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Last updated:
Friday 20 May, 2016


Thursday 19 May 2016
Many of our initiatives will soon come to fruition and the opportunity to continue and build on this work is vital.
Councillors have tonight voted to re-elect Councillor Mohammed Iqbal as leader of Pendle Borough Council.

This will see the continuation of the Labour / Liberal Democrat Executive of the Council which has been in place for the past year.
 
Councillor Iqbal said:

“I am delighted that the councillors have once again put their faith in me and I look forward to building on our last 12 months achievements where Labour and the Liberal Democrats have worked together for the benefit of the residents of the Borough. Many of our initiatives will soon come to fruition and the opportunity to continue and build on this work is vital.”

Councillor Tony Greaves, who was re-elected as Deputy Leader, highlighted the positive working relationship between the Labour and Liberal Groups.

A number of impassioned speeches were made about the need to support the Women’s Refuge service, which has come under threat due to Central Government cuts and the Government not deeming them to be statutory services. To this end, Councillor Iqbal offered to travel to London to meet with Government Ministers to request a re-think on funding for Women’s Refuges.

The Council’s priorities over the coming year include:
  • Continuing to make sure all parts of Pendle receive fair treatment from the Council.
  • Continuing to work to maintain local services in the face of draconian cuts imposed by central government, including working across all parties to help to continue to provide Lancashire County Council services such as libraries.
  • Launching a new drive to increase the supply of social housing across Pendle; giving priority to creating new housing on brownfield sites including Oak Mill in Colne, Brook Shed in Earby and other sites.
  • Continuing to work to strengthen and support all our town centres. Priority projects to include a scheme to redevelop the site of the old health centre in Colne.
  • Boosting the existing emphasis on tackling Street Level Issues including dogs and dog dirt, street cleansing and litter, and anti-social behaviour, including the increased use of community protection notices and the use of fixed penalties for fly-tipping and encouraging neighbourhood planning and Neighbourhood Plans in those communities where there is a willingness to take part in them.

Monday 02 May 2016
Jeremy Corbyn delights the people at Burnley May Day celebrations

  Applause and cheering from trade unionists and Labour supporters accompanied Jeremy Corbyn's address at the East Lancs Trades Council's May Day celebrations in Towneley Park, this afternoon.

Speaking to an audience of several thousand supporters from Lancashire and Yorkshire, he laid out his vision of how life would be better for working people under a future Labour Government.
Friday 01 April 2016
Presentation to recognise Barnoldswick’s St Joseph’s RC Primary School’s dementia role

County Councillor and Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing Azhar Ali and Pendle Councillor David Whalley who has Executive responsibilities for Health and Wellbeing recently made a presentation to mark the work of Barnoldswick’s dementia friendly school.  

The two Labour councillors made the presentation of a photograph to the thirty pupils of St Joseph’s RC Primary school to recognise that they were the first in Pendle to be officially dementia friendly in 2014.

A small group from the school also attended the Older People’s Champion Network annual meeting at Preston’s County Hall where they spoke about the work they had done.
Friday 01 April 2016
Pendle Labour Councillor Sheila Wicks and former County Councillor Tim Ormrod have taken the Fairtrade message to Blacko Primary School

 
Councillor Wicks is theDeputy Chairman of the Pendle Fairtrade Group.

Mrs Wicks and Mr Ormrod shared their wealth of knowledge with the children.

The children learnt that Pendle was the first Fairtrade accredited borough in the country and that Lancashire was also a Fairtrade county.

Blacko Primary School has been a Fairtrade school for nearly 3 years. During Fairtrade fortnight the school promotes Fairtrade and the benefit to food producers around the world. The school has raised £157 for the Fairtrade Foundation this year.
Tuesday 16 February 2016
Public Statement from Pendle Labour Party in response to Lancashire County Council Budget 11th February 2016

Labour rescues County Council from Tory plans to bankrupt the Council.  

Lancashire County Councillors, last Thursday, passed a legal budget for 2016/2017 despite a number of attempts by the Conservative group of Councillors to “kick the can down the road” and their refusal to even mention that the Tory government has cut the money it gives to Lancashire by almost 80%.

