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Local News

  • Article: Feb 5, 2021

    Blackburn with Darwen Director Public Health, Dominic Harrison has given the following update:

    "In the week from January 22 to 28, every single Lancashire local authority had registered falling rates of Covid-19.

    The falls over that week ranged from a 19 per cent fall in Blackburn with Darwen to a 44 per cent fall in Hyndburn. This is great news, but rates can go up as well as down. So we must all continue to lockdown, get tested if we have symptoms and self-isolate if positive to keep up the progress.

    Vaccination is going well. We are on track to vaccinate the first four of the nine priority groups by the mid-February target. By January 31, 5,230 Blackburn with Darwen residents over 80 had their first dose. This represents 98.3 per cent of the borough's over-80 population - a very high uptake rate.

    Local authorities and the NHS will work closely together to trace the remaining 1.7 per cent of this target group, to make sure that no one is left behind. .

    Even further good news is that a single dose of AstraZeneca vaccine could cut transmission of Covid-19 by 67 per cent.

    We need further confirmation of this data and we do not yet have the equivalent data for the Pfizer vaccine. If it is fully confirmed, it will mean vaccination offers not just a very high level of protection against hospitalisation and deaths, but also from passing the virus onto others. This has positive implications for how quickly we might be able to exit high levels of Covid controls (Tiers) over the next year. In terms of 'pandemic exit planning', there are now three key critical decision making points.

    On February 22 the government will announce its formal strategy for exiting the current lockdown measures and should announce what 'Tier' arrangements may be in place for the rest of the summer. By early May, if the vaccination programme has progressed without interruption, we should have vaccinated all nine priority groups with both doses of the vaccine. This is estimated to reduce hospitalisations and deaths by 9 to 95 per cent and will have covered about 50 per cent of Lancashire residents.

    Somewhere between September and November we should have vaccinated over 90 per cent of the total population thus achieving the 80 per cent 'herd immunity' figure we need to shut down most of the continued transmission. It could be quicker if vaccination supply improves.

    It is reasonable to expect that at each of those three points, the government will be able to progressively 'open-up' more and more of the economic and social life we have all been missing.

    Covid will still be with us for many years as a winter illness. New variants may push back the speed of some of the 'opening up'. But, if we follow the science, stick to common sense Covid prevention measures, and have high vaccine uptake rates, we will move closer each month to a more normal life.

    It does look like the new normal will be different from the old normal though.

    Exiting the pandemic will not feel like 'the children have permanently emigrated to South America'. It will feel more like they have moved to Yorkshire.

    We may still end up seeing them more often than we anticipated."

  • Article: Feb 4, 2021

    Lib Dem Councillor John East has welcomed the opening of a new Covid test centre. This centre provides lateral flow tests, which give results within 30 minutes. The Centre is on Monton Rd, off Blackburn Rd BB3 0AF.

    Councillor East said, "When I heard that they were introducing these test centres in the borough I was disappointed that there were none in Darwen. I pointed this out to the Council and I am pleased that they have listened."

  • Cllr Paul Browne
    Article: Feb 2, 2021

    Liberal Democrat Councillor Paul Browne complained that the town's Town Hall clock is at a standstill. Speaking at the Council's Forum he said, "Can I ask when are we going to get our clock on Darwen Town Hall made right please. It's been out of commission since November and people are asking me and I dare say other Darwen councillors when is it going to be that we are going to get to know the proper time with our clock in the centre of Darwen?"

  • Article: Jan 31, 2021

    Here is the latest update on the Coronavirus in East Lancashire from Blackburn with Darwen's Director of Public Health, Professor Dominic Harrison.

    "THIS week the total UK deaths from Covid-19 reached the grim milestone of 100,000.

    As a unitary council, Blackburn with Darwen has about 150,000 residents. We had our first confirmed hospital case on March 13. Up to January 20 the borough has recorded 15,259 Covid cases and a total of 322 deaths within 28 days of a diagnosis.

  • Pedestrian Crossing
    Article: Jan 31, 2021

    Local Liberal Democrats have welcomed the completion of the new pedestrian crossing on the A666 in the Whitehall area. The crossing has been out of action for almost one year. Despite numerous complaints it took the Council from March 2020 to November 2020 to start work.

    The new crossing is innovative because it involves UV and colourful markings.

  • John East, Darwen
    Article: Jan 29, 2021

    Darwen could be in line for a £100 million boost to the local economy. The Darwen Deal Board is submitting a bid for £25 million from the government as part of their Investment Plan. The plan also hopes to lever in another £75 million from private investment. The plan has been submitted to the government for approval.

  • Article: Jan 28, 2021

    Liberal Democrat Councillors have welcomed the Council's decision to move Crosshill Special School to Darwen. The plan is to move it to the currently empty Sunnyhurst Centre, on Salisbury Rd in Darwen. This will involve spending £380,000 upgrading the Sunnyhurst site. Crosshill is currently located on the Blackburn Central High School site, the move will allow the High school to create additional places. Darwen East Councillors Paul Browne and Roy Davies welcomed the fact that the Sunnyhurst Centre will be used again preventing it becoming an eyesore and bringing extra educational provision into the town. The Sunnyhurst Centre has been closed since 2015.

  • Proposed development at AFC Darwen
    Article: Jan 28, 2021

    Local Liberal Democrats have welcomed the news that planning permission has been granted for new facilities at the Anchor, the historic home of Darwen Football Club. The new facility will offer space for teaching, conferences and a sports bar and is part of wider plans to create a state-of-the-art new sports village. It is part of the "Darwen Town Deal", which initially sees £750,000 being in various schemes across the town.

Our Local Constituency Team

Adam Waller-Slack LD PPC for Blackburn Paul Valentine LD PPC for Rossendale and Darwen Beth Waller-Slack LD PPC for Hyndburn

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