The local elections are upon us and all public debate in the Observer is suspended including my April column. So apologies.
There has been an interesting list of candidates with Independents challenging each other in Overton Ward in Great Harwood ballot paper with plenty of choice. UKIP are fielding two candidates, one in St Oswald's and another in Overton.
Defeated ex Mayor, the controversial Malcolm Pritchard who indicated he wouldn't stand as decided to stand after all in Church ward.
The Tories have been unable to find a full slate of candidates so poor is their leadership and organisation. That or in Peel ward they have decided to back the 'Out of Town Landlord' and letting agent from Rochdale who is leading the cause to stop Labour's policy on regulating the Private Rented Sector locally.
Another missing Tory piece of the election is the mysterious Barnfield newsletter from their website. No doubt having promised everywhere else on leaflets to remove the £2.3m for housing from Woodnook in Barnfield, they are having a problem explaining that to Barnfield votes.
After working hard to secure the improved car park at Baxenden it was a surprise to see it turn up on a local Tory leaflet. Such are local elections. Good luck to all candidates.