New Tory leader of Pendle Council vows to protect borough's greenfield

The new leader of Pendle Borough Council, Nadeem Ahmed, has vowed to "listen to the people" following his party's local election victory on Friday.

Coun. Nadeem Ahmed who was elected with 1,173 votes in the newly created Barrowford and Pendleside ward following boundary changes, said his party would listen to residents' concerns over development on the borough's greenfield sites.

It was a successful day for the Conservatives who wrested control from the previous Labour/Liberal Democrat administration after picking up 18 seats to Labour's 15 and the Lib Dems' five.

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Coun. Ahmed said: "Our victory was a bit unexpected if I'm hoest, but a fantastic result which clearly shows how all the hard work of our candidates and members has paid off.

Pendle's triumphant Tories

"It also shows that the people of Pendle want a change of direction. People are fed up of political point-scoring and want an honest and sincere form of politics. I want to make sure that we listen to the residents and respect their views.

"We have to help people and businesses out of this pandemic to boost the local economy. Protecting our greenfields is also a big priority for our residents."

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Pendle's long-standing Tory MP Andrew Stephenson, who was at Friday's count at Nelson and Colne College, congratulated his borough colleagues.

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted, this is a stunning result. It means that a new Conservative administration can focus on delivering what the people want."

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It was a disappointing day for Labour and their leader, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal MBE who was re-elected to the Bradley ward with 1,665 votes.

He said: "Overall, the Labour vote has held up in all the key battlefield grounds bar one. The new Marsden and Southfield ward where the Tories won three seats tipped the balance. I will be holding the new leader of the council to full account.

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"Some key decisions need to be made. We live to fight another day and we'll hope to take some seats back at the next election."