Burnley council to stay in the hands of the three party coalition

Burnley Town Hall
Burnley Town Hall -Credit:Archive

The three-party Co-operative Alliance which ran Burnley Council before last week’s local elections is to stay in charge of the authority.

A meeting of the Burnley Independent group of councillors who quit Labour over the leadership’s stance on the Gaza conflict, the Liberal Democrats and Green Party on Tuesday night agreed to continue the arrangement. Thursday’s poll left them one short of a majority with 22 councillors.

The leader of Burnley Council and the Independent group Cllr Afraisiab Anwar said: “Members of the Independent, Liberal Democrat, and Green Group met on Tuesday evening to deliberate on the running of the council post-local elections.

"A unified and stable leadership is vital as we confront the pressing challenges in health, economy, and climate change, further compounded by the ongoing cost of living crisis.


“Over the past six months, we have worked well together to deliver for the borough and residents. This collaborative working has fostered a highly constructive relationship built on consensus, trust, and transparency.

“We are committed to sustaining this momentum and propelling the borough toward progress and prosperity.”

The Labour group gained four seats in the election giving it 15 overall

It’s leader Cllr Mark Townsend said: ““It’s disappointing that the Independents, Greens and Lib Dem’s have decided to ignore the voters and continue with an administration that does not have democratic legitimacy. The electorate have spoken and voted the coalition out.

“The numbers tell us that the only means of establishing a stable administration for the good of the town going forward is with the involvement of Labour. Cllr Anwar has lost his mandate to to be leading the council.”

Conservative group finance spokesman Cllr Jamie McGowan said:“We welcome stability within the council but as we said during the election campaign, the focus has to be on the priorities of local residents. That means tackling the main issues raised with us, investing in things that people actually want to see and keeping council tax as low as possible.”

The Green group has chosen the authority’s health and culture boss Cllr Jack Launer as its new leader after his predecessor and fellow Cliviger with Worsthorne councillor Scott Cunliffe lost his seat to Conservative Ivor Emo.

The political make-up of the council is now: Labour – 15; Burnley Independent Group – 10; Conservatives – eight; Liberal Democrats – seven; and Greens – five.