A councillor at Lichfield District Council says she stepped down from her cabinet position after disagreements with a fellow member of the leadership group at the local authority.

Cllr Liz Little

Cllr Liz Little’s resignation from the major projects portfolio was confirmed in an email to councillors.

Lichfield District Council gave no official reason, but Cllr Little told Lichfield Live that issues with an unnamed member of the cabinet group had been the main reason behind her decision to step down.

She also cited worries about the direction being taken in the authority’s planning department as well as the Local Plan, which outlines where and how much housing will be built over the next 20 years.

The council wants to build more than 9,700 new homes – but more than 2,600 of these are designated as helping to meet the Greater Birmingham housing need.

Cllr Little previously spoke out on the numbers, after it emerged a 1,500-home development in Alrewas hadn’t been factored into strategic housing allocation, meaning other sites were given the green light to be used for housing to make up the numbers.

Following her resignation, Cllr Little told Lichfield Live she she could no longer continue to support the direction being taken.

“As a cabinet group it’s important to be together, but for one particular member this doesn’t happen.

“I have concerns with the Local Plan, for example, where we are allowing houses to be built for other areas to meet their housing allocations and we are not pushing back on it at all.

“The housing issue is one that we might not ultimately win if we do push back, but at least residents would see that we tried to fight for them – we shouldn’t just be rolling over and having our tummy tickled.

“It’s a battle I’ve tried to fight from within the cabinet group, but now I feel I might be better trying to fight it from the back benches.

“We need to go back to doing what we promised when we were elected.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Little also said she had concerns over the proposals for Lichfield’s new leisure centre – a a development that has now been taken on by Cllr Iain Eadie, deputy leader and cabinet member responsible for the Local Plan.

The plans have already been scaled back over concerns around how the facility would be funded.

But Cllr Little warned history could repeat itself if the proposed Stychbrook Park development continued to be cut back from the needs initially identified for the district over the next quarter of a century.

“We don’t want to find ourselves in a position in 25 years time with another Friary Grange Leisure Centre where we have a centre that is unviable.

“But some individuals seem to think it’s about just dealing with the swimming pool issue and taking other bits of the proposed centre away is fine.

“I definitely won’t be a councillor in 25 years, but those that are should not be left to deal with that situation.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

“That is not me”

During her time as a cabinet member, Cllr Little has served under two council leaders in a range of different roles.

She said her time had largely been positive, but admitted the recent period had been challenging.

“I’ve looked after lots of different portfolios under Cllr Mike Wilcox and Cllr Doug Pullen.

“It’s been enjoyable, but over the past six months it hasn’t been.

“If I stayed in the cabinet I’d have had to take decisions I did not agree with – and that is not me.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Little will continue in her role as a councillor representing the Little Aston and Stonnall ward.

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25 Comments

  1. This is a really significant and well written article, produced and published within a matter of hours after the events happen. This offer scrutiny and insight into the Council. Bravo Ross. Top Quality. Where is that donate button?

  2. Cllr Little. Well done for speaking out.

    With the comments you have made in this article. You will have support and agreement from a massive section of people, in Lichfield.

    Too often, the council seems to have just given in to developers. We want Lichfield to be a fantastic place to live.

    I hope you do join Joanne Grange, as an independent. She does what is best for the local area.

  3. Liz Little you have my total support. How do we get rid of Eadie and these other councillors that are ruining Lichfield? I’ve always been a Tory voter but I’m completely disillusioned by the planning decisions by this Council.

  4. I’m not sure it is helpful to speculate on who the un-named Cabinet member is that Cllr Little disagrees with so vehemently.
    What is important now is that the leader of LDC works hard and stEADIEs the ship so that these major projects are not further hindered.
    If he manages this and rEADIEs the council to make progress then the projects might suffer.
    However, it will take a lot of hard work to get things stEADIEr as clearly there is concern about the actions of this un-named Cabinet member and the direction they are taking us in.
    Also, talk of a funding shortfall is worrying – the rEADIEs need to be available to ensure we get the new facilities we deserve.
    So, in sort, that is a stEADIEr council with the available rEADIEs to get things done.

  5. Well it is now writ large what the future holds for Lichfield and district. 20,000 + + houses of unquestionable quality squashed onto high density estates. No green credentials, of course, so all gas fired and minimally insulated. Unashamedly designated Birmingham overspill! Little or no supporting infrastructure.
    The council is receiving less rate support from government but still has no autonomy to resist the onslaught. Our area is being raped. Just learn to say no. Insist on higher standards for a reasonable quota of houses and get the infrastructure in first.
    We do have a say in how our area is developed. What do we have MPs and councillors for if they are blind, deaf and dumb to those who they purport to represent? Frankly, for me, they can all resign and we might just elect more sympathetic custodians of our city and area.

