Rossendale council leader
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@ activelancashire.org.uk
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@ rossendalebc.gov.uk If you are leaving a message be sure to leave your number so that I can ring you back.