West Lancashire

West Lancashire is a non-metropolitan district with borough status in Lancashire, England. Its council is based in Ormskirk, and the largest town is Skelmersdale. At the 2011 Census, the population of the borough was 110,685.[1]

Borough of West Lancashire
Arms of West Lancashire Borough Council
Shown within the ceremonial county of Lancashire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionNorth West England
Ceremonial countyLancashire
Admin. HQOrmskirk
  TypeWest Lancashire Borough Council
  Leadership:Leader and Cabinet
  Leader of the CouncilIan Moran (Lab)
  MayorGordon Johnson (OWL)
  Chief Operating OfficerJacqui Sinnott-Lacey
  Total133.9 sq mi (346.8 km2)
Area rank115th
 (mid-2019 est.)
  RankRanked 207th
  Density850/sq mi (330/km2)
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
ONS code30UP (ONS)
E07000127 (GSS)
Ethnicity98.5% White


The district was formed in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of Ormskirk and Skelmersdale and Holland urban districts along with part of West Lancashire Rural District and part of the former Wigan Rural District.


Skelmersdale, a former New Town, and Ormskirk are the two main towns in the borough. These are surrounded by a patchwork of smaller settlements to the west and north.


Administrative organisation

West Lancashire falls under the area of West Lancashire Borough Council which has been in no overall control since May 2021 with the Labour Party as the largest party, and Lancashire County Council, which is controlled by the Conservative Party. These are both responsible for the administration of various services in the area. There are several parish and town councils in West Lancashire, although the main towns of Skelmersdale and Ormskirk are unparished. There is a movement to establish a town council in Skelmersdale.[2]

The prospect of dividing Lancashire into three unitary authorities is currently being discussed, which would see both Lancashire County Council and West Lancashire Borough Council abolished.[3]

The south of West Lancashire, including the towns of Burscough, Skelmersdale and Ormskirk fall under the West Lancashire constituency in the House of Commons, which has been represented by Labour Party MP Rosie Cooper since the 2005 general election, whereas the north of West Lancashire falls under the South Ribble constituency, which has been represented by Conservative Party MP Katherine Fletcher since the 2019 general election.

West Lancashire Borough Council

West Lancashire Borough Council is composed of 54 councillors elected for four-year terms. Currently, the Labour Party forms the majority of two seats on the council, with 29 seats. There is a full council meeting and a cabinet meeting once every two months,[4] with various committees meeting in between.

The council employs around 600 people,[5] making it one of West Lancashire's largest employers. It is responsible for the administration of various services, such as leisure, waste collection, planning permission and pest control.

The council is ultimately led by the cabinet which is chaired by the leader of the council, who is currently Ian Moran of the Labour Party. The council is managed by various unelected officers. The chief operating officer of the council is currently Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey.[5]

Leader and Cabinet

West Lancashire Borough Council is led by the leader of the council, elected yearly at the annual meeting of the council. The leader of the council is currently Ian Moran.[6] The leader appoints the deputy leader of the council, currently Yvonne Gagen, and various portfolio holders.

Leader of the Council;
Economic Regeneration
Labour Party Ian Moran Up Holland
Deputy Leader of the Council:
Leisure and Human Resources
Labour Party Yvonne Gagen Ashurst
Health and Wellbeing Labour Party Vicky Cummins Skelmersdale South
Housing and Landlord Services Labour Party Jennifer Wilkie Skelmersdale North
Street Scene Labour Party Kevin Wilkie Digmoor
Resources and Transformation Labour Party Adam Yates Knowsley
Planning Labour Party David Evans Burscough East

|- |style="background-color: "| |Communities and Community Safety |Labour Party |Gareth Dowling |Knowsley [6]

Mayor and Deputy Mayor

West Lancashire has a Mayor and Deputy Mayor, who hold a mostly ceremonial role. They are currently Councillor Gordon Paul Johnson of Our West Lancashire and Councillor Marilyn Westley of the Conservative Party, respectively.[7] The position of Mayor and Deputy Mayor alternates each year.

Mayor of West Lancashire Our West Lancashire Gordon Paul Johnson Derby
Deputy Mayor of West Lancashire Conservative Party Marilyn Westley Aughton Park

The current leader of the opposition is Conservative Party councillor David Westley, and the leader of the third and smallest party on the council, Our West Lancashire, is Councillor Adrian Owens. There is one independent councillor, James Upjohn.

