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Councillor thanks LichfieldLive for giving residents the chance to have their say on Friarsgate fiasco amid Lichfield District Council secrecy on the issue

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

A councillor has thanked LichfieldLive for giving residents a chance to have their say on decisions over the doomed Friarsgate redevelopment in the city.

The local authority finally brought the curtain down on the project after more than a decade of planning after funding failed to materialise.

The decision comes after we revealed that the council was debating a proposal to foot the £49million bill from the public purse, a much which was eventually rejected after sources revealed the proposals would not be backed by the wider Conservative group that controls the council.

But with the majority of discussions around Friarsgate held behind closed doors and a wall of silence beyond press releases quotes from council leader Mike Wilcox, LichfieldLive was eventually forced to make a public request for answers to key questions.

These were put to Cllr Wilcox at a meeting of the council last night by Labour opposition group leader Cllr Sue Woodward, leading to the revelation that the total bill for Friarsgate, even though a brick will never be laid, is likely to be almost £7million.

Cllr Woodward told the meeting: “I would like to thank the local independent news website LichfieldLive for giving residents the opportunity to express their views on the situation surrounding Friarsgate, particularly given so much of the discussion has been wrapped up in confidentiality and secrecy.”


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  1. Philip Allso

    27th June, 2018 at 9:49 am

    This is indeed an important and much needed site. Many organisations have removed the right to opinion or reply. The main reason given is the time and effort they have to give to moderating innapropriate and abusive postings. I have personally rarely found this to be the case and regular contributors respect the opportunity to air concerns (and observations) in an open forum. Although the editor does have the final say, I find this site to be liberal and encouraging. Without being patronising, his reports are worthy of a wider audience. The accountability of our elected (and unelected council officers) is a fundamental right for democracy. This could hardly be better illustrated than the debacle of Friarsgate. The site is also informative and often gives a different perspective on issues of the day. With the probable demise of the Mercury newspaper, this is the only site offering independent views on local affairs. Treat it with respect and use it wisely .

  2. Colin Ball

    27th June, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Well done, Lichfield Live, and Sue Woodward, for getting this debacle into the public domain!