LOCAL ELECTIONS: Labour retains control in Chorley

It was a family affair as one of Chorley's newest councillors celebrated winning a seat alongside her mother.

Friday, 6th May 2016, 1:39 am
Updated Friday, 6th May 2016, 4:40 am
New councillor Zara Khan celebrates being elected with mum Coun Hasina Khan

Coun Zara Khan was elected to represent Chorley East for Labour in the local elections.

The 21-year-old gave a tearful speech at Chorley Town Hall early this morning after receiving 1,176 votes.

Coun Khan said: “I’m really excited and really nervous and a bit emotional. I wasn’t expecting to cry and I was trying not to.

“For me it was a surprise. All the people close to me knew we were going to sail ahead but I think when you are the candidate, there are a few nerves.”

She continued: “I want to bring new ideas and new views to Chorley Council. I want to represent young people.”

Her proud mum Coun Hasina Khan, who also represents Chorley East, said: “I think it’s excellent we have another young councillor. It’s great to see young people coming forward.

“I have always campaigned for Asian women, young or old, to come forward.”

New councillor Zara Khan celebrates being elected with mum Coun Hasina Khan

UKIP’s Christopher Suart was second with 348 votes and there were 222 votes for Conservative Aidy Riggott. Turnout was 34.99 per cent.

The incumbent was Labour’s Julia Berry, who stood for election in Lostock ward, which was held by Conservative John Dalton.

Chorley Council remained red as no seats changed hands in the local election.

The party has run the council since 2012, when it brought to an end a short-lived Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

New councillor Zara Khan celebrates being elected with mum Coun Hasina Khan

Labour leader Coun Alistair Bradley, who kept his seat in Chorley South East, said: “I think generally we have to be very happy.

“Our percentage share of the vote has gone up, we have got some enormous majorities in some areas, perhaps a lot higher than we expected, but at the same time we have reduced our majorities in some areas.

“It’s an inconsistent picture and there have been local fights in local seats.”

Conservative leader Coun Paul Leadbetter said: “I am neither disappointed nor pleased. Everything is the same as it was before.

“We have a new councillor in a ward we have held for quite a while. We fought a good fight in Wheelton and Withnell.”

The council continues to be made up of 30 Labour councillors, 14 Conservatives and three independents.

There were seats up for grabs in 15 of the borough’s 20 wards. Overall turnout was 36.92 per cent.

Two incumbents did not stand for re-election - Conservative David Dickinson in Brindle and Hoghton and Labour’s Robert Finnamore in Coppull.

The Brindle and Hoghton seat was held by the Conservatives, with Sheila Long beating independent Steve Williams by just 35 votes.

She got 350 votes, with 315 for Mr Williams and 125 for Labour’s Yvonne Hargreaves. Turnout was 47.26 per cent.

Coun Long previously represented Samlesbury on South Ribble Council for eight years and is a member of Brindle Parish Council.

She said: “I’m very excited. I thought it would be quite close.”

Mr Williams, who is manager of the Chorley Remembers project, said he was “disappointed but proud”.

He continued: “I wish Sheila the very best for the ward and I am going to concentrate on my passion of the Chorley Pals to remember those men who gave us the right to vote.”

Local elections were held in: Adlington and Anderton; ​Coppull; ​Brindle and Hoghton; ​Eccleston and Mawdesley; ​Chorley East; Euxton North; ​Chorley North East; ​Heath Charnock and Rivington; ​Chorley North West; ​Lostock; ​Chorley South East; ​Wheelton and Withnell; ​Chorley South West; ​Clayton-le-Woods and Whittle-le-Woods; and ​Clayton-le-Woods North.

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Read more about the local election in Chorley

Parish council elections also took place yesterday in some areas of Chorley.

There were also elections to elect the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, with those results being counted on Friday.