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A former Labour councillor has criticised Lichfield’s MP for trying to claim credit for a new health centre in Burntwood moving a step closer.
Work on the long-awaited project to convert Greenwood House could begin by March 2019.
Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant revealed the news, saying he had been in “close contact” with health bosses in a bid to get the project moving.
But former Labour county councillor Steve Norman said Mr Fabricant has “been nowhere” when local politicians have sought to make progress on the scheme.
“Just because an elected politician finds something out does not mean they should get any credit just because they are the first one to publicise it,” he said.
“In June 2010 the body then responsible for local health facilities, the Primary Care Trust, issued a news release which stated that the development of two new sites – Greenwood House and Burntwood Leisure Centre – had been approved.
“Then the Coalition Government came in and nothing happened until a news release, prompted by the then Cabinet Member responsible, Cllr Matthew Ellis, accompanied by a photograph of the local Conservative Councillors and their families by a sign that the county council paid for but removed later as it did not have planning permission.
“Whist welcoming the news I was criticised by Cllr Ellis and others because I complained about the party political nature of this when, as a councillor, I believed we had all party support for the projects.
“I know that since Conservative councillor Alan White was made Cabinet member for health at Staffordshire County Council he has been trying to make progress and working cross-party to achieve this.
“Mr Fabricant has been nowhere.”
Burntwood councillor Eric Drinkwater echoed Mr Norman’s views, claiming the Conservative MP was trying to overshadow his Conservative colleagues at Staffordshire County Council.
He said: “Why is Michael Fabricant trying to claim credit for a development that has already been decided without his assistance? “I am afraid you have come along a little late in the day Michael, where have you been when the rest of us have been battling it out over years.
“We have already been made the promise that you are now trying to claim credit for and one of your Conservative colleagues on the ccounty council has been quite helpful working with us in Burntwood to achieve a positive end result.”
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