Leader of Burntwood Town Council confirms he will step down from post

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.

He added that his 12 months in charge had been “very hard work but enjoyable none the less”.

Cllr Mosson will officially hand over the baton in May, with Cllr Helen Fisher expected to step into the leader’s seat.

Read Cllr Mosson’s full statement on his resignation below:

Cllr Richard Mosson

Cllr Richard Mosson

“I will be stepping down in May, but that is not unusual as we are a group of 16 and are rotating the responsibility of being leader – just as Labour did during the previous four years.

“It has been very hard work but enjoyable none the less, there was certainly a lot of work to do when we took over last May. The previous council, under Labour control, were in the middle of a staff review when the elections took place and the plans to take over responsibility of the Old Mining College building were already well advanced.

“This eventually led to a 35% increase in the small precept which the Town Council takes as part of the Council Tax, which worked out at £10 per year on a band D property this led to a lot of criticism from the opposition and in the press. I would like to know how they were intending to avoid this increase on what was essentially their own plan?

“They will spout the usual nonsense that they would have saved money elsewhere and restructured the workings of the council differently. But the truth is that they would have been in exactly the same position and probably worse given the example of thousands of pounds being wasted each year on updating social media, for example.

“Labour will probably unearth the story of the consort’s chain again claiming this was a waste of money. It was a bit less than £400 and will be an asset to the council, therefore I would argue differently, especially as it fell inside the budget of the chairman which of course was set by themselves, so essentially this has not cost the taxpayer a penny.

“The positives are that the Old Mining College Centre building, its residents and the groups that use this site will benefit from a building which has a positive future. It has new IT facilities and is currently undergoing various improvements.

“The council officially move from Lambourne House within the next week or two and the official reopening of the Old Mining College Centre takes place on May 8.

“Other positives are the very successful play in the parks, which will be back bigger and better in 2016, and the Christmas Fayre which will also return bigger, better and brighter this year.

“Then there is the Wakes which will be back close to its original format and back at Burntwood Baths, where it belongs with the successful Push Kart derby as an add-on. And who can forget our brand new shed!

“As a controlling group we have been working hard behind the scenes and have been in discussion with other councils and bodies and we are very hopeful that finally Burntwood will get the retail offering it needs to boost the local economy and improve areas in the town that have been left derelict for years.

“The town is finally moving forward. We will welcome hundreds of new residents who will be moving in to the Milestone Way development in the next few years. They will be moving to a town which will be evolving to cater for their needs. We will also be welcoming many new visitors with the newly erected welcome signs.

“Having taken responsibility of the Neighbourhood Plan, we have welcomed members of the public to join this committee in order to ensure that it can be non-political in its ambitions, and will work hard to deliver a robust plan for the town.

“We are fully a aware of the need for improved healthcare facilities. Essentially, responsibility of these services lies with Staffordshire County Council and the NHS, but as town councillors we will continue to work hard and lobby for action.

“All in all Burntwood is becoming a better place to be. As well as all of the above we now have a Costa and a McDonalds to look forward to which we hope will be the catalyst for more activity and development in what essentially is the town centre.

Burntwood Town Council chair Pam Stokes and leader Richard Mosson signing the lease on the Old Mining College Centre

Burntwood Town Council chair Pam Stokes and leader Richard Mosson signing the lease on the Old Mining College Centre

“I would add thanks to my group too, in particular my two deputies Cllr Heather Tranter, Cllr Helen Fisher and the Chairman Cllr Pam Stokes for all of their hard work and support.

“I would also like to thank Cllr Darren Ennis from the opposition group who has worked with us this year and has done so much for the defibrillators we are planning to install in the town and has recently run the London Marathon for this cause.

“I wish the new Conservative leader of Burntwood Town Council all of the very best and I will continue to work hard for Burntwood and the council.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

18 Comments

  1. Sue Woodward

    30th April, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Why is Cllr Mosson so obsessed with Labour? He’s spent his year as Leader constantly antagonising Labour councillors, taking any directon as long as it’s contrary to Labour’s, looking over his shoulder and second-guessing what we would do rather than concentrating on the job in hand for the benefit of Burntwood….Even in his resignation statement, yet another example of his verbal incontinence, he sets up another confrontation.

    I’m looking forward to a return to some sort of normality instead of this schoolboy stuff and to working with his successor, Cllr Helen Fisher. I’ve always worked alongside councillors of different political colours for the benefit of the people we represent – and the vast majority of councillors take the same view. Not this man. We probably won’t agree with everything that the new Leader proposes but at least I know that the conversations won’t take on the unpleasant, arrogant and spiteful tone that has characterised his leadership.

  2. Keith Willis-Croft

    30th April, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Nice of councillor Mosson to pay tribute to the miners of Burntwood let us not forget it was his past conservative government under Margaret thatcher that closed all the pits down.

  3. Rich

    1st May, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Do you ALL need to keep dragging up the past bickering. You don’t like each other that’s fine but keep it to yourselves & out of local politics.

  4. Ken

    1st May, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Costa AND a McDonalds? What a legacy! We’ll expect the planning application from Fortnum and Masons any day now then, shall we?

    And as for “Burntwood is becoming a better place to be” – BE? Not “live” or “work” or “raise a family”, but merely “be”. Cllr Moschops can’t even bring himself to pretend to be enthusiastic about the town.

    Given Cllr Fisher’s vocal support of the decimation of the library in Lichfield I shan’t hold my breath for the year ahead either.

  5. Mark Crompton

    1st May, 2016 at 8:33 am

    First time I’ve ever made a comment on here but some things rattle my cage. I’m not a Conservative or Labour voter (locally or nationally) I vote based on policies, manifestos and the overall direction of a party and the impact it will have on me and my family.

