EXCLUSIVE: The leader of Burntwood Town Council has confirmed he will step down next month.
Cllr Richard Mosson says he will relinquish his position at the helm of the controlling Conservative group.
Read Cllr Mosson’s full statement on his resignation below:
‘I will be stepping down in May, but that is not unusual as the Conservative group are rotating the responsibility of being leader in the hope that we can find a decent one eventually.
‘It has been very hard work reading all those agenda documents and briefing notes but enjoyable none the less, once I realised that as Leader it wasn’t really necessary to have a grasp of any actual facts.
‘I would like to take a few moments now to blame the previous council, under Labour control, for all the problems that I’ve caused during the past year.
‘Labour will probably unearth the embarrassment of the consort’s chain again. It cost a bit less than £400 and as this fell inside the budget of the chairman essentially this has not cost the taxpayer a penny. Because the chairman’s budget is not taxpayer funded, as it materialises out of thin air every financial year if I understand correctly.
‘The positives are that the Old Mining College Centre will still be called the Old Mining College Centre, paying tribute to Burntwood’s proud mining heritage. I was delighted that my battle against Labour to retain that name was so successful. The building has new IT facilities that will enable councillors and council officials to maximise cost effective communications with the public through use of social media – another innovation that I have ceaselessly championed during my mercifully short tenure.
‘The official reopening of the Old Mining College Centre takes place on May 8, coincidentally following my departure.
‘Other positives are that everything will seem bigger, better and brighter next year without me.
‘The Wakes which will be also be back, another traditional event that has received by wholehearted support in the past.
‘As a controlling group we have been working hard behind the scenes (in case you thought that we weren’t actually doing anything) and have been in discussions to finally get Burntwood the retail offering it needs to boost the local economy and improve areas in the town that have been left derelict for years. I am confident that we will soon secure a new high profile tenants for the shopping centre, discussions with BHS and Comet are in advanced stages.
‘I have also invited London and Cambridge Properties Plc to purchase the remainder of the town that they do not already own for £1 and have introduced them to Tata Steel who I believe is actively seeking industrial space in the UK for its steelmaking operations at the moment.
‘The town is finally moving forward. We will welcome hundreds of new residents who will be moving into the Milestone Way development when most of the unexploded bombs have finally been removed from this contaminated site.
‘Having totally ignored the Neighbourhood Plan, we have welcomed members of the public to join the committee in the hope that someone with a modicum of insight and talent can deliver some sort of plan for the town that will not be laughed at in public by Lichfield District Council, unlike our first attempt.
‘We are fully aware of the need for improved healthcare facilities and I would thoroughly recommend BUPA Health Insurance and Little Aston private hospital.
‘All in all Burntwood will be a better place without me in charge. As well as all of the above we now have a McDonalds to look forward to which we hope will be the catalyst for more local obesity and antisocial behaviour in the town centre. The defibrillators, that I have persuaded Cllr Darren Ennis raise funds for, will be essential to resuscitate our town.
[Additional reporting by @LichfieldLive]
International health club group Virgin Active is expected to bid for Friary Grange and Burntwood Leisure centres following the announcement by Lichfield District Council of plans to abdicate its civic responsibility and off load public assets onto the private sector.
Virgin Active is already operating a successful gym at Wall Island, a health club location that is only accessible by car. General manager Paul Mycock said:
‘Taking on one or both of these leisure facilities would certainly compliment and enhance our local offering. Wall Island caters for the upwardly-mobile, middle class, vigorous penis-towelling, BMW driving pricks on their way to and from their Birmingham offices. Our vision for Friary Grange is that it will be re-branded as a Virgin InActive Centre of Physical Excellence, appealing to local mums who’ve let themselves go after years toiling away in loveless marriages to BMW driving, vigorous penis-towelling husbands.’
Mercifully elected Liberal Democrat Councillor Paul Ray said that any moves to outsource the district’s two leisure centres needed to have proven benefits. The Twitter-blocking, BMW-driving Birmingham banking lawyer, councillor for Chadsmead, commented:
‘I can see some real community benefits in a “Virgin InActive” at the Friary Grange site, Mrs Ray certainly fits the demographic and is always keen to get out of the house, especially when I’m there.’
Councillor Andy Smith, Cabinet member for leisure at Lichfield District Council, said he was committed to ensuring any deal worked for local residents. He is particularly concerned to see that any change to Burntwood Leisure Centre is tailored to meet the special needs of the community.
Virgin’s Paul Mycock is up for the challenge, he commented:
‘For Burntwood we are recommending our “Active Virgins” brand. The emphasis will be on high-intensity interval training. It lasts a matter of minutes, leaving plenty of time for high-intensity enjoyment of the centre’s enhanced restaurant facilities offering a wide selection of deep fat fried filth for those who find themselves between meaningful lives.
‘We will retain the swimming bath of course, but we will shift the emphasis from “bath” to “swimming”, there will a complete ban on shampoo and wet wipes in the pool.’
Former Butcher of Burntwood, Steve Norman, who has recently changed his name by deed poll to “Councillor Steve Norman”, said:
‘It’s a load of old bowlocks, I say bowlocks, there’s not been a successful Virgin in Burntwood since 1952. Isn’t that right my love?’
Cllr Sue Woodward was unavailable for comment. [Ed: Really?]
A proposal to commemorate the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard in Hammerwich by installing a giant statue of a Saxon warrior by the M6 near Stoke-on-Trent has been criticised by residents of Lichfield and district.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council want to spend £3.5million of public money on the 114ft warrior to celebrate the unearthing of £3.3million worth of Anglo-Saxon gold in 2009 at a secret location near the former town of Burntwood.
