A TROUBLED tenants' management group has been thrown into even more turmoil with the resignation of almost half its membership.

Padiham and Hapton Area Management Committee has been running under the temporary leadership of chairman and Burnley Councillor Granville Lord since Burnley Council began an investigation.

The investigation is complete, but controversy has continued with the resignation of four of the nine members.

They claim the committee is being led by council staff and members and that tenants are paying for a group which is not able to represent their needs properly.

Ann Bartlett is the longest serving member to resign after five years on the AMC.

Also resigning is fellow owner-occupier Gerard Hornby and tenants Mary Emmett and Mary Campbell.

Speaking on behalf of the former members Mrs Bartlett, of Lancaster Drive, Hapton, said: "We were happy with the council helping to take charge of at the start of the investigation but that was supposed to be on a temporary basis.

"We are all fed up with banging our heads against brick walls. You think you are changing things and making a better future and you realise nothing has changed. "The investigation dragged on so long it crippled us and no-one knew what was going to happen. It basically put the AMC out of business."

The investigation was into the then chairman of the AMC Tony Brankin and the panel found four cases against him proved concerning an attempt to purchase a minibus.

Mrs Bartlett said: "We used to be able to go to external training courses and now that is not allowed. AMC members have to go to in-house training days organised by the council.

"Before, we got information about what was going on nationally because we were a part of a recognised national body, now we don't find out anything."

She added: "We felt we were going down to the office but there was no work - the tenants have been paying for us and for what?"

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.