Staffordshire Police is appealing for the help of the public to trace a District Council from Lichfield.
Lichfield District Council was last seen functioning in the Lichfield area in the run up to local and parliamentary elections in May 2015. It was reported missing to Staffordshire Police after it failed to attend the annual meeting with Bromford Housing Association on February 28.
Former Council leader Cllr. Mike Wilcox said:
‘I have been concerned about the Council’s erratic behaviour for some time, it’s not the first time that it’s gone missing. Like any loving parent I’ve ranted and raved when it’s gone AWOL but it makes no difference. I’ve tried emailing and making appeals on local and social media, but nothing.’
Equally concerned is Lichfield Chain Gang chairman Cllr. Sir Kenneth Dodd, he said:
‘I was only going to one civic event this year in my council tax payers’ chauffeur driven limousine, imagine my disappointment when the Council snubbed the event. It is with huge regret and a heavy heart that my one and only civic event of the year has had to be cancelled.’
Cllr. Dodd added that he still hoped to raise some money for Free Spirit charity by raffling off prizes that had already been donated.
‘I’m literally flogging a dead horse,’ he exclaimed.
Investigating officer Insp Paul Mycock, based at Lichfield’s virtual reality police station, said:
‘If anyone has seen Lichfield District Council, or has any information which they think could help us to find it, I would urge them to contact us as soon as possible.
‘LDC, if you see this appeal, please get in touch to let us know that you are safe and well.’
The Local Government Boundary Commission was already considering to proposals to reduce the number of district councillors from 47 to 13 to reflect the pathetic extent of councillor engagement in representing their constituents.
FiveSpiresLive has not attempted to contact anyone for comment.
Lichfield constituents will now have to go online to book an appointment with their MP Michael Fabricant through the National Rail Enquiries website.
Previously only available by written application penned with a swan’s quill on the finest vellum and handed to a barista at Caffe Nero, these surgery appointments have proven to be rather too bothersome. Mr Fabricant explained:
‘It was proving just too popular, some weeks I’d have see up to three plebeians pleading their worthless causes. It was outrageous, turning up to interrupt my long-weekend break with moans and groans about trivial parochial issues – no health provision in Burntwood; appalling social housing conditions in the Dimbles; or, best of all, the sell-off of the Friary Library, what a joke, they can’t even read.
‘Well, local issues affecting people who don’t vote for me are of no interest and frankly it’s an unwelcome distraction from my camp Twitter innuendo sessions with a piping hot grande Americano.’
Our local member expects that the new booking arrangements, managed by National Rail Enquiries, will ensure that only issues relating to rail travel to and from London Euston on a Thursday afternoon and a Sunday evening will be raised. Mr Fabricant elaborated:
‘Constituents can go online, type in their West Coast Mainline or HS2 concerns and National Rail will book a reservation with me on the London/Lichfield line. But remember, it’s first come first served – there’s only one 2 minute slot available per journey. And at a ticket price of £250 I think that’s real value for money.’
Mr Fabricant regularly challenges @LondonMidland on matters of grave concern to his constituents, he has tweeted:
“Is vaping allowed on @LondonMidland trains? On Sunday, there were thick white fumes in my part of the train. Ugghhh!”
“Intensely irritating getting the message that @LondonMidland 14.46 EUS > Crewe is boarding then left on platform!”
The Lichfield MP has also called for a new HS2 station to be located by his home on The Close and for the new line to link up with Eurostar. The vociferous Brexit campaigner commented:
‘HS2 ought to have a complete rethink. The route is completely flawed. If it joined up with Eurostar we could deport migrants much more efficiently. What you have to ask is, if he had been in charge what would Hitler have done?’
Local homeless man, Peter Smith, is seeking a Syrian passport in the hope that he will then qualify for a decent house in Lichfield or Burntwood.
Staffordshire County Council has pledged to take in up to 50 Syrian refugee families and is consulting with Lichfield District Council on local numbers.
Mr Smith, a local celebrity “chugger”, sells The Big Issue from his patch outside Boots in the City centre. He explained:
‘I’ve been trying to get a council house for years but I’ve been discriminated against because I own a BMW convertible and a portfolio of stocks and shares.’
With Syrian families expected to arrive early next year Mr Smith believes that he has no alternative but to obtain a Syrian passport at the earliest opportunity. Pete continued:
‘The weather outside is frightful. As I’m homeless and without children that I’m aware of, I often winter abroad. This Christmas I’m planning a trip to Kos to see what I can find washed up on the beach, the Aegean can be quite choppy at this time it year especially if you’re in a packed dingy.’
Mr Smith also plans a stopover in France on the way home.
‘If I have no luck in Kos then I’ll call in on Paris, I’ve heard that French security services have scattered loads of fake Syrian passports all over the city.’
