Pendle Council Tory administration sets out bold changes including planning and housing

The Conservative Group on Pendle Council has set out its vision, as it takes control for the second consecutive year.

By Dominic Collis
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 11:50 am

The new administration is wasting no time in making significant changes to the way the council is run, in particular going back to the ‘Executive’ system of government in place of the old committee system.

The Conservatives also plan to introduce a borough-wide planning committee.

Council leader Coun. Nadeem Ahmed said: “We are the only party with councillors from across the borough and this gives us the perspective and the mandate to implement our plans. We intend to continue to promote regeneration on Brownfield land and protect Pendle’s countryside, so will be pressing forward with the new Local Plan based on lower housing targets.

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Most of the Pendle Council Conservative group

"We will also be implementing our transformation process for the council, scrutinising how it is run and looking to make large savings from structural changes which will increase efficiency.”

Last year, Pendle Council won £25m. in Government grants for the Nelson Town Deal and £6.6m. for Colne’s market and its theatres, and the new administration intends to pursue further Levelling Up funds.

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Full Council on Thursday will see notice being given on a return to the Executive System of Government.

Coun. Mike Goulthorp, deputy leader, commented: “The council used to be run this way until five years ago, when it returned to the old-fashioned committee system. This has led to inefficiencies and an increase in meetings, ratcheting up costs and slowing down progress.”

In addition, the council will move to implement a pan-borough planning committee in an effort to even out planning decisions and decrease the amount of money the council is losing annually in court costs awarded against it at appeal.

“We are probably the only council in the country deploying untrained councillors to make decisions across numerous different, unfocussed meetings”, explained Coun. Ahmed.

“We will ensure all councillors on the new planning committee receive training in this crucial area and we will balance the committee, so there are representatives from across Pendle.

"It’s worth highlighting that any councillor and any member of the public will still be able to attend and speak on any application. The side benefit is that the area committees and Policy and Resources Committee will all now be freed up to focus on local issues.”