‘Listening’ council doesn’t hear residents’ voices

Bearing in mind the media has already opened the debate about the Government elections and local elections are also due in May, I would like to ask a couple of pertinent questions.

Burnley Town Hall, by Peter Seavers
Burnley Town Hall, by Peter Seavers

What is the role of the ward councillor in relation to those who elected them to office? My eyes have recently been opened. We have a small greenspace area, with some majestic, mature trees, a place enjoyed by the community for all its natural, so far unspoiled beauty. The children play on it, the community respects it and 166 residents who overlook it objected to the “proposal” to build 24 houses on it.

Of our present Ward councillors, one was party to the decision to sell off the land for building on, one had no idea (until we told him) that the “sell off”, or the building of houses, had been proposed, and the third “can’t discuss the issue” as she is on the planning committee and would not be able to vote if she got involved with any discussion, or written response to requests as to where she stood on the matter!

Secondly, would someone be brave enough, or honest enough, to say Burnley Council is selling off land simply because they want the money and not because affordable houses are needed, or wanted, in this area? It seems to me you can only sell land to someone who wants to buy it, hence the involvement of Calico.

This “proposal” has had two out of town surveyors spending six days measuring land and exploring the local drainage system.

I am told to expect drilling machines and diggers next, to look at the suitability of the land for building. It would seem to me that the suggestion to build is being taken very seriously for all that trouble and expense to be taken for what is reputed to be “only a proposal”.

So beware, residents of Burnley, this “listening council” as described by the Council Leader, is trying to sell off land for “affordable” housing purposes. If you should see a man using a theodolite to survey any land in your home area, take note. You could be the next target for the same stress we are experiencing.

Barbara Grime

Trinity Ward