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Leader accused of not caring about Darwen
THE leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, Kate Hollern has been accused of breaking a promise to hold two executive meetings a year in Darwen.
Liberal Democrat councillors David Foster and Paul Browne claimed this showed her and the council’s main concern was Blackburn.
When the last meeting of the executive board was held in Darwen Town Hall in January last year, Coun Hollern said the plan was to hold two meetings annually in the town.
She said it was important Darwen people were involved in the decision making process.
Since then all meetings of the executive board have been held in Blackburn Town Hall and no future meeting are planned for Darwen in the official council diary.
Following the criticism, Coun Hollern revealed she had already earmarked a date later this year to hold a meeting in Darwen.
The meeting in January 2012 was the first in the town since October 2008.
Whitehall’s Coun Foster said: “I think it is just another example of how Blackburn is more important to the council than Darwen.
“Coun Hollern has broken her promise. Now she is Labour candidate for Blackburn she is more concerned about that town than Darwen.
“The town has one fifth of the borough’s population so there should be two meetings a year in our town hall.”
Coun Browne said: “This is just typical of Coun Hollern and the Blackburn-centric ruling Labour group.
“Darwen is an important, not to mention the best, part of the borough.”
Coun Hollern said: “I have got a date in mind later this year for the next executive board meeting at Darwen Town Hall.
“It’s a matter of logistics. It’s not as easy as it sounds to organise meetings there.
“I live in Darwen and regularly meet groups in the town so people can be assured I and the executive board are fully aware of its issues and needs.”
Sunnyhurst Labour councillor Dave Smith said: “I know Kate is very concerned about the town.
“It’s is quite difficult to get all the officers and paperwork needed for an executive meeting.”
“I am pleased it will meet at our town hall again later this year.”