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Blackburn with Darwen cuts: Where the axe will fall
MORE details on Blackburn with Darwen's £28million cuts proposals, which will see 1,000 jobs lost and hit vital services including adult and child care, road repairs and street sweeping.
The proposals are to be discussed at an executive meeting on Thursday night, before a final vote next month at the council's annual budget meeting.
Leisure and culture
King George’s Hall could close for three months in the year to cut costs.
Its programme will be reduced, particularly with regards to classical music.
There are no plans to shut any of the borough’s libraries, although the mobile service is to be scrapped.
This is likely to be strongly opposed in rural parts that rely on the service.
Opening hours will be reduced at the other libraries, and the new books budget will be slashed for next year.
Blackburn Museum and Turton Tower will open four days a week.
Darwen Live, the only festival to survive the cuts, will have its funding reduced.
Leisure centres will see their opening hours reduced, including fewer winter hours at Waves and some weekend closures.
The council will no longer manage any of the borough’s network of community centres.
Twenty play areas - around half of the borough’s total - could close, with reduced maintenance on those that remain.
Efforts will be focused on the parks with Green Flag status, Corporation Park, Roe Lee, Queen’s Park, Sunnyhurst Woods, Witton and Bold Venture Parks.
Four bowling greens will be closed and there will be no winter bowls.
Sports pitch provision will be reduced, with a potential impact on local fixtures.
Grass-cutting in parks will be reduced and stopped altogether on non council-owned land.
Bosses admit the cuts could lead to an increase in vandalism in the borough, with a number of play areas having recently been damaged in recent months.
Half of the housing department, 45 staff, could lose their jobs.
Following the end of the multi-million pound Housing Market Renewal programme, very few improvements to the borough’s stock will be possible, and there will be many fewer of the clearance programmes of dilapidated houses seen in recent years.
The affordable housing programme is being scaled back, with less new accommodation being built.
The council says this is ‘likely’ to lead to an increase in homelessness.
Proactive services, including repairs to elderly people’s houses and support for teenage parents and young homeless people, will be reduced.
The cuts will affect bus services that currently receive a council subsidy because they do not make a profit for the operator, Lancashire United. This will mostly affect rural communities, many of which rely on the bus for a connection to the town centres and vital services.
Eight bus routes will be stopped completely when the council withdraws its contribution, affecting Tockholes, Belmont, Edgworth, Shadsworth, and Higher Croft, as well as services to, and from, Royal Blackburn Hospital.
A further eight will run a reduced service, affecting Higher Croft, Sunnyhurst, Pleasington, and around Darwen.
Pothole repairs will be scaled back, with bosses only able to treat areas deemed a danger to the public.
Around four miles of road will be removed from the resurfacing programme.
Street lights will be dimmed at night in up to half of all residential streets, and lampposts will not be replaced as often.
Inspections will not take place at night, with the public put in charge of reporting any faulty street lights.
Projects to boost employment and regeneration in the borough will be cut by 70 per cent following the demise of the North West Regional Development Agency.
Public protection work, including dealing with illegal alcohol, tobacco and firework sales, will be reduced, and the community safety budget has been cut by £1.4million.
Beat Sweep days, when police and council teams target a specific area, will be reduced, and the council’s ability to prevent domestic violence will be reduced because of a funding cut.
Charges will be increased for burials and cremations.
The number of editions of the council’s Shuttle newspaper will be reduced.
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