Thursday, March 15, 2012

PEOPLE living in Blackburn and Darwen are the most poverty stricken in East Lancashire, according to a new survey.

The research ranked the borough as 10th out of all 354 local authorities in the country for the numbers of people currently living in poverty and those who are at risk of falling into poverty. Middlesbrough was top. Burnley, Pendle and Hyndburn were placed within the top 50 of the data collated by the credit reference company Experian, which supplies information to credit cards companies and banks.

Blackburn with Darwen Council bosses said deprivation in the area had been ‘exaggerated’ by the public sector cuts as a result of reduced budgets allocated by central government. But they vowed to tackle the issue by focusing on economic growth in the area. According to a survey in 2010, Blackburn with Darwen was the 17th most deprived in the country. There were around 34 per cent of people living in areas that were in the 10 per cent most deprived in England in 2010 compared to about 37 per cent in 2007.

Overall, around 29.5 per cent of children lived in poverty and 18.1 per cent of people were claiming out of work benefits in 2010.

Leader of Blackburn Council, Kate Hollern, said: “We don't need a survey to tell us we face significant challenges in this area, exaggerated by the public sector cuts we have endured over the last couple of years. And we are going to continue to have these challenges in the future. “However, residents can have confidence in this council that we are doing our best to tackle the issues that this borough faces and our focus at the moment is stimulating the local economy through numerous initiatives to make Blackburn with Darwen more prosperous.”

Err...might want to add that really nothing has changed in centuries then.