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Former opposition leader says Lichfield councillor who breached code of conduct should be stripped of scrutiny committee chairman role

The former leader of the opposition at Lichfield District Council has called for a councillor who breached the code of conduct to be stripped of a senior role.

David Leytham
David Leytham

Cllr David Leytham failed to declare his wife’s business and the fact it was paid for services provided to Lichfield City Council.

The Conservative councillor had been Mayor before losing his city council seat at the local elections this year.

Cllr Leytham currently represents the Whittington and Streethay ward on Lichfield District Council and sits as the chairman of the housing and health overview and scrutiny committee. He was also a Cabinet member under the previous Conservative leadership.

Cllr Sue Woodward, who led the Labour group at the district council before stepping down in May, said the new Tory leader, Cllr Doug Pullen, needed to take a stand against councillors who fail to fully adhere to the code of conduct.

Cllr Woodward – who still sits on Staffordshire County Council and leads Burntwood Town Council – told Lichfield Live that failing to send out a clear message risked the situation reflecting badly on all councillors.

“Any infringement that falls below the standards expected brings disrepute to all of us who are elected representatives,” she said. “Even worse, it feeds into that destructive narrative that all politicians are in it for themselves, out of touch, elitist etc, which undermines our democracy.

Cllr Sue Woodward
Cllr Sue Woodward

“Lichfield District Council had sadly become a rotten borough where a minority – still too many though – became arrogant and dismissive of the rules and regulations around transparency and accountability.

“It was one of the numerous reasons I stood down from my district council seat in May as battling against the sense of entitlement in the controlling group was exhausting.

“I have high hopes for the new council and its leadership. Let’s all hope that they rise to the challenge.”

Cllr Leytham has said he accepts the findings of a hearing into his conduct, but insists he did not intend to mislead.

“I’m grateful that my version of events has been understood by the panel,” he said. “And I fully accept their findings.

“While there was never any intention to mislead, I understand that as an elected councillor I should have been more rigorous in highlighting the business dealings of my wife, regardless of whether any profit was made.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

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