Burnley people want investment in education, transport, housing and youth services – not empty words | Burnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar column

After a very busy few weeks spent on council business, it was refreshing to be out across the borough meeting residents, partner organisations and businesses.
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I had the pleasure of attending an event at Burnley fire station to see the way the service responds to emergency calls and get an insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

Along with delegates from Lancashire Council of Mosques I was given a tour of the station and spent some time talking about the positive action being taken to engage underrepresented groups and communities.

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It was a chance to discuss some of the challenges the service is facing but also explore exciting opportunities and successes.

Burnley Council leader Afrasiab AnwarBurnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar
Burnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar

I look forward to using this discussion as a springboard for better partnerships and community engagement.

I was kindly invited by Paul Anderson the Chief Executive of Jay-Care to visit their engineering and storage unit.

Jay-Care specialise in stairlift and mobility products as well as a range of daily living aids.

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The business has gone from strength to strength over the past two years despite the challenges of the pandemic.

From the moment I walked through the doors, it was evident that Paul and his team are passionate about what they do.

This was a reminder for me that the success of many of our businesses in Burnley is down to the people behind them. It is great to see businesses doing well but even better when those involved do it with energy, enthusiasm and compassion.

Also, this week we welcomed the Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Lisa Nandy MP to Burnley.

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Burnley College hosted the event, and the organising team were "blown away" by not only the state-of-the-art facilities we have but more so by the Burnley welcome they received.

I would like to thank Burnley College staff, students and the principal for being truly outstanding.

During the visit Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy set out their plans and vision for the country and what they would do if they were to form a government.

They also asked the diverse audience made up of all sections of the community what they would like to see.

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It was not surprising that many were not optimistic about the future, mainly due to the cost-of-living crisis and what is being played out nationally. It was also clear that the public are fed up with catchy slogans and broken promises.

What they want is investment in education, transport, housing and youth services, not empty words.

One thing that shone through was the love for Burnley and the belief that with the right government support and investment we can prosper as a town.

We don’t need ministers or civil servants coming to Burnley telling us what we need.

We know what we need and have the skills, knowledge and expertise here in Burnley, just give us the resources to get it done.