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Labour brand Lichfield Conservative councillor “patronising” over comments to rival on Friarsgate consultation

Labour has branded a Lichfield Conservative councillor as “patronising” after comments he made about one of his rivals views on the future of the Friarsgate land.

Cllr Jon O'Hagan

Cllr Jon O’Hagan

Cllr Jon O’Hagan had been replying to comments made by Cllr Colin Ball about the need to consult with residents and businesses about how land earmarked for the failed redevelopment project should be used.

Colin Ball

Colin Ball

The Conservative representative for Stowe ward said it would be “silly” to reveal the council’s plans at this stage – before pointing out his Labour rival was inexperienced as a councillor.

“We need to do more work in order to be ready for consultation,” Cllr O’Hagan said.

“With the launching of a dedicated email address for the public to send us their ideas, it would be silly to go to the public with our ideas first.

“Let the public talk to us – we need to listen. Only then can we make provisional plans to take back to the people for consultation.

“I appreciate your enthusiasm, but remember that you are a very new councillor. We have to do this properly.”

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

But his comments have drawn criticism from Labour group leader Cllr Sue Woodward.

She said: “What an incredibly patronising comment from Cllr O’Hagan.

“This says it all about the Tory hegemony at Lichfield District Council. Why on earth does he think that his and his colleagues’ ideas trump public opinion?

“They’ve clearly learnt nothing from the Friarsgate fiasco.”

It’s not the first war of words Cllr O’Hagan has found himself embroiled in this week.

He has criticised Lib Dem representative Paul Ray for political point scoring after he gave his views on how the land earmarked for Friarsgate should now be used.

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19 Comments

  1. Nodge

    19th October, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Considering the councillor is “an experienced psychiatric nurse” it doesn’t surprise me that he’s trying to play mind games with the electorate and his rivals. Here’s an idea fella: stop messing about and come up with some viable options for the Friarsgate land.

  2. Cllr Jon O'Hagan

    19th October, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    That is precisely what we are doing. There is a cross party working group that is try to gather together information and ideas.

    Cllr Ball is part of this working group, as is Cllr Ray. Unfortunately, Cllr Ray prefers to give his opinions to Lichfield Live, rather than attend meetings. Cllr Ball’s enthusiasm is great, but needs to be slightly curbed. I would have thought that his group leader would have guided him better. I understand that Lichfield’s Labour group is in internal disarray, between power struggles, and infighting, but their policy of distract by attack is as pathetic, as it is transparent.

  3. PeoplePower

    19th October, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    I’d take over-enthusiasm over bowing down to the moustachioed leader’s tinpot ideas every day of the week. In fact, it’s the lack of political passion from those aboard the gravy train that is causing many of the problems. The fact you didn’t even have the spine to oust a failed leader at Lichfield District Council when you had the chance says everything.

    Lead a council? I wouldn’t let Wilcox lead a merry dance…although he seems very good at doing that with the taxpayers and their cash lately. On the subject of which, any sign of you lot paying that Friarsgate £7million back yet so we can get our bins collected again?

  4. LetsGiveItASpin

    19th October, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Is this guy for real. Does he think he is walking the corridors of Westminster powerhouse. A psychriatric nurse? Really , doesn’t show , clearly into mind games and power. And these people are in control of our city … we stand no chance

  5. Colin Ball

    19th October, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    I think that I understand why Councillor O’Hagan would like to curb my enthusiasm – probably so that I stop speaking at Council meetings and holding the Tories to account for what I feel are serious mistakes.

    As for internal disarray in the Labour Group at Lichfield District Council, that’s certainly news to me and seems to have passed me by. Surprising really, if it were true, as there are only five of us sadly – but, hopefully, more to come next May, building on the large swings to us in recent by-elections.

    Colin Ball – Lichfield City and District Councillor for Curborough.

  6. Cllr Jon O'Hagan

    19th October, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    No Colin. The last thing I want you to do is stop. Carry on, but with a little more awareness of how the council works. Sue should be guiding you better, and not letting you blunder around the chamber like you have been.

    Remember Julius Caesar? It’s not your opposition that you have to watch…

  7. Wilf

    19th October, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Sweet lord, you’re a patronising see you next Tuesday, O’Hagan.

    You make it sound like being a councillor requires the skills of a UN negotiatior! All you lot do is turn up, eat the biscuits and do whatever Barry Chuckle tells you.

    Face it, if you really had an ounce of political ability you’d be doing more than representing half a dozen pensioners who vote every now and then.

    Same old local councillors, doing the same things the same way. For Christ’s sake, you tried to claim an email address as a highlight.

    Stick to being the lunatic in the asylum in future.

