BURNLEY has been ranked the eleventh most deprived town in the country after it slipped 10 places down the poverty league.
According to the latest national deprivation study, the Accrington Road area was also named the seventh worse off out of more than 32,000 places.
The area is bordered by Cog Lane, Harold Street and Coal Clough Lane and includes streets targeted for regeneration under Burnley Borough Council’s housing renewal programme.
Three other areas of Burnley were also listed as among the most deprived, including part of Bank Hall, around Belvedere Road, Church Street and Ormerod Road. Worsthorne was named as the least deprived area in the Burnley borough.
The statistics, from the Index of Multiple Deprivation, look at crime, housing, unemployment and education and come just a week after Burnley was named as the cheapest place to live in the whole of England and Wales with some houses on the market for as little as £16,000.
Coun. Charlie Briggs, leader of Burnley Borough Council, said a lot was being done to regenerate the most deprived areas of Burnley but stressed more Government money was needed to complete the projects.
And he added the figures were compiled by people who do not know the town.
“I live in Rosegrove and it’s a beautiful place. There are pockets of deprivation but I’m sure there are pockets of it across the country.
“This Government is talking about the Big Society, let us have a look at it. They need to give us the money. There’s lots of good stuff going on in Burnley. We said we would make Burnley a nicer place to live but the Government has got to help us out.”
The town’s MP Gordon Birtwistle said: “Investment is going on in particular in the Accrington Road area. The council has demolished a lot of houses and properties are now being built. There is a new housing development at the bottom of Cog Lane, which has just been finished.
“I’m sure the council understands the position and is taking major steps to remedy it and new houses are being built in Burnley Wood. Parts of Burnley have been in decline for 50 years, you can’t turn it around in three years. It takes a long time but the first steps have been taken. Burnley is on the up.”
Mr Mike Cook, the council’s director of regeneration of housing, added: “We all recognise Burnley faces serious challenges which is why we have long-term plans in place to tackle them. We are facing these challenges head on.
“The key to those plans is getting people into work, through arming them with the necessary high quality skills and training, by creating the right environment and support for local businesses to start up, thrive and expand, and by putting in place the means for people to access jobs outside Burnley.
“There are many successful internationally competitive companies creating new jobs in Burnley – we need to build on that and create a strong. vibrant local economy. Burnley’s business is making things and we’re great at that.
“These statistics don’t reflect reality in large parts of our borough or the many positives Burnley offers – new homes, news schools, new college, new university, great countryside, good quality of life. Burnley is a great place to live and the people who live here know that.
“Everyone in Burnley, whether that’s the council, our partners, business leaders and entrepreneurs, and the people who live in our communities, all have a part to play in ensuring our town has the strong future it deserves.”