Safeguarding jobs, businesses and tackling borough's housing problems are top of agenda for new regime at Burnley Council

Former Mayor and new Burnley Council leader Charlie Briggs, with his Mayoress, Patricia Lunt.
Former Mayor and new Burnley Council leader Charlie Briggs, with his Mayoress, Patricia Lunt.

Safeguarding jobs, protecting local businesses and tackling the town's empty housing problem are among some of the top priorities of the new regime at Burnley Council.

And it aims to do this by being 'democratic, inclusive and transparent' with the involvement of residents in finding the 'right answers' to they can work together to achieve them.

The new regime at Burnley Council has set out is priorities which include safeguarding jobs and businesses and tackling issues such as empty houses, fly tipping and dog fouling.

The new regime at Burnley Council has set out is priorities which include safeguarding jobs and businesses and tackling issues such as empty houses, fly tipping and dog fouling.

This will involve a reintroduction of the committee system instead of direction from a small group from one party.

Local meetings and community groups will be set up bring people together to share ideas about priorities and new initiatives and residents' views will be listened to and they will be involved in decision making, the new regime has promised.

This will include new initiatives for tackling dog fouling and fly tipping which are among two of the most contentious issues for people in Burnley and Padiham.

In its manifesto 'Priorities for a better Burnley and Padiham' the new administration, which is drawn from the Liberal Democrat, Burnley and Padiham Independent and Conservative parties, has outlined a series of issues it will be tackling to move forward as all parties work together to achieve the best for the community.

Speaking about the future ahead Coun. Charlie Briggs, who is the new council leader. said: "We want all councillors to have a say in council decisions and for them to listen to and speak up for all local residents.

"Burnley and Padiham should be places where families choose to live because of our clean, safe neighbourhoods, beautiful parks and unspoilt countryside.

"It should also be a place where businesses choose to invest because of our skilled workforce, our diverse, competitive, modern economy and a supportive council.

"The new administration will promote Burnley and Padiham - our skills, communities and environment -
throughout the UK and wider.

"We will promote our area locally so that people are proud of our towns and villages, know about our achievements and potential, and raise their confidence and expectations."

A pledge was also made to help businesses facing uncertainty as Brexit unfolds with the promise that the new council would help affected companies achieve a successful 'forward strategy' for jobs and growth.

The new regime has come into play after Labour lost five seats in the borough elections and also its town hall majority at a previous meeting of the full council.

And all opposition councillors voted against re-appointing Labour leader Coun. Mark Townsend.

Opposition parties made proposals to the Labour group for a shared administration of three Labour members and three members from the opposition parties with a Labour leader of the council. But this was rejected by the Labour Group and opposition members then united at the full council meeting to appoint Coun. Briggs as leader.

Along with Coun. Briggs members of the new executive are: Deputy Leader and executive member for Resources Coun. Maggie Lishman (Lib Dem) Executive member for Housing and Development Control Coun, Ivor Emo (Conservative) Executive member for Economy and Growth Coun, Gordon Birtwistlle (Lib Dem) Executive member for Community and Environmental Services Coun. Cosima Towneley (Conservative)

The new executive has said that priority will be given to local businesses in its purchasing and it has promised to help people to build their own businesses.

Coun. Briggs said: "Burnley and Padiham are high-tech towns. We need a range of diverse and creative businesses that reward workers for outstanding work.

"We will work with schools, colleges, the university and employers to help people of all ages to learn new,
better and more up-to-date skills."

Promising a 'greener, cleaner and more healthy' community pledges have also been made to address the climate change emergency hanging over everyone's future.

The new regime aims to establish a cross party group of councillors to address all the ways the council can take and promote action, including initiatives on recycling, the use of plastic bags, de-carbonisation, promoting the use of electric vehicles and encouraging green businesses and shops.

Included in this strategy will be a review of recycling arrangements to make it easier for people to recycle more.

The council also plans to tackle the 'continuing challenges' of Burnley's housing problem, targeting empty and neglected properties, absentee landlords and the council's role.

Underlying issues that cause ill health and early death will also be put under the spotlight with measures put in place to help people to cope with unemployment, poverty and lack of control over their lives.

Work will also continue to improve the area's parks and open spaces so that visitors and residents can enjoy them and tourism in Burnley will also be promoted with more emphasis and engagement on the surrounding countryside.