Free swimming offered to children in Blackburn after Council announces major cash injection

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Blackburn with Darwen Council aim to make major improvements to services such as swimming pools and libraries in its financial plan for 2024.

Free swimming lessons are just one of many everyday services that will be offered to Blackburn residents following the announcement of a major grant from the Council.

Blackburn with Darwen Council have reported that everyday services are set to be given an extra cash injection of £1.7million over the next two years to help keep standards high. 

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This comes after the Council’s financial plan for the year stated that it would protect services that people rely on and keep up the momentum with upcoming improvement projects.

Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “I’m pleased that we are not staring bankruptcy in the face when the scale of the financial challenge for local government remains stark.

“It's tough out there with the cost-of-living challenges and people have told us that they value having good quality services.

“We are in a good position to be able to keep moving forward with large scale investment projects.” 

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The notable services that are being improved upon include free swimming for children, more street cleaning as well as litter bin emptying and highways improvement on road markings.

With the money, there will also be additional hours for libraries, new investment into climate change work and funding for park attendants.

Phil said: “These all link back to our focus on developments which create the conditions for everyone to have a better quality of life, with nobody being left behind.

“We expect a lot from all parts of the Council and I know there is a lot of really forward thinking work going on with a shoestring budget. 

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“We are very pleased with last year’s financial performance, and it is our ambition to repeat that again.”

Other spending plans include paying more for care services for vulnerable people, disabled facilities grants, school improvements, refurbishment of play areas and better access to IT for all. 

The Council will set its budget at the Finance Council meeting on Monday, February 26th.

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