The new Barnardo’s charity shop in the Three Spires Shopping Centre was officially opened last week. Jason Worley, area business manager for Barnardo’s, said:
‘We are recruiting volunteers to run the new store for free and help fund our Corporate Leadership Team’s salaries and pension funds. Just a couple of hours a week from a volunteer can help put our executives’ children through public school, summer vacations in Tuscany and winters in Klosters. Remember, at Barnardo’s we’re all about the children.’
Local volunteer Paul Mycock, 63, welcomes the arrival of Barnardo’s in the city, he said:
‘There aren’t nearly enough charity shops in Lichfield at the moment. It’s very difficult for us elderly would-be volunteers to find decent unpaid unemployment in the city at the moment. As soon as vacancies arise they are filled by the young unemployed desperate to work for years for nothing, just to give themselves the semblance of a cv in the hope of securing that dream job on the Minimum Wage.’
But Paul is one of the lucky ones, he explained that research is important in preparing for a job interview:
‘Oxfam asked me why I thought I deserved to be an unpaid worker in their organisation, I said
“I’m an elderly sexual predator with a predilection for teenage Haitian prostitutes.”
‘I got the job. Let that be a lesson kids.’
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan was unavailable for comment, he said:
‘Actually, my son is quite keen on Harvard, if you could just dig a little deeper please.’
A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee or a punch in the face on a football pitch.
Barnardo’s photo courtesy of ace Lichfield photographer Robert Yardley and published without his knowledge or consent
The leader of Lichfield District Council, Cllr Mike Wilcox has confirmed that Friarsgate developer U+I has submitted new plans for the long-awaited city centre scheme.
From behind closed doors Cllr Cocks admitted:
‘The original redevelopment proposal for ten junk food outlets, 15 coffee houses, 26 charity shops, 82 apartments, 11 townhouses, a multi-screen cinema, theme park and a marina linking to the restored Lichfield & Hatherton canal has proven to be undeliverable.
‘A “challenging funding market” has meant that no one is prepared to invest in such a load of bollocks.’
Developer U+I claim to be committed to revitalising the gateway to the city. Deputy Chief executive Richard Upton was still at primary school when he came up with the original proposals. He said:
‘I always loved Lego as a kid and built my own Lichfield city centre out of plastic bricks in my bedroom. But now I am older and have to put away childish fantasies for a more pragmatic solution.’
Details are still being worked out but, in a statement prepared by Mr Upton, Cllr Cocks read:
‘We have a new vision for this great city – a car showroom and vehicle hire facility on the corner of Birmingham Road and a new bus station between the showroom and Debenhams with retail kiosks selling and hiring cycles.’
Mr Upton is sure that funding will be forthcoming for such an innovative proposal. Taking time out from opening other new retail developments up and down the country, he said:
‘This plan will deliver the perfect fusion of the desire of Lichfield’s Council tax payers for superior shopping facilities with the means of transport to access such facilities, by car or coach it’s just ten minutes down the road to Ventura Retail Park in Tamworth.
‘And if you look closely you’ll notice a number of significant milestones on the way.’
Addressing concerns that the abandonment of the original proposals could open the door to a more lucrative residential development on the Friarsgate site Cllr Crocks was told to comment:
‘Such a suggestion is ridiculous, as everyone knows that lucrative residential development is planned for the Bird Street car park.’
Lichfield member Michael Fabricant credited the Brexit effect with the creation of thousands of unpaid jobs after the number of “unemployed” within his Lichfield constituency fell to 0.9%.
The MP said:
‘I have to say, I completely agreed with the Chancellor Philip Hammond on the Andrew Marr show – there really is no unemployment in our country today. Most of the 0.9% are are accounted for by statistical error and the undeclared benefit fraud deceased relatives.
