Twelve months on

September 2010 seems a long time ago, and certainly allot of political water has gone under the bridge, since Labour assumed control of the Council.

During the last twelve months the Labour administration consolidated its position at the May elections and is proud of its record of listening to people and protecting front line services and the vulnerable where ever we have been able to.

The savage cuts that were announced earlier this year in budget are also now having an impact across all sectors and unemployment is continuing to rise across the area. We have however been able to make some difference by undertaking efficiency savings and cutting out wasteful spending planned by the previous Tories and Liberal administration.

For example, we are aware from the calls that we get that environmental issues such as grassing cutting, littering etc. are important to our residents. That is why earlier this year, despite suffering around £33m in our funding from Government; we have managed to find additional resources to deal with these services despite the financial difficulties the Council continues to face. This is helping make some improvements in the environment, but we all need to encourage everyone to get involved in keeping their neighbourhoods clean and taking pride in their local areas and communities.

In addition, we are aware of the frustration pot holes and poor road surfaces cause and have identified an extra £1m to undertake emergency repairs to the most damaged and important roads in the Borough.

Despite what we are doing locally we cannot get away from the impact that the Tory/ Liberal Democrat National Government policies are having on our town. An analysis of the changes being introduced by the Coalition Government shows they are having a enormous detrimental impact on Boroughs like ours. For example, the proposed localisation of Council Tax will have a disproportionate effect on authorities with high levels of deprivation. In addition, changes to a range of benefits has serious implications to the most vulnerable in society, particularly women and families, who are struggling to cope with increasing prices and facing hikes in their energy bills.

The next twelve months promise to be equally challenging as the last twelve but we promise to continue to do our best for the people who elected us and for all those who live in the Borough.

Author: Kate Hollern

Kate is the leader of the Labour opposition group on Blackburn with Darwen Council.

2 thoughts on “Twelve months on”

  1. This is a real question I joined labour as a youth in 1966 and then Joined my Union UCCATT before moving over to the GMB.

    I worked from 1966 my first job was down a coal mine, the coal mine my grandfather lost his leg, and my great grand father started the first Union at the mine getting him sacked after a year. The mine was due to close so I transferred my apprenticeship to another colliery, I trained as an Electrician. Once I finished doctor told me the illness I had when I was thirteen was in fact TB and the said the illness had caused my lungs to be damaged and working down a pit was not a great idea. So I went to work at a large building company, ending up a supervisor.

    In 1996 while at work I fell from a hoist breaking my legs, arms, back and spine which left me with Paraplegia, my bowel and bladder have failed, but worse of all I suffer never ending pain caused by the damage to my spinal nerves.

    I now have an implanted morphine pump and my wife is trained to give me injections and to be honest I take drugs like sweets to stay alive.

    Last month I was informed I have damage to my neck which has caused my hands to swell up and it seems I have what is known as a problem with breathing through damage to my lungs from TB.

    So in all you would think I’m disabled, but it seems not because I can lift an empty box and can move a pound coin from A to B. they suggest I can do office work.

    Now then for ten years of pain and trying to be over the shock of having to stick a tube into my bladder to empty it, and I have to empty my bowel using my finger, I’ve been looking for work, I have been with my job center, with the Shaw Trust and Remploy, all have basically given up saying look your not going to get a job, yet the new medical says yes you can.

    MY question is why, why welfare, do we have so many people who are work shy scroungers, what went wrong I know labour was a socialist party that’s why I joined, but what went wrong or are people like me really cheating.

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