  8. burntwoodn

    19th October, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    I can absolutely assure Lichfield Live readers that the Labour councillors at LDC are not in “internal disarray” with “power struggles, and infighting” as Cllr O’Hagan seems to believe. Where on earth has he got that from apart from his own vivid imaginings on Twitter? Perhaps he should reflect on the recent vote of no confidence in his own Leader which he won by just a couple of votes (or was it 3)? I am proud that my Group work well together to hold the current administration to account. In fact, I was heartened to receive comments from a couple of members of the public (not political activists) who attended Tuesday’s Council meeting congratulating Labour on holding the Tories to account through our “well reasoned arguments”. One contrasted it to the “boorish” behaviour by the Conservatives, their own strategy of what Cllr O’Hagan called “distract by attack”.

  9. Cllr Sue Woodward

    19th October, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Apologies. I sent the above before I put my name to it. Wouldn’t want to be accused of hiding away in private.

  10. Cllr Jon O'Hagan

    19th October, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    If you say so Sue. I’m sure some of your group members might not agree.

    Personally, I don’t think that you have treated one of your members very well at all.

  11. LetsGiveItASpin

    19th October, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    And he is still point scoring. What a totally abhorrent man this cllr o’hagan is. Really time for him to resign now

  12. Debbie S

    20th October, 2018 at 4:28 am

    These exchanges by O’Hagan are nothing but childish. This is NOT the platform for such bickering.

  13. Colin Ball

    20th October, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Maybe I should just grow a thicker skin and accept that this is just the typical “cut and thrust” of local politics! So, I am a bit reluctant to keep posting on this string of comments. However, I really feel that I can’t let Councillor O’Hagan’s comments go without a response.

    I’m sure he knows that I won’t stop asking questions and holding the Tories to account for their poor and risky decisions that have cost local Council Tax payers millions of pounds. I also want to be very clear that Sue Woodward has given me excellent help and support over the last few months since I was elected – and that there is absolutely no internal disarray, power struggles or infighting in Lichfield District Council’s Labour Group. Quite the reverse, we are a happy and united, if small, team, who will keep on keeping on punching well our weight and holding the Tories to account.

    I will also point out that, with over 40 years of experience of working with and in Local Authorities, I fully understand how they work and will continue to use my all my enthusiasm to speak and ask questions at all the Council meetings that I am at – in spite of the braying and offensive remarks of the Tories, who clearly don’t like the home truths that I am exposing.

    Colin Ball – Lichfield City and District Councillor for Curborough.

  14. Di Evans

    20th October, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I am totally dumbfounded that Councillor O’Hagan has the temeriy to imply the Labour Group is in disarray, when nothing is further from the truth. We are totally united in our views to get the best possible outcomes for the whole of Lichfield District tax payers. It is fairly obvious that we do our homework and prepare carefully for meetings, presenting a cohesive argument where necessary, unlike the majority of the Conservatives who do nothing more than sit on their hands and provide very little or no input into any debate. Whatever or whoever gave Councillor O’Hagan the impression that we are at loggerheads is a ridiculous, totally incorrect assumption. Maybe he needs to look inward to his own group and see where the problems lie.

    Di Evans
    Deputy Leader of the Minority Group at LDC

  15. Michel Souris

    20th October, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Any critical comments about Cllr O’Hagan and his Tory mates are like water off a ducks back; they don’t have any empathy for the ordinary man, they have no interest in the common man and are only feathering their own nest. It will be interesting to read which developers have entertained the Blue Councillors with expensive meals and events. Maybe an FOI request will reveal just how close Messrs Wilcox, O’ Hagan et al are to parasite developers.

  16. Eric.N.Drinkwater

    20th October, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    What weird and arrogant comments from Cllr O’Hagan. To suggest that Cllr Colin Ball is inexperienced and doesn’t know what he is doing just shows a total lack of understanding and knowledge about the community and also a fear of someone who has made an immediate impact in the council in his own style. Colin has been a community worker in many ways for many years and has not just dropped onto the council for something to do but has brought much experience in community and its issues onto the council. Think again Cllr O’Hagan or crawl back into your box and stay there.

  17. Rob

    21st October, 2018 at 11:00 am

    “crawl back into your box”?
    Oooh, the grown-ups have arrived.

  18. Steve Norman

    23rd October, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Oh dear. O’Hagan.

    When the Council has consulted they have ignored the response from redidents in his Stowe ward and elswhere. For example on charging for the brown bins (residents said “No@”) or cutting Community Transport (over 5000 said “No!”) But Stowe Ward councillors: Eagland O’Hagan and Greatorex, said “Yes!”.

    What about scrutiny at Full Council meetings? Apart from Cllr White (who does his best) they nearly all remain silent at every meeting or leave before the vote – presumably because they don’t want to support the Leadership.

    Attending the last Council meeting it was great to see our new councillor, Colin Ball, doing his job holding the leadership to account and trying to prevent more wasted £millions.

  19. Joanne Grange

    23rd October, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    What intrigues me about this exchange is the use of the word “properly”. Given the City’s association with Johnson, are we looking at a new dictionary entry? Properly (adverb) – in a manner which stifles all original thought; according to some arcane procedure that invariably delivers a poor outcome for residents; in a way that ensures the leading group on the council does what it was going to do anyway, regardless of challenges.

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