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Victorian era poverty back with us now
5:10pm Monday 9th December 2013 in News
THE struggle being faced by people in Blackburn with Darwen has been likened to that faced by people in the Victorian times.
Council leader Kate Hollern’s comparison came as the council announced pledges on what it will achieve next year, in spite of continuing budget cuts.
In a policy forum attended by all councillors, Coun Hollern detailed plans to prioritise jobs, housing, health and wellbeing, support for the young and vulnerable and making money go further.
She also unveiled key targets, such as creating 4,000 apprenticeships, supporting 6,000 people to improve skills and qualifications, delivering major town centre improvements and to work with private landlords of more than 2,300 properties.
She told councillors: “The decisions we have taken may have been tough but delivering them has been even tougher and dealing with the implications of such change day after day, year after year, is toughest of all.
“We are determined to set a clear direction, keep positive and fight back in true Blackburn with Darwen style.
“Many people are really struggling. Some of the cases I hear sound like something from Victorian times, not modern Britain. We urgently had to address how we can better lead economic growth, which is difficult.
“We set out priorities based on what residents told us.”
Conservative leader Coun Mike Lee said the priorities were too broad and suggested an alternative. “Although the priotities are all laudable we would like to see the focus mainly on education and jobs,” he said.
“Without a good standard of education our young people will struggle to access employment.”
Liberal Democrat leader Coun David Foster said: “We are a deprived community. The only way we are going to transform the economy is through the creation of jobs.”
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