THE leader of Ribble Valley Borough has made clear it has no intention of joining an all-purpose East Lancashire super-council.

Last week all 15 councils in Lancashire for the first time backed the principle of a new county combined authority.

Now Ribble Valley boss Cllr Stephen Atkinson has vowed to fight for his borough's independence within any such strategic local government structure.

He was reacting to Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Cllr Mohammed Khan's view that a combined authority with an elected Mayor would need three unitary councils below it with one for East Lancashire merging his borough with Hyndburn, Burnley, Pendle Rossendale and possibly Ribble Valley.

Cllr Atkinson said: "I am very disappointed that some council leader’s have used this unanimity to go a giant step further and set out their plans to reorganise the local government structure in Lancashire.

"Speaking for the residents and businesses of Ribble Valley I can’t see any desire to be taken over by a Greater Blackburn or any one else.

"I will do my best to protect the independence of Ribble Valley, until the residents of the Ribble Valley tell me different."