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Conservative leader at Lichfield District Council warned he needs residents to back him as well as his own councillors

The leader of Lichfield District Council has been warned it’s the electors and not his councillors he really needs to persuade of his ability to continue in the top job.

Lichfield District Council House

Lichfield District Council House

Cllr Mike Wilcox survived a leadership challenge at a meeting of Conservative council members last week, with sources telling LichfieldLive the result had been “very close”.

Mike Wilcox

Cllr Mike Wilcox

But the leader said he was “delighted with this endorsement” after his colleagues opted to keep him in the hot seat after the failure to make Friarsgate a reality and defeat in the Curborough ward by-election.

But Cllr Sue Woodward, leader of the opposition Labour group, said Cllr Wilcox should listen to the wider electorate rather than just the closed circle of his own party.

“Conservative councillors at Lichfield District Council may have backed their current leader, but that’s at odds with the message I’m hearing from electors across the District,” she said.

“People are incensed by the complete shambles around the Friarsgate project – and the recent by-election result in Curborough underlined this.

“It’s not just the fact that so much of our money has been wasted on this failed vanity project, supported, I might say, by all of the Conservative candidates at the last district elections in 2015 – even those now trying to distance themselves from it. It’s also been about the failure to engage with the public, not for the first time, and the complete lack of transparency in decision-making.

“The council has become far too complacent and self-satisfied so, regardless of political persuasion, many local residents have joined my call for the leader to stand aside and allow a new leadership with fresh ideas and outlooks to take over.”

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Woodward also challenged her Conservative counterpart to reveal just how many of his colleagues had backed him so the public could see for themselves how strong the foundation was for his continued leadership.

“As Cllr Wilcox says, the meeting was held in private so we don’t know whether the endorsement he received was a robust one or a slender one,” Cllr Woodward said

“To me, though, it reinforces the view that the Conservatives at Lichfield District Council – the leadership and the back-benchers – seem to be completely out of touch with their electors.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

5 Comments

  1. AnnS

    17th July, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Keep up the pressure Sue. We can’t oust him immediately and I don’t believe the electorate should have to wait another year to vote him and his cronies out.

  2. Concerned Citizen

    17th July, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    He has lost the confidence of the people but not the Tory Council….says it all really. MW will not step down despite the articles on LichfieldLive. Roll on the next election when we can hope that the electorate remember the shambles known as Friarsgate and the omnishambles known as LDC. Is there no one on the Tory benches capable and willing to replace MW? Many Tory Councillors need to look over their shoulders as the people will vote them out. How will they manage without their income from the Council?

  3. Philip Allso

    23rd July, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    How do you get people’s support? Firstly by showing you are a safe pair of hands. Secondly that you perform openly. Thirdly that you are a good communicator. And that you act impartially in the best interests of all citizens. What has happened in Lichfield and District over the last decade may well make us wonder if the quality of leadership meets any of the above. Why would you vote for more of the same?

  4. LetsGiveItASpin

    23rd July, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    The very sad thing with all this is that lichfield people will vote these people back in … I pray that lichfield people come to conclusion that now is a time for a change by voting in both labour and independent councillors to make the chamber more audited , more measured and more working in the people interest and not trying to pretend to be business leaders , property moguls and get back to basics …

  5. Darryl

    24th July, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Man narrowly survives vote of his cronies and considers it an endorsement.

    Hubris.

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