MP Leads Burnley Delegation to Save Chai Centre
A delegation of campaigners, led by Burnley MP Julie Cooper, travelled to County Hall Preston on Thursday to hand in a petition signed by of hundreds concerned Burnley residents protesting against the possible loss of Healthy Living services from the popular Chai Centre. The well-used centre located on Hurtley Street, was opened in 2004 and presently houses a range of facilities including the Healthy Living Centre which incorporates a café, gym and sauna.
Julie was accompanied by County Councillor Dr. Misfar Hassan and Burnley Borough Councillor Saeed Chaudhry who coordinated the petition following weeks of discussions with residents opposed to the loss of services.
At to the Preston offices of Lancashire County Council, the petition was handed over to County Councillor Azhar Ali, Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, who has been faced with the difficult decision to cut the £200,000 funding during the next financial year, following drastic Government cuts to the County’s funding.
Mrs Cooper commented:
“The fight goes on; I am determined to leave no stone unturned when it come to the development of a contingency plan to save the Healthy Living centre at Chai. The residents of Daneshouse and Stoneyholme have made it clear to me that, in this deprived area of our town, these services are quite literally a lifeline to many. With rates of depression and diabetes well above the average in this community, it makes no sense to me at all to losing services which help to prevent or manage these debilitating conditions.”
The MP went on to add a cautiously optimistic remark about the future:
“I have held discussions with several interested parties both here and in Westminster and I am pleased to say that early signs are looking really promising that a viable solution can be found. More discussions are in the pipeline before anything can be finalised, however I am encouraged and hopeful about what I have heard so far.”