Cuts Watch #387: Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council reveals the impact of cuts in its budget
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has revealed details of on-going service reviews, and their potential impact on jobs and the community.
Blackburn with Darwen Council is in the top 20 worst hit local authorities in the country. The workforce is to shrink by about a quarter with up to 1,000 job losses in total. Some staff have left the authority, mainly through voluntary redundancy or early retirement since late 2009, and these vacant posts have been deleted. The Council also expects that 500 jobs will go in the next few months through redundancy.
Council leader, Councillor Kate Hollern, said:
The speed and depth of these cuts mean we are forced to consider reducing, changing or in some cases stopping what Council staff provide for the people of our two towns. We have lost £33m in total…All service areas are sharing the pain. Back office/support functions were looked at first but even the frontline services we know are so needed can’t be fully protected.
Measures announced include:
- Changing the focus of youth services to ensure efforts are more targeted to work with vulnerable young people
- Reduction in specialist services for children such as educational psychology and welfare
- Closure of four bowling greens and 20 play areas
- Subsidy withdrawn and reduced from 16 bus services
- Potholes fixed on main roads only
- Closure of three of five adult day care centres
- Major reduction in street cleaning
- Many grants to community and voluntary sector to end
- Reduction in number of street lights and piloting evening dimming of lights
- Protecting the flagship network of children’s centres by negotiating handing over direct management of four buildings to nearby schools
- Less care and repair grants for the elderly and vulnerable
- Virtually ending housing clearance, repair and affordable housing building
- Changes to library provision including reduced opening hours, replacement of mobile service with housebound service, less new books
- Reduction in many proactive/early intervention services including domestic abuse, drugs and alcohol prevention and diversionary activities for young people
- Advice of debt, welfare rights and housing to reduce