THE political boss of an East Lancashire local authority has written to a cabinet minister to express his concern over the distribution of government 'Levelling Up' cash to his borough.

Cllr Afrasiab Anwar, the leader of Burnley Council, is unhappy three areas have been left out of its grant allocation for Whitehall's 'Long-Term Plan for Towns'.

Accrington, Darwen, Burnley and Nelson will share £20million over 10 years for each of the towns to fund initiatives to improve the lives of people living there.

Funding is to be spent on local priorities such as reviving high streets, tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB), improving transport and growing the local economy.

Cllr Anwar is also upset that Burnley borough was excluded from the government Levelling Up Round Three grants.

He has now written to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, to express his dissatisfaction on both issues.

In a report to council colleagues Cllr Anwar said: "I have written to Mr Gove about the government’s levelling up agenda.

"With regard to its Long-Term Plan for Towns,I was pleased that Burnley was selected for the allocation of the £20 million endowment announced as part of this initiative for 55 Towns across the UK.

"Whilst further guidance is awaited, correspondence has been sent to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities requesting clarification on the extent of the boundary that will benefit from this initiative.

"Eligibility appears to exclude Padiham, Cliviger and Worsthorne for which clarification has been sought.

"There is also a requirement for a Towns Board to be set up by April 2024 and for a Plan to be submitted to government by Summer 2024.

"Further guidance from Government will be issued before we can progress these schemes of work.

"Like many of you, I was disappointed with the announcement of the Levelling Up Round Three allocation.

"Pre-allocated schemes for specified places for this funding that we (and many other authorities across the country) were unable to apply for was an incredulous decision.

"I have contacted the minister and Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham to express my disappointment and welcomed a discussion on whether they would be amenable to consider Burnley for further funding."