Composition of West Lancashire Borough Council

Composition of West Lancashire Borough Council
as of May 2021
  Labour Party: 26 seats

Other parties
  Conservative Party: 20 seats
  Our West Lancashire: 7 seats
  Independent politician
List of councillors
Ashurst James Upjohn Independent
Yvonne Gagen Labour Party
Janice Monaghan Labour Party
Aughton and Downholland Paul Turpin Conservative Party
David O'Toole Conservative Party
David Westley Conservative Party
Aughton Park Doreen Stephenson Conservative Party
Marilyn Westley Conservative Party
Bickerstaffe Ian Rigby Our West Lancashire
Birch Green Carl Coughlan Labour Party
Sue Gregson Labour Party
Burscough East David Evans Labour Party
Susan Anne Evans Labour Party
Burscough West Cynthia Dereli Labour Party
George Clandon Our West Lancashire
Derby Ian Davis Our West Lancashire
Gordon Paul Johnson Our West Lancashire
Adrian Owens Our West Lancashire
Digmoor Julian Antoni Finch Labour Party
Kevin Wilkie Labour Party
Halsall Denise Hirrell Conservative Party
Hesketh-with-Becconsall Ian Eccles Conservative Party
Joan Witter Conservative Party
Knowsley Gareth Dowling Labour Party
Kate Mitchell Our West Lancashire
Adam Yates Labour Party
Moorside Terry Aldridge Labour Party
Terry Devine Labour Party
Newburgh Eddie Pope Conservative Party
North Meols Tom Blane Conservative Party
Kath Lockie Labour Party
Parbold May Blake Conservative Party
David Whittington Conservative Party
Rufford John Gordon Conservative Party
Scarisbrick Alexander Blundell Conservative Party
Jane Marshall Conservative Party
Scott Noel Delaney Labour Party
Jane Thompson Our West Lancashire
Anne Mary Fennell Labour Party
Skelmersdale North Neil Furey Labour Party
Jenny Wilkie Labour Party
Skelmersdale South Vickie Cummins Labour Party
Nicola Pryce-Roberts Labour Party
Donna West Labour Party
Tanhouse Ron Cooper Labour Party
Maureen Nixon Labour Party
Tarleton John Mee Conservative Party
Darren Daniels Conservative Party
Anne Sutton Conservative Party
Up Holland Ian Moran Labour Party
Gaynar Owen Labour Party
Paul Richard O'Neill Labour Party
Wrightington Pam Baybutt Conservative Party
Katie Juckes Conservative Party

There are various committees in West Lancashire Borough Council. All councillors are members of at least one committee.

NameChairVice Chair
Audit and Governance CommitteeEddie Pope (Con)Paul Richard O'Neill (Lab)
Corporate and Environmental Overview and Scrutiny CommitteeCarl Coughlan (Lab)Cynthia Dereli (Lab)
Executive Overview and Scrutiny CommitteeDonna West (Lab)Maureen Nixon (Lab)
Licensing and Appeals CommitteeTerry Devine (Lab)Noel Delaney (Lab)
Licensing and Gambling CommitteeNoel Delaney (Lab)Terry Devine (Lab)
Planning CommitteeDavid O'Toole (Con)Susan Evans (Lab)
Standards CommitteeIan Moran (Lab)David Westley (Con)

Localist politics

There are two localist political parties operating in West Lancashire: Our West Lancashire, which holds seven seats on West Lancashire Borough Council and has contested elections on Lancashire County Council, and Skelmersdale Independent Party, which does not hold any seats on West Lancashire but has contested elections.

Unparished towns

The main towns of Ormskirk (including the village of Westhead) and Skelmersdale are unparished areas, although there are movements to establish a town council in both towns, particularly in Skelmersdale, where a political party and a movement have been established to promote this issue.[2]

Parish councils

Civil parishes in West Lancashire

Parish meetings

There is a single parish meeting:

Twin towns

West Lancashire is twinned with:[8]


  1. UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – West Lancashire Local Authority (E07000127)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  2. "Skelmersdale Independent Party". Skelmersdale Independent Party. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  3. "Lancashire councils face abolition in shake-up". BBC. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  4. "Calendar of meetings". West Lancashire Borough Council. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  5. "Management of the Council". West Lancashire Borough Council. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  6. "Leader and Cabinet". Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  7. "The Mayor". Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  8. West Lancashire Borough Council, Town Twinning retrieved 21 January 2019