During a meeting of the full council on December 13th, councillors had to elect a representative of the council to the board of Padiham Life. Previously the council representative was a Lib-Dem member, who resigned on the basis of a possible conflict of interest with their position on the council Executive. A totally valid reason supported by all members of the council.
Surprisingly, the Lib-Dems did not put forward a non-Executive member as an alternative for the position and the council was asked to choose between Coun. Gauton (Labour) and Coun. Wilkinson (BNP).
Despite repeated public statements that the Lib-Dems would never work with the BNP, or support BNP representatives gaining senior positions on decision-making bodies, two Lib-Dem members of the council voted for the BNP candidate to become a board member of Padiham Life. The Lib-Dem members who voted for Coun. Wilkinson being Couns Jones and Sumner.
It was a relief that sufficient fair-minded council members were in attendance to defeat the BNP.
After recent election fraud events, you would have thought the Lib-Dems could not get any lower, but this support for the BNP by supposedly mainstream party representatives plumbs new depths. These actions speak louder than any of the hollow promises to the contrary made by Coun. Gordon Birtwistle, the council and Lib-Dem leader.
The least Coun. Birtwistle should do is apologise to the electorate who have been badly let down by these recent shameful events.
If he doesn't, then the Lib-Dems nationally should take control and get a grip of this crumbling administration.
I am not surprised this Lib-Dem administration is falling apart as I warned people months ago of the likelihood of this happening. I just didn't expect it to happen so quickly!
Coun. Mark Townsend, Queen's Park Road, Burnley
Letter to Burnley Express