Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
Labour has lost control of West Lancashire DC following a split in the ruling group. Seven Labour councillor broke...
Labour has lost control of West Lancashire DC following a split in the ruling group. Seven Labour councillor broke away, claiming the group was abusing council finances.
The move means Labour has no overall control, though it remains the largest party, as the Conservatives and the breakaway group want 'collective decision making'.
The council's political composition is now: 23 Labour, 22 Conservatives, seven Labour rebels, one independent and two vacant seats.
The leader of the breakaway group, John Fillis, said: 'The year before we had record increases in councillors' allowances set by a Labour administration. We're a small council and the allowances totalled£330,000.
'This year's budget increased council tax by 15%, rents by 5% and cut community services. Quite clearly a difficult decision all councils have faced, but you don't go spending a lot of money on yourself and then cutting everything else.
'The Labour group was being very dictatorial. The whip was being used to prevent us representing the local community.'
The split was nothing to do with Labour policy nationally, he added, though all seven councillors have resigned or are waiting to be expelled from the party.
Labour group leader Alan Bullen said the seven were 'incoherent, vain and egotistical'. He added: 'They have given about 50 different reasons. Every one of these seven voted for these allowances and the leader John Fillis of course enjoyed an even more generous scheme from the county council.'
He said they were refusing to acknowledge they had formed a coalition with the Tories in order to prevent Labour forming an official opposition. Shortly before the split, the Tories and breakaway group voted against a cabinet and leader.
Tory group leader Geoff Roberts agreed there was an 'alliance', but denied it was a coalition.
The regional Labour office was unavailable for comment.
  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.