Leader’s Viewpoint: Cllr Marlene Haworth

I am incredibly proud to be appointed as the first ever female leader of Hyndburn Borough Council and honoured to take on this responsibility. My commitment to working for the people of Hyndburn has been clearly demonstrated through serving as a councillor for over 17 years and being honoured with the roles of Mayor, Mayoress and Deputy Mayor. Serving as deputy leader for the past 12 months has meant I am in the ideal position to immediately get to work, keeping Hyndburn on track for a fantastic year and giving us a fresh start.

I am very pleased to announce my cabinet members have now been confirmed and they offer a fantastic diverse set of skills and expertise. Our borough needs transformation and to achieve this I have curated a new range of portfolios that suit the current needs of our residents. This expansion of cabinet roles has meant we can focus on additional priorities that have arisen in recent years, such as Economic Development, Sustainability, and Levelling Up.

In the past year we have already seen a reduction in fly-tipping and secured over £20million in investment. Leadership at the Council will work together to champion our local area, improve outcomes for all, and truly make a positive difference. Working alongside cabinet members and fellow councillors, I am confident we will improve wellbeing and outcomes for everyone.

Hyndburn has recently seen an unprecedented amount of funding awarded to us, which is set to transform the borough and kick-start our economy. I will be working to ensure the success of these projects and work closely with all organisations and stakeholders involved to make our community proud.

Our priorities for this year include strengthening our local services, celebrating our local environment through green initiatives and raising the profile of Hyndburn – creating a place people are proud to live in, work in and enjoy.

I hope everyone will join me at some of the fantastic events we have planned. In June alone we have three events to enjoy on Accrington town square.

On Saturday 3 June, the annual food and drink festival is back, including live demonstrations, stalls, entertainment, war re-enactments and displays to mark the anniversary of D-Day. Netflix’s Molly Robbins will be leading the stage. Organised by Amazing Accrington this event brings in the crowds and there’s a spitfire plane fly over planned for the first time.

The Eco Festival returns on Saturday 17 June. This annual event is a celebration of all things green and environmentally friendly. Community groups and stalls will take to the town square to share information about projects in Hyndburn, with family-friendly activities available for everyone to enjoy throughout the day. Organised by local community group Prospects, this day is a firm family favourite.

On Saturday 24 June, a brand-new event to mark National Refugee Week is coming to Accrington. Everyone is invited to celebrate our vibrant community with a day of sharing cultures and experiences. Authentic food from across the world will be available and performances include a Punjabi dance workshop, Chinese lion show, music and various story times. There’s free face painting, henna art, community crafts, rides and lots more.

Looking even further to the future, I am excited to work with members and our community to plan ahead for Hyndburn’s 50th birthday! Next year our borough will have been established for half a century and we will soon be discussing plans for how to mark this wonderful occasion, to celebrate all our achievements of the past and look towards a prosperous future for our borough.