The Burnley fan who ran to every Clarets away game is now running for office

Burnley fan Scott Cunliffe – who ran 3,090 miles to every single Clarets away game in a season – is preparing for a different type of run this year.
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Scott (46) is standing in the upcoming Burnley Borough Council elections, and will be pounding the pavements, albeit virtually, in the coming weeks as he drives his campaign towards the finish line.

"I've done a lot of charity fundraising throughout my life culminating in the RunAway Challenge, " said Scott, who raised a staggering £55,000 for various charities through the challenge. "However, there's a limit to what fundraising can do as far as positive social change. I love fundraising and I love empowering other people to do things, but I really wanted to get involved in policy. Policy is where changes are made.

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"I think there has been a failure to just listen enough to people over the last 20/30 years. So, I think more Green councillors are needed on the council."

Scott with the Burnley Green Team: (left to right) Coun. Andy Frewings, Emma Simpkin, Martyn Hurt, Andy Wight and Coun. Sarah Hall.Scott with the Burnley Green Team: (left to right) Coun. Andy Frewings, Emma Simpkin, Martyn Hurt, Andy Wight and Coun. Sarah Hall.
Scott with the Burnley Green Team: (left to right) Coun. Andy Frewings, Emma Simpkin, Martyn Hurt, Andy Wight and Coun. Sarah Hall.
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Scott, who lives in Lindsay Park, has set his sights on the Cliviger with Worsthorne Ward seat.

The next borough elections are scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 6th. What should have been a year off in the Burnley Council four-year cycle will now see last year's postponed elections taking place.

The seat currently belongs to former Conservative councillor Andrew Newhouse, who defected to the Burnley and Padiham Independent Party last year.

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Traditionally a Tory stronghold, Scott has decided to stand for the Green Party, and not just for Burnley Council.. He will also be running for the Burnley Rural seat in the Lancashire County Council elections due to be held the same day.

The Green Party currently has two representatives on the borough council in Andy Fewings and Sarah Hall, and one at county council level.

Scott, a former St Theodore's High School feels it is the party that best represents his values, and one that is enjoying exciting momentum.

Communities need to be developed from the ground up," he said. "The Green Party, and the Green team in Burnley, I think is fantastic at working hard in their local communities, in their local wards; really listening to what people do, or want to do. And that is why we are expecting huge gains in Burnley this year.

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"That's what appeals to me about politics, and what appealed to me about the Green Party in Burnley. We got the second highest total in terms of vote share at the 2019 local elections.

"So it's an exciting time to be a Green, it' an exciting time to be able to get out into communities and listen to people. I just wanted to be involved, and naturally, because I live in Worsthorne, Cliviger and Worsthorne was where I wanted to start campaigning.

"Burnley is a green rural area, which I why I think a lot of people relate to the party. We have a lot of work to do on defending our parks, our public pathways, trails for cycling and running, sport and leisure. We have an amazing green town. We are so lucky, and of course Cliviger and Worsthorne is a largely rural ward.

"I want to be talking with more farmers, with more rural smallholders, about what they think and what they need.

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"I have a close affinity with the area. I was brought up right on the border, on Todmorden Road. Our address has been in Lindsay Park for the past 10 years. My great uncle used to run the store in Worsthorne, various family members have always lived in the village, most of my childhood memories are from hanging out in Cliviger as a kid. And now it's where I spend a lot of my own time running for my mental and physical health I get out up on the tops on the moors above Extwistle and Gorple; the best running in the country.

"It's where I want to be, and it's where I want to help."