I remember a letter from a Mrs Whittaker and remember writing an answer to it which went something along the lines of: when the Lib-Dems took control of the council they tried to lay claim to the St Peter’s Centre even though that was built before they took control.
They also tried to take credit for the new college and, though they lambasted the previous council for building five absolutely brilliant, new schools, they now delight in praising them, even though they fought tooth and nail against them.
However, that’s gone by now, but let’s not forget the site of the old Thompson Centre had been earmarked by the previous council for the building of a number of town houses. The then council leader Mr Birtwistle decided against that and instead built a car park. It turned out he had a propensity for car parks as his council built a fair number.
I would like, if I may, to remind Mrs Whittaker it was the previous Labour administration, in partnership with the late Anthony Wilson, who submitted plans for the regeneration of the Weavers’ Triangle. It was he, Anthony Wilson, who named the area Pennine Lancashire so the Lib/Dems simply took on the mantle, which is simply what happens when a council changes hands.
I would like to state here and now, I have not heard one councillor in the current administration lay any claim for being responsible for any project under construction before the changeover. I have, however, heard it said the work will continue.
However, when we look at the proposals by the Lib-Dems for the refurbishment of Manchester Road Station, the new council looked at the proposal again and found it to be much cheaper to pull the existing buildings down and replace them with a new one. This was done at a considerable saving to the people of Burnley.
Now never let it be said I do not give credit where credit is due. There is one achievement the Lib-Dems can lay claim to: when the Labour Government lost power the economy was out of recession and indeed had a growth figure of 1%. Within a very short space of time, the Lib-Dems ditched their manifesto pledges ie tuition fees and VAT among others and, along with their partners, the Tories, began to choke the life out of our economy. May I add, Mr Birtwistle was a junior minister in the treasury at the time.
This has led to the longest and deepest recession in living memory and we will be feeling the effects for many more years to come. So, you see, I’m perfectly willing to place the credit for that exactly where it belongs but I don’t think you, or anyone else in the Lib-Dems Party, will be eager to take any credit for that one. What do you think?
Mr K. Royle
Mizpah Street, Burnley