  6. I commend The Scribbler for not revealing the un-named megalomaniac who won’t be happy until he rules over an urban jungle.

  7. It’s quite simple, the Council should include more stringent requirements at the outline planning and s.106 agreements stages. No more developments unless we receive a legally binding promise that doctors surgeries and other necessary infrastructure is provided. Take Fradley, thousands of houses are being built and are proposed to be built and we don’t even have a GP surgery or any proper sports facilities in the village. It’s crazy.

  8. You get what you vote for…stop voting for these clowns.

    Anyone on the council currently would do well to state their opinion on this subject. People are angry about this, even our non political neighbours are talking about the absurdity of it. I’ve never heard them mention anything political or council related before.

    I hope an independent will stand at the next local elections who will not support this constant build build mentality with no concern for the environment or future-proofing of homes.

  9. At the next election I’ll be voting for any independent who is prepared to stand up for this area. I’m not against all development per se, I’m a realist, but it needs to be controlled, in the right places with good infrastructure to back it up. At the moment developers do what they like and our Council rolls over every time. Take the leisure centre fiasco, with all the developments in Lichfield, why couldn’t some of these developers have put £500k in each? Job done. Our Council are not putting this area first or listening to us. I just hope we get some good independents at the next election because this Council is in for a shock.

  10. Simon, more & more people are thinking like this. People of all political persuasions are sick to death of the govt & around here, sick to death of the council. I’ve never seen as much anger, it’s brewing underneath the surface, you can feel it.
    Prof P – the fill of the people, love it!

  11. @Simon Just a note of caution. Being an independent does not necessarily mean you don’t have a political agenda. We’ve seen “independents” standing for election promoting their lack of ties to specific parties whilst quietly omitting to mention their own quite extreme political agendas. I’d be very wary of supporting “any independent” on that basis alone.

    PS Just to clarify – this is not a personal attack on any standing independents. I think JG is great. :)

  12. Local councilers would be better non political just there to listen to people s ideas if you are local people you should know the wishes of locals of all denominations

  13. It would be interesting to see how many people from lichfield and burntwood are moving into these new developments. Some of my relatives are desperate to move out of birmingham.

  14. It sounds as though Liz Little and Joanna Grange are the voices of reason within the council – long may they keep us informed, and call the rest of the council to account for decisions made

  15. John Allen – no, with Cllr Eadie taking over some of her responsibilities you are more likely to see houses built on disabled parking spaces now.

    I do enjoy the irony that it is Cllr Eadie taking over from Cllr Little – well played Doug Pullen, I’m sure there is some method in the madness but for the life of me I can’t begin to think what that might be.

    AnneS: ;-)

  16. Hello Liz.
    It sounds to me that the people involved are at at loss here.
    this is the sad thing happening in all situations at the moment. The going is getting tough all over the world.

    Its a shame there isn’t a process where in which; the people in the towns and cities are more involved with the comings and goings of its members in their council.
    The people of lichfield could have been more informed as to what is happening with the housing issues and their towns land.
    They could have had an opinion to put forward about your feelings before you decided to resign.
    I feel very sad for lichfield.
    Why not come over and join us in Tamworth.
    We need the love of people in this town, more than the love of money, developing houses ect…
    We have so much to offer in this town.
    Would love to see you here.

  17. Politics in this country is no longer a matter of representation. All three major parties are now in thrall to the free-market, minimised democracy, model of neoliberalism, funded by those who benefit financially, whether individuals or foreign powers. That is not you or me or any of the populace. We are being steamrollered.

  18. I have tremendous respect for Ms Grange and her willingness to walk out on her former party due (at least in part) to their development mania, and their contempt for their campaign promises to protect Lichfield’s green belt. I hope that Ms Little seriously considers the offer to join her as an independent; they might make quite the team (accepting Asellus’s point about the need for caution in some contexts about the ‘independent’ label).

    Next is finding a couple of councillors who actually understand heritage planning and how to properly protect, preserve, and integrate into planning Lichfield’s extraordinary built and archaeological heritage; but baby steps.

  19. @ John Griffin… Yes you are absolutely right. It is never made obvious that at local level they will be following national party lines regardless of local consequences.
    Democracy is an idealist concept that never fulfils its promises. It is counterbalanced by capitalism which, as you imply, has a dominant influence on the decision making process.
    Lastly, Cllr. Liz Little has resigned from the cabinet not the council. Apparently falling out with fellow councillors has more significance than the electorate falling out with a dysfunctional council.

  20. I am reassured to find out that there is an elected Councillor who has had the courage of their convictions and has been prepared to stand down from the Cabinet over the unsustainable levels of housing developments in and around Lichfield. However unfortunately Cllr Little‘s resignation will not have the desired effect.
    We the voting public of Lichfield need to challenge our Councillors and Michael Fabricant MP if we want to see change , and if they won’t change we have a choice at the Ballot Box.

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