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Cllr Alastair Little

A councillor says he was “shocked and disappointed” after comments from a Conservative colleague at Lichfield District Council about babies appearing in meetings online.

Cllr Derick Cross

An email sent by Cllr Derick Cross to fellow councillors said it was inappropriate for members of the local authority to be “seen dressed sloppy in the garden or toy strewn room, baby in our arms”.

Cllr Liz Little and Cllr Alastair Little have seen their newborn daughter appear in some of the streamed meetings while she was being fed.

“I was shocked and disappointed by the comments made.

“Having my newborn has been a blessing and as my first born has certainly enhanced and improved the way I work in my professional life.”

Cllr Alastair Little

Cllr Cross’ comments came off the back of a suggestion from Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Council, that online meetings should continue in order to encourage more diversity amongst councillors.

One of the online meetings where Cllr Liz Little is seen feeding her baby

And Cllr Alastair Little said he welcomed the support he had received in carrying out his duties as a new parent.

“My beautiful daughter will be making more appearances in the future while we are working online – and I have the full support of our modernising leader Cllr Pullen.”

Cllr Alastair Little
Cllr Liz Little

Cllr Liz Little, cabinet member for major projects and economic development, added:

“I am very proud to have become a mother for the first time earlier this year and I shall carry on being a councillor, working mother and wife all of which makes me who I am and makes me able to represent the people where I live.”

Cllr Liz Little

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4 Comments

  1. If a councillor’s child makes an appearance during a “virtual meeting” then I confess I always wave to them. If Cllr Cross was indeed referring to Cllr Liz (and Alastair) Little’s baby, then I was very pleased to see both mother and baby looking well at our Full Council meeting last month.

    I supported creches early on in my council life as a way of encouraging more female councillors and agree with Doug Pullen that virtual meetings can help with diversity. Although Staffordshire’s female population is over 50% currently Lichfield District has 31% female members, Staffordshire CC 35% and Tamworth BC 25% so some virtual meetings would help I believe.

    As in real life – how elected representatives dress is a matter for them – and how they might be perceived by their constituents. Lichfield’s MP clearly attracts as certain following and keeps fancy dress costume makers in business. When I was a Parliamentary Election Agent in 1992 I was pleased my (successful) candidate was always in suits and looked as if he was the MP already. The actual MP (and deputy for Chancellor of the Exchequer and one of the two UK signatories to the Maastricht Treaty) always dressed down for public meetings lost his seat.

  2. What a pathetic comment.
    How does this affect on your ability to be part of a video conference? What would you rather a crying child hungry in the background?
    Absurd notion that this affects anything other than your narrow-minded attitude? You should be proud to have a member who can multitask, being able to juggle a baby being fed & intake everything said as well as respond to both when needed. I’d be commenting on her exceptional mothering skills for being a first time parent too.
    Well said Liz. And well done.

  3. Working class people looking after their children whilst trying to work from home as the government has advised. I absolutely applaud Mr and Mrs Little this is the norm for society today. Mr cross’s remarks are absolutely ludicrous.

  4. So Mr Cross thinks that looking after children and dressing informally will detract from serious decision making? Really? LDC – serious decision making? They haven’t performed very well on that front, have they? Perhaps they should let the children run the meetings, might get more sense than some of the decisions they have made in recent times.

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