Labour have gained overall control of Chorley Council making significant gains at the expense of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Sixteen of the borough’s 47 seats were contested yesterday, with 43 candidates vying to become councillors.

The standings are Labour 24, Conservatives 20 and Independents 3, after deputy council leader Ken Ball, the final Liberal Democrat representative, quit the party.

The new administration, which will be led by father of two Alistair Bradley, 42, gained four seats including Jean Cronshaw unseating current cabinet member Alan Cullens in Clayton North and Danny Gee returning to the council after a six year gap by winning Euxton North.

Robert Finnamore defeated sitting Lib Dem member Stella Walsh in Coppull and 20 year-old Kim Snape triumphed in the key seat of Heath Charnock and Rivington.

The biggest majority of the night however was gained in Chorley North West by sitting Independent candidate Joyce Snape, who polled a whopping 1,755 votes, giving her an advantage of 1,279.

Councillor Bradley, who will combine the role of leader of the council with his job as a director of a civil engineering firm, said the new administration would ‘hit the ground running’.

He said: “The people of Chorley have emphatically voted for change and we will deliver it with an enthusiastic team.

“Our priorities will be helping young people into employment and creating a vibrant and growing town centre.

“In 2006 when the Tories took over David Cameron came to Chorley in a helicopter and said ‘this is the beginning for us’. I’d say Chorley has shown him it’s now the beginning of the end for him.”

Outgoing council leader Peter Goldsworthy said he was disappointed that his party had lost out and acknowledged that the Conservatives had been ‘rejected at the polls’.

He said: “Our administration has made Chorley one of the best run councils in the country, we’ve invested in more PCSOs than ever before keeping the streets safer, have attracted businesses to Chorley and have kept council tax low, even reducing it this year.”

Speaking yesterday, councillor Ball, said: “As a Liberal Democrat councillor for 20 years, I am now resigning from the party.

"It has become apparent to myself and most of the electorate, that the people running this country, whatever party they belong to, have probably never done a proper days’ work and are totally out of touch with the general public.

“With all the above in mind, I am tendering my resignation from the Liberal Democrat Party, with immediate effect and will, until the next local election in two years’ time, stand as a Coppull Independent.”