Burnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar column | Something special is happening in our town

The recent local elections and the lead-up to polling day now feel like a distant memory, especially with the excitement of the long weekend's celebrations.
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The King's coronation, the final game of the season at Turf Moor and the Champions Parade have been a welcome distraction from the cut and thrust of politics. An opportunity to reflect and appreciate the outcome.

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I used the Bank Holiday weekend to attend a special service at St Peter’s Church to celebrate the Coronation of the King and to support an event held at Queen’s Park, organised by Building Bridges in Burnley. The events along with others held across Burnley and Padiham brought people together and provided an opportunity for the community to celebrate a momentous occasion in British history.

Burnley Football Club civic reception. ©Andy FordBurnley Football Club civic reception. ©Andy Ford
Burnley Football Club civic reception. ©Andy Ford
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On Monday I was inside a packed and very noisy Turf Moor with my family to watch Burnley lift the Championship trophy. I have always believed that the success of the Football Club has a positive impact on the community, and the whole town benefits from the club's achievements. There is a strong sense of community and pride in Burnley, and the success of the football club has played a key role in bringing people together and creating a positive atmosphere.

It's clear that something special is happening in Burnley. The arrival of JJ Watt and Kealia Watt as investors and ambassadors has sent fans into dreamland and having such high-profile figures associated with Burnley is a great boost, and it helps to raise the profile of the town and the football club on a global stage. All credit must go to the chairman, Alan Pace, and his team who have transformed the club’s fortunes on and off the pitch.

On Tuesday, the celebrations continued with the civic reception at the Town Hall, where the whole town came out in honour of the champions. The champions parade and civic service were a great showcase of everything that is great about Burnley, and it's important to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all those involved in organising the event behind the scenes. I would like to thank the sponsors, Burnley Council staff, Burnley Leisure and Culture staff, and Burnley Football Club staff, who all played a key role in making the event a success.

After the highs of the last few days, it is back to reality and over the coming days full council will form an administration to carry on the work that has been started to transform Burnley into an aspirational, thriving university town. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to deliver on our strategic objectives to ensure that all decisions are made with the best interests of the residents in mind. I would also like to congratulate and welcome all those who have been elected to serve on the council and to represent their communities.