Peter’s only concern about becoming a Syrian refugee is the reaction of local residents. Rob of Burntwood commented:
‘We don’t want swarms of stinking Syrians here, self-detonating all over the place. If Peter Smith becomes a Syrian refugee then that will make him a terrorist and he will not be welcome here in Burntwood. Unless he goes to live with Cllr Sue Woodward who is keen to offer these people accommodation provided that it’s in other people’s homes.’
Disabled Lichfield residents should not be allowed out on the roads, claims Burntwood Labour councillor.
A Burntwood Labour councillor has called for more to be done to enable able-bodied Lichfield residents to drive around the city unimpeded by disabled people and their vehicles.
Cllr Eric Drinkwater (sic) told a recent meeting of Lichfield District Council that authorities needed to do more on the issue.
‘I have every sympathy with law-abiding motorists who are thoroughly sick of the blue badge brigade, parking in the premium spaces then dragging their lifeless limbs onto disability scooters and speeding off into the Three Spires Shopping Centre and terrorising young children and dogs.
Cllr Drinkswater (sic) claims that the blue badge the system is being abused.
‘Most of the blue badge holders aren’t even terminally ill,’ claimed the 79 year-old councillor. ‘Some drivers think that just because they lure their sick old granny out of the nursing home into a car on a Bank Holiday they can park wherever they damn well want. Well they damn well can’t.’
Dimbles stalwart, 43 year-old Bessy Banks (deceased) commented:
‘I’m sick to death of these Conservative councillors pontificating on what us poor disabled people can and can’t do. Me old mum’s been dead these past five years and all we’ve got to remember her by is what she left us in her will – her blue badge, with her dear old laminated face staring up at us from the dashboard of the fully liveried motability Mitsubishi Pajero. Makes me shed a tear it does, every day when we drive that disability car and park up outside B&M to load up on cheap dog food.’
Labour Cllr Drinkspirits responded:
‘I’m not accusing all blue badge holders of abuse, but why don’t they all just go back to Andrews House, curl up and fecking die?
‘When I’m out for an evening with m’lady at the heavily-council-tax-payer-subsidised Garrick Theatre, the last thing I want to see is a procession of cripples wheeling themselves through the Malt Bar to the easily accessible disabled toilets whilst I’m trying to enjoy a pre-show fine dining experience. If they’re not bloody careful I’ll be taking my custom elsewhere, perhaps to the new up market, no disabs-allowed venue that is Pom’s Kitchen & Deli, where I hear the menu is very similar.’
Cllr Drinkspirits’ views also drew a swift response from Conservative Cllr Natasha Pullmeoff
‘As the wife of a severely gingered husband, my family rely on the blue badge system, especially in the summer months – on hot days we’d be completely housebound if I couldn’t drive Doug into the centre of town and decant him directly into darkened recesses of The Angel.
‘I’d hoped that with the introduction of the blue badge all this discrimination and hatred would have been a thing of the past. But no, thanks to Cllr Drinkspirits the historic fascist stigma of the Orange Badge order is still with us today, here today in Lichfield’s ginger community.
‘And no, you can’t have a look at my tattoos.’
Cllr Drinksbeer has denied reports that his remarks may be a prelude to a defection to the Conservative Group, commenting:
‘There is no truth in the rumour that my offensive remarks about disabled residents signals a defection to the socially-anesthetized Conservative group. Since those drunken ramblings were spouted I have seen the rise of a saviour of the Labour Party in the form of Jeremy Corbyn, with whom I bear a striking resemblance, namely being old, unkempt and out of power for a generation.’
Lichfield social landlord Bromford Housing has recently written to one of it’s enterprising tenants threatening her with eviction if she doesn’t stop selling home-grown mushrooms from a stall in her front garden.
Dimbles resident 43 year-old Bessy Banks has lived in the north Lichfield all her life. She said:
‘I got this letter from Bromford and took it to show our Kieran when I visited him in Swinfen. He’s good at reading, being a convicted forger and all that.
‘ “Mom,” he says, “Mom, they’re gonna kick you out the house if you don’t stop selling them bleeding mushrooms!” ‘
‘It’s really hard when you’re living in a house that ain’t fit for human consumption.
‘It’s so damp that mould is growing on the walls in every room, it’s even spreading to the furniture. If it takes hold of me fella’s 80in 4k Ultra HD 3D Curved LED TV there’ll be hell to pay, he don’t even live here really, if you know what I mean.’
Not being a woman who is easily beaten Bessy has tried to make the best of her predicament. She told us:
‘So I thought, I’ve got this house that’s covered in mould, mould is a fungus and so are mushrooms! I’ll grow mushrooms and sell ‘em to the neighbours!
