‘Civil war’ warning over committee shake-up proposal

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PLANS to reduce the number of Pendle Council’s area committees from five to four would lead to “civil war”, a leading councillor told the annual council meeting.

The Labour group leader, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, had proposed the abolition of the Barrowford and Western Parishes Committee, with the Pendleside villages being added to the Brierfield and Reedley Committee and Barrowford, Higherford and Blacko added to the Nelson Committee.

“I know the leaders will be looking to save money and I would ask officers to look at this with a view to changing the system from August 31st,” he said.

But his proposals were strongly criticised by Liberal Democrats and Conservatives,

Coun. David Whipp described the suggestion as “gormless” and said that any savings achieved would be “marginal”.

“What about the loss to local democracy? To put Barrowford with Nelson and Pendleside with Brierfield is bonkers. It shows how crass the Labour group is.”

And Coun.Tony Greaves said if the proposal was a serious one, it showed the Labour groip had given up on winning votes in the Barrowford and Pendleside areas.

Coun. Linda Crossley said the idea was “idiotic” and said: “I can assure Coun. Iqbal the people of Barrowford do not want to be put in with Nelson. I am surpriseed he has had the nerve to propose it.”

And Coun. Tony Beckett added: “The people of Barrowford have nothing in common with Nelson.

“Unless you want civil war on your hands, you should have nothing to do with this.”

Coun. Iqbal’s proposal was defeated by 30 votes to 18.