidates standing on May 2 in the two Westhoughton wards:

Westhoughton North & Hunger Hill Ward


Charlie Barrett (GREEN)

Colin Higson (CON)

Deirdre Janice McGeown (LIB DEM)

Karen Millington (LAB)

Jill Alexandra Reynolds (WESTHOUGHTON FIRST INDS)

Westhoughton South Ward

Richard Adam Bates (UKIP)

Neil Maher (LIB DEM)

John Stewart McHugh (LAB)

Cathryn Norris (CON)


Heather Rylance (GREEN)