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Council leader says he does not need to apologise further for “minor infringement” after using official email address to rent out private holiday home in Menorca

The leader of Lichfield District Council has said he does not need to apologise to residents after being found to have used his official email address to rent out his private holiday home.

Mike Wilcox
Cllr Mike Wilcox

Cllr Mike Wilcox was found to have used his official local authority address on a website promoting the rental property in Menorca.

He was subsequently issued with a warning by Lichfield District Council.

But at a meeting this week he insisted he had already made amends.

“I do not feel that this minor infringement requires any further apology than the one I have already issued to the council,” he said.

“I can confirm that following my warning for this breach of policy I apologised to our head of legal services for this infringement.

“I stated that at the time back in 2011 a web page was created which should not have quoted my council email address alongside my personal email details, which I did not at the time realise was a breach of policy.

The holiday home rental website which carried Mike Wilcox's official email address
The holiday home rental website which carried Mike Wilcox’s official email address

“The page has remained dormant since 2011 and I was only reminded of this by a tweet appearing on a local social media platform recently. Once I was made aware of this, the site was suspended and I am endeavouring to get the page removed.

“Out of interest, the property is now not advertised for rental anywhere as far as I am aware.”

Cllr Sue Woodward, leader of the Labour opposition group at Lichfield District Council, said her counterpart showed his contempt for local taxpayers by refusing to say sorry to them when pressed at the meeting.

“It’s a pity really that Cllr Wilcox didn’t apologise to all concerned,” she said.

“An apology costs nothing but backing off from one seems to me to show a lack of concern about what the public thinks and doesn’t really lead by example.”

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9 Comments

  1. Sminty

    21st February, 2019 at 10:01 am

    To my knowledge he hasn’t apologised for the £7m of Lichfield taxpayers money he wasted on Friarsgate either, choosing instead to blame “investors”. The fact that he led the project seems to have slipped his memory. This latest refusal to apologise to those who elected him, serves only to prove once again that the man feels he can do literally ANYTHING he wants, so sure is he that Lichfield voters will vote for him again, and again, and again.

    It really is time to vote him and his colleagues out. https://lichfieldlive.co.uk/2019/01/23/second-member-of-lichfield-district-councils-cabinet-told-to-update-register-of-interests-over-undeclared-company-directorship/

  2. Joanne Grange

    21st February, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    As we are clearly now operating under a new set of “rules” it would perhaps be useful for Cllr Wilcox to publish these so we can all see the standards to which we can expect councillors to adhere. It might also be useful to get a full definition of “minor infringement” and which breaches of the rules are considered “minor” and hence don’t require apologies, and for which a little slap on the wrist or extra training is considered the appropriate sanction.

    Will there also be a cumulative measure for infringements? Perhaps three “minor infringements” equalling a “full infringement”? And would this operate only on an individual basis or should we look at this cumulative measure along party lines?

    And who will be the arbiter? Will councillors self-police and decide whether their behaviour meets the new definition of “minor infringement”? Or indeed in some cases, such as undeclared directorships, whether the “rules” actually apply to them at all?

    Will “minor infringements” in the lower ranks of backbench councillors be seen as more acceptable given they could claim they are only following the example set by the higher ranks in the cabinet? After all, the culture set at the top is clearly one in which “minor infringements” are nothing to worry about, and there’s no need to make a fuss over minor indiscretions.

    LDC’s Draft Environmental Crime Strategy suggests that a zero tolerance approach to dog fouling and littering will be used – presumably because it is believed this will be effective in driving standards. It seems a shame that the same zero tolerance approach isn’t to be applied across the board.

  3. AnnS

    21st February, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Well said Joanne. Couldn’t agree more. Sick to death of the lot of them.

  4. DS

    21st February, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Maybe the good folks of Lichfield should be allowed to decide if they feel an apology is appropriate.

  5. Neil Hickman

    21st February, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Go on, try it for once Cllr Wilcox after all it is only a minor infringement, then if you like it try saying sorry for the sh*t load of money you’ve wasted , and continue to want to waste, just round the corner from you where you imbeciles sup tea and eat biscuits.

  6. Michel Souris

    26th February, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    So, Cllr Wilcox will not be bothered when the electorate does not apologise when they vote him out of office. Roll on the May elections!

  7. John Griffin

    27th February, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Michel they will waltz back in. The electorate round here vote Tory because they love the waspish Fabbo and they want to keep out immigrants and lower classes. Wait for the plan to cleanse the Dimbles of the mucky lower orders.

  8. Rob

    27th February, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    if apologise are required maybe Chris Williamson could offer a few soothing words?

  9. Darryl

    27th February, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Ah Rob once again breezes in with some bizarre equivalency, even Labour supporters think Labour handled this poorly.

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