Mark Russell

I was born in Blackburn, live in Blackburn and work for a successful Blackburn technology company that operates on a national level. I have a degree in economics, which has done surprisingly little to prevent me spending money on beer, gambling and sports. In my professional life as a Business Development Executive I am responsible for developing and implementing departmental strategy, sales and marketing.

A recent trip to Las Vegas proved to be something of an epiphany for me. In 1940 Las Vegas was a small, dusty town in the desert with a population of 8.400. Today that small town has transformed into a dream-like world of extravagant opulence with a population of circa 600,000. In the same period Blackburn has stagnated, with the industry for which Blackburn was once so famous a distant memory. The contrast in fortune is not just due to luck; Blackburn has been allowed to stagnate because its political leaders have failed to develop a sufficiently dynamic plan to reinvigorate the town’s economic fortunes.

I want Blackburn to be renowned for what it offers in the present tense, not for its glorious history at the centre of a cotton industry that died long ago. That means creating the right environment and infrastructure to attract investment, jobs and wealth to the town for the benefit of all. I want to see Blackburn held up as an example of a national economic success story. To achieve that means having a local Council that is prepared to think outside the box, understands economics, and plans for the long-term.

I would therefore like the opportunity to use the skills I have honed in my academic and professional life to serve the people and town of Blackburn to the best of my ability, and to help make Blackburn a town the whole country is proud of.