AN East Lancashire peer has urged the government to provide more cash for town and parish councils.

Pendle Liberal Democrat Lord Tony Greaves made the plea in a Parliamentary debate on the Budget.

He spoke against the background of town and parish councils in the borough - including Nelson, Colne, Barnoldswick, Earby, Barrowford and Trawden Forest - taking on responsibility for community centres, play areas, parks and local entertainment programmes.

Lord Greaves, also a Pendle councillor, told the House of Lords: "I have asked various questions of the government on financial support for town and parish councils. I keep being told that the government have no powers to support them. I find this extremely unlikely but, if that is true, it needs changing.

"In particular, they need funding schemes for investment projects that they cannot raise council tax for as an important part of the levelling-up process. In many parts of the country, we are seeing local governments evolving; towns are again exerting themselves, developing a civic importance and becoming a centre of civic pride.

"Town councils are taking on ever more services and facilities. The government need to look very hard indeed at how they support them in all the facilities and services they are increasingly getting involved in and taking over."

He said after the debate: "In Pendle the council tax levels for the larger towns and parishes are often as high as a quarter or a third of the amount levied by Pendle itself, yet the government only provides funding to Pendle."