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A Lib Dem councillor says it is “common sense” to review the Lichfield city centre masterplan once the full impact of coronavirus is known.
A controversial meeting earlier this week saw members of one of Lichfield District Council’s overview and scrutiny committees clash over a way forward for the city centre.
A vote in the session was originally recorded as rejecting the proposals – only for a video review from the meeting to reverse the result.
Cllr Paul Ray told Lichfield Live that he supported the masterplan, but added that caution was needed before it was committed to in full.
“I have said before that the masterplan presents exciting and positive plans for the future of Lichfield city centre.
“I expressed serious concerns at the meeting about the lack of an overall funding strategy.
“The papers for the meeting referred to the council borrowing up to £45million, but before any funding is committed the council must present a proper and detailed funding strategy.
“I also suggested that the consultants who have prepared the masterplan for the council should at the end of this year update it to take account of the impact of COVID-19.
“There is no point in doing that now because the impact is not clear but once it is, the plan should be reviewed.
“Cllr Eadie, Conservative cabinet member responsible for this area, did not support that, but I hope he can reconsider because it is just common sense.”Cllr Paul Ray, Lichfield District Council
Other councillors have also raised concerns over the proposals for the redevelopment of Lichfield city centre in the wake of the current crisis.
Labour representative Cllr Darren Ennis has called for a pause while the full impact of COVID-19 is considered.
“This plan should be reviewed and given at least six months to see how the city centre scene has changed after coronavirus.
“We have to be making the correct decision before spending potentially millions on a scheme that could fail yet again.”Cllr Darren Ennis, Lichfield District Council
The city centre masterplan will next be discussed at a meeting of the cabinet next month.
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