Borough of Pendle
Pendle Hill
Shown within Lancashire and England
Shown within Lancashire and England
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionNorth West England
Ceremonial countyLancashire
Admin. HQNelson
 • TypePendle Borough Council
 • Leadership:Leader & Cabinet
 • MPs:Andrew Stephenson
 • Total65.4 sq mi (169.4 km2)
 • Rank155th
 • Total95,789
 • RankRanked 249th
 • Density1,500/sq mi (570/km2)
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
ONS code30UJ (ONS)
E07000122 (GSS)
Ethnicity84.3% White
82.8% White British
0.9% White Other
0.6% White Irish
14.1% S.Asian
13.1% Pakistani
0.4% Indian
0.4% Other S.Asian
0.2% Bangladeshi
0.9% Mixed Race
0.5% Asian & White
0.2% Black Caribbean & White
0.2% Other Mixed
0.1% Black African & White
0.4% E.Asian and Other
0.2% Chinese
0.1% Other E.Asian
0.1% Other
0.3% Black
0.2% Black African
0.1% Black Caribbean
0.0% Other Black

Pendle is a local government district with borough status in Lancashire, England. The council is based in Nelson, the borough's largest town. The borough also includes the towns of Barnoldswick, Brierfield, Colne and Earby along with the surrounding villages and rural areas. Part of the borough lies within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The neighbouring districts are Burnley, Ribble Valley, North Yorkshire, Bradford and Calderdale.


The name Pendle comes from "Penhill", combining the Cumbric "pen" meaning hill and the Saxon "hill", also meaning hill. The name was used for Pendle Hill (literally "hill hill hill"), a prominent outlier of the Pennines. The name was then also used for the ancient Forest of Pendle around the hill, and for Pendle Water, a river which rises on the hill and flows into the River Calder.[1] The name also became associated with the Pendle witches, tried for witchcraft in 1612, as the accused were all from the area.[2]


The modern local government district of Pendle was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. It covered the whole area of seven former districts and parts of another two, all of which were abolished at the same time:[3]

The Barnoldswick, Earby and Skipton parts were in the West Riding of Yorkshire prior to 1974. The term West Craven is sometimes used for this area transferred from Yorkshire to Lancashire in 1974. The new district was named Pendle after the hill, forest and river.[4] The district was awarded borough status on 15 September 1976, allowing the chair of the council to take the title of mayor.[5]


Pendle Borough Council
Founded1 April 1974
Brian Newman,
Liberal Democrat
since 18 May 2023
Asjad Mahmood,
since 18 May 2023
Rose Rouse
since 2021[6]
Seats33 councillors
Political groups
Administration (16)
  Labour (9)
  Liberal Democrat (7)
Other parties (17)
  Conservative (14)
  Independent (3)
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
Meeting place
Town Hall, Market Street, Nelson, BB9 7LG

Pendle Borough Council provides district-level services. County-level services are provided by Lancashire County Council.[7] The whole borough is also covered by civil parishes, which form a third tier of local government.[8]

Brian Cookson retired in March 2013 from his position as executive director for Regeneration, a post he had held for nine years, in parallel (after 2007) with that of President of British Cycling.[9] Subsequently, becoming the President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body for sports cycling.

In June 2017, a Conservative councilor, Rosemary Carroll,[10] was suspended after sending a racist post on social media comparing Asians to dogs. This controversy expanded after the local elections in 2018, when the councilor was readmitted into the Conservative Party, allowing the Conservative party to gain a majority on the council. The Pendle Labour party accused the Pendle Conservative Party of condoning racism after the reinstatement. The Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, Dawn Butler, called upon the Conservative Party Chairman, Brandon Lewis, to issue a statement saying that the councilor in question would not be part of the Conservative group on the council. This followed a statement from Lewis congratulating the Pendle Conservatives on winning a majority on the council.[11][12]

Political control

Since the 2023 election the council has been under no overall control, being led by a Labour and Liberal Democrat coalition.[13]

The first election to the council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements came into effect on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been as follows:[14][15]

Party in control Years
No overall control 1974–1976
Conservative 1976–1979
No overall control 1979–1987
Liberal Democrats 1987–1990
No overall control 1990–1991
Labour 1991–1994
No overall control 1994–1995
Liberal Democrats 1995–1999
No overall control 1999–2004
Liberal Democrats 2004–2008
No overall control 2008–2018
Conservative 2018–2019
No overall control 2019–2021
Conservative 2021–2023
No overall control 2023–present


The role of mayor is largely ceremonial in Pendle. Political leadership is instead provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 2015 have been:[16]

Councillor Party From To
Joe Cooney Conservative 2015
Mohammed Iqbal Labour 2015 17 May 2018
Paul White Conservative 17 May 2018 5 May 2019
Mohammed Iqbal Labour 16 May 2019 20 May 2021
Nadeem Ahmed Conservative 20 May 2021 18 May 2023
Asjad Mahmood Labour 18 May 2023


Following the 2023 election, the composition of the council was:[17]

Party Councillors
Conservative 14
Labour 11
Liberal Democrats 7
Independent 1
Total 33

The next election is due in 2024.


