The leader of Whittington’s Amish community and chair of the so-called Green Party’s Lichfield branch, Bishop Rob-Boy Pass has backed calls for the Boundary Commission to rethink plans to move Whittington into the Tamworth constituency.
Bishop Pass, 15, who stood for the Amish Greens at the last general election, said:
‘The plan to remove Whittington from the Lichfield constituency is mindless and insensitive. Our community has historic connections with Lichfield. For example, our Church is often visited by venerable theologians who walk over from their new apartments at the Lichfield Friary. On market days our men folk will walk their livestock from the homestead to Lichfield, along the ancient byways connecting our communities, to be slaughtered by Walter Smith.’
‘This proposed change would sever a link that goes back centuries and break apart a long-standing commune.’
The Boundary Commission proposal to ditch Whittington and Streethay were originally described by Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant as “excellent”. However, having had an opportunity to review the options during the consultation period, he said:
‘Now that HS2 has received the Royal Assent continued resistance from constituents in Whittington and Streethay should now subside. Whilst I would welcome the removal of the Mad Monk’s commune from my kingdom, many residents of Whittington and Streehay remain sycophantic followers of my Twitter account.’
Mr Fabricant and his representative on Earth, the holy Jonathan Hall, recently attended a meeting with the Boundary Commission. The MP explained:
‘Our proposal was to retain the Conservative voting Whittington and Streethay in exchange for Burntwood and North Lichfield, home of the Dimblites. This makes perfect sense as they are already beyond the Wall and are of no interest to me anyway.’
Burntwood Labour counsellor Sue Norman commented:
‘For once I find myself in agreement with Michael Fabricant, good riddance.
‘I think I’ll start a petition.’
A Lichfield driver has expressed amazement after his first journey through Streethay for almost four months. The A5127 Burton Road was reopened at the weekend following a four month closure to allow construction works to take place.
‘The road closure has caused havoc with my daily commute, adding over 3,500 miles to my travel over the summer. Imagine my surprise driving through Streethay again today for the first time in months, not a thing has changed.
‘Four months of construction works, miles of diversions and traffic congestion and nothing, absolutely nothing to show for it. At the very least I was expecting to see a new leisure complex complete with a twenty-screen cinema and luxury marina.
‘And it’s not like I could have missed it, I was in stationary traffic for fifteen minutes waiting at the temporary traffic lights.’
For Streethay residents the road closure has provided welcome relief from the constant noise of through traffic. Local resident Frank Angryman said:
‘It has been a peaceful summer, especially as no noticeable construction work has taken place. Now we are looking forward to full scale work getting going on the new housing and industrial developments which will hopefully be completed in time for HS2 works to carve up the county.’
Local MP Michael Fabricant was asked to comment, he said:
The Boundary Commission 2018 boundary change proposals can be found Here
The Boundary Commission has drawn up plans to move Whittington and Streethay from the Lichfield constituency into the neighbouring Tamworth electoral area.
The proposal was branded as “excellent news” by Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant.
‘This will considerably reduce my workload. It will, at a stroke, remove all of those Whittington golfers whinging on about HS2 carving through their clubhouse and golf course. In addition I will no longer have to pretend to be interested in the local objections to the new residential and commercial developments in Streethay and its associated traffic problems. What’s not to like?’
Tamworth Conservative MP Chris Pincher says that the changes will bolster his parliamentary majority. He commented:
‘I welcome all former Lichfield Conservative voters into our Birmingham sink town constituency. I am sure that my objections to HS2 in 2010 that were instrumental in shifting the route out from Hopwas and Mile Oak and straight through Whittington Heath Golf Club have long since been forgotten.’
Less impressed is Robert Past, leader of Whittington’s Amish community and current chair of the so-called Green Party’s Lichfield and Burntwood branch. Speaking from the Tree House at the bottom of his parents’ garden the 15 year old firebrand said:
‘The Boundary Commission’s plan to remove Whittington from the Lichfield constituency is mindless and insensitive. Our weekly journey for essential provisions by pony and trap will take an extra three hours if we have to shop with the peasants at Tamworth Asda. This will be a real burden on our women folk especially in winter.’
Another consequence of the boundary changes will be the loss of Lichfield Trent Valley station from the constituency. MP Mr Fabricant has been taking up the matter of disabled access to the split level platforms with ministers for a number of years, he said:
‘Thank goodness I won’t be held responsible for this project when it’s kicked into the long grass again for another ten years. But as a regular rail traveller who is becoming increasingly infirm this is a real concern for Lichfield constituents. I will certainly be lobbying the MP responsible, Chris Pincher of Tamworth, to hold ministers to account.’
Mr Fabricant is widely expected to stand down as Conservative candidate for Lichfield MP before the next election in favour of his long term friend, West Midland’s Mayor Andy Street.
People have until December 5 to give their views on the proposed boundary changes via the online consultation website.
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 planning officers are celebrating another victory over their arch enemies on the Planning Committee of Lichfield District Council.
Despite planning officers recommendation to grant Revelan Group’s proposals for 77 homes on land off Eastern Avenue, the application was unanimously rejected by the Planning Committee in February.
Revelan appealed and the Planning Inspectorate has now overturned the Council’s decision. Development is now expected to start on site in 2015.
Simon Hawley of planning consultants Harris Lamb, acted on behalf of Revelan, he said:
‘This former industrial site has been vacant since 2007 and despite the Council’s belief that it would be the subject of intense interest from potential business occupiers we have managed to sign-up not a single tenant.
‘Now that we have residential planning we’ll be completing the sale of the site to a national house builder by Christmas.’
Chair of Lichfield District Council’s Planning Committee, local car mechanic Councillor Helen Fisher said:
‘We’re obviously disappointed that the Inspectorate chose to support the professional planning officer’s recommendation to grant consent, but just without the £300,000 contribution to local schools that Revelan would have paid if we had granted the application in the first place.’
The company proposed a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced housing with an affordable housing provision that is likely to appeal only to railway enthusiasts and those who appreciate natural water features in their living room.
The Council’s rejection of the plan hinged on it’s concern about loss of “employment land” but LDC’s own Employment Land Review had actually revealed the district has an excessive quantity of suitable employment sites. Councillor Fisher commented:
‘Yep, they got us banged to rights with that one. Are they out of time to make an application for costs?’
Dick King, Lichfield District Council’s Strategic Director of Democratic, Development and Legal commented:
‘I’m delighted that I am always right, but you’ll have to excuse me, I need to focus on another round of compulsory redundancies for council staff.’