Burnley faces ‘biggest financial crisis in living memory’

Burnley Town Hall
Burnley Town Hall
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Burnley is facing its biggest financial crisis in living memory.

That was the warning from the town’s Labour group at a meeting of the full council.

Coun. Mark Townsend, deputy leader, who is responsible for resources and performance management, said: “Between now and 2015/2016 the Government is going to cut our grants by £4.4m. We are looking at finding savings of £5.2m. between now and the start of 2015, a reduction of 31%.

“This year we set a budget of £16.7m. and in two year’s time we will be looking at setting budgets of £12.5m.

“This is the biggest financial crisis facing this town in living memory.”

But the Liberal Democrats accused the Labour group of giving up on the town without fighting for more government cash.

Lib-Dem leader Coun. Margaret Lishman said: “What a lot of doom and gloom from Coun. Townsend. It’s a real shame that the Labour group seem to be accepting defeat before they start to try and get additional resources from the council.

“Let’s be clear. It is not a new situation for this council to have to bid for additional monies to support us and maintain our services.

“It has happened for more years than I care to remember and just as much under Labour governments, under Conservatives and now with the Coalition.

“Our Liberal Democrat MP and the Liberal Democrat-led council were successful in bringing millions of pounds into Burnley.

“Now the Labour party is talking about giving up before they start fighting for Burnley.”

Coun. Julie Cooper, Labour group leader, said: “This town is tens of millions worse off, I won’t let anybody lecture me on who’s fighting for Burnley.”