A FORMER MP and ex-council leader has voiced support for the creation of a single authority to govern East Lancashire’s affairs.

Ex-Burnley MP Peter Pike has supported his Labour colleague Blackburn MP Jack Straw’s call for a combined ‘super-council’ covering Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale.

Mr Pike, who was Burnley Council leader before heading to Parliament in 1983, said: “I came to that view some 20 years ago and believe a unitary authority for East Lancashire would make a very strong local government unit.

“The county council is facing massive problems to meet the cuts imposed by the Government and each of the six borough councils in East Lancashire is facing almost impossible demands to cut expenditure.

“These cuts being imposed by the Government are unrealistic and unfair. Even aside from financial issues the case for a unitary authority for East Lancashire is very good and strong.”

Mr Pike said he also welcomed supportive comments by Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Coun Kate Hollern.