Jamie Checkland
Jamie Checkland

A Lichfield councillor has resigned from his role as a governor at a city school after a row over the future of the Friary Grange Leisure Centre.

Jamie Checkland

Cllr Jamie Checkland had become embroiled in the debate after speaking at a public meeting over plans to axe the leisure centre as part of a proposal to turn The Friary School into academy.

He had served as a governor at the school for around eight years, becoming chair of the governing body prior to his resignation.

The Conservative member for the Leomansley ward has also apologised after breaking Lichfield District Council’s code of conduct in a meeting over the planned leisure centre closure.

He said he hoped resigning as a governor would avoid any future conflict of interest concerns.

He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the school.

“This step has been made to enable the school to continue to focus on the well-being and learning of the students.”


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10 replies on “Councillor resigns as school governor amid row over plan to close Lichfield leisure centre”

  1. So, the councillor has given up his school-role but is carrying on with the political-role? Pretty much jumping from the sinking ship of “The Friary School turning into academy”, which he would have clearly been the chief decision maker, into the sinking ship of “Tory LDC cutting public services”. Smart-ish move, this way the blame gets moved to Pullen/ the tory group.

    If this is the sort of behaviour and direction Mr Checkland has, perhaps we should all be concerns that he is the Chair of a task group that will be leading the creation of the strategic plan. A document that lists all the goals/direction of the council for the next 4 years. I can only assume he will use this role to conduct similar stunts….

    Mark my words, this is just the beginning. Friary Grange Leisure Centre will be the first step in how the council starts reducing services and implementing fees for the rest. Mr Checkland is chairing the group that will plan out the actions for the whole council. People should not let this happen. In the last month, we have seen Mr Checkland and Mr Leytham breaking the code of conduct and still remaining as councillors, to which they get paid for. We’ve got anohter 3yrs and 10mnths before the next elections, and already we’re seeing the rules broken and no consequences.

  2. He stated at the public meeting on Monday that his priority was the school. Maybe now his priority is supporting the local communities requests to keep FGLC open and provide the City with a public swimming pool! Lets give him the benefit of the doubt

  3. Makes you proud.

    We have councillors:
    – who can’t complete forms accurately
    – are not sure when to leave a meeting
    – forget they are directors of companies
    – use council email addresses advertising their holiday apartment
    – blow £7 million on a big hole
    – are not sure if their wife runs a business or not

  4. His resignation as head of governors does nothing to resolve the conflict of interests. He’s now free to debate and vote on the future of Friary Grange in LDC meetings despite having publicly stated that his priority is the pupils of the Friary School. He should resign as a councillor tool and let the voters of Leomansley decide who would best serve their interests. I’ve no doubt an independent “Save Friary Grange” candidate would do very well in a by-election.

  5. Don’t forget there is a newly registered private company (the Trust) (March 2019) with no declared assets……yet. Neither Checkland nor Allman are directors….yet.

  6. Cynical

    …concerned only with one’s own interests and typically disregarding accepted standards in order to achieve them.

    What a cynical ploy to achieve his main aim. He should resign as a Councillor.
    How much more do we have to take from this Council?

  7. Not only a Cllr but also a member of LDCs Audit and Member Standards Committee. Whose functions include

    To advise the Council on the adoption or revision of the Members’ Code of Conduct and monitor it.

    Other functions relating to standards of conduct of members under any relevant provision of, or regulations made under, the Local Government Act 2000

    Looks like the training for that position might need revisiting

  8. As a resident of Leomansley ward, I trust that Councillor Checkland will now focus on working to keep the leisure centre open in the best interests of the people he was duly elected to represent, rather than narrowly and misguidedly prioritising the school’s interests. Time will tell.

    Given his stated priorities at the public meeting last Monday, which I attended, should he still be leading the cross-party working group at Lichfield District Council to develop the draft Strategic Plan for the next four years when sorting out the Friary Grange Leisure Centre will be a key part of that Strategic Plan?

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