Parties to discuss council leadership

Nelson Town Hall.'Photo Ben Parsons
Nelson Town Hall.'Photo Ben Parsons
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The three main political parties which make up Pendle Council are to discuss its leadership in the coming days.

In the past year the council has been run by a joint administration between Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

The Leader has been Labour’s Coun. Mohammed Iqbal and the Deputy Leader Liberal Democrat Coun. Tony Greaves.

However, after last week’s elections, the new composition of Pendle Council is 21 Conservatives, 17 from the Labour Party, 10 Liberal Democrats and one representative from the BNP.

Twenty-five councillors are need for a majority but the Conservatives believe they should have some say on decision making as the largest party.

As it stands, Coun. Iqbal will remain as Leader of the Council unless a motion of no confidence is passed in him at the Annual Meeting of the Council on Thursday, May 19th.

Coun. Greaves said: “The Liberal Democrat group met on Sunday morning and agreed to meet both the other parties on the council. We expect to meet Labour on Friday and the Conservatives on Saturday.

“What is clear is that every party on Pendle Council is a minority and that will be the position for at least two years and probably for some years to come.

“In the circumstances it is our duty to look for an arrangement for the coming year which is in the best interests of the people of Pendle. It could involve a minority administration or two or more parties working together.

“In the past few days we have seen some rather arrogant, triumphalist and boastful statements by the Conservatives which in our opinion are not justified by the results.

“The fact is that no more than two voters in five voted Conservative this year and just over 60% voted against them. They have no automatic right to take over the leadership of the council.

“What we will do is to talk with each of the other groups about a possible joint agreement based firmly on policies and projects. We expect to receive proposals from each of the other parties.”