My Burnley: Councillor Charlie Briggs on why he turned down the chance to live in Australia to stay in his beloved hometown

A wanton act of vandalism inspired the subject of this week’s ‘My Burnley’ feature to become a councillor.
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Charlie Briggs stood for election after complaining to a local councillor about waking up one morning to find his car window smashed and being told "if you want to do something about it why don't you become a councillor?”

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He has represented Gannow since 2007, firstly as a Liberal Democrat and currently as a member of the Burnley and Padiham Independent Party. And Charlie had the honour of becoming the Mayor of Burnley in 2018, something he is extremely proud of. In 2021 Clarets fan Charlie completed his fourth London Marathon, two days after his 66th birthday. Not only did he smash the challenge in just under six hours, he raised the grand total of £1,591 for two causes very close to his heart, Pendleside Hospice and BK's Heroes.

A London Marathon veteran, Councillor Charlie Briggs is the subject of this week's 'My Burnley' featureA London Marathon veteran, Councillor Charlie Briggs is the subject of this week's 'My Burnley' feature
A London Marathon veteran, Councillor Charlie Briggs is the subject of this week's 'My Burnley' feature
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Charlie was married to Lynne for 39 years until her death in 2014. He has three children – Peter, Victoria and Charles – and three grandchildren. He also has two dogs, Poppy and Snoopy.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Charles Briggs, I am 67 and still working in the bakery industry. I am also councillor for Gannow ward in Burnley.

How long have you lived/worked in Burnley?

I have lived in Burnley nearly all my life apart from when my mum and dad left the Prince Albert pub and went to own the Railway Hotel in Brierfield. I lived there about five years but when I married Lynne we came back to Burnley in 1975.

Why did you choose to live/stay/work in Burnley?

I love the town and it’s people. I was given the opportunity to go live in Perth, Australia, in 2011 as my cousin lives there. She has a large house that was formerly two that had been converted into one. She said I could have the part of the house she did not use but I knocked it back as how would I get back every other week to go on to my beloved Turf Moor? I have no regrets at all about my decision as I love Burnley and could never move.

What do you think are the best parts of the town?

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I love walking around the parks and the town centre and running on the canal when I am training for marathons etc

Is there anything you dislike about Burnley?

There is nothing I don’t like about the town really, a lot of the residents try their very best to keep it clean and tidy, which is good.

How would you describe Burnley to a visitor who has never been here before?

We are a Premier town whose residents are some of the best.