‘From where I’m sitting, by a raging log fire in the book-lined library of my grace and favour apartment in Cathedral Close, everyone who wants to work can work…now and again perhaps, maybe on short notice or not at all for a week or two. But nevertheless they are all not unemployed and certainly over Christmas in the service industries.’
Local tramp Paul Mycock has been sleeping rough with his partner and three kids in Burntwood’s Redwood Park & Zoo since Michael Fabricant was re-elected in 2015, he said:
‘Fabricant’s a great guy, totally committed to his constituents, especially here in Burntwood. If it wasn’t for his ceaseless campaigning we wouldn’t have a health centre here today.
‘Fab, as we call him, has single handedly reduced unemployment to 0.9% which I applaud. I’m now employed by Amazon in Rugeley – last week I was called in at short notice in the middle of the night to do two three-hour shifts and at the full minimum wage rates, I’m so grateful.’
‘They even lay on the Amazon bus to pick us up, it’s warm and dry and I can get a few minutes kip, I love it and all thanks to the valiant efforts of Mr Fabricant. I’m so pleased I’m not to be one of the 0.9%’s, if I was we’d all really be in the shit.’
Mr Fabricant responded:
‘Although, as a resident of Burntwood, Mr Mycock is not a constituent, I am delighted that he acknowledges that securing six hours work last week at the minimum wage means that he is not unemployed.
‘And anyone who suggests otherwise can expect to receive a writ for defamation. Zero tolerance now, anyone accusing me of repeating what I’ve said in the past will get writ….or a punch in the throat.’
FSL has submitted a FOI request for the statistics relating to fluctuations in benefits claims and calls on food banks by working families during this unprecedented period of 0.9% unemployment period.
A record number of racists are expected to gather in Beacon Park for Proms in the Park on Saturday (September 2) evening. Organisers are confident that there will be a good turnout for Lichfield District Council’s free outdoor rally.
The City of Lichfield Concert Band will play popular music from 5.30pm, warming up the elderly white middle class crowd as they settle down for an alcohol-fuelled evening of benign xenophobia. The band will perform numbers from the movies including favourites from The Dam Busters, Lawrence of Arabia, The Battle of Britain and Bridge over the River Kwai.
War veteran and BSARA chairman Sidney Sprite, 109, is too infirm to attend the event this year, he said:
‘I can’t come along but will be listening through the open windows of my drawing room whilst the new Mrs Sprite, 35, unfurls Jack up the flagpole in our garden.’
The main concert will feature the British Police Symphony Orchestra and classically trained singers performing a varied musical pogrom from 7.30pm.
Local MP Michael Fabricant is unable to attend the event this year due to global holiday commitments, he commented:
‘I really enjoy the casual jingoism of the Lichfield Proms. Although I can’t listen to that much Wagner, I keep getting the urge to invade Poundland.’
London Midland has confirmed that the incoming Cross City train service will not be stopping at Aston or Erdington from 10am on Saturday. Police Inspector Paul Mycock welcomed the decision, he commented:
‘All are welcome to attend this free event but the Erdington Defense League are not really the sort of racists that we encourage to visit the City.’
Inspector Mycock went on to defend his force’s decision not to kit out its officers in nationalistic paraphernalia nor to drive around in a Union flag liveried patrol car to support the popular white middle class event. He said:
‘That would be a ridiculous waste of valuable police resources and totally undermine the impartiality and professionalism of the force. Whoever would seriously think that would be a good idea?’
Lichfield Women’s Institute chair Mrs Crystal Knight is a Proms regular, she said:
‘I’ve been coming here with my wealthy insurance-funded widowed lady friends for years. We sing along to to those lovely xenophobic anthems whilst waving our flags and holding our flaming torches aloft.
‘But what we’re really looking forward to this year is the Wicker Man burning to accompany the firework finale. Colonel Knight would have approved.’
Former Burntwood Town Council leader Cllr Richard Mosson has admitted that it was probably a mistake for the Council to commit local taxpayers to a property development vanity project.
