Blackburn with Darwen

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Borough of Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn skyline and the administrative centre of the borough, looking south towards Darwen
Blackburn skyline and the administrative centre of the borough, looking south towards Darwen
Official seal of Borough of Blackburn with Darwen
Shown within ceremonial Lancashire
Shown within ceremonial Lancashire
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
RegionNorth West England
Ceremonial county Lancashire
Admin. HQBlackburn
 • TypeUnitary authority
 • BodyBlackburn with Darwen Borough Council
 • Council LeaderCllr Mohammed Khan[1]
 • MayorCllr Derek Hardman (interim)[2]
 • MP for BlackburnKate Hollern
 • MP for Rossendale and DarwenJake Berry
 • Total137.0 km2 (52.9 sq mi)
 • Rank191st
 • Total154,738 Ranked 133rd
 • Density1,129/km2 (2,920/sq mi)
 • Ethnicity
69.1% White
28.1% S.Asian
0.6% Black
0.8% Other
1.2% Mixed
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
ONS code00EX (ONS)
E06000008 (GSS)

Blackburn with Darwen is a borough and unitary authority area in Lancashire, North West England. It consists of the industrial town of Blackburn and the market town of Darwen including other villages around the two towns.[4]


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.



According to the 2017 census, the proportion of Muslims is 30.9%.[5] 20.4% of the district's 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.[6]

Ethnicity of school pupils[7]
Ethnic group School year
Number %
White: Total 12,911 46.1
White: British 11,876 42.4
White: Irish 28 0.1
White: Traveller of Irish heritage 25 0.1
White: Gypsy/Roma 21 0.1
White: Other 961 3.4
Asian / Asian British: Total 12,835 45.8
Asian / Asian British: Indian 4,592 16.4
Asian / Asian British: Pakistani 7,282 26.0
Asian / Asian British: Bangladeshi 290 1.0
Asian / Asian British: Chinese 71 0.3
Asian / Asian British: Other Asians 600 2.1
Black / Black British: Total 344 1.2
Black: Caribbean 13 0.0
Black: African 274 1.0
Black: Other Blacks 57 0.2
Mixed / British Mixed 1,129 4
Other: Total 474 1.7
Unclassified 290 1.0
Total: 27,983 100.0


According to the 2021 census, 35.0% of the population was Muslim, 38.0% Christian, 0.3% Hindu, 0.2% Buddhist, 0.4% followed another religions (including Judaism, Sikhism and others), 21.1% were not affiliated to a religion and 5.0% did not state their religious views.

Religion in Blackburn with Darwen as of 2021 [8]

  Islam (35.0%)
  Christianity (38.0%)
  Hinduism (0.3%)
  Buddhism (0.2%)
  Sikh (0.1%)
  Irreligion (21.1%)
  Religion not stated (0.3%)
  Other (5%)

Local elections[edit]

Following boundary changes in 2018, there are currently 51 seats on the council (decreased from 64), with the borough divided into 17 wards (decreased from 23). The wards are: Audley and Queens Park, Bastwell and Daisyfield, Billinge and Beardwood, Blackburn Central, Blackburn South and Lower Darwen, Blackburn South East, Darwen East, Darwen South, Darwen West, Ewood, Little Harwood with Whitebirk, Livesey with Pleasington, Mill Hill and Moorgate, Roe Lee, Shear Brow and Corporation Park, Wensley Fold, and West Pennine.[citation needed]

Current makeup of Blackburn with Darwen Council
Parties Seats
Labour 39
Conservative 12
Total 51

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.[9][10] 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.[9] 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.[11] 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.[12] The number of postal votes registered in Blackburn in 2005 was 20,000, compared to 7,600 in 2001.[11] 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.[13]

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[14] and another following allegations of domestic abuse.[15] 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." Three weeks before local elections in May 2008, a Liberal Democrat candidate for Shear Brow ward caused a stir by defecting to Labour.[16]

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.[17] 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[a] Agriculture[b] Industry[c] Services[d]
1995 1,496 3 755 737
2000 1,597 3 678 916
2003 1,785 4 647 1,134


Civil parishes[edit]

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

The town of Blackburn and the village of Hoddlesden lie in unparished areas.


As a unitary authority, Blackburn with Darwen authority has a statutory responsibility for educational standards and schooling within its boundaries.[18]


Blackburn with Darwen Council has a stated transport policy of "making roads traffic free".[19]

Freedom of the Borough[edit]

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen.


Military Units[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  2. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  3. ^ includes energy and construction
  4. ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured


  1. ^ "Cllr Mohammed Khan". Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. Archived from the original on 5 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Covid: Blackburn mayor resigns over wedding party Covid breach". BBC News. 15 February 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, 2021". Office for National Statistics. 2 November 2022. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Unitary Authority population 2011". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Population of England, Wales and selected local authorities against numbers and percent of Muslims (2015 to 2016) 2017". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  6. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics. "Neighbourhood Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Archived from the original on 27 April 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Schools, pupils and their characteristics, Academic Year 2021/22". Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  8. ^ "Religion". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  9. ^ a b WE QUIT! Six labour councillors leave, Lancashire Evening Telegraph, 16 June 2004.
  10. ^ Labour councillors ditching party Archived 19 July 2004 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News, 16 June 2004
  11. ^ a b Straw's seat is a hot-spot of postal vote fraud claims Archived 2 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Anne Penketh, The Independent, 4 May 2005
  12. ^ Voting open to 'childishly simple' fraud, says watchdog Archived 1 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian, 22 January 2008
  13. ^ Vote-rigging Crackdown Archived 30 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Lancashire Telegraph, 24 January 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2007.
  14. ^ Benefit fraud councillor 'should quit now', Tom Moseley, Lancashire Telegraph, 17 November 2008
  15. ^ Lib Dem councillor suspended by his party, Tom Moseley, Lancashire Telegraph, 25 March 2008
  16. ^ Election in turmoil as LibDem candidate says: I'm a Labour supporter, Tom Moseley, Lancashire Telegraph, 9 April 2008
  17. ^ Labour back in control of Blackburn with Darwen Archived 7 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, David Watkinson, Lancashire Telegraph, 14 September 2010
  18. ^ "Types of Council". Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  19. ^ Blackburn with Darwen Council. "Transport & streets policies & strategies". Archived from the original on 11 June 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  20. ^ Jacobs, Bill (25 September 2015). "Former Blackburn MP Jack Straw to be given 'freedom' of the borough". The Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Freedom of the Borough". Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. Retrieved 17 January 2022.

External links[edit]

Council political parties[edit]