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Blackburn with Darwen

Borough of Blackburn with Darwen
Borough and Unitary Authority
Shown within ceremonial Lancashire
Shown within ceremonial Lancashire
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region North West England
Ceremonial county Lancashire
Admin. HQ Blackburn
 • Type Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
 • Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
 • Executive: Labour Party Liberal Democrat (council NOC)
 • MPs: Jake Berry (C)
Kate Hollern (L)
 • Total 16.14 sq mi (41.81 km2)
Area rank 285th
Population (mid-2014 est.)
 • Total 63,176
 • Rank Ranked 309th
 • Density 3,900/sq mi (1,500/km2)
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1)
ONS code 00EX (ONS)
E06000008 (GSS)
Ethnicity 69.1% White
28.1% Asian
1.2% Mixed
0.6% Black
0.8% Other

Blackburn with Darwen is a unitary authority area in Lancashire, North West England. It consists of Blackburn, the small town of Darwen to the south of it, and the surrounding countryside.


  • Formation 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Local elections 3
    • Local elections 3.1
  • Economy 4
  • Neighbouring districts and political control 5
  • Settlements 6
    • Civil parishes 6.1
  • Education 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10
    • Council political parties 10.1


It was founded in 1974 as the Lancashire borough of Blackburn, from the County Borough of Blackburn, the Borough of Darwen, parts of Turton Urban District (chiefly the villages of Belmont, Chapeltown and Edgworth) and parts of Blackburn Rural District. It was renamed in May 1997, in preparation for a split from Lancashire County Council. On 1 April 1998 it became a unitary authority.


The proportion of Muslim population (19.4% or 26,674 people) is the third highest among all local authorities in the United Kingdom and the highest outside London. 20.4% of the districts population belongs to any South Asian ethnic group, making it the highest percentage in the region, and almost four times higher than national average of South Asians.[1]

According to the 2011 census, the proportion of Muslims increased to 27%.

Local elections

There is a total of 64 seats on the council with the borough is divided up into 23 wards, all with three councillors with the exception of Earcroft, Whitehall, and North Turton and Tockholes, which have 2 members, and East Rural which has one.

Local elections

Current makeup of Blackburn with Darwen Council
Parties Seats
Labour 48
Conservative 12
Liberal Democrat 4
Total 64

The council was shaken in 2004 when six Labour councillors quit the ruling group one month after an election and became independent representatives, and the council temporarily fell into no overall control.[2][3] The councillors, who eventually re-joined the party, left over an internal row reportedly sparked by the demotion of particular councillors in a post-election reshuffle.[2] Allegations of vote-rigging and corruption have dogged the council, with members of the Muslim community reportedly being "strong-armed by mosque leaders and councillors to vote Labour" during elections.[4] The possibility of corruption has been eased by reforms to postal voting which have made electoral fraud "childishly simple" in the UK according to a European watchdog.[5] The number of postal votes registered in Blackburn in 2005 was 20,000, compared to 7,600 in 2001.[4] In April 2005, local councillor Mohammed Hussain was jailed for three years for rigging the 2002 town hall election by stealing at least 230 postal vote ballots in his ward.[6]

The local elections of May 2007 saw a coalition of parties take control of the council from Labour. The small For Darwen party and independents held the fine balance of power on the council in a partnership with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Like its predecessor, the ruling administration also attracted controversy; one of its councillors being suspended following a conviction for benefit fraud[7] and another following allegations of domestic abuse.[8] Tensions over the presence of former England First Party member Michael Johnson within the coalition as part of For Darwen rose to the surface when Johnson was quoted in The Sun newspaper in October 2007 blaming his unemployment on "all the immigrants flooding this country." "These people take our jobs and it will only get worse", he said.[9] Three weeks before local elections in May 2008, a Liberal Democrat candidate for Shear Brow ward caused a stir by defecting to Labour.[10]

In 2010, two For Darwen Party councillors resigned and withdrew their support for the coalition, and after a vote of no confidence the Labour Party regained control of the council.[11] In 2011 Labour gained control of the council.


This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Blackburn with Darwen at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
Year Regional Gross Value Added[12] Agriculture[13] Industry[14] Services[15]
1995 1,496 3 755 737
2000 1,597 3 678 916
2003 1,785 4 647 1,134

Neighbouring districts and political control

The authority borders with boroughs administered as within the Greater Manchester and Lancashire upper-tier local authorities: Chorley in the west and then (clockwise) South Ribble, Ribble Valley, Hyndburn and Rossendale in Lancashire; Bury and Bolton in Greater Manchester. The data below is based on June 2012.

The local government districts that surround Blackburn with Darwen
South Ribble
Ribble Valley
Blackburn with Darwen


Civil parishes

  1. Darwen (town council)
  2. Eccleshill
  3. Livesey
  4. North Turton
  5. Pleasington
  6. Tockholes
  7. Yate and Pickup Bank


As a unitary authority, Blackburn with Darwen authority has a statutory responsibility for educational standards and schooling within its boundaries.[16]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b WE QUIT! Six labour councillors leave, Lancashire Evening Telegraph, 16 June 2004.
  3. ^ Labour councillors ditching party, BBC News, 16 June 2004
  4. ^ a b Straw's seat is a hot-spot of postal vote fraud claims, Anne Penketh, The Independent, 4 May 2005
  5. ^ Voting open to 'childishly simple' fraud, says watchdog, Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian, 22 January 2008
  6. ^ Vote-rigging Crackdown, Lancashire Telegraph, 24 January 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2007.
  7. ^ Benefit fraud councillor 'should quit now', Tom Moseley, Lancashire Telegraph, 17 November 2008
  8. ^ Lib Dem councillor suspended by his party, Tom Moseley, Lancashire Telegraph, 25 March 2008
  9. ^ Burning issue: Immigration, The Sun, 18 October 2007
  10. ^ Election in turmoil as LibDem candidate says: I'm a Labour supporter, Tom Moseley, Lancashire Telegraph, 9 April 2008
  11. ^ Labour back in control of Blackburn with Darwen, David Watkinson, Lancashire Telegraph, 14 September 2010
  12. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  13. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  14. ^ includes energy and construction
  15. ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  16. ^ Types of Council

External links

  • Blackburn with Darwen Council
  • Blackburn with Darwen council news
  • Blackburn Muslim Association : Serving the community

Council political parties

  • Blackburn Conservative Association
  • For Darwen Party
  • Blackburn Labour Party
  • Blackburn with Darwen Liberal Democrats
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