HYNDBURN Council bosses have come under fire for changing the date of an important meeting - for the sake of a football match.
A full council meeting, which will include the setting of Hyndburn's budget, was originally planned for next Tuesday.
But the meeting clashed with the FA Cup replay between Blackburn Rovers and Burnley and was switched to Wednesday.
This in turn meant Clayton Area Council's next meeting being put back a week to 9 March.
Area council chairman Councillor Tim O'Kane said: "The budget meeting was originally set for 1 March but some councillors obviously feel it is more important to go to a football match.
"Also, the area council has been put back a week, despite the fact that a lot of posters have already gone out telling people the original date.
"There has been no consultation with me. It has been changed because it just didn't fit in with the council's plans.
"Which is the more important debate to be held by elected members next week - whether Stead should play up front with Dickov or how £12.4M of public finances should be spent?"
Area council vice-chairman Councillor Janet Storey said: "The change has come at short notice and, although councillors are used to re-scheduling meetings with little warning, the public is not."
However, council leader Peter Britcliffe, a keen Rovers fan, defended the decision to move the meeting.
He said: "I have consulted various councillors in both parties, as well as other groups, and the majority of them agreed to the change of date.
"I have also sought the agreement of the Mayor of Hyndburn, Councillor Miles Parkinson, on this issue.
"The football match will be one of the biggest sporting occasions in East Lancashire and many councillors and others are interested in seeing it, whether they are Rovers or Burnley fans.
"I apologise to those who are inconvenienced by this, but many were happy with the decision to move the meeting."