Lichfield District Councillor Ken Humphreys, who represents Hammerwich, said:
‘I accept that my expertise is limited to wasting public money in Lichfield rather than Stoke. But I’m not in favour of it really, the statue will be in the wrong place. Stoke Council would be much better spending that sort of money locating the monstrosity in the Lichfield district where it belongs. But not in Hammerwich, we already have a more than adequate sign acknowledging the hoard.’
The former town of Burntwood has been mooted as suitable alternative location. Due to be closed down completely by the end of 2016, Burntwood plays host to numerous bleak and desolate areas.
Local councillor Sue Norman, endangered Labour group, commented:
‘I’m starting a petition calling for the Warrior to be located here. Burntwood would be ideal, we love dwelling on the past and erecting statues and plaques commemorating bygone eras and many of the locals still speak fluent Anglo-Saxon.
‘As for locations, we have recently cleared Gentleshaw Common as part of the “Scorched Earth” town closure plan and then there is the former housing development site at Milestone Way that is being remediated by means of controlled explosions by the lads in the Army bomb disposal team. Either site would be ideal.
‘But could the statue be made to look a little bit more miner-like?’
Local lad Paul Mycock,23, agreed, he said:
‘Any plan to pump money into Staffordshire whores gets my vote any day.’
In the spirit of compromise Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has launched himself onto another bandwagon he has no interest in, he suggests:
‘In return for the Warrior, Lichfield should repatriate the statue of Titanic Captain Edward Smith from Beacon Park to his home town of Stoke-on-Trent where he belongs.’
In a terse response Stoke Councillor Steve Wedgwood replied:
‘Captain Smith of the Titanic? Never heard of him. Forget it.’
Mr Fabricant later commented:
‘Councillor Wedgwood is absolutely right to reject such a ludicrous proposal that I myself have never promoted and I completely distance myself from my earlier remarks. I have been completely misrepresented by myself in a premature ejaculate-tory press release. But I will certainly be raising the matter with the Minister. The matter of overcrowded trains to London that is.’
The recruitment drive for the Friary School sixth form performing arts department received a boost this weekend from the BBC’s most overpaid talent Graham Norton.
The former “Father Ted” bit part actor was in conversation with former Hollywood star Glenn Close on his Saturday morning Radio 2 show discussing the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum.
After Ms Close generously name checked fellow performer and former Friary School pupil Siobhan Dillon, Graham asked:
‘Haven’t I met Siobhan? Wasn’t she on one of my programmes? “Nancy” wasn’t it? They’re nodding behind the screen..”
Friary School headteacher David Listless said:
‘Many congratulations to Siobhan. To be half-remembered by a failed Irish comedian for a performance in a programme in which she didn’t appear is a ringing endorsement of the Friary School’s influence in the world of the performing arts.’
Former failed contestant in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s BBC TV series “ How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” Ms Dillon said:
‘Graham Norton? Isn’t he Terry Wogan now?
‘But could I just say what a privilege it is to be on stage alongside the Hollywood great that is Ms Meryl Streep.
‘And to headteacher Mr Listless, we’ve never met but the restraining order remains in place and please remove my photos from the school foyer and from your bedroom wall.’
The hit musical Sunset Boulevard comes to the London Coliseum from 1 April , with Glenn Close reprising her Tony Award-winning role as Norma Desmond and Lichfield’s own Siobhan Dillon playing budding writer Betty Shaefer in the production.
Check out BBC Radio 2 iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b071xkxg at 02:18:00 in
Lichfield District Council has drawn up proposals to increase car parking in Beacon Street and surrounding residential areas.
A report to Lichfield District Council has suggested increasing the town centre car parking costs and encouraging drivers to park in nearby residential streets free of charge.
The council could see a rise of around £2.15m per year if a parking charge of £10 per hour were to be introduced. This takes into account loss of revenue from visitors who would seek to avoid the charges by parking in Cherry Orchard and the BSTARDS occupied territory.
The council will also seek to increase the hours of charge, extending them to 8pm. A council spokesman said:
‘A seemingly modest extension of the time will in fact catch most people who will come into the city for an early evening dinner reservation or a show We hope that the increase in revenue will more than cover the council’s financial commitment to the Garrick.’
The report to the local authority also said:
‘We also recommend upgrading ticketing machines so that they can record the whole of a vehicle registration number thereby increasing the chance of customer default by an incorrect input. However we do suggest retaining the machines inability to dispense change or to accept coins that were minted post-1995.’
BSTARDS interferer-in-chief, Mr S Sprite, 98, was uncharacteristically unavailable for comment having temporarily lost all control of his bodily functions on hearing the news.
Lichfield McDonald’s has informed Staffordshire County Council that it will no longer be able to fulfil the County’s obligation to provide a Youth Club for local kids unless the Council provides funding and martial arts training for its staff.
Since the County Council closed all local youth centres last year the Conduit Street fast food restaurant has become the meeting venue of choice for many Lichfield teenagers.
McDonald’s Manager Bess Groscull commented:
‘The situation is getting out of hand. Now the club is closed there are hoards of youths hanging around here all night, every night. The paying customers have complained about all the shouting and swearing, I have apologised for the staff behaviour but those kids would try the patience of a saint.’
Local mum Britney Singleton, 19, said:
‘I bring my five under five-year-olds in here for a nutritious meal three or four nights a week. They get really upset by all the rowdy behaviour, especially as two or three of the lads that the manager’s bawling at could well be my kids’ dads.’
Ms Groscull explained the company’s position:
‘Unless we can get funding from the Council for staff training and pest control we will have no alternative but to refuse admission to anyone under the age of 21. It’s so bad for business when customers regularly see police officers wielding Exclusion Orders on the premise. I simply can’t afford to lose any more staff.
‘Or, and I know that this may be controversial, the Council could always re-open the youth centre.’