AREA boards across Warrington will be scrapped – with just one set to exist in the town due to the 'limited resources available' to support them.

They were introduced in the borough around eight years ago to provide support to communities battling for improvements in their areas.

Five boards – north, south, east, west and central – were formed but a review into them started last July.

At last Monday's meeting at the Town Hall, the executive board approved plans to set up a new 'neighbourhood renewal board' for the 'central' area.

The central area would be made up of Orford, Bewsey and Whitecross, Poplars and Hulme, Fairfield and Howley, Latchford East and Latchford West.

All other boards will be dissolved, with the council set to make 'even greater efforts' working with parish councils in other areas of the borough.

Grant funding for the boards will also be cut from £145,000 to £120,000, with the central board receiving £60,000.

The remainder will form part of a community initiative fund, which would be open to all community groups in the borough.

Cllr Tony Higgins, executive board member for culture, leisure and community, informed members of the 'robust arrangements' coming in at last Monday's meeting.

He said: "There is a strong case and support for neighbourhood working.

"There is real strength in the community groups, friends groups, residents associations and parish councils operating alongside the boards.

"However, the boards and their governance need to be redesigned.

"There is limited resources available to support area boards.

"It would make sense that this was focused on the areas of greatest need where there is no other governance in existence.

"In order to ensure there is real capacity to support our most deprived communities, it would seem sensible to operate only one board in the central neighbourhood area where all current neighbourhood support and budgets are integrated and focused.

"For parished areas there is potential duplication of governance and there is opportunity for the council and partners to work with parish councils to engage with communities in new ways.

"For parished areas the council and partners will continue to explore and work with parish councils to engage with communities in new ways.

"No staff are at risk as part of these proposals and neighbourhood teams will continue to support prevention in all communities."