Pendle Lib Dems say Stronger Towns Fund is “Half a packet of peanuts”

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Colne-based Liberal Democrat Lord Tony Greaves has dismissed the new
Stronger Towns Fund announced today by the Government as “half a packet
of peanuts”. He claims that the amount that Pendle would get in the first
year – if it’s shared out proportionately – would be just enough to knock
down the old lavatory block at Colne bus station.

Tony Greaves, who is also a Pendle Councillor, said: “The total of £281m
for the North West sounds a lot of money to most people, but it’s going
to be spread over seven years. If it’s shared out amongst all the
Councils in the North West roughly in line with population, Pendle might
get about £40,000 in the first year.”

Pendle Council’s Colne and District Committee will consider a report on
Thursday evening about tackling the old, long closed and derelict
lavatory block on Colne bus station. The cost of knocking this down with
associated work was estimated two years ago at £37,500.

Tony Greaves said: “It sort of puts this new Government announcement in
perspective. Frankly, in public spending terms it’s half a packet of
peanuts.”

Councillor David Whipp, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Groups on Pendle
Council and on Lancashire County Council, said: “It seems as though the
Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership will be in charge of this money
so it may be that it will all be used to support local businesses, not
infrastructure or town improvement schemes.

“If it’s County based it might all get swallowed up in Preston, Blackburn
and Lancaster, with nothing left for us out east and up in the hills.”

David Whipp added that the £40,000 a year compares with the three million
pounds that Pendle is being forced to cut from its budget in the next two
years, and the £24 million that has already been cut from the money
Pendle Council has got from the Government in the past nine years. 

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