Stowe Field has been earmarked as a permanent gypsy and traveller site following the intervention of the Bishop of Lichfield in his Lent Appeal. Set against the backdrop of Lichfield Cathedral and bordering Stowe Pool, Stowe Field has been identified as an ideal site by Tamworth Borough Council.
Cllr Robert Prickhard, 15, deputy leader of Tamworth Borough Council, commented:
‘Lichfield has just taken an enormous dump on Tamworth by swamping us with a planning consent for 1,000 houses on land at Arkall Farm. So in response we have invited Lichfield to accommodate the gypsies, Tamworth no longer has space. Stowe Field will be an ideal location.’
Tamworth’s case is supported by the Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipcress. In his Lent Appeal the Bishop said:
‘I appeal to you to open your hearts and wallets in generosity as we focus on the needs of refugees and asylum seekers, strangers, aliens and even gypsies and travellers, certainly all people made in the image of God.’
Bishop Michael urged the local community to remember St Chad, the first Bishop of Lichfield who died on March 2, 672. He explained:
‘Chad was a Northumbrian, but the people to whom he came as bishop in Lichfield in 669 were Mercians. In a very real sense Chad was coming not to his own people, but to enemy territory where he could have been suspected, possibly resented, even hated. Just like the gypsies.
‘It is a fitting solution to Tamworth’s problems that the new encampment be located at Stowe Field, in the shelter of Lichfield Cathedral and in sight of St Chad’s own church.’
One of the travelling community’s leaders Paul Mycock commented:
‘Stowe Field would be an ideal location, having bathing facilities in Stowe Pool and easy access to the public disabled toilets at Malt and Faro Lounge – for those of us who prefer not to defecate in the kiddies play area.’
Bishop Michael added:
‘God and I commended Cllr Prickhard’s proposal to Lichfield District Council, not least because we live in Shrewsbury.’
On Saturday (March 4) the Community of St Chad will hold its annual service of commitment at St Chad’s Church in Lichfield at 11am, where Bishop Michael will preach.
FiveSpiresLive has not approached 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.
‘I think I’ll start a petition.’
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.