A PLEA has been made for Government bosses to ease the financial burden on councils.

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Cllr Mohammed Khan will update executive board members on the impact of austerity across the borough at this week’s meeting.

He says Westminster should listen to the concerns of councils up and down the country and recognise the challenges they face.

According to Cllr Khan, the council has had a 36 per cent reduction in funding since 2010 - £65 million – while there has been a £542 reduction in real-term local government spending per head of population over the same period.

He said: “Despite the Government’s consultation in 2018 on the Fair Funding model we still await a formal response.

“This continued delay, annual financial settlements and piecemeal approach to additional project funding is exacerbating the financial pressures making longer-term budgeting and planning extremely difficult.

“It is extremely alarming that the recent analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA) suggests that, under new proposed formula for adult social care, Blackburn with Darwen’s ‘share of need’ will reduce by 21.7 per cent for ages 18-64 and reduce by 11.8 per cent for older people 65-plus.

“Our ask of this new Government, is for ministers and civil servants to fully engage with us and listen to our very real concerns and challenges. We ask that they work with us to find solutions to funding mechanisms that work for areas such as Blackburn with Darwen, with low tax receipts and high demand and direct new money to local authorities, which will enable them to achieve their promise of levelling up," he added.

“We want to work with the Government to develop a framework for the fair distribution of resources that recognises levels of deprivation, demand and an area’s ability to raise income.”

Secretary of State for Local Government Robert Jenrick said: “This year’s settlement delivers an increase in Core Spending Power from £46.2 billion in 2019-20 to £49.2 billion in 2020-21.

“In real terms this is a 4.4 per cent increase and the largest year-on-year real terms increase in a decade."