Deadlock as talks continue over future leadership of Pendle Council

Nelson Town Hall
Nelson Town Hall

The future leadership of Pendle Borough Council is still unclear after last week's election left no party with overall control.

The ruling Conservative administration, which held a precarious one seat grip on power, lost overall control losing two seats on the day.

The Tories were in a vulnerable position, defending 11 seats comapred to three each for Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Although the Tories still have the most seats – 23 to Labour’s 16 and the Liberal Dems’ 10 – they do not have enough to form an administration.

That scenario looks like leading to a repeat of two years ago when the Labour and Lib Dem groups formed a coalition.

Labour leader, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, told Leader Times he had been having talks this week with his Lib Dem counterparts, but no deal had yet been struck.

He said: “Clearly, Pendle Council is in need of leadership and hopefully we can get something resolved over the weekend.

“The biggest concern for everyone is future funding for Pendle, which I think we all agree on. The Labour Lib Dem coalition worked well before and there’s no reason why it can’t again.”

Senior Pendle Lib Dem Coun. Tony Greaves spoke at last week’s count that his party had “red lines” which needed to be adhered to any deal with any party.

Chief among these was a promise for Pendle to pull out of talks to create a Pennine unitary authority alongside Burnley, Blackburn and Rossendale, which Lib Dems feel would leave Pendle a poor partner.