Chorley Council's Conservative Group makes Martin Boardman its new Leader of the Opposition

Coun Martin Boardman, the new Leader of the Conservative Group and Opposition in Chorley
Coun Martin Boardman, the new Leader of the Conservative Group and Opposition in Chorley

Chorley Council's Conservative Group has decided on the future of its leadership in the borough.

At a group meeting on Wednesday night (May 8) Coun Martin Boardman was chosen to be Leader of the Conservative Group and Leader of the Opposition for the next 12 months.

Coun Debra Platt has been made Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group and Opposition in Chorley

Coun Debra Platt has been made Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group and Opposition in Chorley

It will see him shadow Council Leader Alistair Bradley.

The move might not have come as a shock to many, with Coun Boardman – who represents Eccleston and Mawdesley – previously holding the position of deputy leader for both the group and opposition.

READ MORE: Chorley's Labour group cements its position in power with FIVE seats gained in the May 2 local elections

The group lost five councillors in the May 2 local elections, along with former leader Alan Cullens stepping down from frontline politics.

Former Tory leader Alan Cullens stood down from frontline politics in the May 2 local elections

Former Tory leader Alan Cullens stood down from frontline politics in the May 2 local elections

Tory Coun Henry Caunce also sadly passed away last week, leaving the opposition group with seven councillors.

Speaking on what we can expect under his leadership, Coun Boardman said: “There’s only seven of us so we will spread the work and share responsibilities.”

He added that “we will hold the Labour Group to account”, pushing for spending to be “spread evenly into new areas so all areas can take advantage of investment”.

Coun Debra Platt has taken up the role as Deputy Leader of the Group and Opposition, as well as shadow cabinet member for Resources.

The remainder of the shadow cabinet is made up of Coun Keith Iddon (Public Protection); Coun John Walker (Early Intervention); Coun Eric Bell (Customer, Advice and Streetscene Services); and Coun John Dalton (Homes and Housing).

Next year the whole council is up for election as part of a boundary review to reduce councillors from 47 to 42.

Coun Boardman added: “The next 12 months will be a fight from both parties.

"We expect the Labour Group to put up a good one and we will match them along the way."

The first full council meeting since the May 2 local elections takes place next Tuesday at 6.30pm.

At the meeting the new Mayor of Chorley will be elected for the 2019/20 year, along with the new deputy.

The new mayor was expected to be Tory Coun Gregory Morgan, who before May 2 was the longest serving councillor.

But after he lost his seat in Clayton-le-Woods & Whittle-le-Woods to Labour’s Mark Clifford, the role is expected to pass to Labour Coun Hasina Khan as the next longest-serving councillor.

The deputy role is yet to be finalised.