Published December 2, 2014 at 12:54
Creating more jobs, supporting business growth and improving housing are set to remain key priorities for Blackburn with Darwen Council.
Despite the unprecedented financial difficulties facing the authority, it is committed to delivering ambitious targets for the benefit of all of its residents.
The Council has six main priorities. The others are improving health and well-being, improving outcomes for young people, safeguarding the most vulnerable and making the Council’s limited resources go further.
The priorities were agreed as part of the Council’s Corporate Plan in 2012 and are due to be reaffirmed at the Policy Council on Thursday, December 4.
Progress on the plan, along with the impact of national policy, will be debated at the meeting.
The meeting will hear that The Local Plan has now been submitted to the Government and includes new key employment sites across the borough as well as plans for 3,250 new homes, of which 20 per cent will be built affordable.
A new Wellbeing Service was launched in April to simplify the access to a wide range of services for residents. The Transforming Lives programme is strengthening early support for adults and more children than ever before are leaving local authority care and finding new families through adoption.
Council tax has been frozen for four years and residents can now access more services online, making it easier for them and saving money for the Council.
In order to achieve these targets, the Council also has to manage the impact of national reforms and continue to deliver high quality services, whilst working closely with residents, businesses and partners. It is working with more than 200 businesses within the Hive Business leaders Network to promote job creation and business growth.
Councillor Kate Hollern, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
The Council has been able to deliver a lot of improvements despite of, rather than because of, national policies.
The principles of fairness runs through everything along with working with residents and anybody else who has the Blackburn and Darwen’s best interest at heart. We continue to have people keen to get involved in working with the Council through Your Call which remains an important part of how we deliver services. We know people really value clean streets and we are focusing on making the money spent on environmental services go further.”
Through our strong links with business and public sector partners we are able to mitigate some of the impact of cuts and government legislation and focus our budgets on key priority areas to create growth and opportunities as well as supporting families across the borough.
The ongoing regeneration and focusing on the best of what we already have is also something we know will help the area continue to prosper.