Residents vow to save community centre in Burnley

Residents vow to save community centre in Burnley

Karen Heseltine, chairman of Dall Street Residents' Association

Concerned residents filled the hall

Burnley Brough Council head of communications Mike Waite

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

CAMPAIGNING residents in Burnley have vowed to save their community centre – after a stormy meeting with town hall bosses.

Plans to demolish Burnley Wood Youth and Community Centre, in Glebe Street, have sparked off a bitter row between Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Ruling Labour councillors say they have been left with no option after Lib Dems signed a planning agreement with developers Keepmoat, when they controlled the borough council, in 2010.

But Lib Dem county councillor Jeff Sumner, who served on the previous executive, has insisted the deal was only reached subject to a new ‘state-of-the-art’ replacement being provided.

But centre users are adamant, whoever is responsible, that tearing the building down would rip the heart out of the community.

The Lancashire Telegraph revealed on Saturday that the future of the centre, opened nearly five years ago, was in jeopardy.

Council officials informed keyholder Sylvia Wilkinson that the premises’ lease had been extended until November 2013 then the centre would be torn down, a public meeting was told.

Jason Neville, chairman of Burnley Wood Youth and Community Group, said: “It is alright having a one-year lease but that is not going to allow us to bid for lottery funding. Their requirement is for at least a four or five year lease.

“This building is in an ideal location, away from major roads, very little traffic, with a secure play area.”

More than 100 people packed into the centre to hear how from Mike Waite, the borough council’s communications head, how the housing plans would affect the centre.

Mr Waite said that while no application had yet been received, one was expected soon. He confirmed that discussions had been ongoing over the latest housing provision since 2008.

He added: “Burnley Wood’s future depends on new housing and new investment. But we want to work with the community and find out how services can be provided in the area.”

Several centres, including Terracefields, Surestart, Dall Street, St Stephen’s church hall and Burnley Wood Primary School, were suggested as possible alternatives, to the dismay of residents.

Coun Mark Townsend, resources cabinet member, said: “The situation the current administration is facing was decided upon by the Lib Dems in 2010. We are trying to move this forward.”

He told residents the council faced the prospects of ‘extensive costs’ being lost to developer Keepmoat if the original housing agreement was ‘ripped up’.

Coun Sumner added: “The only reason Burnley Wood would close was if the developers supplied us with a brand new community centre which would suit the young people and the elderly.”

Residents have now started a petition opposing the closure.

Comments (9)

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10:21pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Mark Townsend says...

For the record the only reason why the Community Centre is under threat is because Cllr Sumner and ex Cllr Heseltine voted for it to be closed in July 2010. And when they voted for it to be closed they did so in the full knowledge that there was no replacement Centre to be built in its place. All on public record.
For the record the only reason why the Community Centre is under threat is because Cllr Sumner and ex Cllr Heseltine voted for it to be closed in July 2010. And when they voted for it to be closed they did so in the full knowledge that there was no replacement Centre to be built in its place. All on public record. Mark Townsend
  • Score: 0

10:25pm Wed 9 Jan 13

2 for 5p says...

Hey tell you what all club together and pay for one yourselves.
Save. Everyone who doesn't use community centre's a bit of money.
Hey tell you what all club together and pay for one yourselves. Save. Everyone who doesn't use community centre's a bit of money. 2 for 5p
  • Score: 0

10:34pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Mark Townsend says...

These are the actual words in the Burnley Wood action plan that all the Ward Councillors supported in 2010:

Land consisting of two housing clearance sites to the north and south of Branch Road and the Glebe Street Recreation Ground and Recreation Centre will be redeveloped for new housing. It will be based on the principles of sustainable design and will be sensitive to the historic character and setting of the Burnley Wood Conservation Area.
The site includes two existing community facilities - Terracefields and the Glebe Street Recreation Centre. The Council is acquiring the Terracefields building to ensure that the buildings remains in community use. The activities and services provided from Glebe Street Recreation Centre will transfer to Terracefields.
These are the actual words in the Burnley Wood action plan that all the Ward Councillors supported in 2010: Land consisting of two housing clearance sites to the north and south of Branch Road and the Glebe Street Recreation Ground and Recreation Centre will be redeveloped for new housing. It will be based on the principles of sustainable design and will be sensitive to the historic character and setting of the Burnley Wood Conservation Area. The site includes two existing community facilities - Terracefields and the Glebe Street Recreation Centre. The Council is acquiring the Terracefields building to ensure that the buildings remains in community use. The activities and services provided from Glebe Street Recreation Centre will transfer to Terracefields. Mark Townsend
  • Score: 0

11:08pm Wed 9 Jan 13

ABBEY ROAD says...

Looking forward to reading Cllr Sumner and Ex Cllr Heseltine's comments - I think that's game, set match to you Mark.
Looking forward to reading Cllr Sumner and Ex Cllr Heseltine's comments - I think that's game, set match to you Mark. ABBEY ROAD
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Thu 10 Jan 13

mumof3 says...

2 for 5p wrote:
Hey tell you what all club together and pay for one yourselves.
Save. Everyone who doesn't use community centre's a bit of money.
Community centres are exactly that....for the community.. If you choose not to use them then that is your choice....I cant stand football so why should my council tax go towards the policing for matches? With the money they make! And.. I don't stand on the cracks in paved areas so why should I pay towards the repair of pavements? Etc Etc Etc...
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: Hey tell you what all club together and pay for one yourselves. Save. Everyone who doesn't use community centre's a bit of money.[/p][/quote]Community centres are exactly that....for the community.. If you choose not to use them then that is your choice....I cant stand football so why should my council tax go towards the policing for matches? With the money they make! And.. I don't stand on the cracks in paved areas so why should I pay towards the repair of pavements? Etc Etc Etc... mumof3
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Thu 10 Jan 13

ABBEY ROAD says...

Where did all the comments go from this article? Why have they been removed?
Where did all the comments go from this article? Why have they been removed? ABBEY ROAD
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Info-warrior says...

ABBEY ROAD wrote:
Where did all the comments go from this article? Why have they been removed?
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[quote][p][bold]ABBEY ROAD[/bold] wrote: Where did all the comments go from this article? Why have they been removed?[/p][/quote]???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???? Info-warrior
  • Score: 0

7:55pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Sharrabang says...

there were loads of comments on here yesterday. Where did they all go? I'm taking it that they left on Mark Townsend because he's a councillor!
there were loads of comments on here yesterday. Where did they all go? I'm taking it that they left on Mark Townsend because he's a councillor! Sharrabang
  • Score: 0

11:57pm Fri 11 Jan 13

jellybiff says...

But Lib Dem county councillor Jeff Sumner, who served on the previous executive, has insisted the deal was only reached subject to a new ‘state-of-the-art
replacement being provided.So Sumner just show everyone the document and show them for being the liars they are ??easy isn't it ???????if it's true .But the LET doesn't like free speech.
But Lib Dem county councillor Jeff Sumner, who served on the previous executive, has insisted the deal was only reached subject to a new ‘state-of-the-art replacement being provided.So Sumner just show everyone the document and show them for being the liars they are ??easy isn't it ???????if it's true .But the LET doesn't like free speech. jellybiff
  • Score: 0

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