Community centre volunteers have hit out at the “disgusting timing” of a letter telling them to vacate the premises – less than a day after councillors voted to close it.
A stormy Burnley Borough Council planning meeting on Thursday evening saw councillors vote to close the Burnley Wood Youth and Community Group building in Glebe Street despite protests from users and volunteers.
But, on Friday morning letters were sent to the chairman, secretary and treasurer of the group from the council informing them that the lease would expire at midnight that day.
Treasurer Adrianne Boys said: “To send a letter out so soon after the meeting is disgusting.
“For all we know these houses might not be built for another two years. We feel the council could have given us a stay of execution. We have two Christmas parties planned here. We will have to book the rooms in our centre now to put them on.”
The letter, from the council’s principal development surveyor Margaret Rutherford, states: “Please can you ensure that the rooms are left in a clean and tidy condition, in accordance with the terms of the lease.
“After midnight on November 15th, the Group should not enter or make use of the building without prior written agreement.”
The letter goes on to state that any furniture left after December 20th will become the property of the council.
Ward Coun. Jeff Sumner, who has fought against the centre’s closure, said: “I think this letter is disgusting. It is as if the council is trying to show who’s boss.
“I still believe we can save the centre and I will keep fighting for it.”
Burnley Council’s Executive Committee is due to meet on December 10th to discuss changing the use of the land from leisure to housing.