Councillor urges action to ensure Burntwood town deal momentum isn’t lost

Plans for a Burntwood ‘town deal’ can’t be allowed to slip, according to a local Labour councillor.

A cross-party agreement has been reached to try and develop and improved retail offering for the area.

Representatives from Staffordshire County Council, Lichfield District Council and Burntwood Town Council have all agreed to push for the town deal.

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward, leader of the opposition Labour group at Lichfield District Council, has called for all parties to make sure action follows on from positive words.

“I said from the outset that the town deal discussions shouldn’t just be a talking shop,” she said. “We need to make sure there are clear actions identified that we can all get behind.

“As a Labour group we’re not in control of the situation as the Conservatives control all of the councils involved, so it’s upto them to get their acts together and make sure the issue continues to be driven forward.”

Although Conservative-led Lichfield District Council opted not to join a combined authority, a recent speech by Marcus Jones MP from the Department for Local Communities and Local Government highlighted the role parish councils can play in the process.

Mr Jones told the annual conference of the National Association of Local Councils: “I want to stress that devolution is not just for principal authorities – town and parish councils have a key role to play.

“They should be speaking to their principal councils about opportunities for further powers and functions to be devolved.”

Cllr Woodward insisted Burntwood’s discussions had put the area ahead of the game.

“We need to make sure we don’t lose the momentum,” she said. “I want everyone involved to make sure we’re staying ahead and getting regular meetings into the schedule to ensure we see action.

“The whole devolution agenda is going to be really important to local communities and I want to see Burntwood benefiting from that.”

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