BLACKBURN with Darwen Council is set to hold its annual meeting and ‘Mayor Making’ digitally next week despite problems when Burnley did the same on Wednesday night.

Hyndburn Borough has abandoned plans for its equivalent.

Because of coronavirus restrictions councils have moved to virtual meeting using video conferencing.

On Wednesday Burnley councillors spent an hour digitally appointing their youngest-ever mayor 40-year-old Cllr Wajid Khan. Proceedings were webcast on YouTube.

On Thursday Blackburn with Darwen will make Cllr Iftakhar Hussain mayor for 2020/21 with Conservative Cllr Derek Hardman as his deputy.

It will use MS TEAMS Live so 49 councillors can join the meeting and the public watch the proceedings.

Cllr Mohammed Khan, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “Whilst we’d all prefer to meet face to face for formal, public meetings we will be making history doing our first ever virtual council meeting. It’s important that we can continue to make key decisions about the future of the borough and keep the democratic process going.”

Cllr Charlie Briggs, leader of Burnley Council, said: “The virtual meeting wasn’t very good.”

Denise Park, chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “We’ve had to adapt to new ways of working and embrace technology at a really fast pace because of the pandemic.”

A Hyndburn Council spokesperson said: “We will not be holding an annual meeting in 2020 and, accordingly, there will be no associated mayor making ceremony.”