Following the Prime Minister’s visit to Burnley. And the announcement that Burnley and Padiham has secured a further £20million of funding, Antony Higginbotham MP raised the issue of participation – arguing that the views of residents need to be listened to when choosing what to spend the money on.
Over the following weeks and months, Antony will be reaching out to as many people as possible. Listening to where people want this money to be spent and feeding those ideas into the new Town Board which will shortly be set up to administer the fund.
Speaking about the issue in the Parliament Antony Higginbotham MP said:
It was a pleasure to welcome the Prime Minister to Burnley two weeks ago, when he announced that Burnley was one of the many towns getting money as part of the long-term plan for towns, on top of more than £32 million from the levelling-up fund.
I was particularly pleased to see that a key part of the long-term plan for towns is community engagement. Will the Secretary of State set out what that community engagement will look like?
In particular, will it be a one-off, or can communities expect to be consulted throughout the decade for which the £20 million is allocated?
Responding Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove said:
My honourable Friend is right to point out that this is a decade-long investment in 55 towns across the United Kingdom.
We will work with people in Burnley, with its excellent Member of Parliament and with other representatives to ensure that we can tackle antisocial behaviour, revive high streets and make sure that the pride that people have in Burnley is reflected in investment from Government.
Commenting afterwards Antony said,
There was plenty of excitement when the Prime Minister announced another £20million was coming to Burnley and Padiham, and rightly so. This new pot, secured through a Town's Deal, presents a massive opportunity for residents to get involved.
And that's what I raised in Parliament this week.
Over the following weeks and months, I’ll be reaching out to as many people as possible. Listening to where you want this money spent and feeding those ideas into the new Town Board which will shortly be set up to administer the fund.