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By-election candidate says ex-Tory councillor’s Labour support shows council leader must consider his position

A by-election candidate has said a former Conservative councillor’s decision to back Labour in the upcoming vote is proof the leader of Lichfield District Council needs to consider his position.

Joanne Grange quit the Tory-controlled local authority after criticising the way planning rules were being applied, claiming she did not feel the council was representing the views of residents.

She has since urged voters in the Stowe ward by-election to back Labour in order to get a dilute the power held by the Conservatives.

Don Palmer

Don Palmer

Don Palmer, who will be standing for Labour, urged Tory leader Cllr Mike Wilcox to consider his position.

“I would, first of all, want to express my shock and horror at the way Joanne Grange has been treated by Cllr Wilcox,” he said.

“It does not surprise us that she has resigned and decided to cut up her Conservative membership card and post it publicly on Twitter. What does surprise us is that Cllr Wilcox feels that he can still carry on as leader of Lichfield District Council.

“If the Friarsgate fiasco was not enough to make him consider his position, surely this latest debacle is?”

Labour will be hoping to repeat their victory in the recent Curborough ward by-election which saw Colin Ball seize the seat which had previously been held by the Conservatives.

Mr Palmer said he believed voters would again be keen to send a message to the controlling Tory group.

“We have already been out canvassing in the Stowe Ward and there is certainly still resentment from residents about the high-handed way that Cllr Wilcox and other Tory councillors have neglected the people of Lichfield and kept them in the dark over Friarsgate,” he said.

“We want voters to have a genuine choice and an opportunity to air their concerns, in contrast with the current Tory-led Lichfield District Council discussions held behind closed doors.”

The by-election will take place on September 27.  Candidates standing are:

  • Angela Lax (Conservatives)
  • Donald Palmer (Labour)
  • Richard Rathbone (Liberal Democrats)

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  1. Colin Ball

    6th September, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    All power to your elbow, Don. Looking forward to canvassing for you again at the weekend – and for our excellent candidate for the City Council, Robyn Fawcett. Let’s get out there and let everyone know that Labour is the party that cares and will work hardest for local people, as I’ve been trying to show in Curborough.

    Colin Ball – Labour’s City and District Councillor for Curborough.

  2. Mr Phil

    6th September, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    I agree, as a long term Tory voter, I’ll certainly be voting for Mr Palmer this time around.
    I’m afraid I’ve lost all faith in our conservative administration and I use a small “c” on purpose!
    If we don’t get it together in this City, we’ll be even more of a laughing stock!