Co-operative Alliance agrees to stay in charge of Burnley Council

Burnley Town Hall. Photo: Kelvin StuttardBurnley Town Hall. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Burnley Town Hall. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
The three-party Co-operative Alliance which ran Burnley Council before last week’s local elections is to stay in charge of the authority.

A meeting of Burnley Independent Group councillors - who quit Labour over the national leadership’s stance on the Gaza conflict - agreed with the Liberal Democrats and Green Party on Tuesday to continue the arrangement.

Last Thursday’s poll left them one short of a majority with 22 councillors. If a vote is drawn with the opposition, they would rely on Independent Mayor, Coun. Shah Hussain, to use his casting vote.

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The leader of Burnley Council and the Burnley Independent Group, Coun. Afraisiab Anwar, said: “A unified and stable leadership is vital as we confront the pressing challenges in health, economy, and climate change, further compounded by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

“Over the past six months, we’ve worked well together to deliver for the borough and residents. This collaborative working has fostered a highly constructive relationship built on consensus, trust, and transparency. We are committed to sustaining this momentum and propelling the borough toward progress and prosperity.”

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It’s leader, Coun. Mark Townsend, said: “It’s disappointing that the Independents, Greens and Lib Dem’s have decided to ignore the voters and continue with an administration that does not have democratic legitimacy.

“The electorate have spoken and voted the coalition out.

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“The numbers tell us that the only means of establishing a stable administration for the good of the town going forward is with the involvement of Labour.

“Coun. Anwar has lost his mandate to be leading the council.”

Conservative group finance spokesman, Coun. Jamie McGowan, said the party “welcomes stability within the council” but that “the focus has to be on the priorities of local residents.

“That means tackling the main issues raised with us, investing in things people actually want to see and keeping council tax as low as possible.”The Green group has chosen the authority’s health and culture boss, Coun. Jack Launer, as its new leader after his predecessor and fellow Cliviger with Worsthorne councillor Scott Cunliffe lost his seat to Conservative Ivor Emo.

The political make-up of the council is now: Labour – 15; Burnley Independent Group – 10; Conservatives – eight; Liberal Democrats – seven; and Greens – five.

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