The current Mayor of Pendle has been given the chance to possibly become the borough’s MP instead at next year’s General Election.
The Liberal Democrats have chosen the Mayor, Coun. Graham Roach, as their Pendle candidate for the election which is due on May 7th.
Current MP Andrew Stephenson will be the Conservative candidate and Labour’s will be Pendle county councillor Azhar Ali.
Coun. Roach has been a councillor for Waterside Ward in Colne for almost eight years and lives in the Greenfield area of Colne. He works for a global company which builds and designs pharmaceutical and chemical plants.
He grew up in Ashby-de-la-Zouch on the Leicestershire and Derbyshire border, and left school after taking O-levels to become an apprentice.
His career as an engineer has involved petrochemicals, nuclear and oil rigs.
He has worked in many parts of the world including India, Africa, the Middle East and North America.
Coun. Roach said that the Liberal Democrats are the all-inclusive party.
“What I want to do is run for MP, encourage people in Pendle to become Liberal Democrats, and make our party the party for the people of Pendle!”
He said that the Liberals had proved their value to local people at council level over many decades. “It’s now time that Pendle has a Liberal Democrat to represent them in Parliament,” he said.
He emphasised that he will continue to carry out his duties as Mayor of Pendle together with the Mayoress, his partner Joanna Sagar, on a strictly non-political basis.
“I will be very careful to keep my two roles, as Mayor and as the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate, completely separate.”
The chair of the Pendle Liberal Democrats local party, Jim Kerrigan, said that they were delighted to have been able to select a strong and popular local candidate to contest the Pendle seat.
He said: “We have seen the Liberal Democrats in coalition waging a constant struggle to moderate the excesses of the Conservative benches in the House of Commons.
“If the Conservatives get a complete grip on this country it will be a disaster for areas like ours in the North of England, and people in Pendle must play their part in preventing that from happening.”