THE Conservative Party in Pendle has named its candidates for the Lancashire County Council elections next year.
The candidates were selected by local party members at a series of meetings. The seats of Pendle East and Pendle West will be contested by new candidates following two present county councillors deciding to retire - Mike Calvert and Shelagh Derwent.
Mr David Brown, chairman of Pendle Conservatives, paid tribute to the years of hard work the two well-respected councillors have given to public office. He said: “Mike and Shelagh have worked tirelessly for Pendle during their years on Lancashire County Council and Pendle Council. Pendle Conservatives owe them a huge gratitude.
“Both were absolutely pivotal in putting Conservatives on the map in Pendle - bringing us from being the smallest group on Pendle Council, having just one seat on Lancashire County Council and no Member of Parliament 10 years ago to sharing the Executive of Pendle, running Lancashire and having an MP today. We will be eternally grateful for the work they have put in.”
The candidates selected for the 2013 Lancashire County Council elections are:
l Brierfield and Nelson North: Mohammad Abdullah
Mohammad has lived in Brierfield and Nelson for over 40 years, and has been actively involved in local politics, voluntary sports and cultural organisations for much of that time. He has also worked voluntarily for the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, as a member of the NHS Trust and as a school governor.
l Nelson South: Neil McGowan
Neil is a seasoned campaigner. He took part in the fight to keep St Paul’s School in the parish after it was suggested the school should be moved to the old Mansfield School site in Brierfield - a fight which the group won. He lives in Walverden with his wife and son, and is the chairman of the Walverden Action Group.
l Pendle Central: Tommy Cooney
Tommy defeated the BNP in 2012 to become the first Conservative borough councillor in Nelson for quite some time. He represents the Marsden Ward and works as a manufacturing operations manager. He lives in Waterside with his wife and two children, and is a member of the Get Knotted campaign group.
l Pendle East: Paul White
Elected as Pendle’s youngest borough councillor in 2011, Paul is 25 and has lived in Laneshaw Bridge nearly all of his life. He sits on the local parish and town councils, and chairs the Events Committee in his village. In 2012, he was appointed as Pendle’s Executive member for economic development. He is a governor at Colne Park High School, and a former student of Nelson and Colne College.
l Pendle West: Christian Wakeford
Christian was brought up in Roughlee and now lives in Barrowford. The 27-year-old works at Daisy Communications and has been involved in local politics for some time as chair of the party’s youth wing in Pendle. After completing a politics degree he helped with the campaign to get Andrew Stephenson MP elected in 2010, and is now studying for a degree in Molecular Science. He is a governor at Colne Park High School, and a former student of Nelson and Colne College.
l West Craven: Keith Bailey
A county councillor since 2009, Keith lives with his wife and son in Barnoldswick. During his time in office he has attracted significant investment in West Craven including £2 million for Silentnight, refurbishment of West Craven High and a rebuild of Barnoldswick CE School, extensive road resurfacing and investment in the Cravenside Nursing Home. He is a governor at two schools in West Craven, and a member of Barnoldswick Town Council.