HYNDBURN MP Graham Jones has backed the idea of an East Lancashire super-council despite the borough’s leader Cllr Miles Parkinson initially declining to support the plan.

The council's ruling Labour group this week also over-rode their boss's reservations to support a Tory move to ensure it takes a full part in any discussions with government on the concept.

Hyndburn's Conservative group leader Cllr Tony Dobson said: "Cllr Parkinson is now isolated on this issue."

Last month the leaders of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale jointly approached the government about creating a new all-purpose Pennine Lancashire authority.

They sent a letter to local government secretary James Brokenshire calling for the new 'unitary' body to take control of all council services.

But Cllr Parkinson refused to back the campaign.

Cllr Dobson, put down a motion to a full Hyndburn Council meeting tomorrow requiring it to enter into negotiations to explore the benefits of a Pennine Lancashire unitary authority which Labour councillors will now support.

Mr Jones has signed a joint letter to Mr Brokenshire with his Burnley and Blackburn Labour Parliamentary colleagues Julie Cooper and Kate Hollern.

He said: "I think there could be advantages to Hyndburn of being in any new Pennine Lancashire unitary authority. The council should be involved."

The MPs letter says: “The proposed establishment of a new unitary authority has many merits and goes far beyond a change arrangement for governance.

"We wish to stress the merit of this proposal which we believe warrants serious consideration.

“Bringing these authorities together will secure financial sustainability by virtue of economies of scale and the shared provision of services."

Cllr Parkinson: "There are many issues to deal with before any new authority is created around the cost of reorganisation, future financing and jobs. I am happy for Hyndburn to take a full part in any discussions."

The MPs letter says: "Pennine Lancashire was formerly the industrial powerhouse of the nation and we believe we have the potential to once again be at the forefront of UK industry."

It adds: “Furthermore this proposal is entirely compatible with the government’s Northern Powerhouse objectives for improved regeneration."