Since 2010, the Conservative Government has cut the money it gives to Lancashire County Council by £685 million up to 2020.

Pendle Tory Councillors had promised the people that they would launch a campaign to save Whitehough Camp School and on Thursday said that they had a petition. However, there was absolutely no mention of this in the Tory budget proposals showing we have a Tory party who say one thing in Pendle but dare not speak up at County Hall to their bosses in Preston.

Following the announcement by the government earlier this week of transitional funding to help Councils across the country ease the severe pain of austerity, it has become clear that Lancashire Conservative MP’s have failed to argue the case, because whilst Surrey County Council received £24.10 million extra and Hampshire £18.69 million, Lancashire received NIL and Pendle Council has received not a single penny!!!

It is clear that the government has rewarded the Conservative Councils in the South of England but where the need is greatest, in Lancashire, Pendle Conservative MP Andrew Stephenson has yet again failed to bring a single penny and his party dare to treat Pendle residents as fools and have them believe that they stand up for Pendle.

On the day of the County Council budget, it was announced by the government that Lancashire County Council will have its public health budget cut by a further £1.7 million: that’s a total of £5.7 million cut this year.

Not a single Tory County Councillor or Member of Parliament has stood up since the election in May 2015 and told David Cameron or any of his Ministers that their savage cuts to Pendle residents are really affecting the vulnerable members of our communities. The Supporting People budget which the government gave to Lancashire and was used for victims of Domestic Violence and young vulnerable people has also been slashed.

Pendle Labour County Councillors Azhar Ali & Mohammed Iqbal have issued a public challenge to the Conservative County Councillors Paul White & Christian Wakeford to stand up and fight for the money robbed from Pendle to reward wealthier areas such as Surrey, Hampshire, and Hertfordshire.



County Councillor Azhar Ali (left)

County Councillor Mohammed Iqbal (right)

 


County Councillor Azhar Ali said,”

Pendle Conservative Councillors have remained silent whilst Cameron and Osborne have attacked our local services and put at risk vital services like our buses and libraries. Pendle Conservatives are putting young people on the street, cutting Police numbers and leaving older people isolated whilst the likes of Surrey and Hampshire in the South are being given Millions more in cash “.

Cllr Iqbal (Leader of Pendle Council) said,

"Pendle Council’s government grant has been cut again this year, whilst big Councils in the South benefit. I know the Conservatives talk about the 'Northern Powerhouse' but we are going to end up with a 'Northern Poorhouse'. It’s time that they walked away from their fantasy world and realised that they are destroying local communities”.
Tuesday 09 February 2016
Pendle Conservative councilors failed to appear at a meeting organised to discuss Lancashire County Council’s cuts to services in Pendle.

  Proposed cuts include possible library closures, children’s centres, youth centres, local bus services, highways management, and Countryside Services which include Wycoller Country Park, Whitehough Camp School, and reducing the number of buildings the county council owns or uses.

Pendle Council leader and Labour County Councillor Mohammed Iqbal said:

The Pendle group as a whole had local knowledge and contacts and could help LCC to find ways of keeping some of the services going in different ways.

“Pendle Council wants to help in any way it can to prevent the losses of local facilities.”
Friday 08 January 2016
Labour Councillors support allotment initiative

The Valley Mills Allotment Society covers eight allotments in the Southfield Ward in Nelson.

They were purchased by the allotment holders themselves some years ago. There is an ongoing programme to maintain and improve them. The Southfield councillors have donated £300 to the society using their ward initiative money.
 
The photo shows Councillor Sheila Wicks along with Councillor David Whalley presenting the cheque for £300 to members of the society.
Saturday 26 December 2015
Message from Mark Porter, President, Pendle CLP

  As 2015 draws to a close and we take time to reflect on the events of the last 12 months and how these events have not only changed the shape of UK politics but the world in which we all live.

Populism politics is on the rise with immigration top of the agenda around the world, with fear the dominant driving factor. The terrible events in Paris at the beginning and towards the end of 2015 have only served to reinforce the global insular retreat arguments, but we must not let the actions of a few destroy the way of life for the many.

