Darwen deprived area ‘is missing out on vital funds’
7:00pm Wednesday 29th August 2012 in News
ONE of Blackburn with Darwen’s most deprived areas is missing out on vital funding to battle poverty because of a “political game”, according to ward councillors.
Liberal Democrat Roy Davies hit out at the Labour-controlled borough council for “giving money to every other ward but mine”.
But Labour members have hit back, saying they the Darwen area is getting help, and the council has had no control over some major grants to other areas.
Coun Davies said: “Sudell is missing out. I have the most deprived ward in the borough, but I’m not getting any resources to do anything about it this poverty.
“I’ve got empty houses and people out of work, but every other ward seems to get something.
“Shadsworth is no worse than Sudell, but recently they’ve got a £1million lottery grant that was applied for by the council, because of their deprivation problems.
“I’ve got £5,850 for Sudell. What can I do with that sort of money?”
When asked why he thought the Sudell ward might be missing out, Coun Davies said: “Well, Sudell has two Liberal Democrat councillors and one Labour. You can make your own mind up.”
Fellow Sudell Councillor Paul Browne agreed. He said: “It’s political. All the money is going to the Labour areas.
“We have to get grants from voluntary bodies. It’s peanuts in comparison.”
Labour Councillor Eileen Entwistle, who also represents the Sudell ward, said: “The £1million for Shadsworth was nothing to do with the council, it was given by the Lottery without an application, and a lot of work has gone on there to consult and set up a committee.”
She said: “Sudell has always had problems, but money has been and continued to be invested. We’ve had Sure Start, Olive Lane park and the Adi Zone put in recently.
“You have got to prioritise money, and sometimes some areas will need more than others, but that isn’t political.”