The new Labour leader of Burntwood Town Council says she welcomes proposals for a closer relationship with Lichfield District Council – but warned actions will speak louder than words.
Conservative district council leader Cllr Mike Wilcox said he was hopeful of forging closer links with the town council following the local elections.
That vote saw Labour take control of the town council from the Tories, and new leader Cllr Sue Woodward – who had previously led the opposition group at the district council – said “warm words” would not be enough to fix the relationship with Burntwood.
“On the whole, Mike and I enjoyed a good working relationship at Lichfield District Council, meeting regularly to discuss council matters,” Cllr Woodward said. “I hope that continues with my successor.
“But while there was a good deal of agreement between us, there were always sticking points, one of them being the lack of equity in investment across the district as a whole, including Burntwood of course, my home patch.
“In comparison to the money that’s been poured into Friarsgate, our town been left with crumbs.
“Mike has often expressed warm words about the possibility of future funding for Burntwood but warm words are not enough. We need to see Action now too.”
“Reluctance and scepticism”
Cllr Woodward said the Town Deal Partnership set up three years ago involving Burntwood Town Council, Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council had delivered some progress, but insisted there was still work to be done.
She added: “It was interesting to see from local Conservative election literature that they rate the Town Deal Partnership which is a good to know, given the reluctance and scepticism of the previous Conservative leadership at the town council when I first proposed it.
“I’m now determined to make it a driving force for investment in the town and look forward to learning more about how the Conservatives at Lichfield District Council are going to deliver on the promises they have made to us.
“With a significant increase in the number of Labour councillors returned in the elections and with a new town council, I’m hopeful that Lichfield District Council will have learnt the lesson that Burntwood will not stand being ignored any longer.”