BLACKBURN with Darwen council leader Kate Hollern and MP Jack Straw yesterday told local government minister Brandon Lewis that imposing a one fifth cut in the borough’s Whitehall grant was penalising its residents.

They went to Westminster to call for a rethink so local people got a fair deal..

The meeting followed the local government settlement leaving the Council facing cuts of £27m (20 per cent of total budget).

This follows previous reductions of £40m.

Coun Hollern and Blackburn MP Mr Straw told Mr Lewis about the borough’s strengths and challenges. The meeting focussed on the grant calculations, and council financial planning.

Coun Hollern said: “These funding cuts are impossible to absorb without causing real misery.

“We have to be realistic about the prospect of extra funding though I’m hopeful that our points about a fair deal and time to plan will be taken on board.”