BLACKBURN with Darwen councillors have been warned about carelessly signing petitions.

Cllr Tony Humphrys, chair of its standards committee, and the borough's monitoring officer Asad Laher have said it could cause a conflict of interest requiring them to stand down from considering issues.

They spoke out when the committee met on Wednesday night to discuss the issue and appropriate advice to members.

Mr Laher said: " Councillors are eligible to sign and submit petitions to the council.

"Members should also avoid any conflict of interests particularly when acting in their role as councillors."

Cllr Humphrys said: "I would advise councillors against signing petitions.

"It can cause conflicts of interest if they are on the executive board, planning and highways or other committees.

"If the issue is important in their ward there are other ways to support residents concerns.

"If a councillor is on planning and they sign a petition on something that comes up such as traffic calming they can be accused of 'pre-determination'.

"They may be asked to withdraw from the committee while the issue is discussed and decided."