Labour’s Rob Birch joins Labour’s Team on Burntwood Town Council

In an expensive by election (the exact amount is not known yet) Labour’s Rob Birch was elected as the new Town Councillor for Boney Hay and Central Ward.  He got 530 votes compared to the Conservative candidate’s 297 or 67 % of the vote.

Newly elected Rob Birch

Newly elected Rob Birch

He will be joining Councillor Di Evans, who is also a District Council representative, on Burntwood Town Council.

The by election was caused by the ward’s Conservative Lichfield District Council representative being elected to Staffordshire County Council – for Lichfield City North!  She decided being a Town Councillor was too much for her and resigned from the Town Council causing the by-election.

Another Conservative Town Councillor has moved 189 miles away but has not resigned – yet!

Rob will join his Labour colleagues at their advice surgeries (only your Labour councillors hold advice surgeries) in Burntwood Library which are held on the first Saturday in each month from 10 am to 11 am.






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Yesterday Lichfield, tomorrow Burntwood?

Local views rejected by the Secretary of State as he gives the go ahead for 750 houses on Lichfield boundary.

On the 19th May 2014 Lichfield District’s Planning Officer said to the Planning Committee: Conclusion: The site lies outside the current settlement boundary and does not form part of the Council’s spatial strategy. As such, it is contrary to Local Plan Policy E6.

On the 20th July 2015, in the High Court, The Hon Mr Justice Cranston said to the developers hoping to quash the District Council’s Local Plan: “I refuse the application”

On the 21st of March 2016 The [independent] Planning Inspector said to the Secretary of State: … the environmental harm in this case is significant. I have found that the need for the development is no more than marginal. In consequence, there are no public benefits from the proposed development which could outweigh that environmental harm.  I recommend that the appeal be dismissed.

On the 13th of February 2017 The Conservative Secretary of State said to the Developers: the social and economic benefits of providing affordable and market housing are of such importance that they outweigh the environmental harm, and that the proposal would thus represent sustainable development. Overall, therefore, [I conclude] that the material considerations indicate that the appeal should be allowed.

On the 15th of February the MP for Lichfield said:  nothing.

No. It’s not local people, judges or even independent inspectors who decide where houses should go anymore – it’s your Government and your local MP is it’s representative.




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A year in the life of the “New” Conservatives on Burntwood Town Council


  • They waste no time in wasting £1,500 on rejoining the Staffordshire Parish Council’s Association that the Council had previously decided was “not value for money”.
  • Burntwood Town Council leader Cllr Richard Mosson said: “It is essential that the residents of Burntwood are able to come  and talk to us directly about any issues or concerns that may effect [sic] them.”  [See May 2016]


  • The first of many changes to their representatives is proposed in a desperate attempt to find members up to the job on the committee their Leader appointed them to.

Deckchairs come to mind.


  • The New Conservatives “… confirmed that there was not an urgent rush” to progress the Burntwood Neighbourhood Plan.


  • An email from the Conservative Leader of the Town Council reveals his plan to use the proposed “Town Deal” (see November) for party political purposes is accidentally sent to Labour Councillor Sue Woodward.



  • Burntwood’s New Conservatives (and their MP of course) stay silent over the £1.3 million cut in funding for vulnerable people in Lichfield and Burntwood.
  • The Town Council’s Leader admits playing Party Politics when his email is made public about the Town Deal.
  • The Town Council’s Leader says publicly that the Town Deal would be “a distraction” to the anger of his old Conservative colleagues at the District and County Councils who have worked with Labour representatives on the Town Council for some years.


  • A new shed is discovered at the Old Mining College purchased by the Town Council – the only new initiative used in response to a question from the Opposition Leader.
  • The Conservative Leader admits that they were “..  a little slow out of the blocks with the Neighbourhood Plan”.



  • The Conservatives propose to change the name of the Old Mining College centre to The Burntwood Town Hall.


  • At a cost of £500 Burntwood’s Conservatives force through the purchase of Badge of Office for the Chairman’s consort, apparently because he got mistaken for a chauffeur, at a civic event.

The Conservatives force through a 37% increase in Council Tax for Burntwood’s residents – although they had originally proposed a 60 % increase which Labour councillors had also challenged.

Following opposition by Labour Councillors and the public the Conservatives do a U turn and keep the old name of The Old Mining College.


RestartFor the first time in over a year the Town Council restarts consultation with the public on the Neighbourhood Plan.  “Back to the future” said one member of the public.



It is discovered by a visitor to the Old Mining College that the shed (see December) has mysteriously disappeared. Why, where too and at what cost is yet to be revealed.

To the relief of many old Conservatives the Leader resigns although his two deputies may remain.


“Burntwood  Town Hall”, sorry, “The Old Mining College”, is now reopened by the New Conservatives who engage the services of the Lichfield City Town Crier!  The MP has been sent a map so he can find Burntwood and attend the ceremony.

At the Annual Town Council meeting Conservatives admit to Labour’s Sue Woodward that they were not transparent in replacing Chasetown’s Old Mining College’s railings at a cost of almost £6000 and agree to consult next time on the expenditure of section 106 money. They are supposed to!

Conservatives stop advice surgeries after only 11 months after saying they were “essential” (see June ).   Labour representatives continue theirs (held 10 am – 11 am in the Library on the first Saturday in each month) as they have done since 1995.




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