Former Labour councillor brands Tory leader of Burntwood Town Council “clueless”

A former Labour councillor has branded the leader of Burntwood Town Council “clueless” in a war of words over the development of the area.

Steve Norman

Steve Norman

Steve Norman made his comments after criticism of the former ruling group by current Conservative leader Cllr Richard Mosson.

The row broke out after Cllr Mosson had suggested the previous Labour ruling group had held back the town’s development in order to win votes.

But Steve Norman, who failed to win a seat in the newly-formed Summerfield and All Saints ward at the local elections in May, said the comments were wide of the mark.

“The new leader of Burntwood Town Council is clueless,” he said. “The one thing we always did as the controlling Labour group was speak to everyone and anyone to improve the town.

“Inevitably, that meant talking to the Conservatives at Lichfield District Council and the Conservatives at Staffordshire County Council, as well as businesses in the town.

“What his group did do for the last four years was to sit almost entirely silently and oppose, as I recall, almost nothing we did.

“The picture he paints has no basis in reality.”

But Cllr Mosson hit back suggesting that Labour’s record spoke for itself.

Cllr Richard Mosson

Cllr Richard Mosson

“During these four years what did Labour actually do and achieve as a controlling group?” he said. “I remember no new health centres, no shopping centres and no Neighbourhood Plan for that matter.

“Admittedly, we are a little slow out of the blocks with the Neighbourhood Plan, although I’m sure the public will forgive us as we are only six months into our four year term and have had to start again because you did nothing.

“As for talking to businesses, I seem to recall it was on of the Conservative group who was instrumental in setting up the Burntwood Business Community.

“But what do I know – I am supposed to be clueless.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

1 Comment

  1. Steven Norman

    6th December, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Burntwood Town Council’s clueless Leader, Councillor Mosson, says he will oppose any plan for a Town Deal yet he said in an email to the Leader of Staffordshire County Council on the 16th of September: “..as long as we can keep a Town Deal under the reigns [sic] of the controlling parties then we could potentially dovetail a Town Deal into part of the plan and our Town Strategy.”

    I suppose this is what he meant by “lines of communication are now open with the Conservatives in control of the county, district and town councils.”
    But I repeat, we met with his Conservative colleagues from the County and District Councils in the past – and made progress. I defy him to find anything I have said that made the longed-for new Town Centre a party political issue.

    He says that: “I remember no new health centres. ..no Neighbourhood Plan..”
    In fact what has been a party political issue was the cancellation of the new health centre to replace the temporary centre in Chasetown following the 2010 General election.

    It was he and six of his current Conservative Town Councillors who in August 2012 were photographed at Greenwood House (around a sign produced by the County Council under the then Cabinet Member Matthew Ellis) in a cynical political stunt saying a new Health Centre would be operating by March 2013!
    My Freedom of Information request in June 2014 to the NHS showed that Lichfield’s MP, Mr Fabricant, had not lobbied them on behalf of the residents of Burntwood and Hammerwich even once. No request for a meeting, no letter, no email – not even a phone call.

    As for the Neighbourhood Plan process that I led on for the Town Council then those who attended the two public meetings might want to ask what has happened since May.

    His email goes on to say: “As long as ownership is retained by the controlling groups at all three tiers this can only help us win back those Burntwood North and South seats in 2017.” So we know where he is coming from and I guess party before town, district, county is not unknown amongst some councillors – but not, in my 32 years experience, as much as people might think.