TORIES will be fighting all 12 seats up for grabs in the crucial Hyndburn Council elections in May.
They will be defending six and challenging in six in a bid to regain power after last year's crushing disappointment when they lost a host of seats to leave Labour in control by 18 seats to 17. An unknown factor is that this year's election will be by postal vote for the first time.
Councillor Stan Horne, himself defending his Rishton seat, said he was confident they would win the single ward needed to take back control. He said: "Labour won by default last year but this time round we have a strong and experienced team.''
Also defending their seats will be Councillors Jim Dickinson in Baxenden, Mohammed Siddiqe in Central, Jean Lockwood in Immanuel, David Mason in Overton and Brian Roberts in Immanuel.
Derek Scholes, who was controversially not selected in Baxenden ward last year, depriving him of the chance to become Mayor, is back fighting the Milnshaw ward of Accrington where he lives.
Eddie Hogan in Church and Janet Storey in Clayton-le-Moors will both be determined to regain the seats they lost last year. And Michael Taylor and Paul Barton will be making their second attempts to win seats, fighting in Altham and Barnfield respectively.
The only newcomer in the line-up is disability campaigner Patricia Day of Flood Dyke, Huncoat, who will be contesting the Huncoat seat. Her husband Richard runs the Shopmobility charity.
- THE British National Party could still target Hyndburn in this year's local elections despite reports that it would not be standing due to a lack of candidates.
Early reports from the East Lancashire branch of the BNP had suggested that the party would not be targeting the area as the Hyndburn group was not adequately equipped.
But a national spokesman said this week that the branch had only been established for a couple of weeks and that the matter was still under consideration. The British National Party, which already has one councillor in Blackburn, had shown an interest in targeting Huncoat earlier this year.