Cllr Jeff Sheriff

Joining the West Midlands combined authority will damage democratic accountability in Lichfield and Burntwood, according to a county councillor.

Lichfield District Council is set to decide whether to join a regional link-up in October.

Leader Mike Wilcox has vowed that the local authority would not lose its sovereignty if it decides to join.

Cllr Jeff Sheriff

But UKIP councillor Jeff Sheriff, who has represented Burntwood South since 2013, claims a combined authority will make Lichfield District Council too remote from voters.

He said: “Staffordshire is a huge area geographically. If you then combine parts of Staffordshire with the West Midlands and even Warwickshire then local authorities will become even more remote than they already are.

“If the combined authority goes ahead then you are going to have people in Lichfield and Burntwood who don’t feel at all a part of their council.

“You could end up with a situation where there are fewer council officers who are then expected to deal with three times the number of enquiries.”

NCTJ-trained reporter with experience in a wide variety of journalism settings.