Local and national issues, traditional party loyalties and personal support for individuals will all be tested in Pendle’s May local elections, following the mass resignation of Labour councillors.

The Israel-Gaza conflict, Pendle regeneration and town centre schemes such as Colne’s market hall and theatres, Nelson town centre and Brierfield’s Northlight Mill; housing, health and pharmacy services, trains including the Colne-Skipton rail reopening campaign, buses and green spaces are likely to be among election topics.

Also flood protection, future cemetery space, youth clubs, anti-social behaviour, industrial estates, business support and upgrades for smaller towns and villages have been part of Pendle politics in recent times. And Lancashire devolution too.

Councillors who recently resigned from the Labour Party in protest at Gaza and the national party leadership, are standing for re-election as independents or with no formal political description, according to Pendle Council lists for the May 2 poll. Some will face competition from new Labour Party candidates while others will not.

Among the well-known candidates who left Labour are Mohammed Iqbal, a former Pendle Council leader, standing in Bradley; and Naeem Ashraf, who left Labour last year, standing in Brierfield East and Clover Hill. No new Labour candidates have been chosen to compete against them. But they both face Conservative opponents, according to election lists.

Asjad Mahmood, the current council leader who also left Labour, is standing in Whitefield and Walverden. He faces competition from both Labour and Conservative candidates.

Regarding other parties, Conservative Nadeem Ahmed, another former Pendle Council leader, is standing for re-election in Barrowford and Pendleside. Ash Sutcliffe is standing again in Waterside & Horsfield and Sarah Cockburn-Price at Boulsworth & Foulridge

Lib-Dem candidates include Tom Whipp standing at Barnoldswick and the current Pendle mayor Brian Newman at Fence.

The Green Party has put forward candidates in various wards and will be keen to make a breakthrough. Pendle politics has traditionally been dominated by the big three parties of Labour, Conservatives and the Lib-Dems.