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New Burntwood Labour councillor says by-election win gives him more legitimacy than if he’d been co-opted

A new Labour councillor says his victory in a by-election has given him more legitimacy on Burntwood Town Council.

Cllr Rob Birch

Cllr Rob Birch

Cllr Rob Birch won a by-election for the Boney Hay and Central seat vacated following the resignation of Conservative councillor Natasha Pullen.

However, the new Labour incumbent says the expense of the vote could have been avoided had the Tories not gone back on a previous agreement over the Chasetown ward.

That seat had been expected to see Cllr Birch co-opted following the resignation of Labour’s Keith Willis-Croft. But despite claims of an agreement, the controlling Conservative group eventually chose Norma Bacon to fill the seat – a move which also saw her become leader of the council just three weeks later.

The move meant Labour forced a by-election rather than allow the Tories to fill the gap left by their own candidate in Boney Hay.

Cllr Birch said: “This has all been an unnecessary expense.

“Having said that Boney Hay and Central ward is a good one for me as it’s where I grew up and raised my own family so I know the area intimately and the people very well.

“In addition having been duly elected rather than co-opted gives the role of councillor more legitimacy.”

In an added twist, the by-election had pitched Cllr Birch against Brian Bacon – the husband of the council’s leader who had been chosen ahead of him in the Chasetown ward.

The new Labour councillor says he is determined to do his best for Burntwood.

“I will do my best to challenge and hold the Tory council to account on behalf of residents,” he said. “However, I will also put making progress on the important issues first and I will he happy to push, help and cooperate with anything that will see the improvements we all want in Burntwood.”

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1 Comment

  1. No More Bacon

    16th August, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I bloody well agree!

    The audacity of the Cons to sidestep a Co-Opt agreement and then put Ms “I love Lichfield” Bacon onto the council of a town she disagrees with. But then also to be selected as Town Leader.

    Cllr Birch has managed to win the consent of the people. He fought an election, and won an election. He is a young, working professional who can bring a much-needed fresh of air to the decrepit council body.