Labour councillors have welcomed winning the battle to stop ill-thought out, planning committee changes, being introduced by the ruling Conservative group at Pendle Council full meeting.

Leader of the Labour Group Cllr Asjad Mahmood said:

“At the annual council meeting the Tory leadership, without prior warning, nor any public consultation, pushed through changes to the council constitution. These changes would have removed the ability of locally elected councillors to decide on local planning applications, and see a central planning committee imposed.

We said that this was wrong and would lead to the removal of democratic accountability of local councillors, with planning applications for Barnoldswick determined by Colne and Nelson Councillors, and vice-versa.  

Due to two of their members not attending full council, it meant the Tories were unable to steam-roll their rules for the new planning committee.  A sensible proposition to set up a working group of all political parties has been approved which will look at this matter and, I hope, take public feedback into account.”

Chairman of Nelson and Brierfield Area Committee, Cllr Naeem Ashraf added, “I am proud that local people can attend an Area Committee meeting to express their views on planning applications.  The proposal by the Conservatives would have led to a small group of councillors deciding on planning applications which affect every resident across Pendle, it was wrong and I’m happy common sense has prevailed for the time being.”


John McDonnell MP Delivers Silverman Lecture

Former Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP, delivered the first Silverman Lecture since before lockdown at Colne Municipal Hall last Thursday( 9th June 2022).

The public lectures are named in honour of Pendle’s longest serving MP, Sydney Silverman.

Silverman was born in poverty to migrant Jewish parents from Romania. His father was a draper living in the Kensington Fields area of Liverpool.

As an academic, Silverman first became a lecturer in English before training as a solicitor.

A committed socialist, he was elected as the Labour MP for Nelson and Colne and served from 1935 to his death in1968. Most notably, Silverman was involved with the resettlement of Jewish migrants escaping the Holocaust and was instrumental in abolishing capital punishment.

With Sydney Silverman’s socialist values in mind, John McDonnell’s lecture, entitled “21st Century Socialism: The change we need”, focused on how socialist principles in the modern day can support ordinary people.

Describing socialism as “The pursuit of equality through democracy”, McDonnell went on to state that not simply party politics, but also community and trade union activism, play a big part in the pursuit of equality for all. The cost of living crisis, he said, has been made worse by the government reducing corporate tax on companies which make huge profits while increasing taxes on ordinary people.

Following the lecture Mr McDonnell took questions from the public.

The lecture was organised and sponsored by Pendle Labour Party and the Co-operative Party.

The photograph shows the bronze bust of Sydney Silverman on the table, as Pendle Labour stalwart, David Foat, introduces John McDonnell.





Pendle Labour Councillors have welcomed a report going to the policy committee on 21st July 2022 which has been as a result of a 3 year campaign by councillors to secure cemetery provision in Pendle.

Leader of the Labour Group Cllr Asjad Mahmood said “I and colleagues realised 3 years ago that cemetery provision would become an issue in years to come and sadly the covid pandemic saw an increase in the use of burial plots, the Labour led council asked council officers to identify a suitable site and the land of Edge End Avenue/Halifax Road/Kings Causeway was identified 6 months ago due to a delay with the Covid pandemic. I will be pushing for speedy decisions to ensure that a new cemetery is available as quickly as possible otherwise we could be faced with a possibility of Pendle residents not being able to bury loved ones here which would be heart-breaking for them”

Walverden and Whitefield Cllr Faraz Ahmed added “I am alarmed at the Conservative administration considering one of the options is to further increase the cost of burials to pay for the site acquisition and works to be carried out. I oppose any further increases in cemetery fees and worry that previous Conservative leaders have introduced a death tax which at this time is not fair on families already struggling with a cost of living crisis. On the surface it appears Lancashire County Council have got a very good sale price but this should not be at the expense of local families footing the already hefty bill to bury loved ones”.

Brierfield East and Cloverhill Cllr Zafar Ali added “I represent the area of the proposed cemetery and I will argue that local residents should be integral in any consultation on this matter. A few years ago Labour councillors led the successful campaign to stop housing development on this site.”

County Cllr Azhar Ali said: "I have been working on this for a few years with officers, and it is great to see the deal done.
We now need Pendle Council to engage residents in developing a master plan for the site addressing issues like access, drainage and planting trees."


Following the local elections last week, the first thing the ruling Conservative group on Pendle Council propose is to remove planning powers from Area Committees.

This is an attempt to take away the right of local residents to lobby their local councillors who know their local area well and can make decisions on local planning matters.

The Labour councillors will OPPOSE this proposal and we would urge local people across Pendle to contact their Tory councillors to withdraw this silly proposal. If passed local resident power will be lost - all thanks to the Conservatives.

This is a green light from Pendle Conservatives to build on green fields and stop the voice of local people.

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