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Lichfield teacher hoping to become first Green Party representative on Lichfield District Council

A by-election candidate says the Green Party have shown they can be a real voice of opposition in Lichfield and Burntwood.

Mat Hayward

Mat Hayward

Mat Hayward will contest the Lichfield District Council Stowe ward by-election on February 22.

The vote was sparked following the resignation of David Smedley from the Conservative-controlled council.

Mr Hayward, who teaches at St Michael’s Primary School in the city, believes the time is right for the Greens to win their first seat on the local authority.

“I’m proud to have been selected again to stand for the Green Party in my home ward of Stowe,” he said. “We know the outcome of this by-election won’t stop the Conservatives controlling the council, but electing me as the district’s first Green councillor would make a vital difference to the quality of the opposition in the council chamber.

“Effective debate can only happen when councillors are free to speak their mind rather than being made to toe party line.

“I was involved with the library petition in 2016 which I think demonstrated how effective the Green Party can be at speaking out on an issue which clearly mattered to an awful lot of local people, but which the other mainstream parties would have been happy to just wave through.

“As a Green councillor I would be free to speak about local issues on behalf of the voters, not my party bosses.

“Lichfield is where I live and work – it’s where my sons grew up and were educated – and to represent the voters of Stowe as a Green Party councillor would be a huge honour.”

Mr Hayward collected 635 votes when he stood in 2015. The Conservatives claimed all three seats in that vote.

Lichfield and Burntwood Green Party spokesperson Simon Partridge said: “We couldn’t ask for a better candidate than Mat. Anyone who knows him will tell you he’s passionate, committed and extremely hard working.

“We have no doubt that, as a district councillor, Mat would make a vital difference to both the Stowe ward and to the district as a whole.”

Lichfield District Council by-election candidates:

  • Jeyan Anketell (Lib Dem)
  • Joanne Grange (Conservative)
  • Mat Hayward (Green Party)
  • Don Palmer (Labour)
  • Philip John (Something New)

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12 Comments

  1. Steve Norman

    2nd February, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    The petition was more about The Friary building than the relocation of the library and they didn’t reach their target of 3000 signatures.

    Democracy was not saved by the Greens. The proposal went through the normal procedures including being supported by the relevant scrutiny committee in March 2016.

    I was aware of the poor footfall at The Friary from my days on the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee and the maintenance/repair bill looming over the old building and, later, the possible loss of the St Mary’s asset to the city.

    The case was too good to make a cynical party political issue out of it but the Greens jumped into that old game which the Lib Dems had been expert in.

    Being a councillor means making decisions that should be the best in the circumstances in which you find yourself- gestures can be costly.

  2. Martin500

    2nd February, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    … and he teaches our children, tow not toe

  3. More Credible Pedant

    2nd February, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Actually, it’s correct. You toe the line; you don’t tow it.

  4. Ken

    3rd February, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Steve Norman loses any credibility for his argument thanks to a colossal inaccuracy regarding the library petition – didn’t they get over 5000 signatures? Or did I dream the sham of a council debate it triggered (in which Labour happily joined the Tories in giving the Greens a good kicking for having the audacity to speak up)?

    Maybe the fact that the issue passed through “normal procedures” unimpeded shows how much in need of change those “normal procedures” are?

  5. Mat Hayward

    3rd February, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Steve, you say we didn’t receive the required signatures? How is it that it was discussed by the council as a result? There are many skills needed to be a councillor or being a council. Surely one should be representing the many diverse views of those who we represent. Party Politics very often obscures that.
    Martin 500..many thanks for your CPD on how to be an effective primary practitioner.

  6. Paul Roberts

    3rd February, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    For the record, he’s a great teacher!

  7. Phil

    3rd February, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Uh-oh, looks like the Red team and Green team have already started squabbling.

  8. Darryl Godden

    5th February, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Whatever the signature count on the petition, it was clear that the sale of the building and the moving of the library was a deeply unpopular decision, taken against the wishes of those who wanted it to remain.

    To come here and attempt some lofty reasoning and try and score some political points that you “make the hard choices” is patronising to say the least.

    You’re a Conservative, selling things off is what you do, it’s like asking a tiger why it bites.

  9. John N

    6th February, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    The last thing Lichfield needs is another Tory councillor. Most of them are completely anonymous! The outgoing councillor was simply awful.

    I’m voting Green, Mat lives in the ward and actually cares about what happens to the people in Stowe. Lichfield’s stuffy and stale Conservatives need a fresh face from a progressive party to keep them on their toes!

  10. Nodge

    7th February, 2018 at 8:48 am

    The only chance you have of ridding Stowe of the Blue vermin is by voting for the next-closest party Labour. A vote for Greens, while admirable, is just bolstering the Tories.

  11. Philip John

    8th February, 2018 at 7:49 am

    @Daryll Steve is Labour, not Conservative, but I suppose a lot of the time you’d be forgiven for not finding a distinction.

    @John @Nodge How about we have something entirely different this time? ;)

  12. mike

    8th February, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    Steve, the petition gained over 6,000 votes in a short period of time and elicited a huge amount of support from local residents. I assume that was why the Tory cabal in the chamber wasted so much time attacking the Petitioners for having the cheek to exercise their democratic rights, rather than actually DEBATE and explain the plan. They are a self-satisfied clique who need shaking up.