THE St Helens Green Party has given its backing to the creation of a town council for Newton-le-Willows after a petition exploring the possibility was launched.

The Star reported that the Newton and Earlestown Community Group (NECG) is seeking signatures so it can ask St Helens Council for a community governance review on establishing Newton-le-Willows Town Council.

It says this will enable residents of the area to make an "informed decision" on whether it is something they would want.

The town council would cover the Newton and Earlestown ward areas of the borough and have the same status and duties as a parish council.

The area would remain as part of the St Helens Metropolitan Borough.

Since 1974, the former Newton-le-Willows urban district has been part of the borough, with Newton and Earlestown each returning three councillors to the local authority.

Opinion among Newton residents on social media had been split since the Star reported on the petition. Some welcomed the prospect of the area having its own town council, while others said they were against it and expressed concern at potential rises in council tax.

In a statement, the St Helens Green Party said it supports "decentralisation and stronger local government" adding "our membership has reaffirmed this party position in relation to the creation of a town council for Newton and Earlestown.

"We share the concerns of many residents in the peripheral wards of St Helens Metropolitan Borough that they are being poorly served by the central town hall.

"Unlike some other areas within the St. Helens MBC area, Newton and Earlestown have not had a parish council since the formation of the borough council in 1974 we believe that a local town council would provide the residents of Newton and Earlestown with a greater say in how their town is run."

The statement added: "St Helens Green Party therefore urges people to not only support the petition for a governance review but to fully participate in the consultation process.

"We of the St Helens Green Party will do so, to help ensure that if a Newton-le-Willows Town Council is formed it reflects the views of the entire community of Newton and Earlestown.

"St Helens Green Party also supports the creation of parish and town councils in other local communities within the borough of St.Helens."

View the petition at