Dave Fishwick and Mick Cartledge are two town ambassadors we can be proud of | Burnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar column

You will have heard the announcement last week that our chief executive officer, Mick Cartledge, is set to retire in July.
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Mick's decision to retire was an opportunity to reflect on his contribution and on how the borough has changed, for the better during his time here.

Mick has been a constant at Burnley Council over the last 20 years and in that time, we have seen the landscape of Burnley being transformed.

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Burnley Council leader Afrasiab AnwarBurnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar
Burnley Council leader Afrasiab Anwar
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The development of St Peter’s Leisure Centre, the rebuilding of our secondary schools and college, the upgrade at Burnley Manchester Road station and the Elevate programme all happened during Mick's tenure.

He was instrumental in the establishment of Burnley Leisure Trust and outsourcing of waste and street cleansing, and a range of back-office services. These were difficult decisions at the time, but ones that in the long term have saved the council money and mean we are now on a much firmer footing.

I'm often asked about the exciting developments currently taking place across Burnley. The acquisition of Charter Walk Shopping Centre, the Town to Turf project, the expansion of UCLAN's Canalside Campus and after many false dawns, Pioneer Place has become a reality.

As a result of Mick's leadership, we are well on the way to realising our ambition to become a thriving university town and continue to punch above our weight.

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As politicians we sometimes take the plaudits but, we can only deliver when our vision aligns with that of officers. Burnley has been fortunate to have been blessed with an officer like Mick and If we are successful with our bid to Government for a Youth Zone, we will have delivered most of what is in our Canalside and Town Centre Master plan. Considering it was only adopted in 2018, that is some achievement.

Mick should be proud of what he has achieved at Burnley and will be a tough act to follow. The search for his successor will begin shortly, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his loyalty and commitment to Burnley and wish him a very happy, and well deserved, retirement when it comes.

Speaking of commitment, it is only right to thank another individual who continues to fly the flag for Burnley; our very own David Fishwick.

Last weekend, it was an honour to attend the Premier of the Netflix Movie 'Bank of Dave' at Reel Cinema. The first ever Hollywood film to be premiered outside of London, the film tells the story of how David Fishwick took on the establishment to set up his bank in Burnley.

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On his insistence, the filming took place in Burnley, and I would like to thank Dave and his team for being great ambassadors for Burnley.

The film showcases our natural beauty and the portrayal of Burnley as a welcoming, kind, and friendly place was refreshing. The Burnley in the film is the town we all know, love, and recognise. It is a must see and is currently trending on Netflix, so be sure to watch it if you get the chance.