Pendle Borough Council election preview

COUN ALAN DAVIES

COUN MOHAMMED IQBAL

First published in Pendle Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by

LIBERAL Democrats in Pendle will be hoping to hold on to their big majority and make it to four years in control of the borough.

But other parties are hopeful of making gains, particularly after two resignations from the Lib Dems this year.

Issues on the doorstep include regeneration in Nelson, Colne and Brierfield, concerns over phone masts in Nelson, as well as council tax, rubbish collection and the environment.

The council's current make-up is 26 Lib Dems, 13 Conservatives, five Labour, three independents and one BNP.

Although it is unlikely that control of Pendle Council will pass to any other party, the council's area committee system means changes in one or two wards could mean different parties dominating initial decision-making in different areas.

The Lib Dems, and council leader Alan Davies, could easily lose their power over initial decision-making in Nelson.

At the moment the Lib Dems in Nelson only have a one-member overall majority on the town's area committee, and have lost debates in the chamber after Kathleen Shore, who is defending her seat in Clover Hill, broke away to sit independently.

The Clover Hill seat is contested by six different candidates, and so is Colne's Waterside, where sitting candidate Ian Robinson also left the Lib Dems this year to go Independent.

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A total of 64 people are competing for the 17 seats available, which are held at the moment by eight Liberal Democrats, six Conservatives and three independents.

The Labour Party, led by Mohammed Iqbal is hoping to gain seats from the Liberal Democrats, calling this a "referendum" on the party's performance after three years, but will have few chances for giant-killing.

But there could be an upset if the man already nominated to be the next mayor of Pendle, Councillor Alan Buck, is defeated in Coates, Barnoldswick.

Already-nominated deputy mayor Shelagh Derwent will also fight to keep her seat, in Blacko and Higherford.

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