Alyson Barnes

Rossendale coun­cil leader

Rossendale Free Press - - Your Views -

AS LAN­CASHIRE Con­stab­u­lary re-con­fig­ure polic­ing in the county there are grow­ing con­cerns about their abil­ity to re­spond to crime in the area.

I hear com­plaints from res­i­dents reg­u­larly who can­not get the level of po­lice in­put into crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity that they feel is needed. New anal­y­sis of Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice data shows a fall in cen­tral gov­ern­ment fund­ing to Lan­cashire po­lice of £69.1m in real-terms since the Tories came to power 2010-11. Last month, the Home Sec­re­tary ad­mit­ted that “there is a need for more re­sources” for the po­lice.

This time round polic­ing num­bers in Rossendale will not be af­fected by the changes but it’s clear to me that we sim­ply can­not keep Lan­cashire safe on the cheap. These fig­ures demon­strate the true scale of the Tory as­sault on po­lice fund­ing that is dev­as­tat­ing Lan­cashire’s com­mu­ni­ties and leav­ing them feel­ing vul­ner­a­ble and at risk.

De­spite gov­ern­ment cuts the coun­cil con­tinue to try to off­set the worst af­fects of gov­ern­ment pol­icy here in Rossendale. In April this year we set up a scheme to help long term un­em­ployed res­i­dents to ac­cess em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the bor­ough. All avail­able ev­i­dence points to the many ben­e­fits de­cent em­ploy­ment can bring to a fam­ily.

The scheme has al­ready started to show some im­pres­sive re­sults. In just six months, Rossendale Works has led to 16 peo­ple find­ing work, 19 more on em­ployer place­ments and a fur­ther 30 get­ting men­tally and phys­i­cally fit­ter through Ac­tive Lan­cashire ac­tiv­i­ties. Any­one wish­ing to find out more about this scheme can con­tact Paul Be­couarn on abecouarn@ ac­tive­lan­

News that our road net­work was one of the most con­gested out­side in­ner city ar­eas will not have come as a sur­prise to many res­i­dents. Rossendale Coun­cil, work­ing in part­ner­ship with Lan­cashire County Coun­cil, has com­mis­sioned the Cen­tre for Eco­nomics and Busi­ness Re­search (CEBR) con­sul­tants to ex­plore the po­ten­tial for rail con­nec­tions to the bor­ough. Adding rail op­por­tu­ni­ties into the mix could take up to fif­teen per-cent of traf­fic off the road net­work.

Trans­port fund­ing made avail­able to Trans­port for the North pro­vides a unique op­por­tu­nity for the coun­cil to ac­cess re­sources to put to­gether a full busi­ness case for the rail link. If the busi­ness case stacks up fund­ing to make this a re­al­ity will fol­low.

Many of you will, like me been de­lighted to see the hun­dreds of pop­pies that have been put up on lamp­posts through­out the bor­ough to mark the end of the First World War. Lo­cal res­i­dents Chris­tine Mof­fatt and Janet King have spear­headed this ini­tia­tive. The orig­i­nal plan was to put them up in Water­foot but it seems like the idea has taken on a life of it’s own! Thanks to all those who have got in­volved - lo­cal schools, busi­nesses and other vol­un­teers. Thanks too to those who will be sup­port­ing a wide range of events go­ing on through­out the val­ley to com­mem­o­rate this im­por­tant date. In­cluded will be the light­ing of a bea­con, and lantern pa­rade in Rawten­stall on the event­ing of 11th Novem­ber. Full de­tails of all the events will be in the Free Press. Please sup­port these events if you can.

As ever if you would like to talk to me about an is­sue con­cern­ing you or the bor­ough please do not hes­i­tate in ring­ing me 217819 or 07817 414248 or email me on alyson­barnes@ If you are leav­ing a mes­sage be sure to leave your num­ber so that I can ring you back.

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