HYNDBURN Tory boss Peter Britcliffe has blamed council leader Miles Parkinson for the decline of Accrington town centre in the wake of criticism from a Labour colleague in Blackburn.

Blackburn with Darwen borough finance boss, Andy Kay, told business chiefs last week: “We have to invest. We must not stand still.

“We cannot allow Blackburn to become another Accrington or Hyndburn.”

Coun Kay said this stretched back several years over several different political administrations.

Tory group chief and former borough leader Coun Britcliffe said: “This is the first time I have ever agreed with Andy Kay, but he is dead on when he cites the lack of attention and investment by the Labour group in our town centres.

“I raised the subject of investment in the budget meeting but was ‘pooh-poohed’ by the leader Miles Parkinson.

“He and his deputies are a disgrace. At a time ripe for investment, they are letting the borough rot!”

Coun Kay said: “It’s been a breath of fresh air since Miles and his team took control.

“The co-operation between Hyndburn and Blackburn with Darwen has improved beyond recognition.

“Whilst we are all suffering under this coalition government, we are still working for our communities.”