LOCAL government workers' union Unison is split over whether Blackburn and Blackpool should be allowed independence.

The Lancashire branch says jobs and services will be threatened if the two boroughs are allowed to break free from county control and deliver all services themselves.

It is taking out newspaper advertisements this week in a bid to persuade people to write to the Local Government Commission opposing plans for a split.

But the Blackburn branch of the union is backing the plan and wants local people to support the borough's bid.

"Small authorities will not be able to deliver services as well as Lancashire in areas such as education and libraries," said county assistant branch secretary Carol Lukey.

They will have to buy in these services which will cost taxpayers more."

She added that staff morale was also suffering because no announcements had been made about job security.

But Blackburn secretary Jim Noble said: "We are fully behind Blackburn's bid for unitary status.

"We believe it is the best option for Blackburn."

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