‘I’d got all the raw ingredients, all I needed to do was to push the bed in the Bedroom Tax room up against the mouldy damp wall and let nature take its course. The mattress was sprouting with mushrooms in no time.’
Bromford Housing struggle to manage and maintain over 5,000 former council houses in the Lichfield Area.
Local manager David Ahktar said:
‘I sympathise with Mrs Banks but the tenancy agreement clearly states that the premises cannot be used for any business purposes. With the appalling conditions in these substandard homes we could have a whole new hydroponics industry sprouting up right under our noses if we’re not careful.’
Bromford have been paying lip-service to the complaints of tenants for years but have recently arranged for each complaining whiny tenant’s house to be inspected by a professional surveyor with an undeserved superiority complex.
Martin Sixsmith is one such surveyor, he commented:
‘We recommend that tenants turn up their central heating to the maximum temperature, regardless of the cost; keep open all the windows; never take showers or baths; and refrain from boiling water for any purposes in the kitchen. All furniture should be moved to the centre of the room well away from the walls.
‘If tenants choose to ignore our advice and continue to pursue this anti-social behaviour then they only have themselves to blame for the dreadful conditions in which they live. Scumbag scroungers the lot of them.’
Mr Akhtar of Bromford added :
‘For just £1.79 tenants can buy their very own hygrometer and monitor their ever-increasing despair for themselves. We are also handing out complimentary thermometers to enable them to chart their children’s temperature as they decline towards a chronically sick adulthood.’
Having received nothing but blame from the Landlord, as a very last resort Bessy has turned to local politicians:
Labour County Councillor, self-employed chiropodist Caroline Wood said that the lives of poor people could be considerably improved if they would only take good care of their feet. Mrs Wood promised Bessy a voucher for a complimentary chiropody appointment.
Liberal Democrat District Councillor Marion Bland said in an email :
‘I’m very sorry to hear of your plight and know only too well what it’s like to be a discriminated minority. By the way, I live just round the corner, could you drop off some mushrooms after dusk one evening?’
Hoping to raise the profile of her campaign, Mrs Banks tweeted incumbent member Sir Michael Fabricant and young Labour firebrand Chris Whoishey.
Eventually Sir Fabricant informed Bessy that she must write to him to request an audience:
‘A missive addressed to me at Cathedral Close, written on the finest quality vellum with a quill pen fashioned from a swan’s feather stands the best possible chance of receiving a patronising response,’ he advised.
Mr Whoishey tweeted Bessy offering to breath heavily down the phone to her early one morning:
‘As you may know I have no interest in visiting the Lichfield and my life insurance cover specifically excludes any claim arising from entering the City from the north via Dimbles Bar. Good luck, and if you ever relocate to Sandwell please vote for me in the next Election 2020 which I plan to take seriously.’
Bessy has vowed to continue selling her mushroom but all parties are looking to the future and considering their options.
You can follow Bessy’s ongoing campaign here bessybanksgrave.wordpress.com
Aside Posted on
Five Spires Live has discovered that Lichfield District Council’s new 400-space car park on The Friary is being used to house vulnerable local people and families.
The LEGO Award nominated building, designed by pupils from Christ Church primary school, was officially opened by Councillor David Leytham, Chairman of Lichfield District Council, in November. He said: “I was delighted to do the honours and cut the ribbon to launch this fantastic multi-purpose facility. Lichfield is such a popular city and it is really important that we have plenty of parking spaces to offer to our Supported Housing residents. It is great to see the car park being used in this way, and it will no doubt be invaluable to the homeless in the lead up to Christmas.”
The long-stay car park features 54 spaces allocated to Bromford Housing residents spread across a number of decks, a lift for the disabled and those incapacitated by drink or drugs to access the different levels, an electric wheelchair charging point and 24 hour use of the public toilets (optional).
“We’re all really proud to have launched our first DIY housing scheme,” commented a spokesman for Bromford. “We have allocated all 54 spaces and families have now started moving in. In a matter of days many have been able to furnish and decorate their spaces and some have even found time to put up Christmas decorations. As part of the deal we have installed windows for some of the residents.”
The chairman was joined on the opening day by district council officers and a representative from S Harrison – the developer of The Friary scheme.
David Clancy, Director of S Harrison Developments Ltd, said: “The Friary is an excellent example of how mixed use development is delivering real profits for the company. With Lichfield District Council we have transformed a former car park site into a car park site. Many Bromford clients were sleeping in the car park previously so we are proud to say that they have now been provided with a roof over their heads.”
One of the new residents, Mike Hunt, commented: “ It’s really great to be living here, I can now nick a car without even leaving the house.”
To find out more about the development or apply for an appartment, visit http://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/thefriary