    Yes, we were a minning community. We are not now and haven’t been for over 25 year with the last pits closing in 1990 (Littleton and Lea Hall).

    This is why we have voter apathy in the young. We keep looking at the past and things that happened before the under 26’s were born. Comments like Keith has made don’t engage or provoke an emotion in young voters. In fact it might the opposite effect by reinforcing old sterotypes of school/boy tit for tat politics from over 20 years ago.

    We need councillors (I’m aware Keith is not one anymore) that look forward at what we can do and achieve by addressing real issues such as health and not looking back at a past.

    The same applies to Conservative councillors that go on about the tough times caused by a labour government. We’ll we’ve had a Conservative government for a number of years and nothing has really improved.

    Yes it’s important not to forget our heritage and I applaud the efforts made by BTC to commemorate our past. The past is not our future though.

    A plea to all councillors, parties and supporters: engage the young they are the future of this community.

  6. Simian Neilston

    1st May, 2016 at 8:44 am

    McDonald’s…
    Welcome to litter Town Staffordshire. Crazy decision for somewhere like Burntwood allowing that

  7. Rich

    1st May, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Well said Mark Crompton! Best comment I think I’ve ever read on here.

  8. Rob

    1st May, 2016 at 10:16 am

    @Mark Crompton:
    Unless I’ve missed something we’ve had a Conservative government for almost one year, which is a number, I suppose.
    Agree about your mining sentiment though. I’m absolutely sick of hearing about bl”^*y miners, it’s as though any other contributions to the area were meaningless. There are certain local councillors, constantly issuing threats, demands, and warnings, that seem to want to exist in some sort of perpetual mining museum.
    As for Keith WC – all the pits? A bit of research may help.

  9. Thornton

    1st May, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    A ‘McDonalds and a Costa to look forward’ to tickled me. if junk food outlets are seen as positive additions to a town then we’re all doomed. He must really love his Big Macs and marshmallow topped full fat mochaccinos.

  10. Rob

    2nd May, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Sue Woodward accusing someone of being arrogant, unpleasant and spiteful? You need to take a look in the mirror love.

  11. AB

    2nd May, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Rob, don’t lower yourself to being a patronising know-all, ‘love’.

  12. Sue woodward

    2nd May, 2016 at 10:39 am

    As always, Rob showing his true colours. He never actually reads what I say but always takes the same stance: if it’s Labour, it must be bad.

  13. Rob

    2nd May, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Oh dear.

  14. Steven Norman

    2nd May, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Having taken 48 hours to recover from this devastating news for Labour I am now able to comment on the so called, “resignation“ letter.

    No. After two years Don Issacs gave up his role as Leader because of other commitments and Diane Evans was elected our new Leader for the following two years. Since 1999, when I became Leader of the Town Council, every Leader has retained the support of their colleagues to serve the full term of four years – without the need for more than one Deputy.

    Cllr Mosson suggests Labour would have imposed a 35% (don’t forget it was originally over 60%) increase in Council Tax on Burntwood taxpayers. Our Staffing Review would have been very different and his complete mishandling of it means they are spending much more than they needed to have done and I predict problems ahead.

    The changes to the Wakes were instigated by Labour. Instead of one big (and ever more expensive) event – which could be rained off – a series of real community events throughout the summer was already in process.
    The new signs, the IT upgrade at the Old Mining College (well done Labour councillors and the public stopping him changing its name) were also in place as well as the Neighbourhood Plan. In fact nothing had happened to progress the Neighbourhood Plan, which I had led on, for almost a year! Only last week did members of the public with a particular interest in working on the plan in more detail be invited to help. Now the Chairman of that committee is to be replaced by er, Councillor Mosson.

    He skates over the Burntwood Health Centres betrayal but I would be happy for him to come back to Lichfield Live to explain what lobbying he has done as Leader.

    And what about our new Town Centre? No one has ever said the Town Council would be a major influence on LCP attracting a multi-million pound investor. All we can do is help to reduce as many barriers as we can. I am grateful to County Councillor Alan White getting to grips with one problem the County could resolve and Councillor Mike Wilcox for his support from Lichfield District. Along with Don Isaacs from the Town Council we had a number of meetings with landowners and other to try to progress this and it has only been Councillor Mosson that has brought party politics (an obsession it seems) into the equation.

    I remember when I was first elected, and have seen it with newly elected councillors ever since, the shock, almost, of how your own colleagues got on with the opposition most of the time. This is because you all working for the same thing – albeit from different perspectives – to improve the community in which you live. I am sure Councillor Mosson’s greatest contribution in this endeavour will indeed be his “stepping down”.

  15. Rob

    2nd May, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    These Labour councillors are constantly in the news it seems.
    Bit of a pattern emerging too.

  16. Keith Willis-Croft

    2nd May, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Just to set the record straight after Mark Cromptons comments I am still a councillor and have been since 2011.
    But only on the town council as I was not re elected onto the LDC.
    As for my comment about the miners some people do not like the truth and have got short memories.

  17. AgitatorofPeople

    3rd May, 2016 at 10:27 am

    “All in all Burntwood is becoming a better place to be. As well as all of the above we now have a Costa and a McDonalds to look forward to which we hope will be the catalyst for more activity and development in what essentially is the town centre”

    It will certainly be the catalyst for more activity, we have the McDonalds sponsored Lichfield Fight Club on Market Square and the Fast and Furious meeting place at Wall Island. Nice legacy from the Conservatives for Burntwood, monopoly corporations! expect more of the same from the smash and grab Councillor Helen Fisher.

  18. Rob

    4th May, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Getting difficult to keep up:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-36203911
    as ever, the tolerance shines through.

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