LIVESEY Parish Council in Blackburn is to have a rare contested election after the late nomination of an Independent candidate.

For many years there has been no need for voters to go to the polling station to select who sits on it as the number of candidates equalled the number of seats.

But this year after the Conservatives nominated eight candidates to fill the eight posts, Independent Joanne Croasdale put her name forward requiring an election at a cost £2,500.

Attempts by the Tories to withdraw one of their candidates failed and now the poll will go ahead on May 6.

The costs will be split between the parish council and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Blackburn Conservative Association chairman and Livesey Parish Council candidate Julian Arnold said: "We were not aware of an Independent candidate standing until we received the notice of nominated candidates from the council.

"Bizarrely the deadline to withdraw candidates was earlier than this being issued.

"We did try to withdraw a candidate but Blackburn with Darwen Council would not allow us to.

"We would have withdrawn a candidate to avoid an election that we feel is not a good use of parish council funds."

Labour candidate for Livesey with Pleasington ward in the borough council elections Michael Jackson said: "It seems the Tories put forward eight candidates to lock anyone else out of the parish council.

"This has now backfired with an Independent candidate also standing.

"Borough and parish council taxpayers will now have to pick up the costs of the election but that is democracy."

Next door Pleasington Parish Council is uncontested with five candidates for five spots.

The other Livesey candidates are Les Cade, Colette Hardman, Derek Hardman, John Malowana-Murphy, Kasia Malowana-Murphy, Rick Moore and Keith Murray.