Labour gained overall control of Chorley Council making significant gains at the expense of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Sixteen of the borough’s 47 seats were contested yesterday, with 43 candidates vying to become councillors.

The make up of the council now consists of 24 Labour members, 20 Tories, two Independents and a single Liberal Democrat.

The new administration, which will be led by father of two Alistair Bradley, 42, gained four seats including Jean Cronshaw unseating current cabinet member Alan Cullens in Clayton North and Danny Gee returning to the council after a six year gap by winning Euxton North.

Robert Finnamore defeated sitting Lib Dem member Stella walsh in Coppull and 20 year-old Kim Snape triumphed in the key seat of Heath Charnock and Rivington, the result which sent Labour over the line.

Councillor Bradley said the new administration would ‘hit the ground running’.

He said: “The people of Chorley have emphatically voted for change and we will deliver it with an enthusiastic and vibrant team.

“Our priorities will be helping young people into employment and creating a vibrant and growing town centre.

“In 2006 when the Tories took over David Cameron came to Chorley in a helicopter and said ‘this is the beginning for us’, I’d say Chorley has shown him it’s now the beginning of the end for him.”

Outgoing council leader Peter Goldsworthy said he was disappointed that his party had lost out and acknowledged that the Conservatives had been ‘rejected at the polls’.

He said: “Our administration has made Chorley one of the best run councils in the country, we’ve invested in more PCSOs than ever before keeping the streets safer, have attracted businesses to Chorley and have kept council tax low, even reducing it this year.”

He added that his future as leader of the group would be decided over the weekend.

PRE-ELECTION BACKGROUND: In Chorley campaigning has begun for what one party leader has described as the “most important elections for a generation”.

Sixteen of the borough’s 47 seats are being contested on May 3, with 43 candidates vying to become councillors.

Control of the council rests with the current Conservative-led administration comprising of 23 members who formed a coalition with two Liberal Democrats.

Labour currently have 20 councillors and there are two independents.

Chorley candidates

  • ADLINGTON AND ANDERTON (two seats) Hayden James (UKIP); Mike Devaney (Con); Graham Dunn (Lab);Matthew Elliot (Con); Peter Wilson (Lab) Heath Charnock and Rivington Barbara Catterall (Con); Nigel Cecil (UKIP); Kim Snape (Lab)
  • BRINDLE AND HOGHTON Chris Caton (Lab); David Dickinson (Con)
  • CHORLEY EAST Julia Berry (Lab); Alan Leach (Green); Simon Parkinson (Con)
  • CHORLEY NORTH EAST Stephen Cross (Green); Adrian Lowe (Lab); Sandra Mercer (Con); Tommy Shorrock (UKIP)
  • CHORLEY NORTH WEST David Metcalfe (Con); Geoffrey O’Donoghue (Lab); Joyce Snape (Ind)
  • CHORLEY SOUTH EAST Alistair Bradley (Lab); Sam Chapman (Con); Glynn Hughes (Ind); Alistair Straw (Green)
  • CHORLEY SOUTH WEST Terry Cook (Con); Anthony Gee ( Lab)
  • CLAYTON-LE-WOODS Jean Cronshaw (Lab); Alan Cullens (Con)
  • COPPULL Robert Finnamore (Lab); Peter Malpas (Con); Stella Walsh (LD)
  • ECCLESTON AND MAWDESLEY Henry Caunce (Con); Stanley Ely (Lab); Robert Keane (UKIP)
  • EUXTON NORTH Danny Gee (Lab); Jeffrey Mallinson (UKIP); Debra Platt (Con)
  • LOSTOCK John Dalton (Con); Alan Whittaker (Lab)
  • CLAYTON-LE-WOODS AND WHITTLE-LE-WOODS Celine Maguire (Lab); John Walker (Con)
  • WHEELTON AND WITHNELL Chris France (Lab); David Moran (Con)