COUNCIL bosses have agreed to monitor the impact of the credit crunch in Hyndburn.
The decision was taken at last week’s Cabinet meeting after it was revealed the number of people claiming unemployment–related benefits in the borough increased by 20 per cent from September 2007 to September this year.
Over the past few months Hyndburn has seen some of its biggest businesses get into trouble including the Nori brickworks, Caligen Foam and Thomas Cook in Accrington, and Hilden Manufacturing and Gem Gardening in Oswaldtwistle.
Last week also saw the shock announcement that Woolworth’s has been placed into administration, putting the Accrington store at risk and possibly affecting around 30,000 jobs nationwide.
Hyndburn Council leader Peter Britcliffe, who proposed that the council should monitor the economic slowdown, said: “The news about Woolworth’s is frightening as it really does bring home how major the country’s problems are. Woolworth’s has been a major part of our Broadway for so many years that it will be really sad to see it go.”
Smaller business have also been crippled by the credit crunch with many shops now standing vacant on both high streets and side streets.
Councillor Britcliffe said: “I am going to ask for a report of the economic slowdown to be brought to every meeting of the Cabinet because I think it is important for us to monitor the situation and keep an eye on escalating problems.”
Councillor Marlene Haworth, Cabinet member for finance, asset management and markets, said: “Next year things can only get worse and someone is going to have to suffer.
“Sadly it looks like it’s the hard-working individual who will be hit the most.
“Frighteningly, 58 per cent of our country’s value is borrowed. I used to work in debt management and the last thing I would have ever advised my clients to do was to borrow more money to pay off a debt.
“The situation the country is in is wrong and it is the fault of a Labour government.”
In a recent Observer web poll 55 per cent of people said they had been affected by the credit crunch.