Councillor insists Lichfield Library petition was based on “scare campaign of misinformation”

A councillor has claimed a petition over the future of Lichfield Library was based on “a scare campaign of misinformation”.

An artist's impression of the new interior of St Mary's in the Market Square

An artist’s impression of the new interior of St Mary’s in the Market Square

A war of words has broken out between Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant and the Green Party over the switch from The Friary to St Mary’s in the Market Square.

The Conservative MP had accused the Green Party – which led the petition – of making incorrect claims over the future of the current library site.

Robert Pass, chairman of the local branch of the Greens suggested the comments were “an insult to the 5,562 people from the area who signed the petition”.

Cllr Jon O'Hagan

Cllr Jon O’Hagan

But now Cllr Jon O’Hagan has also criticised the campaigners.

The Conservative representative for Stowe ward on Lichfield District Council said: “Theirs was a scare campaign of misinformation.

“The petition asked people to save the library, not the building. The library was never at risk.”

But a spokesperson for the Green Party insisted the wording on the petition, which called for “an open and democratic public consultation on the future of Lichfield Library” was factual.

They said: “The wording was as clear as day.

“The petition was unambiguous. Many people did not want to lose the building [The Friary] to a developer.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

5 Comments

  1. Agitatorofpeople

    16th February, 2017 at 11:43 am

    From Save Lichfield Library’s facebook campaign page at :-www.facebook.com/savelichfieldlibrary, they reference all of the findings (in this case companies house which hold details of business directors) I find them to be quite informative and accurate!

    “It started with Councillor Alan White, showing a declaration that he was a Cathedral committee member, so is Robert Hope-Urwin a member of Lichfield Diocese and cathedral committee member who was also a former director of St Marys Church businesses, on further investigation Councillor Janet Eagland (Lichfield Rural North) and SCC chairman has also held a “former” directorship, as has Councillor Christopher Spruce (Lichfield St John’s) and another less well known but crucial Tory figure that held a recent directorship is Nick Sedgewick the former Conservative electoral campaign promoter for Cllrs Alan White, Janet Eagland and Christopher Spruce.
    This is how planning to move a library from a beautiful building that Staffordshire County Council wants to sell gets approval.”

    Maybe councillor O’Hagan would like to actually provide actual “evidence” of the misinformation and scare tactics that the campaigners employed? nobody likes a bullshitter!

    Interesting that all the local Tories from Michael Fabricant down to this Lichfield District Councillors are choosing right now to start laying into the local Green Party, What’s happening behind closed doors? maybe the public should be looking at the planning applications…….

  2. Sj

    16th February, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    It’s obvious there trying to Gentrify Lichfield ,putting up luxury flats ,that I personally find an insult to the fine architecture of the friary ,the look cheap ,rather like the premier inn across the road ,surly to gentrify is to at least attempt to blend the New in to the old ,I see little evidence of this so far ,I’ve lived here all my life and all I see is the city going downhill ,a. City of banks ,takeaways ,restraunts and charity shops disgusting .

  3. Simon Partridge

    18th February, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Councillor O’Hagan might want to ring round his council colleagues and check whether any of them felt misled by the petition.

    During the many hours I spent with my Green Party colleagues talking to the public in Lichfield during the petition process I collected the signature of at least one senior Conservative district councillor. They agreed with our call for a consultation on the future of the library and seemed to have no trouble understanding what they were putting their name to.

    Attacking views that differ from our own and attempting to silence them simply by branding them “misinformation” serves only to cheapen politcal debate and further damage the trust of those whom we seek to represent.

  4. Steve

    18th February, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I signed the petition and I was not misled.

    Looking at the plans for the new library. It has met all my worst expectations. It has given the council a chance to sell a lovely library, cram a few books into St Marys and then allow St Marys the chance to make renovations with council tax payers money and allow developers the chance to destroy Lichfield a little more.

    St Marys will be safe as the council will give them money for many years and as AoP has shown. There are so many Councillors linked with St Marys and the CoE. The whole plan stinks.

    Misinformation. I did not see closing the Friary, reducing the hours at Samuel Johnson, unlimited building of houses …….. on any election literature that Councillors or Fabricant sent out during election time. So who is giving misinformation?

    I am not a fan of the Green Party, or any political party. I have seen this as a local person with a concern, doing something about it.

    We need local people with local concerns to run Lichfield now. Not just a bunch of people dedicated to their party and personal ambitions.

  5. Sj

    19th February, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    I agree Steve ,Sidmouth did exactly that banded together and booted the party political rot out of local politics last time I read they had one consivative councilor on the council ,it can be done