Callow hits out at poverty blast

Peter Callow
Peter Callow
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THE deposed leader of Blackpool Council today took a swipe at the town’s new regime,

following its claims that poverty was allowed to spread in the town under Tory rule.

Coun Peter Callow – leader of the council until the last election – responded to new man in charge Coun Simon Blackburn who attacked the Tories for axing services and questioned the party’s focus.

Coun Blackburn this week slammed his predecessor’s administration for allowing 9,000 children in Blackpool to live in poverty, following a report from charity Save the Children.

In a letter to The Gazette, Coun Blackburn said the Conservative-led council cut £16m from budgets for vulnerable children, families and adults earlier this year, and the new Labour-controlledauthority had spent an intensive 12 weeks designing a Child Poverty Strategy, due for publication later this year.

But Coun Callow said: “We had great ambitions for Blackpool, including going for city status which has now been shelved. Preston never looked back since it won it.

“As far as the regeneration of the town is concerned I believe we got it completely right.

“Our focus was the creation of jobs and the protection of our heritage.

“It is these changes that will affect the resort far into the future, including the welfare of children.

“The changes will make it a better place for everyone.”

And Coun Callow defended his council’s spending policy.

He added: “I had to work during that time with whoever pulls the purse strings and it was a Labour government and I’m grateful for its support as well as from the local Labour MPs. I disagreed with some Conservatives in the process.

“We worked to attract more visitors which in turn creates more jobs for local people therefore improving their lives.

“I fought for Blackpool above and beyond party politics and I’ll be judged by its residents in years to come following the completion of all of the work - not by Simon Blackburn.”