BLACKBURN with Darwen councillors will tonight be asked to confirm their support for a Lancashire-wide combined authority with a directly-elected mayor.

The request by borough leader Cllr Mohammed Khan to its full Council Forum meeting follows Pendle refusing to do the same.

Its full council meeting declined to support the plan without further information from government.

Cllr Khan said: "Lancashire is comparable in size to other combined authorities and, if afforded a similar level of devolution, might attract almost £500 million of investment over 30 years, and £160m in housing investment.

"If Lancashire is to benefit from similar levels of devolution and powers that other areas have achieved, it must move at pace to engage with the government."

Pendle Council's Liberal Democrat deputy leader Cllr David Whipp said: "An elected mayor would be unaccountable to residents in Pendle, with a combined authority hoovering up power away from them."