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Bolton Council has handed a £2.2million pot of money to a firm owned by the rich mega corporation Peel, which wants to build 3,000 houses in Westhoughton.

The money was given to Harworth Estates, which is wholly owned by the housebuilding giant, to help “incentivise” firms to come to their new business park Logistics North, in Over Hulton.

The grant from Bolton Council comes after the controversy surrounding council leader Cliff Morris’s secret decision to give £300,000 to rich law firm Asons.

The £2.2million given to Hartworth Estates is almost the same amount as Peel got out of paying in to Bolton Council for community improvements when it won permission to build new houses at Roscoes Farm, off Bolton Road.

The giveaway was approved by Councillor Morris at a secret meeting. Minutes from the meeting suggest that the council will make the £2.2 million fund available to Harworth and its tenants, to assist with the ‘continued development/occupation of the Logistics North site.’

Westhoughton Liberal Democrat councillor David Wilkinson said: “Suddenly Cliff Morris and his Labour councillors have found millions to splash out on a rich mega corporation owned by a billionaire who lives on the Isle of Man. Sadly it is what we have come to expect after he gave away money to a law firm owned by a man who brags about driving his sixth Lamborghini.

“Yet at the same time public services across Westhoughton are facing huge cuts, from introducing slim bins to closing children’s centres and from axing lollipop ladies to scrapping start-up grants for small businesses, this council has well and truly failed us.”