LABOUR and the Liberal Democrats have high hopes of winning back control of knife-edge Pendle Council next week thanks to ongoing Tory scandals.

With a background of 'Partygate' they are hoping a reverse Boris effect will stop the Conservative advance which gave the party victory last year on a new ward map.

At the moment the Tories have 16 councillors to Labour's 11 and the Liberal Democrats five.

This leaves them in charge on the Mayor Neil Butterworth's casting vote after they racked up an overall majority in 2021 with 18 councillors to Labour's 10 and the Lib Dems five.

But, the defection of Mohammed Adnan to Labour and death of Barrowford and Pendleside councillor Linda Crossley in February left them hanging on by their fingertips.

MORE: Every candidate in every ward at every Lancashire council in this year's elections

With their Vivary Bridge councillor Donna Lockwood not standing this time there are 12 council seats in 10 wards up for elections on Thursday.

Conservative group leader Cllr Nadeem Ahmed, up for re-election in his Barrowford and Pendleside ward, is confident his party can keep control and even gain three councillors.

He said: "This is a local election not a general election.

"We are campaigning on the development of the economy coming out of Covid and protecting green belt sites and building on brownfield sites instead.

"We have only been in control for a year and we need more time to continue our clear strategy to improve things for local people here in Pendle."

Labour group leader Cllr Mohammed Iqbal said: "I think 'Partygate' is have a huge impact on the doorstep.

"We have met residents who lost people while Boris was having fun. I think it will have come back to bite the Conservatives on May 5.

"We are campaigning on the Tories failure to protect green spaces as they promised last year. They haven't even produced a new local plan.

"The are talking about £500,000 of cuts next year but given no detail. We also want to improve highway safety."

Lib Dem leader David Whipp, defending his Earby and Coates seat in the face of a determined Tory challenge, said: "We are expecting to make gains especially in the Colne area where some of the Conservative majorities were very small.

"We're getting a very hostile reaction to the Conservatives and 'Partygate' on the doorstep.

"We are campaigning very strongly on the environment and regeneration on brownfield sites rather than destroying open countryside. We want a fair deal from the government on funding."

As the hard fought campaign comes to a close, the smart betting is on some form of coalition to run Pendle for the next year with the smart money on the Labour/LibDem partnership returning.



Barnoldswick – Chris Church (Liberal Democract), Euan Clouston (Labour), Sylvia Godfrey (Green), Debbie Moore (Conservative)

Barrowford and Pendleside – Nadeem Ahmed (Con), Susan Nike (Lab), Robert Oliver (Lab), Martyn Stone (Con)

Boulsworth and Foulridge – Wayne Blackburn (Lab), Andrew Macdonald (Lib Dem), Kevin Salter (Con), Lyndsey Taylor (Green)

Bradley – Mohammad Kaleem (Con), Mohammad Sakib (Lab)

Brierfield East and Clover Hill – Sajjad Ahmed (Lab), Mohammed Arshad (Con), Doris Haigh (Lib Dem)

Earby and Coates – Miles Parris (Con), David Whipp (Lib Dem), Jane Wood (Green)

Marsden and Southfield – Mohammad Ammer (Lab), Paul Graham (Green), Karen Howarth (Con), Keith Thornton (Lib Dem)

Vivary Bridge – David Clegg (Lib Dem), Benjamin Harrop (Green), Manzar Iqbal (Lab), Kieran McGladdery (Con), Paul McGladdery (Con), Howard Thomas (Lib Dem), Ann Wrigley (Lab)

Waterside and Horsfield – Neil Butterworth (Con), David Foat (Labour & Co-operative), Karan Leslie (Green), Alice Mann (Lib Dem)

Whitefield and Walverden – Thabasum Anwar (Lab), Annette Marti (Green), Chaudhary Zaman (Con).