Iain Eadie

Conservative candidates in the Lichfield District Council local elections have challenged their rivals to a hustings debate.

Iain Eadie

Cllr Iain Eadie laid down the gauntlet to fellow prospective councillors in the Leomansley ward after the list of candidates was published.

The vote will see representatives from the Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and the Green Party seeking election.

He said Conservative hopefuls “would welcome” the chance for voters to hear first hand from all candidates.

“We could then answer residents’ questions”

Cllr Eadie said: “We could then answer residents’ questions over the additional funding from central Government that has allowed Staffordshire County Council to spend more money on potholes as well as not having to divert money from school crossings to pay for the increasing costs of adult social care..

“We could answer questions on how candidates would propose to bridge the gap between the council tax Lichfield District Council gets of approximately £7million per annum and its planned spending of approximately £10million per annum on services, when monies from central Government is reducing year on year.

“We could debate the decisions taken by Lichfield District Council to reduce its expenditure, such as reducing the funding to the likes of the Garrick Trust and the consequences this has had on amateur dramatic groups’ ability to access the theatre to put on shows.

“We could debate why it became necessary to charge for brown bins when Staffordshire County Council needed to reduce the recycling credits it pays to district and borough councils, if other services were not to be affected.

“We could also debate the failure to deliver Friarsgate and why Leomansley Conservative councillors stood down to protest this, as well as what action we took within Lichfield Conservatives as a consequence, and why the new council – regardless of what party councillors are from – will be different.”

He has invited rival candidates to contact the Conservative hopefuls if they wanted to go ahead.

Cllr Eadie added: “A hustings would be an opportunity for all parties to answer residents questions on the issues affecting where we live, what candidates would propose to do about them if elected, and to encourage a genuine debate on what is really happening.”

Full list of candidates standing in the Leomansley ward:

  • Lee Cadwallader-Allan (Lib Dem)
  • Jamie Checkland (Cons)
  • Jamie Christie (Lib Dem)
  • Iain Eadie (Cons)
  • Paul Ecclestone-Brown (Greens)
  • Paul Golder (Lab)
  • Ian Jackson (Lib Dem)
  • Rajesh Kulkarni (Lab)
  • Kim Rochelle (Lab)
  • Andy Smith (Cons)

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

19 replies on “Conservative candidates challenge rivals to tackle key issues in hustings debate ahead of Lichfield District Council elections”

  1. And still these two are pushing #friarsgate shambles. They stepped down because they wanted the council to build and fund the development themselves. I hope they get trashed by the electorate and never appear on the council again. Leomansley you have a chance here to send a message to the Tory controlled council – Don’t waste it!

  2. Cllr Eadie. We, the local residents have held a discussion, about your record.

    We have done a “Friarsgate” and held it in private.

  3. If he’s offering genuine debate and an opportunity for residents to get the measure of him and other candidates, then good for him. That’s what we should be seeing from local politicians. I wish there was more of this.

  4. I hope the other candidates reject this for the cynical, self-serving stunt that it is. A proper hustings should be independently organised and mediated, not put together by one of the parties involved. Pathetic.

  5. Ross from Lichfield Live has offered to be the independent mediator, subject to him being available.

    Paul Ecclestone-Brown standing for the Green Party has already responded about being involved.

  6. Remember Cllr Eadie wanted the council TO fund friarsgate with public Money and that he was DISSAPPOINTED that Cllr Wilcox abandoned the poisoned chalice of friarsgate now called BRS site. All he is doing is trying to persuade you to vote for him and forget his past actions, so when he takes his place again on the council he can do whatever he likes for 5 years with regard to the electorate. I hope , infact i pray to god that the citizens of Leomansley boot him and his cronies of the council all together and they can go back to their day jobs…

  7. Listen, we have had 12 months of ineffective local politics, insultingly bad money wasting, corruption etc. Now it’s election time it’s “lets have a meeting to see what we could do better…”? NO!!!! You had your chance, you blew it, time to go.

  8. In response to the comments relating to Lichfield District Council potentially funding the Friarsgate scheme, the council has an approved property investment strategy that is part of its Medium Term Financial Strategy. This strategy is to borrow £45 million for the purposes of investing in commercial property assets. LDC would then use the rent received, less the borrowing costs, to help meet part of the difference between what it receives in Council Tax and its current spending commitments on services.

    Friarsgate was a development that was ready to begin, had it been financed. No external funders came forward to do so. Lichfield District Council could have funded the scheme but Councillors took a decision not to do so.

    Andrew Smith, Doug Pullen and myself stood down from Cabinet because our actions could not get the Council, despite its intended property investment strategy, to fund development and regeneration, when this was ready to happen. An opportunity has therefore been lost. Retailers who had agreed to come to Lichfield have not and Marks & Spencer has now closed its store.

