This week we face sad and worrying times in Blackburn as a consequence of the vicious cuts imposed by the Tory High Executioners in Westminster supported by their Liberal Democrat poodles. The members of those parties locally should hang their heads in shame at the damage their colleagues in Government are inflicting on our town and our people.
This Thursday Blackburn with Darwen’s Executive Board will put in train a process that ultimately will lead to around 1000 people losing their jobs and from the end of March we will see Council services slashed and in some instances discontinued all together.
The loss of these jobs will have devastating affect on the local economy and together with the decline in services no family living in the Borough will be left unaffected.
Blackburn with Darwen is faced by a cut of nearly £28 million in this year alone, despite your Labour Council trying hard to protect front line services all key areas have been hit. We have reduced Councillors allowances by 10%, cut the number of senior officers by 30%, made efficiencies by sharing our management with health and greatly reduced back office costs but in reality these are but a drop in the ocean given the size of the short fall in the funding we have received..
Sadly, therefore I have to inform you that from April there will be less street cleaning, less care for the elderly, less provision for our young people, less buses, reduced hours in libraries, leisure centres and less help and advice for those on benefits, just when we need it most. There will be less delivered by the voluntary sector, the health sector and the Police Authority
On Thursday and in the weeks and months ahead however, we will not forget where the blame for such damaging consequences lies. The Tories have always looked out for their banker friends with their bonuses in the City and those who live in the affluent areas of the country. It is patently unfair that a Council like Blackburn has been hit harder than the leafy Boroughs of the south or the rural parts of the North West.
When David Cameron and George Osborne cynically claim that we are all in this together we can be forgiven for resorting to so called un-parliamentary language by questioning their sincerity and honesty.