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Lichfield District Council chairman forced to axe only civic event after just eight councillors say they will attend

The chairman of Lichfield District Council has been forced to cancel his only civic event of the year after just eight councillors said they would attend.

In an email to his colleagues, Cllr David Salter said the lack of interest from local businesses and elected members meant the event had become “unviable”.

Cllr David Salter

Cllr David Salter

The cancellation comes in the wake of criticism of councillors from the leader of the local authority about their attendance.

Cllr Mike Wilcox told members he was “disappointed and embarrassed” after two thirds of them failed to show up at a social housing meeting.

And Cllr Salter said similarly poor levels of engagement had left him with no option for his own event.

“Having received only eight responses from members of the council and there being a considerable drop in general business support, the event is totally unviable,” he said in the email to the other 46 councillors. “It is with huge regret and a heavy heart that my one and only civic event of the year has had to be cancelled due to a lack of support.

“Given comments regularly expressed about other low attendances, I can perhaps take small comfort in the fact that there seems to be a trend toward low turnout at what might be termed ‘extra-curricular’ activities.

“I trust that the lack of support is not a reflection on my own personal chairmanship, the role of which I have attempted to fulfil to the very best of my ability both in and out of the council chamber.”

Cllr Salter added that he still hoped to raise some money for the Free Spirit charity by raffling off prizes that had already been donated.

The lack of interest in the event could turn the spotlight on the civic function once more.

Last year saw the council opt to downgrade the luxury Jaguar XF used by the chairman and deputy chairman in a bid to shave £7,000 off the civic budget – although the decision was made to continue with a chauffeur for the vehicle.

The local authority had been accused of failing to move with the times over the way the civic roles operated.

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  1. Eric.N.Drinkwater

    7th March, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    David I am sure you understand my predicament and rest assured I don’t think anyone has thought about this on a personal basis as you have done a good job as Chairman. I would be quite happy to make a small donation of £20 to your charities. Eric.N.Drinkwater

  2. B S W

    7th March, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    How pitiful!

    First we get the lack of attendance for the annual Bromford meeting, and now this.

    How can they possible explain this lack of effort for the position they were elected to take. A comment was made earlier, regarding how most of these elected people are old pension who should have nothing better to do that get involved in politics….. in fact…. can we check they’re not dead in their homes? hence the lack of attendance?

    But seriously, as a young person who wants to see his community progress, it is news like this that makes you utterly despise those elected.

  3. Agitatorofpeople

    7th March, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Shows the state of affairs between Conservative Councillors if they can’t even be motivated to support the Chairman, one of their own colleagues for an event that raises money for Charity, no cohesion or team playing, just apathy.
    While not a fan of the Conservatives, I find this genuinely quite sad, and I hope that the raffling of the prizes donated raises a reasonable sum for Councillor Salters stated charity.