Lichfield candidate “offended” Conservative election rival does not live in voting area

A candidate in the forthcoming Staffordshire County Council elections has questioned how well one of his rivals could represent an area she does not live in.

Philip John, who will stand in the Lichfield City North area under the Something New banner, says Conservative hopeful Natasha Pullen is symptomatic of the political land grab tactics employed by the main parties.

Philip John and Natasha Pullen

Philip John and Natasha Pullen

He claimed in an online post that a number of candidates in Lichfield and Burntwood lived beyond the boundaries of the voting areas they were standing in.

Mr John added: “Local councillors are supposed to represent the people, not their party. How can they be doing so when they don’t even live in the area?

“People in Lichfield should, like me, be offended that Natasha Pullen thinks she can represent them while living five miles away in Burntwood. She can’t – she’s just joining the party political power grab.”

But Mrs Pullen said her links with the city were clear.

“With children in Lichfield schools and having spent the last five years heavily involved in Lichfield charities, I have already evidenced, in a small way, how I can serve the people of Lichfield.

“A vote for me on May 4 will help me build on this work even further.”

Full list of candidates for the Lichfield City North area:

  • Philip John – Something New
  • Natasha Pullen – Conservatives
  • Miles Trent – Lib Dems
  • Hilary Wolfenden – Green Party
  • Caroline Wood – Labour

Disclaimer: Philip John is a volunteer with Lichfield Live, dealing with all technical aspects of the site. He has no involvement in the editorial decisions, is treated the same as any other local election candidate and gets no special previews or advanced notice of articles about himself or anyone else.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

18 Comments

  1. Another Name in the Pot

    18th April, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Great to see more and more attention being drawn to issues like this. The candidates in this area care about one thing: their party. I’ve stated numerous times that multi-seated councillors go against our so-called “democracy”, which both parties do.
    A few weeks ago we had an Article on Councillor Mosson, and his statement of doing as little work as possible for his constituents.
    Now we have County Elections with Husbands and Wives running.

    Miss/Mrs Pullen sits on the Burntwood Town Council, and has 1 of the lowest attendance records for that. Her “links with the city” strongly go against the views of Burntwood folk who often feel left behind by the Lichfield people.

  2. Jon O'Hagan

    18th April, 2017 at 9:10 am

    I have known and worked with Natasha Pullen for a number of years. She has proven her commitment to Lichfield in so many ways.

    As a North Lichfield resident, voter, & Stowe Ward councillor, I would rather work with Natasha than a regular Lichfield Live contributer who popped up out of nowhere, politically speaking, and has offered nothing but mischief, backed up by friends and fellow partisan contributers.

  3. Rob

    18th April, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Heaven help us.
    It’ll be the size of their houses next.

  4. Ross

    18th April, 2017 at 10:30 am

    For clarification, Philip John is not a “regular contributor” to LichfieldLive on the editorial side. His involvement is solely on a technical basis, ensuring that the site does not fall over. Any comments he makes on articles are made from his position as a candidate standing for election.

    As pointed out in the footer note, he has no say on our editorial coverage of the elections and does not receive any preferential treatment in terms of previewing or influencing our articles. There has also been an agreement internally that his only interaction with us during the purdah period will be to resolve any major technical issues with the site.

  5. Philip John

    18th April, 2017 at 10:36 am

    “She has proven her commitment to Lichfield in so many ways.”

    I’ll look forward to seeing Natasha publishing the names of the charities she works with and the details of her involvement with them.

    “popped up out of nowhere, politically speaking”

    Correct – I am not part of the local self-serving political class that everyone is so fed up with. Sorry, not sorry.

    “has offered nothing but mischief”

    It’s called opposition, Jon. As a politician you surely understand, appreciate and welcome healthy opposition, no?

  6. Ken

    18th April, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I respect Philip for putting his money where his mouse is, unlike most of the desktop warriors commenting on here (and, yes, I count myself among them), but I’m struggling to find the “new” in the “Something New” he’s claiming to offer.

