Burnley Council Elections 2021: 'I think we can go further' – Conservative MP Antony Higginbotham
Burnley's Conservative MP Antony Higginbotham wants his party to push on after a 'brilliant' day saw them gain three council seats.
The Conservatives are now the second largest party on Burnley Council with nine councillors – half the Labour total – and Mr Higginbotham is confident that gap will continue to shorten in the ensuing years.
"It's been a brilliant day, better than expected. Three gains at a difficult time, but also the second largest party on Burnley Council. If you think back 12 – 14 months, people wouldn't have believed it; Conservatives win the parliamentary seat, then become the second largest group.
"And it just shows that we're making those steady gains, showing people that the Conservative team will deliver at every level.
"If you think about places like Rosehill and Burnley Wood; I took Robert Jenrick there just the other week, he was out there knocking on doors.
"I don't know the last time a Cabinet minister was knocking on doors in Rosehill and Burnley Wood, I suspect never. And it proves we care about every part of the borough. We stood in every part, and we're starting to win in every part."
Phil Chamberlain was the Tory victor in Rosehill with Burnley Wood, narrowly beating Labour's Margaret Brindle by nine votes.
Don Whittaker took the Whittlefield with Ightenhill seat, while Karen Ingham triumphed in Gawthorpe.
Conservative party leader Alan Hosker polled 1,256 votes as he comfortably held on to Hapton with Park.
Mr Higginbotham added: "We are committed to being a strong opposition for the people of Burnley, making sure their voices are heard and the council focuses on their priorities
"The message that really resonates is you've got a really strong Conservative team working on every level, and I think that's why people have come out and voted for us this time round.
"It's unusual for the party that's in Government to make gains in any year so we've bucked the trend this year, and we've done that nationally.
"But I don't see this as the high line, I think we can go further. I want to see us take control of Burnley Council, because that's what the residents deserve.
"They deserve a Conservative controlled Burnley Council focusing on what they want rather than what I can consider some wasteful or niche priorities of the Labour Council at the minute."