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Marginal seat could cause chain reaction

Tories cast doubt over re-election of new Mayor

A GREEN candidate's stand for the Barnfield ward in the May elections could result in the defeat of the Mayor designate of Hyndburn, Labour councillor Wen-dy Dwyer.

This is the view of last year's Deputy Mayor, Tory Derek Scholes, whose own dreams of becoming the next Mayor were dashed at last year's elections when he lost his seat in the ward.

And it's also the view of Councillor Mrs Dwyer herself, who has forecast a "close-run thing".

Mr Scholes lost his seat in Barnfield after he was not selected to re-contest Baxenden after boundary changes cut the number of seats from three to two.

He said: "Councillor Dwyer could be in the same position as I was in last year. Last year she only had a majority of 32. With having a Green Party candidate, people who would normally vote Labour or Conservative could vote Green."

In May's election Conservative candidate Mr Scholes is standing in the Milnshaw ward where he has lived for the past 25 years and he believes because he knows a lot of people in this ward he has a good chance of winning.

He said: "If I do get in, there could be a chance that I would be nominated as Deputy Mayor. I would like that to happen."

Councillor Mrs Dwyer confessed: "Barnfield is a very tight ward and it is a possibility that I could be beaten, especially with the Green candidate standing and the fact that is an all- postal election.

"It is very difficult to know what the result will be. But I am a very long-standing councillor in that ward, something like 10 years, and I am hoping to win. The more people who vote the better it will be."

But the leader of the Labour group, Councillor Ian Ormerod, has no doubts that Councillor Mrs Dwyer will retain her seat. He said: "Wendy is a very experienced councillor and she deserves the Mayoralty. It is a seat we have won since 1991."

Councillor Ormerod said he had not even considered her being beaten, but if she did lose her seat there would be another Labour nomination for the Mayor put forward after the election.


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