I would like to thank Margaret Unsworth for her kind acknowledgement in the Express (Friday 16th August) and recognition of my hard work and commitment to the re-opening of Terracefields. It is an honour to have been instrumental in facilitating the opening of this much-loved building and supporting the excellent work of the volunteers who run the much-needed and successful lunch club.
However, the current administration controlling Burnley Council are of the opinion Burnley Wood can now only have one community building. As an elected representative of the ward, I feel it is my responsibility to work hard to ensure Burnley Wood will continue to have a viable, fit for purpose building in which many and varied community activities can take place.
Unfortunately, the current Labour-controlled council has prematurely decided the current community building in Glebe Street will be demolished before allowing sufficient time to check the viability and sustainability of their preferred option, Terracefields.
Alarmingly, the Ward Labour councillor and chairman of the Community Scrutiny Committee, Paul Campbell, has publicly stated Terracefields could be closed by this time next year and Burnley Wood will have no community buildings left. This is a sentiment echoed by Burnley Council Leader Coun. Julie Cooper, supported by senior council officials.
As a conscientious councillor, I think it is not only prudent but common sense to delay the demolition of the Glebe Street building until such time as Terracefields has been able to demonstrate its suitability, sustainability and viability in providing the much-needed community services for the ward.
I therefore hope this provides clarity and understanding to the concerned resident regarding my current actions and position in this matter.
What puzzles me regarding Mrs Unsworth’s letter is that both herself and her daughter, ex-ward councillor Karen Heseltine, both supported the saving of the Glebe Street building by signing the petition knowing full well that if the campaign was successful it would mean Terracefields would close.
Coun. Jeff Sumner