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Burnley’s army careers office closure fury
10:40am Thursday 14th June 2012 in Burnley
A DECISION to close Burnley’s army careers office has been condemned as ‘shocking and short-sighted’.
MPs and councillors have expressed surprise at the decision to close the Yorkshire Street premises, in what has traditionally been a strong recruiting area for the armed services.
But Defence Minister Andrew Robathan, in a letter to Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, has confirmed the office is set to be axed ‘in early 2013’.
This would leave the Church Street recruiting office in Blackburn as the Army’s only careers presence in East Lancashire.
Mr Stephenson said: “I think this is a shocking decision and very short sighted. There is a proud tradition in East Lancashire of young people taking on roles in our armed forces and doing our area and our country proud.
“Many of our best, bravest soldiers out in Afghanistan are from Pendle and east Lancashire. Closing the army careers office puts that contribution at risk.”
Coun Mark Townsend, the borough council’s resources cabinet member, said: “This is a shocking decision – it is going to be out of sight and out of mind if it is in Blackburn.
“We have always been told that Burnley was such a good recruiting area for the Army so this is a blow.
“And it potentially leaves us with another vacant shop in the Keirby Hotel block.”