A decision to end a long-standing partnership delivering road works has caused a rift between the borough and county council.

Jack Wilson, leader of Chorley Borough Council, spoke out after the County Council agreed to dismantle the Highways Partnership with district councils.

Under the partnership, district councils took decisions and carried out road works in their area, which is technically a county council function.

A war of words has now broken out between the Labour leader of Chorley council and his party colleagues at County Hall.

Councillor Wilson said: "The partnership was successful because it meant engineers with local knowledge were overseeing the road and associated works in their area.

"Councillors, residents and businesses with any problems or concerns could speak to someone on their doorstep who knew the area and had vast amounts of specific experience.

"The new arrangements driven through by the county council mean all road works will be organised centrally over a vast area. The new system will be cumbersome and inefficient with little local accountability."

Coun Wilson also spoke out about what he sees as the lack of consultation by the county council before the decision was taken at a meeting at County Hall last Thursday, (October 6). He said: "The way this proposal was rail-roaded through in double quick time is an embarrassment to local democracy. The first we knew about these plans was just weeks before the meeting was scheduled for a decision to take place.

"Local people have not had any opportunity to comment. It is a complete disgrace."

In response County Councillor Tony Martin, cabinet member for sustainable development said: "We are looking to make a better job of maintaining the roads. The only change I want people to notice is that their roads are in a better condition.

"It is wrong to say the new arrangements will mean local knowledge and expertise would be lost, as engineers that were employed by the districts would be working in the same places for the county council."