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Councillor accuses Conservatives of using underhand tactics to increase majority on Burntwood Town Council

A Burntwood councillor has accused the Conservatives of using underhand tactics to increase their majority on Burntwood Town Council.

A row has broken out over the Chasetown ward seat that was left vacant following the resignation of Keith Willis-Croft.

Labour say an agreement had been reached with the Conservatives to allow them to fill the seat with another of their own representatives after winning the seat at the local elections two years ago.

They had intended to co-opt Rob Birch to the seat at the council meeting on Thursday (May 18), but now Norma Bacon – who represents the Curborough ward on Lichfield District Council – has thrown her hat into the ring.

As a result, both co-opt candidates will now have three minutes to make their case at the meeting before a vote of councillors to decide who wins the seat.

Cllr Darren Ennis

Cllr Darren Ennis

Cllr Darren Ennis, who also represents Labour in the Chasetown ward, said he feared the controlling Conservative group would seek to exploit attempts to save taxpayers’ money.

“In the election two years ago Chasetown voted for three Labour town councillors,” he said. “To save the cost to the town council of somewhere in the region of £4,000, it was agreed between the leaders of the two parties that we would honour this vote and co-opt a Labour councillor.

“It makes sense, by saving money and giving the voters what they voted for.

“But then the Conservatives – after the cut-off time of calling an election, which I am confident Rob would have won – then put in a candidate. Now it goes to a vote of the councillors, of which the Conservatives have 16 to Labour’s five, so they will win any vote.

“But what will they gain? A majority that they already have? This is just underhanded and formed on the basis of untruths given.”

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