Protecting services at heart of Council budget plans

Published Friday 16 February 2024 at 17:35

Protecting services that people rely on and keeping the momentum with improvement projects is at the heart of the Council’s financial plan for the coming year.

Everyday services are to be given an extra cash injection of £1.7million over the next two years to help keep standards high with:

  • Additional hours for libraries
  • More street cleansing and litter bin emptying
  • Funding for park attendants, shrub pruning and gully cleansing
  • Free swimming for children
  • Highways improvement on road markings
  • New investment in climate change work

Other spending plans includes paying more for care services for vulnerable people, disabled facilities grants, school improvements, refurbishment of play areas and better access to IT for all. Also working with others to ensure the Festival of Making and Darwen Live happen.

There are ambitious plans to deliver large scale developments and commitment to improving quality life. There will be major town centre improvements in both Blackburn and Darwen.

Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

I’m pleased that we are not staring bankruptcy in the face when the scale of the financial challenge for local government remains stark.

It’s tough out there with the cost-of-living challenges and people have told us that they value having good quality services.

We are in a good position to be able to keep moving forward with large scale investment projects. These all link back to our focus on developments which create the conditions for everyone to have a better quality of life, with nobody being left behind.

We expect a lot from all parts of the Council and I know there is a lot of really forward thinking work going on with a shoestring budget. We are very pleased with last year’s financial performance, and it is our ambition to repeat that again.

The Council will set its budget at the Finance Council meeting on Monday, February 26th.

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