A COUNCILLOR will spend the next 10 months serving residents in his ward from his new home over 400 miles away.

Harry Grayson, who has represented Labour in Rishton for the past decade, will move to the south of Ireland later this month – but plans to remain councillor until the local elections next May, when his term ends.


The 65-year-old has pledged to return to Hyndburn on a regular basis, and said he will refuse any allowances, travelling from Glenbeigh in Count Kerry every ‘eight to 12 weeks’ at his own expense.

Cllr Grayson, who has sold his home in Oak Close and will move out before July 17, has already quit his role as planning chairman with immediate effect.

He said: “My wife Carole and I made the decision to set up a base in Southern Ireland as we are blessed with family both there and also here in Hyndburn.

“Although I’ve stepped down from the planning committee, I still plan to serve my Rishton constituents well and will continue to work for them until the end of my term in May next year, supported by my fellow Rishton councillors, Cllr Clare Cleary and Cllr Ken Moss.

“I’ve enjoyed every second of my 10 years working to improve the place where I was born, raised and lived all my life and plan to carry on this work until next May.

“One thing I want to make clear is I’m not taking any salary or any type of payment from the council, I will be coming back at my own expense.”

Rishton resident Nigel Airey, who lives in Stourton Street with his wife Val, called for Cllr Grayson to step down and for a by-election to be held.

He said: “I don’t think it’s something that can be done from far away. If you are a Rishton councillor, you should live locally.”

“There should be a by-election.”

Council leader Miles Parkinson said: “Cllr Grayson has done sterling work and wants to complete the major projects, like the large industrial estate at Whitebirk, the Peel Centre, and the canalside development.

“While he settles down, he has stood down from the planning committee, but he will continue his back bench work and will be coming to council meetings.”

Leader of the opposition, Cllr Tony Dobson, said he had met with Cllr Grayson and discussed the issue.

He said: “We have said we will play it by ear and see how the residents of Rishton feel.”

Conservative councillor Peter Britcliffe described the situation as ‘just about acceptable’.

The former council leader said: “I understand Harry will be coming over regularly and that the other two councillors are prepared to pick up his work, but it’s a long way to work from.”