NORTHERN Powerhouse minister Jake Berry has been asked to suspend the redrawing of a local authority’s ward boundaries until a bid to create a Pennine Lancashire super-council has been decided on.

Pendle borough leader Cllr Mohammed Iqbal has written to the Rossendale and Darwen MP saying it makes no sense to press ahead with the new political ward map if the bigger change might supersede it.

Last week Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Cllr Mohammed Khan wrote to local government secretary Robert Jenrick asking the government to start active consultations on the plan to merge Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn and Rossendale into a single all-purpose authority.

In December the Local Government Boundary Commission is due to approve the new Pendle political map reducing the number of wards from 49 to 33 prior to all-out elections in May 2020.

Cllr Iqbal said “If the government are planning to proceed with a super East Lancashire council in 2022 then it makes no sense to have all-out elections with new boundaries in Pendle next May only for everything to be redrawn and have another full set of elections two years later.

“There is a significant cost for the all-outs in Pendle which can be saved if the government want to plough ahead with the imposition of a unitary council. I have asked to have these elections deferred pending the review of Pennine Lancashire.”