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Day of milestones at Pendle elections
5:30pm Saturday 24th May 2014 in News
IT WAS a day of milestones as Pendle Council’s election results were declared yesterday.
There was little change in the borough’s political make-up as the Tories looked set to remain in minority control with Liberal Democrat support.
However, Thursday's poll saw Brian Parker become the country’s longest-serving British National Party councillor and the only party member still sitting in the north.
He retained his hold in Nelson’s Marsden ward with just six votes more than Tory, Neil McGowan.
Yesterday was also a breakthrough day for Conservative candidate Lyle Davy, aged just 18, who became the UK’s youngest councillor, ousting Lib Dem Lindsay Gaskell from the 16-year Liberal stronghold of Coates, Barnoldswick, with 49 votes, overturning a 365-vote majority.
Coun Davy’s fellow Tory and first-time runner Chris Jowett, 23, took the reins for Barrowford from long-standing Tory Jonathan Eyre, who has retired from his post.
A row broke out between Labour and BNP supporters as they left Pendle Leisure Centre, following yesterday's count, but police said they had received no complaints.
Labour unexpectedly snatched Brierfield from the Conservatives, with 27-year-old barrister Coun Yasser Iqbal ending Coun Pauline McCormick’s 40-year’s service for Reedley ward, by just 36 votes.
However overall, having only lost one seat to Labour, and gained one from the Lib Dems, the Tory-led council looks set to continue its current arrangement with the Liberals.
Leader of the council, Coun Joe Cooney, said he would be speaking to the Lib Dems, and is ‘hopeful’ they would reach an agreement, a sentiment shared by acting leader of the Lib Dems, Coun Tony Greaves.
Coun Greaves said: “I will be meeting with the leader of the council and suggesting an all party executive should run the borough.
“I would expect Labour to reject this, so the current situation will continue.”
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