In 1995 Labour won control of Lichfield District Council for the first time. Coming from a next-door Labour Council it was somewhat surprising to find that committee reports had no agenda (you had to read through the reports to get the headings) there was no “environmental impact” report in the proposals and recycling was at less than one per cent. Burntwood Leisure Centre had roof leaks and clearly needed replacing.
District Council housing was a disgrace.
The biggest issue however was the very poor state of the Council’s housing stock which had been neglected over the years.
In one term we changed all that getting recycling up to the government target of 25% with the introduction, first in the county, of kerbside recycling. At the end of our term, we bid and won a grant for replacing our Leisure Centre. We also took the bold step of balloting council tenants on transferring them to a new Lichfield Housing Association – the only way we believed we get could the investment needed under the Conservative Government’s rules. They supported this and started to get better maintenance and central heating!
Friarsgate planned at the beginning of the millennium – yes, really.
The Conservatives won back control in 1999 and the following year the Conservatives started planning Friarsgate in Lichfield City.
Obviously, people can vote against the Conservatives because of the government and the cost of living crisis or their behaviour in government.
Or because of the MP for Lichfield and Burntwood who is more interested in asking questions in Parliament about Wales and the West Midlands Mayor than on behalf of his constituents.. And last week he failed to ask if the Health Minister believed it was right for the Intergrated Care Board to close Burntwood Health and Wellbeing Centre – and force nearly 5ooo patients to go to other GP practices in the town – before a replacement is built!
Or because of Friarsgate, the delay in Climate Emergency action or the roll out of the blue bags or the wasted £118,000 trying to sell land without following the legislation, or the pothole plague or increased council tax.
On the other hand, they can read our published manifesto and vote for change, a positive shake-up for Lichfield District as in 1995.
And by the way we didn’t leave a jokey note but did leave £24 million in the bank – now spent.