Jamie Checkland

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A councillor has resigned from a number of key roles within Lichfield District Council after a backlash over plans to close Friary Grange Leisure Centre.

Jamie Checkland

Cllr Jamie Checkland had previously stepped down as a governor of The Friary School over the row.

There had been calls for the Conservative councillor to resign as an elected member after claiming prior to his decision to leave the board of governors that his priority was the school.

He has now opted to step down as vice chair of the strategic overview and scrutiny committee, and also relinquished his role as chair of the strategic plan work group.

Cllr Checkland cited “unjustified negative social media coverage” as the reason for his decision.

In an email to Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Council, he said: “In order to ensure the effective and smooth running of the district council’s development, I hereby stand down as the vice chair of the overview and scrutiny committee for strategy and from the strategic task group for the development of the next four year plan.

“I do this to ensure the good work that needs to be carried out by these committees is not distracted any further.

“I was grateful for the chance to meet with you where I was able to prove to you my integrity over my past three years involvement concerning the issues at the Friary Grange Leisure Centre.

“I submit this and offer my continuing full support for the future and the progress you going to make.”

“Grateful that Jamie has taken this step”

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant had previously praised Cllr Checkland for acting with “dignity and honour” after he resigned from his role as a school governor.

His decision comes as Lichfield District Council continues talks with Staffordshire County Council and The Friary School over the future of the city leisure centre.

Cllr Pullen said: “I am grateful that Jamie has taken this step, which demonstrates his commitment to the further development of the council.”


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

13 replies on “Lichfield councillor resigns from senior local authority roles after Friary Grange Leisure Centre backlash”

  1. “unjustified negative social media coverage”

    So you’re complaining that you were (rightly) called out for making comments about your priorities, which severely damaged your ability to act as a councillor?? And your complaint is…….??? Two words mate. Man. Up.

  2. Don’t worry.

    You can resign these positions. It’s just a chumocracy. Your mates will still vote as you want them to and close the swimming pool.

    You should resign from the council.

  3. Peoples concerns were real, in that Jamie Checkland’s sole reason for becoming a Cllr.by his own admission was not to serve the wider community but to serve the interests of Friary School, and I believe that he will continue to do so.
    Make you laugh, don’t they. Such arrogance.
    The good people of Leomansley elected him to represent them and work in their interests.
    He should now do the most ‘dignified and honourable’ thing and step down from the position as a Councillor.

  4. There is a certain type of arrogance that politicians on the national stage display on a daily basis that over the years has filtered down to local politics. There is an ever-growing list of mistakes, misguided statements, egocentric stances and sheer incompetence that would not be acceptable in the average workplace so should not be ignored from elected representatives. They are human, mistakes are made, no-one likes admitting to it but to deflect justified criticism of basic failures sums up this political arrogance.

    It is easy to lump all politicians into this criticism and there are without doubt exceptions who deserve praise.

    But the over-riding impression continues to be negative, both on a local and national level, and this is a direct result of the words and actions of elected representatives. No fake news, no misinformation on social media, just pure and simple arrogance and incompetence.

    Why should we put up with this? Why shouldn’t we question? Why shouldn’t we call them to account? Why shouldn’t we vote them out?

    As an aside, I cannot praise Lichfield Live enough to for its independence, its resolute stance on delivering high quality, fact-based journalism and its continuing refusal to let such matters be swept under the carpet. Keep shining the spotlight Ross and the rest of the team of volunteers who help create this invaluable local information resource.

  5. “Unjustified negative social media coverage”? Or the democratic right of the electorate to hold their elected officials to account when they have openly admitted to being a) biased in a key local issue, and b) in breach of their code of conduct?

    It’s interesting that both Councillor Checkland and Councillor Leytham, who was also recently found to be in breach of the code of conduct, are both ex-policemen. Would they have been as tolerant of misconduct with their former suspects who pleaded ignorance or uncertainty about the law? Is the behaviour of these Councillors due to ignorance or is it arrogance? Either way, it insults the intelligence and integrity of the people of Lichfield they were elected to represent.

  6. What does it take to resign from LDC? This is disgraceful. He should go now Do not pass Go do not collect £200 or any expenses . Just go!

  7. @Flossy. I think this is Pullen’s first error in judgement. He should have insisted that Checkland stand down. His position is completely untenable now. He’s shown his hand as favouring the future of a single school in the area, and that severely impacts his ability to represent the community as a whole.

    If Checkland is able to remain, Pullen shows himself to be weak. It’s as simple as that.

  8. They are all in it together. Protecting each others backs. Modern politics from Parish Council level all the way to the idiot you voted into the Westminster. ( I am in Tamworth area for that)
    He will not resign and re stand he hasn’t the moral fibre . If he performed the same way when he was part of Plod no wonder the low life went round laughing

  9. Thanks for posting this Old Bark. Interesting! The cynic in me wonders what their agenda was back then in asking these questions. Oh yes, we are not going to tell the electorate before the May elections that we are going to close Friary Grange Leisure Centre or that Mr Checkland will be working hard on your behalf (Friary School) to keep that part of the services that are profitable for your school and bu**er the rest of the community who use it. I still think Mr C should do the honourable thing and resign completely from LDC.

  10. Old Bark ironically the piece said the councillors were open and frank during the debate with the students. Wonder if they happened to mention the Friary leisure facilities would be closing, Not that open or frank then.

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