LETTER: Community groups need paid staff

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I SEE Coun. Sumner is again doing what he does best – mouthing off without knowing anything about communities or their needs.

I must point out I have no connection at all with the Fraser Street Project, had not heard of it until I saw the Express article and do not live in that area.

However, unlike, I suspect, Coun. Sumner, I took the trouble to have a look at their website to see what they actually do.

Yes, they have had some paid staff (although the vast majority are volunteers) but I can see where a centre which caters for several hundred youngsters would need the stability and reliability provided by two or three low-paid staff (who usually work many more than their paid hours) and can step in when volunteers are not available.

Of course it is better to have all volunteers but lack of them has been responsible for a lot of community groups in our town closing altogether. He mentions Burnley Wood and Rosehill community centres and I have no doubt they do a good job but:

Are they catering for the same numbers of people?

Are their opening hours the same and as consistent?

Do they have the same range of activities?

I have no idea but I wouldn’t dream of comparing and criticising any of them unless I know for sure I’m comparing like with like.

I’m surprised an elected representative of the people of this town feels able to do so.

Be fair.

R. ASLIN, BURNLEY