Closer to home populism politics was evident by Osborne's complete U-turn on tax credits which provided some welcome relief for millions of low income families (albeit it took the House of Lords to force the issue), however austerity continues to bite with the use of food banks on the increase across the whole of the UK.

Within our own ranks there was a fiercely fought leadership contest following the General Election defeat, which was ultimately won by Jeremy Corbyn. Whether or not you personally supported Jeremy, one thing is clear, he has inspired large numbers to become involved in politics with party numbers swelling over 100% to over half a million people.

2016 will see both the 'in' and 'out' camps of the EU referendum launch their campaigns. the result of which will be a game changer for our country. Regardless of the result it will undoubtedly provide the direction of travel for the UK Economy for many years to come. Therefore I would urge everybody to think very carefully before making their decision on the UK's in or out membership of the EU.

I would also urge that we all take 5 mins to check on elderly neighbours and those less fortunate than ourselves especially as the rain continues to fall and many rivers threaten to give way and flood large parts of Pendle threatening houses and business as well as potentially life itself.

Finally I would like to take the opportunity to wish all the residents of Pendle a safe and happy New Year.
Tuesday 22 December 2015
In Memory of Trevor Walsh

Pendle Labour Party is saddened by the loss of Trevor Walsh, who's funeral took place today.

Trevor was Immensely respected as a comrade, Councillor, School Governor, and campaigner for the disabled.

We are saddened at losing Trevor and offer our condolences to his family.
 


Saturday 12 December 2015
Fracking in Lancashire Yvonne Tennant - Vice Chair, Membership.

  Yvonne Tennant recently wrote to the local press stating her concerns regarding Lancashire County Councils decision to reject fracking in Lancashire being "called in" by National Government. Her letter is reproduced below:

I am sure that many of your readers will be appalled to learn that central Government have announced that they will make the decision about whether to allow fracking in Lancashire. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark has called in the decision made by Lancashire County Council to reject the two applications to frack, submitted by Cuadrilla

The Minister’s announcement is in direct conflict with his own stated views on de-centralisation. As recently as July, in a speech to the Local Government Association Conference, Mr Clark stated “To have ministers and officials calling the shots from the centre is to miss out on the knowledge, the drive, the connections, the leadership that local government can give” before going on to say “I will never impose an arrangement – and neither can one tier impose its will on another tier; rather a local consensus will need to be agreed.”

After the County Council’s extensive investigation and consideration of Cuadrilla’s applications, collecting evidence both for and against before reaching their decision, imposing an arrangement is exactly what Mr Clark is doing in this case and this smacks of hypocrisy.

Pendle Labour Party believes that his move shows scant regard for the opinions and concerns of Lancashire residents and a blatant desire to circumvent local democracy. This exposes the Conservative’s claim, that they encourage local democracy, to be a sham.
Friday 27 November 2015
Letter from The Council Leader to the Press - 27 November 2015

Core Strategy


Dear Sir,

I have been contacted by a number of residents in Pendle concerned about the level of development proposed in Pendle’s Core Strategy, the plan which will guide development over the next 15 years. They have asked why we need so much housing and industrial land when they are told that Councils are allowed by Government to decide for themselves what is right for their area.

When Councils produce their Local Plans there is a very strict policy document issued by Government that every Plan must comply with. The National Planning Policy Framework sets out what every Local Plan must contain.

The requirement is that Local Plans must deliver the full housing and employment needs of their area, in our case for the next 15 years, on land that is viable for development. No Council is allowed to deliver less than their full needs. We are required to assess what that level of need is but how these assessments are carried out is also strictly controlled by Government.

For example, we are required to assess how many new houses we need but we are not allowed to have less new housing than the Government’s household growth projections. We are then obliged to add more housing if, for example, we are in an area of weak housing demand.

We are not allowed to make developers use brownfield land before green field land as this is not in line with National Planning policy. We tried to require developers to use brownfield land before green field land in our Local Plan but have been required to change our proposed policy as it is contrary to National Planning policy.

When we produce Local Plans we are examined by an Independent Planning Inspector. If we do not have enough housing or employment land to meet our full needs the Plan will be rejected. This for example happened in Ribble Valley where they wanted less housing than they needed and were asked to increase their proposed housing numbers by a Planning Inspector.

