Pendle Borough Council
By Mike Stevens
Political reporter, BBC Radio Lancashire
- Copyright: PA Media
The leader of one of the east Lancashire councils affected by the government’s new coronavirus measures has said the new lockdown "is a stark reminder that coronavirus is still with us.”
Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council, said the government’s eleventh hour decision came as a surprise.
He acknowledged it would be particularly disappointing for the borough's Muslim community.
"Coronavirus can affect anyone in our community and we all have a duty to do everything we can to keep everyone safe,” he added.
Pendle Council is urging businesses in the area to apply for government grants to ensure they get "vital financial support".Copyright: Google
The authority says it has £26.4m in government funding to give to businesses in the form of £10,000 and £25,000 grants.
A spokesman for the council said it had paid out £15m so far, but around 380 businesses in the area had not applied for the financial support.
Dean Langton, chief executive of the council said:Quote Message: This financial support will make all the difference in helping our local economy to recover more quickly after lockdown and it will protect local jobs.Quote Message: It’s vital that Pendle businesses get the financial support they are entitled to.
Pendle Borough Council has asked Muslim residents to pray at home during Ramadan, which begins on Thursday.Copyright: Getty Images
The Islamic period of fasting is often observed in mosques, but all places of worship have closed their doors to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Council leader Mohammed Iqbal said:Quote Message: I know that this is a very difficult time for everyone, but please continue to stay safe and pray at home especially during Ramadan.Quote Message: Many imams from local mosques are providing live online services so please join them that way.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police also said children have "no excuse" to be outside during Ramadan and the force is asking parents to make sure youngsters stay at home.
Voters in 10 areas of England including Pendle in Lancashire will have to bring identity documents with them to polling stations in next month's council elections.Copyright: Getty Images
The pilot for the vote on 2 May is part of a government test to combat potential voter fraud.
But critics have said the scheme would deny people their democratic right and was unnecessary because fraud is low.
By Mike Stevens
BBC Radio Lancashire political reporter
A protest over the reinstatement of a Tory councillor who shared an offensive racist joke on Facebook has been held before a council meeting.
About 40 people demonstrated at Nelson town hall on Thursday over the return of Earby councillor Rosemary Carroll to the Conservative ranks.
It gave the Tories the seat they needed to take control of Pendle Council at the local elections. She had been forced to stand down for three months over the post, which she says she meant to delete but accidentally shared.
Labour councillor Zafar Ali said he had written a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May calling for an "urgent inquiry" into how a councillor suspended for a racist joke was reinstated - handing the party a council victory.
Tory leader Paul White previously said Ms Carroll had "learned form her mistake", and had apologised and completed diversity training.
The Conservatives now control Pendle with 25 seats, ahead of Labour's 15 and the Liberal Democrats' nine.
A former mayor who was suspended by the Conservatives for sharing a racist joke on Facebook has been reinstated - handing the party a council victory.Copyright: Pendle Council
Councillor Rosemary Carroll was forced to stand down for three months over the post which compared an Asian to a dog.
Her re-admission allowed the Tories to gain control of Pendle Council in Lancashire by one seat, which has angered Labour.
However, Tory leader Paul White said Ms Carroll had "learned form her mistake".