MP Peter Pike says Burnley should follow Blackburn and and press for its own independent local authority.

The government has decided to give Blackburn and Blackpool unitary status, which means they will control all the services currently run for them by Lancashire County Council. Mr Pike thinks all districts should be given the same status.

He told the Citizen: "While I believe that the government's decision is not in the best interests of Lancashire as a whole, or of Burnley, I accept the decision.

"I wish both Blackburn and Blackpool well in their unitary status in 1998. I hope that everyone will try to ensure that change goes well for the two boroughs and also for the rest of Lancashire.

"I believe that the rest of the county and particularly north-east Lancashire should look again at the future of local government in the years ahead. Unitary status, which I have always supported, has clear advantages.

"To me it remains essential to look at how this can be achieved in the best way for Lancashire and in a way acceptable to the local authorities and even more importantly the people of Lancashire.

"As the 21st century rapidly draws near, let us ensure that we have a 21st century form of local government throughout Lancashire with a regional authority to take care of strategic issues for the North West."

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