Burnley secures extra £1.74m. in Government cash to save frontline services

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The final details of the Local Government Finance Settlement were released yesterday and show that Burnley Council has secured an increase of £1.74m. over the provisional figures announced before Christmas.

Council leader Charlie Briggs said: “We have been working hard to get a better deal for Burnley – this is a major success.”

In the original announcement in mid-December, the Government introduced a new transition grant to protect councils which were the biggest losers of grant against the worst impacts of the cuts to local government funding. Burnley got £2.24m. but the final allocation increases this to £3.977m.

Cou. Briggs added: “The crucial first step was to win the argument about fairness – we did and that’s why the Government introduced the transition grant. Once we had done that we analysed the detailed calculations and presented strong moral and technical arguments to increase the level of transition.

“I met the Local Government Minister several times over the Christmas holiday and in early January to present our case. This is a massive boost for the town – it means that although further cuts will be required, we are in a much better position to protect key frontline services going forward.”

Coun. Briggs thanked Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle for facilitating meetings with key Ministers over recent months, saying: “You can’t win the arguments if you can’t get access – Gordon has taken our case to Ministers and worked hard to get us in to see the right people. This is an example of what the council, working closely with an MP who is passionate about the town, can deliver.”

Mr Birtwistle said: “This is a fantastic result. The council has had to take some very difficult decisions for the long-term benefit of the town but this means the future is manageable. Coun. Briggs has thrown his heart and soul into this and he has got what he wanted – a positive result for Burnley.”