    With a property investment strategy the council has the potential to fund what plan emerges for the site, now referred to as Birmingham Road. The website on this suggests a development brief will be issued in 2020. It will be some point after this that any long term development will start on the site.

    The Birmingham Road site has the potential to be a mixed use development encompassing residential dwellings; leisure activities; and potentially retail, or, offices. Friarsgate was a mixed use development that included residential, leisure and retail, which is why we wanted the council to make this happen when it had the chance.

    Commentators on different articles suggest Lichfield District Council has spent £12 million on Friarsgate. That is not correct. £6.194 million was spent relating to Friarsgate on buying property assets valued at £4.03 million that the council now owns. In making these asset purchases £158,970 was incurred as Stamp Duty and non-recoverable VAT. £142,285 was spent on other associated costs. £130,352 was spent by the Council on demolishing the garage and 2 properties next to the Council house. £1.732 million was spent on professional fees and project management.

    A total of £930,050 is currently included in the Council’s budget for short-term redevelopment works and addressing the former police station and units at the bus station.

    Many other local authorities have adopted a property investment strategy, as well as investing in their high streets to deliver regeneration. Lichfield District Council has the opportunity to do the same and I would like to see them do this sooner, rather than later. This has the opportunity to create new jobs; keep people who live in our district spending in our district, instead of going elsewhere; whilst helping the council secure more of its services for the long term future.

  9. As a reasonably financially literate person (chartered accountant for 25+ years) I suspect I’m not alone in being confused by the figures that are being thrown around in respect of Friarsgate.

    Last summer, Cllr Wilcox was quoted as giving a £7m figure. Since then we’ve had reports of £90k a year for 2 officials to oversee the future plans, £300k on the essential car park works, £750k on short term landscaping (that I’ve heard referred to as the “bogs and benches” option) but which may now be part of Cllr Eadie’s figure of £930k, additional consultants being paid £60k for yet more plans and I suspect the hoardings and security have been conveniently lost in an opex budget. It’s not clear whether the £6.194m includes the demolition of the old police station nor other ground remedials that I’ve been told will be necessary re old fuel tanks or whether this is the £930k for “addressing the former police station”, but if this is the £930k, presumably the “bogs and benches” for £750k are on top?

    Is it any wonder people are unhappy about the transparency of what this failed project has cost us so far?

  10. And there you have it folks, Cllr Eadie proves that LDC know nothing about Property Investment .

    Firstly the land acquired for £4.9m was valued and acquired for a particular scheme, in this case a commercial development including cinema etc. That failed.

    Secondly the land value now will be totally different, and you can easily Cllr Eadie get a re-evaluation of the land by contacting the District Valuers Team a government organisation that values land. If you did this first before spouting figures to impress people what you would see is that the land value lets say now for mainly housing a and few small commercial units would be hard pushed to go beyond £2.3 – £2.8 Million. This would after costs of demolition and land reclamation (the police site is contaminated with underground fuel tanks, the same applies to the ford garage site) mean a potential loss

    Thirdly , you assume that the public you serve have no knowledge , yet some of us in some areas of property investment , Finance/Auditor are a little more knowledgeable than yourselves i am pleased to say

    Finally , people if you are going to vote for this guy then think hard and fast as once elected you could be potentially signing a blank cheque book on your own hard earned cash. Remember Councils up and down the country have failed miserably when speculating on property investments.. Even this current government is advising against commercial startups of councils and may even seek to introduce legislation that may stop any property company in Lichfield so even more waste on the horizon

  11. MrSuperSprout I wouldn’t worry they’ll just grant themselves residential planning permission on the whole lot, clean it up and flog it off to a developer no doubt claiming they got all the money back!

  12. Ok Mr Eadie – In the interests of full disclosure and setting the record straight – can you tell us exactly how much money to date has been spent on Friarsgate – a project you fully supported, before you distanced yourself from it as soon as you realised it was bound to fail!!!? I’d also be interested in a ballpark figure of how much money has been lost from rental of the businesses that once occupied the site?

  13. Back to the initial subject of the item – I’m looking forward to the opportunity to talk about what really matters to people in Leomansley

  14. Mr Eadie and his colleague’s tenure has been one of financial mismanagement – on an unprecedented scale (£10-12 million of our money wasted on the failed Friarsgate protect), an expulsion of local businesses for absolutely no reason and decision making that would embarrass a 7yr old. This council has been an absolute travesty for Lichfield, and I for one, am deeply regretting ever voting for them. I certainly won’t be this time around. It does seem to be full of glory hunters – who “collect” titles/positions within the community, like other people collect stamps.

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