Ex-teacher stands as Independent

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A RETIRED teacher from Colne has decided to stand at the next Lancashire County Council elections.

Mr Derek Mann (77), of Knotts Lane, will stand as an Independent for the Brierfield and Nelson North Ward during next year’s elections.

Although a staunch Liberal Democrat member and support, Mr Mann has decided to run independently because he feels his policies belong to no one party in particularly.

“What I want is to make local Government more local,” said Mr Mann, who is the honorary president of the Pendle Liberal Democrats. “I am still a Liberal Democrat but they expected me to go through a process which I was not prepared to stand about waiting for.

“I know I won’t be officially putting my name down until early next year but I wanted to start campaigning as soon as possible.”

Mr Mann, who spent a large portion of his career working for Lancashire County Council’s special needs department, wants more responsibilty afforded to borough councils.

“We need to take a long hard look at why Lancashire County Council needs 70% of our council tax yet Pendle Borough Council only gets 15%. I want to work to reduce the powers of Lancashire County Council and bring local services under far more local control.

“Schools and libraries should be brought under borough control with the county council responsible for government policy and holding county-wide records. Highways and matters pertaining to roads within borough boundaries should also be undertaken by the local borough as should waste disposal.”

He will also be focussing his attention on the Burnley to Nelson and Colne railway line which he believes the area is in real danger of losing.

“Once work starts on the Manchester Road station and they go about getting the Todmorden link put in I think Burnley will become the end of the line. We need to ensure this doesn’t happen and work needs to start now. I am also fully behind the work Selrap is doing regards reopening the Colne to Skipton railway line.”

He added: “I’m mainly going to be in Nelson and Colne town centres campaigning and if anybody want to come over to me and talk about any issues they have they are more than welcome to.”