THE next deputy leader of Bolton Labour has been chosen.

Cllr Ebrahim Adia was elected to the position after a vote held by Labour councillors on Thursday evening.

He will now serve as second in command to new leader Cllr Linda Thomas, who is succeeding Cliff Morris as leader.

Cllrs Thomas and Adia are expected to be formally confirmed as leader and deputy leader of Bolton Council at February’s full council meeting, but the former will be taking on responsibilities as acting leader from next week.

As executive cabinet member for regeneration and resources, Cllr Adia was one of the most senior candidates for the position. The Rumworth ward councillor is also provost at the University of Central Lancashire’s Burnley campus.

His main rival for the role was thought to be Cllr Nick Peel.

Cllr Adia, said: “It is an immense privilege to be given the opportunity to serve the town in this role.

“Bolton Council, like many local authorities, has endured unprecedented cuts in Government funding in recent years against a backdrop of rising demand for many of our services.

"The council’s ability to deliver services is now almost entirely dependent on council tax, business rates and income from fees and charges.

“We will therefore continue with our plans to regenerate the town, including the town centre, so that we can generate the funding to continue to deliver essential services, especially those supporting some of our most vulnerable residents.

“Bolton has all the foundations to be a great place to live, work, study and invest.

“By working in partnership, I am confident we can deliver future growth and prosperity to the benefit of all our residents.”

The council’s new chief executive will also be starting his new job on Monday.

Tony Oakman is taking over from Margaret Asquith, moving from his current post as deputy chief executive of Dudley Council.

Ms Asquith, who stepped into the top job after the resignation of Paul Najsarek, will serve as his deputy until she retires in March.

Cllr Thomas said: “Cllr Adia has a strong track record.

"The new leadership and the appointment of Tony as chief executive marks a pivotal moment as we look to take our vision, and our town, forward in the months ahead.”