THE political balance of Darwen Town Council has remained unchanged after Thursday’s elections.

It now has five Labour members, four Liberal Democrats and four Conservatives including new councillor Andrew Walker currently suspended from the party.

New LibDem Mark Davies joins his father Roy on the council.

Two long-serving members stood down before last week’s poll which was fought on new ward boundaries - Labour’s Pete Hollings and Liberal Democrat Vicky Rothwell.

Elected in Darwen East Ward were Roy and Mark Davies with 838 and 666 votes respectively, their LibDem colleague Paul Browne with 783 votes and Labour's Eileen Entwistle with 853 votes.

In Darwen South voters elected Conservatives candidates Kevin Connor (1,206 votes), Lilian Salton (988), Neil Slater (1,003) and Andrew Walker (975).

In Darwen West four Labour town councillors were elected: Stephanie Brookfield (990 votes); Jonathan Hamer (923); Dave Smith (1,171) and Brian Taylor (1,113).

In the single-member Darwen South Rural ward LibDem John East beat Labour's Matthew Jackson by 415 votes to 94.

Cllr Smith said: "As expected the political balance of the town council was unchanged by the election.

"People tend to vote slightly more for individuals than parties in these polls."

Cllr Walker, suspended from the party for Facebook comments in 2018 appearing to show support for EDL founder Tommy Robinson, will vote with the Conservatives while undergoing training.

* In the Livesey Parish Council election in Blackburn, eight Conservative candidates were returned with Independent challenger Joanne Croasdale getting 621 votes.

The three Ribble Valley Borough Council elections held on Thursday were all won by the Conservative candidates - Steve Farmer in Billington and Langho; Robin Walsh in Mellor; and Kevin Horkin in West Bradford and Grindleton.