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New Council leader outlines his priorities for the year ahead

Published: Friday, 18th May 2018

Photograph of Councillor Paul White, Leader of Pendle Council

Councillor Paul White, Leader of Pendle Council

Pendle Council’s new leader, Councillor Paul White, has spoken of his honour at leading the Council as he set out his priorities for the year ahead.

The 31 year-old from Laneshaw Bridge has been a councillor for seven years, representing Boulsworth ward.

His vision for the borough includes boosting education, growing the economy and cutting the number of councillors.

He said: “It’s the greatest honour of my life to have been chosen to be the Leader of Pendle Council.

“I’ve put together a very ambitious programme for the next 12 months, because that’s what Pendle needs, ambition. It’s time to start talking Pendle up!”

Councillor White’s priorities include:

  • financially supporting schools through The Pendle Challenge by providing a match funded grant which challenges schools to try new ideas
  • reviewing the local housing plan, lowering housing targets in Pendle to protect green fields and ensure quality and affordable housing in the right places. Using the Brownfield Fund to make sure that abandoned sites are brought back to life, reducing pressure on green fields
  • working with universities from across the North to bring a campus to Pendle, focusing on manufacturing, engineering and digital skills
  • creating 100 apprenticeships within 100 days
  • supporting, encouraging and lobbying for the A56 Villages Bypass
  • continuing to lobby for the re-opening of the Colne to Skipton railway line
  • providing grant funding to local businesses and entrepreneurs to help new businesses start up and existing businesses to grow
  • selling off Council buildings such as The Ace Centre and Number One Market Street
  • tackling loneliness by working with schools and senior groups bringing people from all parts of our community together
  • reviewing the cemeteries to see whether the Council provides for all faiths in Pendle.

Councillor White said: “We have some of the worst attainment of any area in Lancashire so Pendle needs a big focus on education.

“I will take responsibility for the economy and look forward to celebrating all the great things we make here in this brilliant hub of manufacturing.”

Deputy Leader Nadeem Ahmed added: “Paul and I are looking forward to representing the whole of Pendle, every single corner of it.

“We’re very grateful to be able to have the chance to improve the lives of our residents. It is not a responsibility we take lightly.”