And there is real uncertainty about which party or parties will control the borough council.
Currently it is run by a Labour/Liberal Democrat partnership.
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In May 2019, a rainbow alliance of Burnley and Padiham independents, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives was formed to lead the council following Labor’s 2019 loss of control.
But this coalition still needed the support of UKIP or Green councilors or the casting vote of the mayor LibDem Coun. Anne Kelly to get her way.
Labor took power as a minority administration in September 2020 building on support from LibDem,
Last year, the two partners gained enough quarters between them and had enough trust in each other to create a more formal written partnership.
Labor currently has 18 councillors, the LibDems eight, the Conservatives nine, the Greens five and the Independents Burnley and Padiham five.
He needs the support of 23 of the 45 councilors to form an administration.
In January 2020, UKIP’s three councilors left the party to join the Conservatives and in June of that year its leader Alan Hosker became boss of his new party’s advisory group, suspending his predecessor Coun . Andrew Newhouse who joined independents from Burnley and Pendle and lost his Cliviger seat with Worsthorne last year. This year, the council. Newhouse stands as a Green in Whittlefield with Ightenhill
It was the con. Hosker’s decision to remove the two conservative advisers – veterans Cosima Towneley and Ivor Emo – from the alliance cabinet, causing the collapse of what was working
dubbed the ‘coalition of chaos’ and laying bare the divisions between ex-UKIP recruits and the group’s more traditional conservatives.
Labor Leader Con. Afrasiab Anwar hopes his party will bounce back from two poor results, including last year when they lost four quarters.
Another interesting subplot is that Coun. Anwar, LibDem leader Cllr Gordon Birtwistle and Green Party boss Cllr Andy Fewings are all up for re-election.
The Tories are hoping to defend their three council seats despite the council moving. Clerk of Hapton with Park and Coun. Ferry from Whittlefield with Ightenhill.
They also have dim hopes of snatching Gawthorpe and Rosegrove with Labor’s Lowerhouse as veteran advisers Frank Cant and Bea Foster step down.
However their leader Con. Hosker admits: “I think the national situation may hold us back, but these are local issues, not national ones.”
The Burnley and Padiham Independent party are hoping their incumbent adviser Neil Mottershead clings to Gannow.
Com. Birtwistle’s assessment is that local issues matter most in the campaign and he points to his own experience and that of his defending advisers – Gordon Lishman at Briercliffe and Geoff Sumner at Rosehill with Burnley Wood – as reasons for backing the party.
But overall, the former MP said: “I don’t expect much change next week. Maybe a weird seat here or there, but overall it’s about the same.
Which means Burnley Council looks set to continue the coalitions and chaos of the past three years.
Pretty much what you might expect in a Labor stronghold borough that in 2019 elected its first Tory MP in 109 years against the current backdrop of Downing Street and Boris Johnson’s ‘Partygate’.
Confused voters caught in the maze of modern Burnley politics know only one thing: their cold vote really makes a difference on Thursday.
BURNLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL CANDIDATES:
Bank Hall – Afrasiab Anwar (Labour), Julie Hurt (Green), Susan Nutter (Conservative)
Briercliffe – Vic Alker (Green), Gordon Lishman (Liberal Democrat), Lian Pate (Labour and Co-op), Richard Sagar (con)
Brunshaw – Alex Hall (Green), Claire Ingham (Con), Christine Sollis (Lab)
Cliviger featuring Worsthorne – Ivor Emo (Con), Nussrat Kazmi (Lab), Jack Launer (Green)
Coalcough with Deerplay – Gordon Birtwistle (Lib Dem), Janet Hall (Green), Bill Horrocks (Lab), Linda Whittaker (Con)
Daneshouse with Stoneyholme – Josh Gillies (Con), Mohammed Haji-Nazrul (Lib Dem), Shah Hussain (Lab), Craig Simpkin (Green)
Gannow – Helen Bridges (Green), Neil Mottershead (Indie), Thomas Watson (Con), Fiona Wild (Lab)
Gawthorpe – Joe Davis (Green), Alun Lewis (Lab), Nicola Thompson (Con)
Hapton with Park – Jamie McGowan (Con), Duncan Reed (Green), Abdul Salek (Work)
Lanehead – Mark Alker (Green), Tom Commis (Con), Sue Graham (Lab), Pippa Lishman (Lib Dem)
Queensgate – Syeda Kazmi (Lab), Jai Redman (Green), Bailey Webster (Con)
Rosegrove with Lowerhouse – James Anderson (Ind), Gail Barton (Lab), Jane Davis (Green), Peter McCann (Lib Dem), Maison McGowan-Doe (Con)
Rosehill with Burnley Wood – Margaret Brindle (Lab), Tony Davis (Green), Kev Shackell (Con), Jeff Sumner (Lib Dem)
Trinity – Dale Ferrier (Con), Andy Fewings (Green), Stephen Reynolds (Lab)
Whittlefield with Ightenhill – Mitchell Cryer (Ind), Andrew Newhouse (Green), Nicola Sedgwick (Ind), Shaun Sproule (Lab), Mike Steel (Con).