Chorley chairman is ousted after unitary row

Coun Matthew Crow
Coun Matthew Crow
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A Chorley councillor has been stripped of his role as chairman of an important authority committee.

Coun Matthew Crow has lost his position as chairman of Chorley Council’s development control committee.

He has been replaced by councillor Steve Holgate, who is also a Lancashire County councillor.

It comes days after a unitary bid debate at the authority at which several Labour councillors questioned the move.

Earlier this month, following a special council meeting, Labour’s Chisnall ward representative Alan Whittaker received a one-month suspension from the Labour group whip after he spoke out against the council’s proposals to break away from Lancashire County Council and seek unitary authority status.

Labour colleague Coun Richard Toon, who also spoke against the proposal, later had his one-week suspension lifted.

At the same meeting, Coun Crow voiced his concerns about unitary status but received no disciplinary action.

Coun Holgate has had stints on Chorley Council from 1995-2003 and from 2011 till now.He is also a county councillor in Chorley West.

He said: “I am indeed delighted to accept chairman of development control, it’s a new and challenging role and I love a challenge.

“I’m sure the council officers will support me in this new role.”

Coun Crow was elected onto Chorley Council in 2011 when he ousted Nora Ball in Coppull.He is part of the general purposes committee and he is also a reserve on the Central Lancashire Strategic Planning Joint Advisory Committee.

He added: “I want to thank the council and I wish Steve all the best in the future.”

The changeover was voted in at full council last week.

Coun Alistair Bradley, who is leader of Chorley Council, refused to to comment on the matter.