WITH voters taking to the polls next Thursday, a busy week is in store for all of Hyndburn’s Lancashire County Council candidates.
The Conservatives, who currently control Hyndburn Council at the district level, are keen to take seats away from Labour who have governed at County Hall for 15 years.
Six seats are up for grabs in the borough, all of which are currently controlled by Labour.
In Accrington North Labour’s Jean Battle is hoping to keep her seat with Independent Malcolm Pritchard and former Hyndburn Councillor Brendan Shiel both vying for it.
Mr Shiel, of Woodside Road, Huncoat, is running as a self-proclaimed "citizen" candidate. He said: "I have no resources from parties or the councils at my disposal. I am standing as a citizen wanting to make a difference."
Hyndburn Council leader Peter Britcliffe is confident his Tory party will have control of County Hall by this time next week.
Councillor Britcliffe, who is contesting Labour’s Dorothy Westell for her seat in Oswaldtwistle, said: "We have been campaigning all over the borough and the message we are getting from voters is they are tired of Labour’s spending. People are disillusioned with Mr Brown and his Labour Government and I think people will be showing that come election day."
The battle in Accrington South is continuing to set off sparks with four candidates hoping to take the seat vacated by Wendy Dwyer. Conservative John Barton, Green Party’s Kerry Gormley, Independent Joseph Anthony Hindley and Labour’s Graham Jones are all campaigning heavily in the area. And Labour member Miles Parkinson is defending his seat in Rishton and Clayton-le-Moors against Conservative Stan Horne.
Labour’s Doreen Politt, who is running against Conservative Mohammed Younis for the seat in Accrington West, spoke on behalf of her Labour colleagues.
She said: "I think we have been a very good authority over many years and in particular these last five years. I think we have invested wisely as a county council.
"Obviously the national picture we could do without because of the negative press. But we are local councillors who commute to Preston and live in Hyndburn and as a party we will continue to work hard for the local communities we represent."
Independent candidate David Mason is running against Conservative Peter Clarke and Labour’s Ciaran Anthony Wells for the seat in Great Harwood vacated by Susan Shorrock.
Mr Mason, who is a member of Hyndburn Council, said: "I have been in party politics for 30 years and from what I have seen party politics is in shambles. When one of my constituents has a problem, I don’t have to go through the party to solve it and can simply contact the necessary people. This is something I would contine to do in Preston when dealing with queries about roads and schools.
"Independents running in Hyndburn gathered in the town hall last Friday and people were very responsive to what we were saying."