RESIDENTS of Hyndburn were set to get more say on issues including transport, environment and schools if a new pilot scheme was given the go-ahead today.

The plan is to set up a 'forum' covering the whole of Hyndburn, to discuss services traditionally controlled by the county council.

Lancashire County Council hope to use Hyndburn as a pilot area, along with Rossendale, South Ribble and West Lancashire, to experiment with 'devolving' powers.

Hyndburn's forum would meet every six weeks, to discuss issues usually governed from County Hall in Preston.

Coun Peter Britcliffe, leader of Hyndburn Council, said: "One of the things that it will do is make decision-making more local, so that decisions can be taken by local people who know the local area. I also think it will lead to more sensible and practical decision-making.

"For instance, for a number of years I have been critical of some of the traffic schemes that have been implemented.

"I have felt that money could be used in a far more practical way."

The plans were set to be discussed at a meeting of Hyndburn Council's cabinet today but it was expected that they will be passed.

If the plans come into effect, council members of the forum will be selected at a meeting in July. Members of the public will also be able to attend.

In Hyndburn, the forum will have a say over three main areas - traffic and safety, including local safety schemes, school crossing patrols and lighting; environmental grants and appointment of school governors.

County Hall would still have the final say, but local input to schemes would be increased.

If the pilot works in Hyndburn and the other three pilot area, it is likely to be rolled out to other councils in the near future.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "The public will be able to attend the meetings and to participate in discussions of items on the agenda.

"They will also learn much more about local government from the meetings themselves, from press reporting and from initiatives such as joint guides to local government services or one-stop shops."