LABOUR consolidated control of Chorley Council gaining eight seats - seven from the Tories - to leave them with a firm grip on the Town Hall.

The make up of the council now sees Labour, who gained control two years ago, with 32 members, there are 13 Conservative councillors with the remaining two seats held by Independents.

Of the 17 seats fought on Thursday, Labour won 13, the Tories held just three seats, Independent Ralph Snape being the other winner.

Councillor Snape maintained his spectacular electoral success spanning four decades, gaining 1,787 votes and a majority of 1,387 in Chorley North West.

The narrowest victory came in Euxton South where Labour’s Mark Jarnell unseated Tory incumbent Debra Platt by a mere three votes by 572 votes to 569.

A factor there may have been the UKIP vote for David Smithies who polled 283. Mrs Platt’s husband Alan also lost his seat in Astley and Buckshaw, defeated by incoming Labour member Matthew Lynch.

In Coppull, long-standing councillor Ken Ball, who ditched his Liberal Democrat membership to stand as an Independent, was defeated by Labours’s Richard Toon, who won with a 415 majority.

Other gains for Labour came in Chisnall, where veteran politician Alan Whittaker won, defeating sitting councillor, Harold Heaton, Clayton-le-Woods North, Euxton North, Pennine and Wheelton and Withnell.

The three Tory holds were in Clayton-le-Woods and Whittle, where Eric Bell retained his seat, Clayton-le-Woods and Cuerden and Eccleston and Mawdesley.

Council leader Alistair Bradley, said: “This is a ringing endorsement of this council’s policies since taking control two years ago.

“We have seen significant investment in jobs in Chorley with projects such redevelopments on Market Street, the Asda store, the purchase of Market Walk which have grown employment at no additional cost to the council taxpayer.”