The council meets at Nelson Town Hall on Market Street in the centre of Nelson. It has its main administrative offices in a modern building at 1 Market Street, opposite the town hall.[18]


See also: Pendle Borough Council elections

Since the last full review of boundaries took effect in 2021 the council has comprised 33 councillors representing 12 wards, with each ward electing one, two or three councillors. Elections are held three years out of every four, with roughly a third of the council being elected each time for a four-year term. Lancashire County Council elections are held in the fourth year of the cycle when there are no borough council elections.[19]


Following the 2023 election, the councillors were:[20]

Ward Name   Party
Barnoldswick Tom Whipp Liberal Democrats
Chris Church Liberal Democrats
Mick Strickland Liberal Democrats
Barrowford and Pendleside Martyn Stone Conservative
Nadeem Ahmed Conservative
David Gallear Conservative
Boulsworth and Foulridge Sarah Cockburn-Price Conservative
David Cockburn-Price Conservative
Kevin Salter Conservative
Bradley Mohammad Aslam Conservative
Mohammed Iqbal Independent
Mohammad Kaleem Conservative
Brierfield East and Clover Hill Naeem Hussain Ashraf Labour
Sajjad Ahmed Labour
Zafar Ali Labour
Brierfield West and Reedley Mohammad Hanif Labour
Yasser Iqbal Labour
Earby and Coates Susan Land Liberal Democrats
Rosemary Carroll Conservative
David Whipp Liberal Democrats
Fence and Higham Brian Newman Liberal Democrats
Marsden and Southfield Yvonne Tennant Labour
Mohammed Adnan Labour
Mohammed Ammer Labour
Vivary Bridge Kieran McGladdery Conservative
Tom Ormerod Conservative
David Albin Conservative
Waterside and Horsfield Neil Butterworth Conservative
Dorothy Lord Liberal Democrats
Ash Sutcliffe Conservative
Whitefield and Walverden Faraz Ahmad Labour
Ruby Anwar Labour
Asjad Mahmood Labour

Wider politics

The Pendle constituency is represented in Parliament by the Conservative Member of Parliament, Andrew Stephenson, since 2010. The constituency covers the same area as the borough.


The three main employers in the borough are Rolls-Royce plc, Silentnight and the Daisy Group.[citation needed]

Places in Pendle

The borough is entirely covered by civil parishes. The parish councils for Barnoldswick, Brierfield, Colne, Earby and Nelson take the style "town council".[21]

Parishes in Pendle Borough
Contemporary civil parish Map
Medieval jurisdiction Medieval jurisdiction Early modern jurisdiction
Barley-with-Wheatley Booth 1 Pendle Forest, manor of Ightenhill Forest of Blackburnshire Whalley, Lancashire: once a much larger parish than today.
It encompassed a large part of eastern Lancashire.
It also included areas outside Pendle.
Barrowford 3
Blacko 4
Old Laund Booth 15
Goldshaw Booth 10
Reedley Hallows 16
Roughlee Booth 17
Higham-with-West Close Booth 11
Trawden Forest 19 Trawden Forest, manor of Colne
Nelson 14 manor of Ightenhill, not in Forest Blackburnshire, not in Forest
Brierfield 6
Colne 7 manor of Colne, not in Forest
Foulridge 9
Laneshaw Bridge 13
Barnoldswick 2 Now referred to as "West Craven".
This is a part of Lancashire, which was once in the neighbouring West Riding of Yorkshire.
(Within the Wapentake of Staincliffe, Deanery of Craven.)
Bracewell and Brogden 5
Salterforth 8
Kelbrook and Sough 12
Earby 18

Freedom of the Borough

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Pendle.

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (May 2019)


Military Units



  1. ^ Leech, Geoffrey (2007). Nakao, Y. (ed.). "The unique heritage of place-names in North West England" (PDF). Text, Language and Interpretation: Essays in honour of Keiko Ikegami. Tokyo: Eihoosa: 42–61. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  2. ^ Farrer, William; Brownbill, J., eds. (1911). "Townships: Goldshaw Booth". A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. London: Victoria County History. pp. 514–518. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  3. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972",, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 26 June 2023
  4. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973",, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 31 May 2023
  5. ^ Alterations of area and status May 1976 – November 1976 (PDF). London: Department of the Environment. 1976. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  6. ^ "A new Chief Executive for Pendle Council".
  7. ^ "Local Government Act 1972",, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 31 May 2023
  8. ^ "Election maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  9. ^ "UK cycling chief steps down from Pendle Council role". Lancashire Telegraph. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  10. ^ Mills, Jen (29 June 2017). "Conservative councillor 'posted joke comparing Asian people to dogs'". Metro UK. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Tories Win Pendle Council After Reinstating Councillor Suspended over Racist Joke". 4 May 2018.
  12. ^ Grierson, Jamie; Sparrow, Andrew; Rawlinson, Kevin; Sparrow, Andrew; Walker, Peter (4 May 2018). "Almost 4,000 people may have been denied vote by election ID pilots – as it happened". The Guardian.
  13. ^ "Labour and Lib Dems to run 'hung' Pendle Council". BBC News. 17 May 2023. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  14. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  15. ^ "Pendle". BBC News Online. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Council minutes". Pendle Borough Council. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Local elections 2023: live council results for England". The Guardian.
  18. ^ "Contacting us". Pendle Borough Council. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  19. ^ "The Statutory Instruments Regulations 1947",, The National Archives, SI 2020/215, retrieved 26 June 2023
  20. ^ "Councillors by name". Pendle Borough Council. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  21. ^ "Parish and Town Councils". Pendle Borough Council. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  22. ^ "Olympic gold medallist Steven Burke given civic honour". BBC News. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  23. ^ "London 2012 Olympics gold medal hero Steven Burke granted Freedom of Pendle". Burnley Express. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Congratulations to Pendle's triple Olympic cycling champion". Pendle Borough Council. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  25. ^ Spencer, Andrew (14 May 2015). "Duke of Lancaster's Regiment parade through Colne". Pendle Today. Retrieved 18 July 2021.

53°52′08″N 2°09′50″W / 53.869°N 2.164°W / 53.869; -2.164