Labour to blame for Burnley Wood clearances

Burnley Wood, Phil Glover
Burnley Wood, Phil Glover

Once again it’s the same old chestnut from Mr Kenyon, the Labour activist, spreading propaganda about other political parties or individuals to move the blame game away from himself and his party. Hopefully people will see for themselves the real Mr Kenyon and his local labour group.

In his article last week he blames me (singly) for the mess surrounding the community centres and says he and his Labour group fought hard against it happening. I’ve never heard as much rubbish in my life.

The real truth behind the Burnley Wood problems started long before I became a councillor in 2006. At that time the council was Labour controlled and Mr Kenyon was deputy leader. It was him and his fellow executives who introduced the clearance programme, cleansing I believe he called it at the time, and he was happy to state it was all happening under Labour. Now it’s not happening he’s trying to blame someone else. Mr Kenyon and his team was responsible for bringing in the bulldozers and kickstarted the regeneration, something he says he is proud of. There’s never been an apology from him, or any of the previous Labour members, to people who were forced out of their homes, and in doing so ripped out the heart of this community.

People in Burnley Wood don’t need reminding who’s to blame. They know it was the regime under his guidance that laid the plans to demolish Burnley Wood, including some very good homes and shops; both community centres were in the mix to be demolished, even the working men’s club at the hub of the community was destined to be felled, all this instrumented under the watch of Mr Kenyon and his Labour executives. He says he and his local party has always fought against these closures and any others within the ward, again I say he is trying to mislead the public. Why did they not put themselves forward and fight for the residents.

Where were you in 2006 when I, along with the late Barbara Davis, successfully fought to keep the Glebe Street play building open? Where were you in 2008 when I, Karen Heseltine and the Dall Street Residents’ Group, successfully fought to save the houses within the Burnley Wood grid, again in 2010 where were you when I, fellow ward councillors and the late Brian Fenn, successfully fought to get the Terracefields building re-opened?

You seem to be fighting for the general Post Office, but you were reluctant to fight to save our Parliament Street one that was being closed by Labour in 2009. Now with these two community buildings under threat I question the non-commitment from you and your Labour members in this ward.

You say I’m doing this for votes. What I’m doing is fighting for the right outcome for this ward, the same as I’ve been doing through four election campaigns and eight years service.

If you and your Labour group feel as strong as you say in trying to save the community centres, why has no one signed our petition and agreed to join me and the other 1,500 residents in taking our fight to the council leader and trying to persuade her to use her powers to say to the developers they are staying up, which as the leader of the council she can.

Coun. Jeff Sumner