RIBBLE Valley's Conservative councillors will make pressing for the reopening of Clitheroe police station front desk a priority if they retain power in the borough after Thursday's local elections.

All 40 council seats are up for election, and Whalley Painterwood Tory candidate Ged Mirfin said his party would lobby Labour's Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw to boost policing the Ribble Valley .

Mr Mirfin, currently a borough representative on the Police and Crime Panel, said: "Mr Grunshaw has closed the front desks at Longridge and Clitheroe police stations.

"Despite being the largest geographical authority in Lancashire there is no point of contact for the public to request help from police. Resident’s have to go to Accrington ,Blackburn or Preston for assistance.

"Police responding to crime incidents in Ribble Valley come from Blackburn or Colne. The call out time is too long and the officers too far away.

"The leader of the Ribble Valley Borough offered to help reopen the front desk at Clitheroe Police Station, proposing among other things to move it to the council offices. All proposals were rejected by Mr Grunshaw.

"It is only through our council representatives' arguments we can press for improvements and stem the retreat from rural policing being carried out by this Commissioner."

Mr Mirfin added: "The council tax for 2019 -20 was increased by the Police Commissioner by the maximum. Households in Ribble Valley paid an extra £579,000 in council tax to the police very little of which we can see has benefited the borough."