The Labour Group, led by Alyson Barnes took control of Rossendale Borough Council in 2011.
Since then we have faced increasing financial challenges as a result of the significant reductions in the funding we receive from central government. The Chancellor’s November 2015 Autumn Statement has highlighted further reductions for local government.
We believe that Government actions are short sighted: by cutting funding to local councils they are limiting our ability to adequately support our communities, and that cannot be right.
However, for now, at least, we are attempting to tackle much of the neglect and underinvestment left by the last Tory council.
Below are just some of the things we have been doing since taking up the leadership of the council in 2011.
- Secured £2m from Heritage Lottery to invest in Bacup town centre. This funding will renovate shop fronts and put in place a new road layout in the town centre.Compulsory Purchase Ordered land in Bacup to allow Morrison’s
- Compulsory Purchase Ordered land in Bacup to allow Morrison’s to build a supermarket – this brought affordable food shopping to the area: the Co-op was charging between 10-25% more that Rawtenstall supermarkets for food and 40% of local people do not have a car so had no choice but to buy it; created jobs for local people, and tidied up a derelict site.
- Worked with Barnfield Construction and Greenvale Homes to build affordable housing in Bacup – 22 family homes.
- Offered help and support to voluntary groups working with vulnerable people at Stubbylee Hall.
- Again, working with Barnfield and Greenvale Homes, ensured that the old Mytholme House building in Waterfoot was demolished and replaced with 18 one bed flats for the over 55s.
- Secured in the region of £2m to finish the cycle track between Rawtenstall and Whitworth. This work will see the railway tunnels in Waterfoot open up, which will encourage visitors to Rossendale.
- Bought and demolished the old valley centre site in Rawtenstall, within 9mths of taking up the leadership of the council.
- Now processing the planning application for a new bus station in Rawtenstall, funding has been set-aside for this at Lancashire County Council for approximately 10 years and can only be spent on a new bus station.
- Secured £1.8m growth funding to help support Rawtenstall town centre development.
- Worked to bring forward the stalled New Hall Hey site. M&S food will move in at Easter 2016. Further planning applications are now coming forward for the broader site.
- Worked with others to ensure that services we care about are protected – like the Whitaker museum; Ski Rossendale and more recently Haslingden Pool.
- Delivering a shop front investment scheme in Haslingden.
- Worked with the Environment Agency; United Utilities; and Lancashire County Council to bring in hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of flood defense investment for Rossendale.
We are proud of what we have achieved but there is still a lot more to do.