Labour leader Sue Woodward says joining a West Midlands combined authority is a “no-brainer”

The Labour opposition group leader on Lichfield District Council has said that a decision to join a West Midlands combined authority is a “no-brainer”.

Lichfield District Council will decide whether to join the link-up with other authorities in mid-October.

Conservative council leader has been involved in discussions over the move for several months.

But with a decision looming, his opposite number, Cllr Sue Woodward, says the benefits of a combined authority are likely to outweigh any risks.

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

“It’s a bit of a no-brainer for me,” she said. “If there are opportunities to be capitalised on then you shouldn’t shut the door on that.

“People do tend to confuse the issue of combined authorities with local government reorganisation and say ‘we don’t want Lichfield taken over by Birmingham and the Black Country’. But it isn’t going to be about that.

“A combined authority will be about maximising opportunities we have by collaborating with a wider area. I’m of the ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ view on this and think that we should join as a non-constituent member.

“It’s really about looking ahead and seeing what opportunities might be available without putting the council and local residents at risk. At the moment, I don’t see what those risks would be.”

Initial opposition to the combined authority link-up had centred around the desire for Lichfield to join a Staffordshire grouping instead.

But Cllr Woodward insists that such an option does not exist.

“People might have been inclined to go for a Staffordshire option, but there isn’t anything on the table there,” she said.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

8 Comments

  1. Rob

    30th September, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    No-brainer you say?
    Only if you were trounced in the local elections.

  2. Thornton

    30th September, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    I’m all for combined authority as long as all involved realise that Lichfield is not an extension of Birmingham or Wolverhampton and should never be treated as such.

    I’m also a little sceptical that so many of the authorities involved are Labour hotspots. I can’t really see what Lichfield could possibly achieve from a link up but I’ll keep optimistic.

  3. Sue woodward

    30th September, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    We can always rely on Rob to engage is reasoned debate. Not.

  4. Rob

    7th March, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Not hard to see why labour are so in favour of yet another tier of local expenditure and hot air, their prints are all over it.

  5. Nomad

    7th March, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    You cant possibly justify joining an EU directive with a referendum around the corner ,leaving even more ties to break with a failing EU

  6. Frustrated

    7th March, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    You would have no brains to join with Birmingham, they are virtually bankrupt and want anyone to join and pay their debts.

    There is lots of talk about local democracy, joining this group would break the last links to local democracy. It would become a fight between areas to move problems from one area to another part of the group. Then blame each other for all of the errors.

    It is George and Dave, pretending to give councils and councillors some power. What they are really doing, is moving the blame for all of the cuts in services, from themselves, to the local councils. The councillors are more than happy, a little bit of pretend power and increase the chance of their CBE, OBE, Knighthood…..

  7. Nomad

    7th March, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Its all about taking away accountability ,both Birmingham and Stafford are heavily in debt all they want us to join for is land grab.