The Council offices moved from it’s convenient cost-effective location at Burntwood library to the Old Mining College Centre in 2015. Cllr Mosson said:
‘It was a great opportunity, what could possibly go wrong, signing up to a 35 year full repairing lease of a dilapidated building?’
A meeting of the Town Council’s policy and resources committee last week to considered plans to address the state of the building, including replacement of wooden framed sash windows at a cost of £20,000 and the relaying of floors. The total cost of repairs and refurbishments is currently estimated at over £55,000.
Paul Mycock, an officer in Lichfield District Council’s Legal, Property and Democratic Services department did not want to be identified. He said:
‘I can barely contain myself,’ he laughed, ‘even with the District Council’s resources and proven track record in successful property development projects, we could never make the Old Mining College commercially viable. But we were saddled with a 35 year full repairing lease from the landlord, Staffordshire County Council. We told them we wanted to surrender the lease and they said “fcuk off”.
‘Thinking that maybe they had been a little harsh, the CC came back to us to say that they would take a surrender but only if we could find some other mug to take it on on the same debilitating terms.
‘There was a knock on the door and who should be there but former Burntwood Town Councillor Steve Norman. And the rest, as they say, is history.’
The Town Council meeting considered various solutions to the dilemma. Cllr Sue Woodward suggested approaching the producers of DIY SOS or the Restoration Project. Unelected leader of the Council “Cllr” Norman Baker responded:
‘Don’t be so ridiculous Sue, after all it was you and your husband that got us into this mess. No, what I propose is that we spent £5,000 on flowers and a new lawn and introduce a mini crazy golf course. And we should invest in photo’s of Town Council Chairmen past and present to adorn the stairway and the charge local taxpayers who want to view. We could announce these innovative plans on a new £1,000 message board.
‘Sorted. Now where’s my cab? Has anyone seen Brian? The old fool.’
Richard Upton, Deputy CEO of Friarsgate developer U+I Group, has confirmed that he will be taking up the post of Leader of the Council effective from 1 August 2017. Mr Upton said:
‘I am delighted to accept my generous demand of the Council and I’m looking forward to taking up my new post on 1 August. I will be continuing in my role as Deputy CEO of U+I as I understand that the position of Leader traditionally entails the expenditure of very little time, talent or effort.’
Outgoing Leader Cllr Mike Wiltcox commented:
‘I am delighted that Richard has decided to accept his offer to sack me as Leader, although I will continue to fulfill my role as Conservative councillor for Fradley as this also entails the expenditure of very little time, talent or effort.’
Richard Dicking, Lichfield’s strategic director of democratic, development and legal added:
‘Mr Upton has appointed the best man for the job. This will complete U+I’s takeover of all Council business and ensure the smooth running of the Cabinet and all Committees. We will no longer have to waste time submitting Council meeting Agendas to U+I’s “Commercial Sensitivity and Financial Viability Committee” for prior approval. Richard Upton will exercise delegated powers from U+I to control all aspects of Lichfield business.’
There has been increasing disquiet at the number of occasions where the public has been excluded from parts of Council meetings on the grounds of “commercial sensitivity”. Commentators have been left wondering what can possibly be commercially sensitive about Council car parking charges or the location of the Tourist Information office.
Mr Upton said:
‘I can’t comment on individual agenda items that have been discussed in secret, other than to say that they related to commercially sensitive matters for U+I that could affect the financial viability of U+I.
‘However I will be addressing these concerns directly as soon as I take office.
‘In future there will be no prior publication of Agendas or briefing notes, all Council meetings will be held in secret and no minutes will be kept. Now fuck off out of my office.’
LibDem Cllr Paul Ray welcomed the announcement, he said:
‘If all Council business is conducted in camera, as we lawyers like to say, that’ll give me the perfect excuse not to attend any meetings. No change there then at least.’
Five Spires Live has not bothered to contact anyone for comment.