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All confident in knife-edge poll

AS THEY enter the final frantic week of campaigning, both main parties are confident of success in the Hyndburn Council elections.

AS THEY enter the final frantic week of campaigning, both main parties are confident of success in the Hyndburn Council elections.

Hundreds of miles have been walked and countless voters' doors knocked on but candidates show no sign of slowing down with just six days left before councillors are elected for 12 of the borough's 16 wards.

With the current situation of 18 Conservative councillors and 17 Labour, the direction of Hyndburn's political future is wide open and there is everything to play for.

Council leader Peter Britcliffe has been out and about with his candidates, although he is not up for re-election himself.

He said: "I remain cautiously optimistic about our chances. What has been clear is the systematic ebbing away of support for the Labour Party. People have told us they are sick of them generally but particularly the Government."

"People are pleased we have solved the council's budget problems and delivered a relatively low council tax."

Councillor David Myles, deputy leader of the Labour opposition, is battling to defend his Altham seat, and is pleased with the response he has met.

"We seem to be getting a lot of positives from people on the doorsteps," he said. "We really want to concentrate on local issues and it is concerning that voters may be influenced by national topics."

"We have been trying to get the message across that, like the voters, we are local people, concerned about our communities and our children's future. We have focused on the important issues such as road safety, playschemes, litter, care of the elderly and housing."

"We have promised people a public inquiry about last year's cash crisis, a subject that angered and worried lots of voters."

William Greene, Liberal Democrat candidate for St Andrew's ward in Oswaldtwistle, hopes to capitalise on bickering between the two main parties.

He said: "Responses have varied. Some people have made their minds up early and some aren't sure about their choice."

"But we seem to have struck a chord with our promise to make Labour and Tories work together. Voters are disappointed with the mud-slinging and we will fight to get all councillors working for the best for Hyndburn."

Two other Lib Dems are standing for election as well as a Green Party candidate and an Independent.

  • As part of the Tories' election campaign, MEP Den Dover visited Prosperity Recycling in Accrington, along with Councillor Britcliffe and Barnfield ward candidate Councillor Tony Dobson.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist