Staffordshire County Council
Lichfield residents have been advised to set fire to their own homes well before 8pm if they are hoping for a response from Lichfield’s firefighters. Lichfield Fire Station manager Damian “Stretch” Armstrong said:
‘Lichfield Community Fire Station & Crèche is staffed throughout the day between 8am and 8pm. Any emergency calls outside of those hours may be covered by on-call firefighters from somewhere else in Staffordshire. So if you’re planning to torch the house or cause a major RTA for goodness sake do so well before 8pm.
‘Oh and try to avoid weekends and public holidays. And any particularly cold or wet days. Or any time during school holidays or major sporting events for that matter.’
Concern about lack of adequate cover for Lichfield has been highlighted by a delay of almost half an hour by fire crews responding to a 10.21pm alarm at David Garrick Gardens retirement homes. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said the nearest available crews were at a Christmas party in Rugeley at the time.
Local MP Michael Fabricant is not impressed, he said:
‘With any local issue my first question is “What does this mean to me?” Well my grace and favour luxury chambers in Cathedral Close are particularly vulnerable to fire, so I wrote to my office, made an appointment and raised my concerns with myself.
‘I have deep misgivings that the totally inadequate fire cover in Lichfield is entirely due to management incompetence and nothing whatsoever to do with my Government’s £5 million funding cuts.’
The Conservative Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Ellis agrees, he commented:
‘I should take control of the Fire service management as I’m looking to considerably enhance my already enormous salary. I’ve heard many people say “Fire Police & Crime Commissioner” in support of my proposal. I think that’s what they mean anyway.’
David Garrick Gardens resident Steve Applecox, 75, confessed that he had caused the fire scare, he explained:
‘I’d been drinking in the Dr Johnson pub since 5pm celebrating a goal by Lichfield FC. I staggered home about 10pm and fired up the deep fat fryer. Next thing I know the kitchen is alight and the alarm is blaring out, woke me up it did. And the lazy bastards didn’t turn up for half an hour.
‘I’ll be sure to get home pissed well before 8pm next weekend.’
Anyone wishing to organise an event at Lichfield Community Fire Station & Crèche should call 01785 898040
Staffordshire County Council proposals to set up of a ‘No Waiting At Any Time Restriction’ on Eastern Avenue between Monday-Friday outside The Friary School has been welcomed by many parents.
Lichfield mum Paulette Mycock spent hours over the Christmas period responding positively to the stealth consultation, she said:
‘This is great news, I need to be at work for 9 every morning so time is short, there’ll be no arguing now when I have to drop the little brat off at Morrisons – he’ll just have to walk the rest of the way.’
Other parents don’t think that the restrictions will have any impact on their school run, local dad Peter Parker said:
‘To be honest, when I’m dropping off the kids I slow down to about 20mph (as the sign suggests) and just push them out. No parking, no waiting. They soon got the hang of it, and the odd twisted ankle is always a good excuse to miss games.’
However young mum Brittany Singleton is in Year 12 and is not impressed, she complained:
‘I live many miles away from school in Weston Road, if uncle can’t take me up any closer than Morrisons then I’ll have to walk the rest of the way. It’s a disgrace, I already have to walk there and back from school at lunchtimes for a fag and to gob-off at the pensioners.’
Head of Friary School Matt Allman has written a letter of objection to the County Council, he said:
‘This is a safety issue. We have a large catchment area and many children live up to half a mile away, how can these morbidly obese pupils be expected to walk to school and back every day?
‘Even for the able-bodied kids, many of them will have to cross through the Dimbles area risking exposure to 19th century diseases and abuse from the self-styled mushroom sellers living on the Bromford sink housing estate. It’s shameful.’
Anyone wishing participate in the consultation can find more information Here
Staffordshire County Council approved almost £5 million in cuts to health and care services in September this year, which would see £439,000 of the Citizens Advice service’s funding being lost.
As part of the cuts Burntwood’s Citizens Advice Bureau has been closed and it’s elderly volunteers replaced with an Amazon Echo, a voice-activated internet-connected intelligent device that answers to the name of Alexa.
The device will be located on a table behind the Bureau’s front door and can be activated by citizens shouting their problems through the letterbox.
One of Burntwood’s many troubled residents is unemployed life coach Paul Mycock. He said:
‘I’ve been a regular at the CAB since I lost my job, especially during bad weather and the Jeremy Vine show.
‘The problem that I don’t really have this week turns on the correct interpretation of the provisions of The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.
‘The CAB volunteers are great, particularly Mrs Norman, she’s a lovely old dear, but she hasn’t a clue – not unless it involves organising an online petition.
‘I knew she’d be on the Google for an hour or more before suggesting I see a decent local solicitor in Birmingham. Plenty of time for a brew and a chat by the radiator.’
Paul was shocked to discover the door to the CAB was locked but was intrigued by the instructions to shout through the letterbox. He continued:
‘I called out her name, “Alexa, Alexa are you there?” She said hello, she has a lovely sexy calming voice. I composed myself, placed my hand in my trouser pocket and told her of my 2013 Regulations based problem.
‘Quick as a flash Alexa came back with the answer, “14 days”. No tea, no biscuits and no time to sort myself out. It may be a quick, accurate and cost effective solution to Staffordshire’s financial crisis, but that’s not the point.
‘All I’m after is a bit of company, is that too much to ask?’
Staffordshire County Council refused to comment on the Echo trials although spokesperson Paula Wright did say:
‘There is an 80% chance of rain today.’
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]
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.’
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.’
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.’