Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd
Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd

A Burntwood councillor is facing renewed calls to explain where funding he was given for a tree planting scheme has gone.

Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd quit the Conservative party in the wake of a six month ban the party handed him over the controversy.

His company was awarded £924 by a climate change fund at Staffordshire County Council in the run up to his election in the Burntwood North division.

But despite it being revealed in December that no trees were planted or purchased, both Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd and the county council have refused to confirm whether the funding has been returned to the public purse.

Prior to his permanent departure from the Conservatives – which now sees him sit as an independent – the councillor had revealed he was at odds with the party, telling Lichfield Live he had “f**k all interest in Conservatives who lack the balls to confront me”.

Cllr Rob Birch, a Labour representative at both Lichfield District Council and Burntwood Town Council, said Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd now needed to confront the issues of what has happened to the money his now dissolved company received.

Cllr Rob Birch
Cllr Rob Birch

“There is still no answers on where the money is, from him nor Staffordshire County Council.

“The trouble with him saying he has no interest in the Conservatives without the balls to confront him is that when confronted he cries foul, blames mental health and disability and then goes into hiding.”

Cllr Rob Birch

Both Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd and Staffordshire County Council have once again been approached by Lichfield Live for comment on whether the money has been repaid – but both parties are remaining tight-lipped.

But criticism has come from within the councillor’s former Conservative group, with Cllr Richard Cox saying he had “no integrity or principles whatsoever”.

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  1. Isn’t it time the police were involved? He’s had nearly a thousand pounds, there is nothing to show for it and he refuses to say where it has gone? Anyone one else would be brought to book, surely

  2. Still many questions to be answered:
    1 – What did Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd spend the money on?
    2 – Why did Helen Fisher sign off on this grant to a CIC that was not actively involved in doing any work? Does her silence on this have anything to do with her new role as Deputy Police and Fire Commissioner?
    3 – Why didn’t SCC officers flag up any issues before approval?
    4 – Why did it take Lichfield Live investigating and FoI requests to highlight this potential fraud?
    5 – Why hasn’t the money just been paid straight back?
    6 – Are there problems with other grants from this fund?
    7 – Did Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd have access to other public money and if so is that also being checked?
    8 – If former Conservative colleagues have been telling him to repay the money for months, then who else knew about this issue prior to the story breaking and why have they taken so long to mention it?
    There are 8 that remain unanswered. I’m sure others could think of a few more.

  3. It surely is time for the police to become involved. One issue that has also not been considered is that if Mr Loughborough-Rudd was elected on the basis of being a Tory representative, and he is no longer a Tory, then does he now have a mandate to continue as a counciller?

  4. I was at a friend’s funeral Friday so I haven’t been reading much of the press since. So when I saw this I was a bit bemused. The lack of balls comment was in relation to another matter and not the trees. I felt I had to clarify that when I saw this because it miss represents what I actually said. Quite a few former Tory colleagues have been in contact directly to me, unlike Cllr Birch who seems to comment publicly on every occasion and never once answered a request I asked him when I last saw one of his article’s. It’s a shame as he is by all extents a very effective councillor and a decent human being who I don’t wish to engage in the sort of public spat that is now taking place between our flamboyant MP and Cllr Little

  5. Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd – we have not said this quote related to the trees, we’ve merely reported a quote you willingly gave us about your relationship with the Conservatives prior to your decision to tear up your membership of the party.

    The other issue you mention (which is actually issues) – like the whereabouts of the funding for the trees – is one you’ve spent almost two months evading now. Our questions have been with you since early December (along with the many reminders that you hadn’t answered them) and our invite for you to clarify a number of issues is still open.

  6. Cllr Loughborough Rudd, you sent me a private message on Twitter asking which private email address you wanted me to reply to. You could have just replied on there if you wanted to reply at all.

    This was in response to questions asked publicly by myself and others. I didn’t bother to respond as you appeared to have removed yourself from Twitter. The questions are still being asked publicly and the answers should be given publicly.

    It is public money that has gone missing and the public wish to know where it is. Wanting to respond to me privately are not adding to your credibility.

  7. This is really getting pathetic now. Why will the councillor not provide an explanation as to where the tax payer money has gone? I think it is quite sickening to think this is where our democratic processes have led to. He has resigned from this party but is still getting a councillor salary? I’d be interested in knowing if any of the funds went towards his new home [he was on twitter a few months ago]. Mr Loughborough you should resign and be barred from holding public office

  8. James Brown is right. Loughborough is pathetic, he may have formally quit the Boris Johnson party but he hasn’t quit emulating Boris Johnson – evading answering questions, refusing to explain what he’s done with the money, blaming/criticising everybody else, having no shame, having no integrity, not caring about anyone but himself. He should resign his seat and stand in the resulting by-election if he thinks he’s so hard done by.

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