Conservatives urged to honour agreement to allow Labour representative to be co-opted onto Burntwood Town Council

Conservative councillors have been urged to honour an agreement to co-opt a Labour representative onto Burntwood Town Council.

The Old Mining College Centre

Burntwood Town Council’s offices at the Old Mining College Centre

The Chasetown seat has been left vacant since the resignation of Labour’s Keith Williscroft.

No by-election was called, meaning the council could use the process of co-opting to fill the vacancy.

Labour say the Conservatives had originally agreed to allow Rob Birch to fill the space. But now Cllr Norma Bacon, who sits on Lichfield District Council, has applied to take on the vacancy.

Cllr Diane Evans

Cllr Diane Evans

Cllr Diane Evans, leader of the Labour opposition group on Burntwood Town Council, said: “I just hope that the Conservatives at the town council will put party allegiances to one side and honour their commitment to co-opting a Labour councillor. After all, that was the decision of the voters of Chasetown for this seat just two years ago and they should not ignore local electors.

“By any measure, I know that Rob will bring great value to the work of the town council and to the town itself. He has been active in the campaign to oppose development on our Green Belt and it was Rob who coined the phrase ‘a better, not a bigger Burntwood’.

“He has lived here most of his life, has raised his family here and is enthusiastic about its future.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

12 Comments

  1. John Griffin

    15th May, 2017 at 11:05 am

    A measure of trust in assurances such as those relating to Green Belt housing. If this assurance is dropped for political opportunism, then what price the assurances about the Green Belt? Or Greenwood House development? Or indeed, anything else?

  2. 假名

    15th May, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Interesting Read. Echos back to the days of back-room deals in smoke filled rooms, I like it.

    The Tories currently have a majority on Burntwood, so either result would not bring a drastic change. HOWEVER, I have came across Miss Norma Bacon several times in her council experiences, and it just seems confusing to plonk her on the Burntwood council. I highly doubt the people of Burntwood know her, which makes for a weaker councillor.

    I should not be too judgemental, maybe Burntwood prefers aged/mature councillors? Judging from the local date, the council certainly does not match the demographics of it’s people (like most councils) but if you’re going to plonk your gal on, she better be put to work!

    On another note, how about the empty seat of Boney Hay?

  3. Darren Ennis

    15th May, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    I’m afraid this is about Chasetown being represented correctly. In the elections 2 years ago Chasetown Voted three Labour Town Councillors. And to save on the cost to the Town in the regions of £4000.00, it was agreed between the leaders of the two parties that we would honour this vote and co-opt a Labour councillor.

    Make sense? Saves money and gives the voters who they voted for.

    And for Conservatives after the cut off time of calling an election, to which I am confident Rob would have won, they put in a candidate. Now it goes to a vote of the Councillors of which Conservative have 16 to Labours 5 they will win any vote.

    To gain what? A Majority, they already have?

    This is just underhanded and formed on the basis of untruths given.”

  4. John Griffin

    15th May, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    A bit like claiming to be responsible for defibrillators (and unable to spell it) in one of the ‘newsletters’.
    True colours.

  5. Jo

    15th May, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Quite shocking that the Tories are planning to renege on this agreement, and as the earlier commenter said, it makes a mockery of their other pledges as well. What price democracy if Chasetown’s choice of a Labour councillor to represent them is ridden over like this? It shows the contempt in which the Tory group holds voters.

  6. Burntwood Boy

    15th May, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Tories going back on their word and ignoring what the people they represent want? Who’d have thought it?

    Don’t forget, these were the same Tories who bought the chairman’s buddy a new chain while hiking the council tax by a mouthwatering amount and who thought a nice shed would make us all think they were doing a great job.

    Strong and stable, my arse!

  7. K. DIXON

    15th May, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Forget the tories going back on their word, this is Burntwood and Lichfield!
    We in Burntwood dont count?

  8. Burntwood Boy

    15th May, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Are we talking in riddles now?

  9. Philip John

    16th May, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Co-option is a ridiculous practice that no-one who believes in democracy should support. It’s been two years since Chasetown last had their say – they may well want the chance to vote for something else. But instead Chasetown residents have been denied their democratic choice by a backroom deal between the same old parties.

    Unfortunately, this is what you get from self-serving party politics in local government.

  10. John Griffin

    16th May, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Total rubbish. This was an agreement to fill like with like due to circumstances within the democratically assigned period of office. You should be decrying the cynical AVOIDANCE of an election by the Tories. If they had respect for democracy they would have either the nomination or an election, They chose to do neither, by subterfuge.

  11. Sue Woodward

    16th May, 2017 at 9:42 am

    There was very opportunity, before the co-option option, for residents to trigger an alection. In fact, Philip, how come you didn’t get people to call one if it means so much to you? Co-option comes at the end of a long process and surely you would agree that Chasetown residents should have their full quota of councillors.

  12. Philip John

    17th May, 2017 at 7:27 am

    @John “avoidance of an election” is exactly what co-option is, so both Tories and Labour are guilty of that here.

    @Sue Of course they should have their full complement of councillors, which they still would if they had the chance to elect one, but how many residents were aware that the vacancy might not lead to an election? Did you our any of your party colleagues to out in the area and talk to residents about what the vacancy means? Did you ask them if they wanted to have their say? Or did you assume that, after two years of falling Labour polling, they would vote Labour again?

    The real shame here is that you didn’t trust the electorate, you trusted the Tories. You should know better!

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