It is far from the case the Councils can determine what is right for their area if this means providing less industry or housing than they need. We are required to provide for our full needs. Our options are to decide how to deliver these not if we should.

I know there are some specific concerns about the inclusion of both the Strategic Housing Site at Trough Laithe, Barrowford and the Strategic Employment Site which will see an extension of the current industrial estate at Lomeshaye.

I would like to point out that the Council agreed to include these sites in the Core Strategy at its meeting in September 2014 after extensive consultation and that, in both cases, the Independent Planning Inspector accepts they are required for the Council to meet its needs for both housing and employment land. Indeed, the Independent Planning Inspector states categorically that the inclusion of Trough Laithe is ‘critical to the delivery of the housing strategy in the Core Strategy and its allocation is justified’.

Finally, given the amount of interest generated by the Inspector’s Report, which comes at the end of the process of producing the Core Strategy, it is only right that I highlight the Inspector’s comments in para 21 of his report – ‘Criticisms that the process has not engaged with people are not surprising…but it seems to me that the Council has gone beyond both legal requirements and its own Statement of Community Involvement in attempting to involve all parties in the process.’

Yours faithfully,
MI
Leader of Pendle Borough Council
Wednesday 18 November 2015
Tax Credit Cuts and how it will affect families in Pendle

If you are wondering how many families in Pendle will be affected we have provided a hyperlink to the data setting out how many thousands of families could lose money.

The data is on the Government's own web site, pages 16 & 23 show the numbers that will be affected in Pendle, if the cuts go ahead.
 

We believe that Andrew Stephenson’s first duty is to the people of Pendle and that he should be voting down these savage cuts – but will he?

Personal tax credits: Finalised award statistics - geographical statistics 2013 to 2014: Download This is a PDF file of 3.85 MB you will need to have Adobe Reader or similar installed to read this file.
Thursday 12 November 2015
Kate Green MP visits Pendle

  Great Pendle Labour Women's Group get together this evening.

Huge thanks go to our Women's Officer, Laura Blackburn, for organising it all - and of course to Kate Green MP who was our guest of honour.


Tuesday 13 October 2015
Labour to oppose Tories elected Mayor proposals in Pendle

Labour Councillors will vote against a motion tabled by Conservative Leader Joe Cooney at the Full Council meeting in Pendle on Thursday 15th October 2015.  

Leader of the Council Cllr Mohammed Iqbal said

“At a time when the Tory government has reduced funding to Pendle Borough Council by over 50% since 2010, here we have a display of internal civil arguments within the Tory party as to who wants to be a one man/woman Mayor of Pendle which will cost tens of thousands of pounds to run elections and administer the office of the Mayor. This is a silly ill-thought idea and makes a fool of the residents of Pendle we are here to serve”

Deputy Leader of the Labour Group Mohammed Hanif added,

“It is evidently clear that following his removal as Council Leader in May, Joe Cooney and his party are suffering an extreme case of sour grapes and wants to use Pendle taxpayers money to pursue their personal greed”

Southfield ward Councillor Sheila Wicks added,

“I have been informed that to arrange an election for Elected Mayor will cost in excess of £100,000. At a time when we are facing savage cuts by the Tory government affecting front-line services, the Tory party seem to think they can spend money which Pendle does not have in pursuit of their own politically motivated goals. This is not fair to the people who elect us to serve them”.

Bradley ward Councillor Mohammed Sakib added

“People living in my ward are already approaching me about the difficulty decisions they have to make on a daily basis about their children’s future and here we have the Tory party led by their MP choosing to put their party politics ahead of the people who elected them. They should be ashamed of their actions and withdraw this silly motion”
Saturday 10 October 2015
One million UK citizens set to lose their vote

  Changes in the voter registration system mean around one million additional people will be taken off the electoral register this year.

Are you one of them?

Pendle Labour Party are concerned that Pendle residents will not be able to vote in elections and referendums if they are not registered to vote.

Next year there will be major elections in Pendle. And soon we have a big choice to make about whether Britain should stay in the European Union, but if you don’t register, you won’t be able to have your say.