    So far we’ve had some general, anti-austerity policies that could just as easily have come from the Greens or Lib Dems and now a very valid point about whether or not councillors should be allowed to represent areas they don’t live in has been lost here amongst some of the personal mud-slinging that the local Labour party seems to favour.

    You clearly have passion, Philip, but “facta non verba”, eh?

  7. Natasha Pullen

    18th April, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Philip, hope this helps:

    Since 2012 I have run an annual collection for women’s refuges in Staffordshire (including Lichfield). Last year we were fortunate enough to be able to make and deliver hampers to over 150 women and children in residential centres as well as 30 more living in the community.

    I have organised activities to raise funds for Pathway Project, including a successful day of bag-packing raising £600 in one day.

    I liaise with the community champion at Tesco in Lichfield to help distribute non-consumable goods to those in need in Lichfield.

    I worked with the LDS Church in Lichfield to supply electrical goods, food and furniture to a young family who had recently left a refuge in the city.

    I organised a food collection at Morrison’s (Burntwood) which collected 1/4 tonne of food for the Trussel Trust to be distributed locally.

  8. Toast

    18th April, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Ironic: a Tory organising a food collection for the Trussell Trust.

  9. Darryl

    18th April, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Toast beat me to it!

  10. Rob

    18th April, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    That’ll be the same Trussell Trust that started under the last Labour government I take it?

  11. Concerned Citizen

    18th April, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    @Natasha Pullen

    Thanks for the information on your charitable activities.

    As a member of Burntwood Town Council, what has been your attendance rate been for the period April 2016 to March 2017? When attending the meetings, how many constructive contributions have you made? What is your stance on the local Green Belt and plans to build on it?

    What value for money does the Burntwood electorate receive from you as a Councillor?

  12. mike

    18th April, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    So. “Something New” but you start by attacking your competitors. Yawn. Instead of fake indignation why not let us read what you are offering. Or is it simply “I want to change the rules on local boundaries”?

  13. Rob

    18th April, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    I wonder if the Labour candidate for Burntwood South has a view on this?

  14. Sj

    18th April, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Candidates for local council positions should be contested by local candidates ,she should be withdrawn by the conservatives immediately if they can’t field a local candidate they shouldn’t field one at all

  15. Confused in Lichfield

    18th April, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Philip… your online manifesto says that pornographic material featuring those above the age of consent should be legalised. Given that the age of consent is 16, would you like to update your manifesto?

  16. Philip John

    19th April, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Ken – I’m much more about representation than policy, given that’s the job of a local councillor. Have a look at https://medium.com/@something_phil/how-ill-be-representing-lichfield-16b856fcc019 for more about how I plan to be a good local representative.

    Mike – See the link above too​ for the kind of representative I want to be. As for “attacking”, I see it as my job to hold the other parties to account and challenge their behaviour. Note I haven’t said anything about the other candidates because they do live in the area.

    Confused – I won’t be changing that no, I voted to include that. If you think it should change please go to the page, click the Edit button in the corner and propose a change. It’ll be put to a vote and, if successful, will change the manifesto. You don’t need to join our party, or pay anything.

  17. Steve

    19th April, 2017 at 7:41 am

    To be honest, if the best person for the job, lives in Timbuktu. I don’t care.

    We don’t seem to be doing too well with the candidates, we are getting from Lichfield and Burntwood.

    I want someone who is good. Who cares about the electorate. Who is honest. Who we can speak to and will listen.

  18. Scott

    19th April, 2017 at 9:18 am

    I’d prefer a local face to represent me, rather than someone a national party has shipped in. If parties start to plant their people in areas, just for election wins, then that just becomes sad.

    Overall, I blame all local parties + education for not trying to get people involved (unless its vote begging time). I do not receive any update leafets throughout the year, but come election time I get 30+.

    The parties here just want to keep their current voter base, the old (who have time to vote), all while struggling to understand why no-one likes politics. I’d like to seek electoral registration drives in non-election times. Maybe even hold mock-debates between candidates, councillors and members of public

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