BLACKBURN with Darwen council leader Kate Hollern has hit back at her Tory opposite number’s call for the borough to axe its £94,000 a year budget for supported town hall union representatives.

Mike Lee said the cash should be used to prevent a proposed 50 per cent cut in the number of school crossing patrols.

The opposition leader said the unions should pay for their own three reps and their offices, which would more than cover the proposed £75,000 saving over two years from halving the number of lollipop men and women.

Coun Hollern said: “Our employees’ and their unions continue to help the council through what is the most difficult time we have ever faced. They ensure that staff, our most valuable asset, are able to have a greater voice and influence.

“None of the options we are proposing are ones we want to do. Given that this government is slashing our funding even more than we feared, we are asking each service area to contribute to closing the £30million gap.”