You can register to vote in just three minutes at gov.uk/register-to-vote. You will need your National Insurance number, so make sure you have it ready. You can use this website on your PC, tablet or smartphone. If you do not have access to the internet you may be able to use a computer at your local library, or ask a relative, friend or neighbour if they can help you.

Don’t forget that if you’re not registered to vote, you could be facing a fine of £80 and you might find it harder to get a credit card or a mobile phone contract. It may even be harder to get a passport!
Friday 09 October 2015
Stop the Tax Credit Cut hurting 7,900 Pendle families

Tory changes to tax credits will leave working families £1,300 a year worse off.
Across the UK 3 million working families will be affected This tax credit cut will hit working families in the wallet.
 

In Pendle:

  • 6,900 working families claim Tax Credit
  • 7,900 families claim tax credit
  • 5,700 working families with children claim tax credit
  • 12,200 children are in families that receive tax credit
  • 67% of families receive tax credit
  • 74% of children are in families that receive tax credit.
Call on David Cameron to stop the tax credit cut by signing our petition at labour.org.uk/taxcredits

Call on Andrew Stephenson, to vote, to stop the tax credit cut.
Friday 09 October 2015
Nelson Health Class gets a financial boost!

  Shaista Arshad is a Project Worker working with the scheme at Williams Hall in Nelson. She says the project is a woman's exercise class which brings women together to improve health and tackle obesity.

As well as getting people fit it also brings people together in a social capacity. Healthy eating is also covered to improve the lives of themselves and their families.

The councillors from the Southfield Ward in Nelson donated £250 from their ward initiative money to help the project.

The photo shows Councillor Sheila Wicks presenting the cheque to Shaista Arshad watched by Councillor David Whalley.
Saturday 12 September 2015
Pendle Labour Party congratulates Jeremy and Tom on winning the Leadership Elections.

Jeremy Corbyn has been elected Leader of the Labour Party and Tom Watson has been elected Deputy Leader.  

Pendle Labour Party congratulates Jeremy and Tom and thanks all of the other candidates for the part they have played in a stimulating contest. You can view a video of the declaration of the outcome of the elections here.

Following the General Election and the announcement of the leadership elections, we are delighted to have welcomed 219 new members to the party in Pendle. Whist these new members of all ages come from wide-ranging social and cultural backgrounds, we are particularly pleased to welcome 35 new youth members.
Wednesday 29 July 2015
Yvette Cooper wins Pendle Labour Party nomination

  At a packed meeting of Pendle Constituency Labour Party on 28 July, members debated and voted on the local party’s supporting nominations for the next Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

Party Chair Mark Porter said

“It was great to see so many new members coming to contribute to the vigorous debate on the merits of the four leadership candidates. Many members told me they had been undecided at the start of the meeting but after listening to the speakers were able to make up their minds.”

Cllr Wayne Blackburn, the CLP’s new Secretary, said

“The nomination votes were conducted on the preference system, and the Party leadership vote went down to the wire with Yvette Cooper only winning on second preference votes over Jeremy Corbyn. Andy Burnham came third and Liz Kendall fourth.

“The Deputy Leader vote was less close, with Tom Watson, who had made time to come to the Constituency last week, winning on first preference votes, with Angela Eagle second, followed by Caroline Flint, Stella Creasey and Ben Bradshaw.”

Supporting nominations from constituency parties can be used by candidates in their material going to individual members, who will be voting in the second half of August.

The result is expected to be announced on 12 September.
Monday 29 June 2015
Pendle Council’s Executive has agreed to transfer the Fleece public toilets in Barrowford to Barrowford Parish Council.

Councillor Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council, explained:

“This means that the toilets which have been closed for more than 18 months will be re-opened for shoppers and visitors.

“We’re delighted that the Parish Council has agreed to take on the facility and we’ll be working closely with them to ensure a smooth transfer, including paying their business rates for two years.”
 

Barrowford Parish Council had originally indicated that they were not in a financial position to take on the facility which meant they were closed and put up for sale. But in June the Parish Council requested that Pendle Council transfer the facility to them so that they can be re-opened. Pendle Council has turned down an offer for £78,750 to buy the premises to ensure that this valuable community resource will be re-opened.


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