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Burntwood Conservative councillor says he resigned from Lichfield District Council Cabinet as current executive group “cannot credibly continue”

A former member of Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet said the current group leadership group “cannot credibly continue” after confirming his decision to step down.

Doug Pullen

Doug Pullen

Cllr Doug Pullen was one of three members of the six-man Cabinet to step down after a meeting last night.

Disagreements over the Friarsgate project are believed to be behind the decisions.

But Cllr Pullen, who also leads Burntwood Town Council, said a unified front was needed in the coming months.

“Last night I tendered my resignation as Cabinet member for Regulatory Services, Housing and Wellbeing, as I believe we cannot credibly continue as an executive,” he said in an email to Conservative colleagues seen by LichfieldLive.

“I have become increasingly frustrated at our inability as a council to respond to the changing environment in which we operate – something which is absolutely vital if we as a council wish to thrive, and essential to our electoral success in ten months’ time.

“In challenging times such as these, we need a unified Cabinet which is able to fully enjoy the support of our group. I very much hope that such a Cabinet will emerge in the coming weeks.

“I would like to put on record my thanks to Mike, who is a thoroughly decent councillor, and the rest of the Cabinet who have supported me enormously throughout the last three years.

“I am proud to be a member of this council; proud of the many things that we have jointly achieved, and will continue to be proud as I serve our residents over the coming years.”

Sources have told LichfieldLive that plans to fund the £49million needed to get work underway on the Friarsgate redevelopment were rejected by the wider Conservative group – a move which led to the quickfire succession of Cabinet resignations.

The collapse of the six-strong group is likely to pile the pressure on Cllr Mike Wilcox, leader of the council, who said he was committed to appointing successors to those who had stepped down.

Mike Wilcox

Cllr Mike Wilcox

“It is with regret that I have accepted all three resignations,” he said.

“Cllr Eadie, Cllr Smith and Cllr Pullen have each made tremendous strides within their specific portfolios. They have contributed to delivering positive outcomes for our communities, as well as their continued work with officers to help transform and improve the services we deliver.

“I will be announcing their successors within the coming days, and wish Cllrs Eadie, Smith and Pullen well in their continued roles as district councillors for their respective wards.”

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  1. Concerned Citizen

    13th June, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Well said Councillor Pullen. At last the electorate is seeing some realism from Councillors. I applaud Cllrs Eadie, Pullen and Smith for opposing the ludicrous plan to fund Friarsgate. This vanity project has taken so long to gestate that it is no longer fit for purpose. The need for more retail space on the High St is illusory. Lichfield needs the cinema, residential units and a sound infrastructure. Let’s have some joined-up thinking by the Council and give thought to what we need in the way of schools, medical centres, care for the elderly and infirm. We do not need more cafes, restaurants and shops.
    I sincerely hope that Council Leader Wilcox sees the error of his ways and either falls on his sword or is seen by his Tory colleagues as ‘yesterday’s man’ and is ousted.

  2. Darryl

    13th June, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    So reading between the lines, Mike Wilcox is a thoroughly good councillor, but you couldn’t continue to work with him, given the situation with Friarsgate.

    Forgive me, but it can’t be that great if you and two of your colleagues are leaving this cabinet because of this situation?

    I’m vague because no one really has any clue as to what is going on due to the situation Wilcox has created.