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Clash as Burnley councillors debate spending cut
3:00pm Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
COUNCILLORS have clashed angrily in Burnley over anticipated savings of £5.2million over the next two years.
Opposition Liberal Democrats accused the ruling Labour group of ‘throwing in the towel’ as they considered how to make drastic town hall spending cuts.
But Labour finance boss Coun Mark Townsend insisted that the coalition’s spending priorities were unfairly penalising northern authorities.
Coun Margaret Lishman, Lib Dem group leader, accused the current administration of spreading ‘doom and gloom’ over the state of Burnley’s coffers.
She said: “It is a real shame that the Labour group seems to be accepting defeat before they have even got started to seek additional money for this council.”
The borough had been bolstered by a series of grants for more than a decade, whether this was from the Working Neighbourhoods Fund, Neighbour Renewal Fund or the new efficiency support grant, she told a full council meeting.
Coun Townsend said: “I want to make it perfectly clear that there is no acceptance of any kind of defeat and she can pontificate all she wants.
“We are fighting on all fronts to get the funds that this town deserves. What is happening now to our finances is scandalous.”
The council’s spending power had dropped from £21million to an expected £12million over the past 12 years and ‘tough decisions’ had to be made, he added.
Currently, plans are already under consideration to deposit the likes of Burnley Mechanics, St Peter’s Leisure Centre and Padiham Leisure Centre into a leisure trust, saving around £300,000.
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