BURNLEY MP Peter Pike has called on Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford to find more Whitehall cash for Burnley Borough Council.

He told him in the Commons the extra money was needed to tackle the problems the town is facing.

Mr Pike asked Mr Raynsford: "Do you accept that although Burnley council would always want greater freedom and flexibility to tackle problems, the number one thing that it needs is more finance and resources to get on top of those problems?"

Mr Raynsford replied:" I very much agree with you about the importance of resources, which is why I am sure the member will welcome the Government's decision to allocate an increase of 12.6 per cent to Burnley council, which faces difficulties and is benefiting hugely from the Government's grant distribution system."

Afterwards Labour MP Mr Pike said: "While Burnley's increase has been 12.6 per cent we have been caught by the ceiling which prevented Burnley Borough Council getting nearly £700,000 in additional money.

"Lancashire County Council has only got a 4.6 per cent increase which has caused them massive problems and led to a large council tax increase of more than 9 per cent."