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.
Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant welcomed PM Theresa May’s announcement that the Labour Party will be consigned to history in time for the summer recess.
Mr Fabricant who was preparing to retire in 2020 now welcomes the opportunity to earn over £76,000 pa plus expenses for an additional two years. He said:
‘I welcome the PM’s bold announcement that was endorsed by a huge majority vote in the Commons. This will undoubtedly secure my place in Lichfield life for another five years. My position is unassailable and no opponent stands a chance, so I say don’t waste your £500 on the deposit, donate it to Lichfield Cathedral and help to keep my rent down.’
Cowed by the colossal Member, only one opponent has so far declared his candidacy. Lib Dem Paul Ray, a long-time loser in the public popularity stakes having chosen to be both a lawyer and a banking specialist, is an early tosser, his hat landing firmly in the ring. Mr Ray, known in District Council circles as X-Ray due to his level of invisibility at Council meetings, said:
The identity of the Labour candidate remains uncertain. Labour’s Mr Chris Whoishey who stood in the 2015 general election refused to be drawn, blaming satnav malfunctions for being unable to visit the constituency from his home somewhere in the Black Country. He said:
District councillor Sue Woodward has been inundated with emails, texts and tweets urging her to stand as Labour’s candidate. Despite being recently distracted by an irritating burning bush on Gentleshaw Common Mrs Norman has found time to treat herself to a makeover and has become a fluent French speaker. She said:
‘Le Fabricunt! Il est un tas de merde!’
Having yet to be formally selected by his local constituency party, Mr Fabricant expressed concerns about the outcome of the West Midlands Mayoral election on 4 May where his long time chum Andy Street is the Conservative candidate. Mr Fabricant said:
‘The BBC hustings on Thursday evening showed the fraudster Simone Simone to be head and shoulders above the diminutive Andy despite Andy being way ahead on my poll.
‘If Andy doesn’t get elected on 4 May he’ll be unemployed and I know he’s had his eye on my seat for years.’
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.
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.
Lichfield District Council Employment Committee met this evening (Thursday 9 February) to consider a report by officers pleading for elected members to avail themselves of training opportunities.
The annual Learning and Development Needs Analysis form has proven to be too challenging for almost half of Lichfield councillors to complete and return. Human Resources manager Katie Salter was unavailable for comment, she said:
‘At first I thought they were arrogant, egotistical idiots, but now I fear that many members just use bluster and buffoonery as a cover for severe learning disabilities. We are an equal opportunities employer but please, really? Twenty-eight so-called community leaders who can’t fill in a simple form?’
Cllr. Paul Mycock (Lichfield Scales and Spoons), said:
‘Training and continuing education? Give me a break. I wouldn’t need to understand all that rubbish if those ponsey polytechnic losers in the council office did their jobs properly. I enjoy a pies and bars as much as the next guy but I can’t be doing with all these graphs and facts and figures.’
Other councillors claim to have taken full advantage of training opportunities. Burntwood’s celebrity granny Cllr. Sue Norman, she said:
‘As an active member of the Audit Committee I am responsible for overseeing the council’s financial performance. After months of valuable training I am now able to evaluate complex financial reports and recommendations, if they contain graphics in primary colours, are well formatted and run to less than two pages then they get my vote.
‘And IT training has been great, don’t get me started on online petitions! I’ve just knocked one out against HSBC if you’d like to sign up.’
The Lichfield officer’s report on councillor educational needs is available Here
A local GP who referred Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant to a consultant proctologist has hit out at the Conservative government.
The Cloisters Medical Practice GP and chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Helen Stokes-Lampard told ITV’s ‘Peston on Sunday’ this morning that doctors felt ‘demoralised and shocked’ by what many see as them being scapegoated for the crisis in the NHS. She said:
‘The Conservative government’s plan to force surgeries to open seven days a week, 8am to 8pm or suffer funding cuts is clearly preposterous. The current NHS crisis is a reflection of a service that is already cut beyond the bone.’
Lichfield patients, who are already facing long delays in securing appointments with their GP and local A&E departments being swamped by non-emergency admissions, are also threatened by the closure of Samuel Johnson Community Hospital minor injuries unit and a reduction in beds.
Shortly after the broadcast Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant tweeted:
‘Great to see @HelenStokesLam of @rcgp on #Peston. She is my GP in #Lichfield!’
In the run up to the 2015 General Election, Conservative candidate Mr Fabricant ‘ticked the NHS box’ by spending some time with Dr. Stokes-Lampard in her Greenhill surgery. At the time he said:
‘The work of the GP and their staff is the front end of our NHS – without their expertise, the system would collapse. I am hugely impressed. I hope to make use of my experience as a valuable resource when considering NHS matters in the House of Commons.’
In response to Dr. Stoke-Lampards comments and recent criticism of his government’s handling of the NHS by junior doctors, the Red Cross and patients groups Mr Fabricant made use of his experience as a valuable resource when he appeared on BBC’s Daily Politics. He said:
‘It is an outrage, the treatment that these elderly confused folk received in Birmingham last weekend. Blacking-up by morris dancing buffoons is an ancient tradition that I will go out of my way to defend.’
Commenting on Mr Fabricant’s lack of engagement in local matters medical a spokesman for The Cloisters Medical Practice said:
‘Like all Conservatives from the PM down, Mr Fabricant is talking out of his arse. And we should know.’
Details have emerged of plans to transform the site of the former Samuel Johnson Memorial Hospital into a NHS Park & Ride facility. The future of the site has been uncertain since the announcement of the closure of the hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit earlier this month. A spokesman for Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust commented:
‘With NHS hospitals in England collecting over £120m last year from hospital car parking charges it makes sense to look closely at this potentially lucrative use for the now defunct Lichfield site.’
A confidential report by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Sustainability and Transformation committee highlighted the potential revenue stream that could be achieved by converting the hospital building into a multi-story car park for premium rate secure parking along side the existing 174 parking spaces.’
Burton Hospitals Trust continued:
‘With the closure of Samuel Johnson and the A&E department at Queen’s Hospital Burton the new parking facility will enable sick and injured Lichfield residents to drive themselves to the Park & Ride and take a regular Arriva bus service to the nearest available A&E department, currently the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne.’
Paul Mycock, head of Lichfield Patients Association, is outraged. He said:
‘I’m outraged. The charges are expected to be £95 per person per day for the secure car park with return ticket to Newcastle. With a journey time of almost four hours many critically ill patients and trauma victims are unlikely to survive the journey despite having pre-paid for their return trip.’
Dr Anton Declan, spokesman for Newcastle Hospitals Foundation Trust said:
‘We are delighted to confirm that we are a stakeholder in this innovative P&R2A&E scheme. The welfare of paying patients is paramount, each bus will be boarded immediately on arrival by a qualified veterinary nurse who will assess all passengers. Those who appear to be still alive will be admitted for urgent attention to our A&E department.
‘For those unfortunate service users who have not survived the journey our new joint venture partners at Newcastle Co-operative Funeral Service will be on hand to take delivery.’
Lichfield Round Table has been approached for comment.