WHILE much of the political attention on May 7’s polling day focuses on who will become East Lancashire’s MPs, at least one council could could change hands in bitter local contests.

Favourite for an upset is Pendle where the 18-strong Conservative group rules, propped up by 11 Liberal Democrats in a loose coalition.


With 18 councillors and one third of the wards up for election, Labour hope to win enough seats to take control in some form. Labour are bidding to make inroads in Colne.

Trade Union and Socialist coalition candidate Jackie Grunsell may divide the left-wing vote in Reedley and allow Conservative Tony Cornes to squeeze home. Hyndburn is a bitter battleground where the Tories hope to dent Labour’s control as they fight to seize the Parliamentary seat.

UKIP and the Greens also have hopes of doing well.

Four senior councillors are stepping down – Brian Roberts, Mick Collingridge, Dave Parkins and John Broadley.

In Burnley, Labour are defending an 11-seat majority.

It will be a four-way fight rather than the traditional three-way scrap, in a number of borough seats.

The ruling group is fielding more candidates than any other, but UKIP is putting out 11 contenders, just one shy of the Conservatives and only four behind the Lib Dems.

John Rowe is the only candidate for the British National Party.

Blackburn with Darwen looks set to stay Labour with former council leader Kate Hollern standing down in Wensley Fold because of her Parliamentary ambitions.

Labour’s main concern is hanging onto the marginal wards of Meadowhead and Roe Lee. Rossendale could change hands with a third of the seats up but it is unlikely.

Ribble Valley, where all seats are up for election, is set to stay Tory with two wards not contested by rivals.