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’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.