OPPOSITION councillors in Trafford claim the electorate was misled about a £6m shortfall in the announced budget for 2014/2015.

Labour councillors allege the Tory administration failed to reveal when it first knew of the additional savings requirement ahead of May's local elections.

This was disputed by the leader of the authority Cllr Sean Anstee, who admitted they informed both the Labour and Lib-Dem leaders of the potential miscalculation at the end of March.

Trafford Council revealed in June, that following a review of its original budget, cuts in the current budget of up to £17 million would increase to £23 million.

According to local authority bosses the underestimate was made in costs associated with caring for vulnerable people in the borough, particularly the elderly and adults with a learning difficulties, which it said had increased considerably compared to previous assumptions

At an extraordinary meeting held last month to discuss the issues, Labour demanded answers over what it termed as a “black hole” in the budget.

Labour’s finance spokesman Cllr Tom Ross said: ‘Clearly Cllr Anstee doesn’t want to answer my question because his executive knew about this mess months ago.

"He should have been honest with residents from the outset rather than hiding the facts and acting out of crude political expediency, so I ask him again: when did his executive know and why did he keep it out of the public domain for so long?"

Cllr Anstee told the Messenger: " At all times, I had the same information as the leader's of both the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats, and we were informed at the end of March of an issue. It was at this point, I asked for an urgent investigation to commence.

"It was not known prior to the election the full impact of the ?issue nor would it have been appropriate to speculate. Labour in Trafford insist on twisting this very serious issue, dealt with professionally, into a story they can use for their own political interests. That in itself is staggering.".

Cllr Anstee said the authority would shortly publish its response on how the additional £6m demand cuts would impact on services adding: "it is committed to being open and transparent".