A Burntwood councillor at the centre of a funding controversy has resigned from two of his positions.

Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd
Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd

Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd has confirmed his decision to quite Burntwood Town Council and Hammerwich Parish Council.

It comes after issues surrounding the repayment of funding he was awarded for a tree planting scheme that never went ahead was referred to the police.

Despite his two resignations, Cllr Lougbrough-Rudd has not stepped down from Staffordshire County Council, where he currently sits as an independent member after quitting the Conservatives in the wake of the investigation into the money he was awarded via the authority’s climate change fund.

In his resignation letter to Burntwood Town Council, he said:

“I offer my sincere apology for anything that I have done that it is felt has stained this council – that would not be something I would ever do and that is why I go now.

“It is no longer practical that I continue for the last year of my term and it would be a distraction which I feel is wrong.

“It has been a profound honour to serve alongside this council under the administration which I have to say I didn’t expect. That’s a credit to Cllr Sue Woodward, Cllr Darren Ennis and Cllr Robin Place for putting aside the usual party squabbles.”

Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd

Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd said that his decision to resign from the town council and Hammerwich Parish Council would allow him and the two authorities to focus on the future.

“I have some profoundly difficult questions to answer in the coming months and if I’m honest I’m not sure my body will survive this but it is where life has decided to place me – perhaps I’ll cope perhaps I won’t, but that’s up to God and forces far beyond my control.

“Outside of philosophy, I trust that by quitting the town council I remove any strange social media attention and allow the last term of this council to continue on smoothly as I do hope it will.

“The attention on those who are not me has been reprehensible and needs to stop – I’m accountable for my decisions, me and me alone, and that is something I hope that is clearly understood.”

Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd

Cllr Di Evans, chair of Burntwood Town Council, said:

“I can confirm that I received Mr Loughbrough-Rudd’s resignation from the Summerfield and All Saints ward at the town council and will be taking appropriate next steps.”

Cllr Di Evans, Burntwood Town Council

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7 Comments

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  1. Yet he still retains his position on Staffordshire County Council (with its allowance of over £9780 pa) and no indication of whether the £924 Climate Change Grant has been paid back.

  2. It is no surprise that he stands down from the two councils that don’t pay, but doesn’t resign from Staffs CC which pays him almost £10k per year.
    That outlines his moral stance in an instance.

  3. Reading that I’d suggest we shall an scc resignation very shortly. None of that reads of a man who is willing to carry on to me. I hope I’m right.

  4. .. another development in this case….but, where’s the transparency from Staffordshire County Council (SCC)…explaining in detail how this happened, and the corrective actions being considered. Councillors and Officers must know….. it’s not a hugely complex situation. Why has SCC decided to be so circumspect?…..are there things SCC don’t want us to know?

  5. What is the monthly allowance for a SCC councillor. Just withhold that until the £924 is repaid. Simple.

    But questions remain about how this grant was approved so easily in the first place by former county councillor Helen Fisher (now deputy Police and Crime Commissioner). Also why officers from SCC didn’t do sufficient checks into the CIC and the grant allocation.

    Finally, the big one, why is it proving so difficult to get the money back. It wasn’t spent on trees but still has not been repaid.

    So what did Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd spend the £924 climate change fund grant on?

    Hopefully the police will find out the answers to those questions as I’m not sure we should trust anyone involved in this whole ridiculous saga to tell us the whole story.

  6. Scott does make valid observations in his comment above. I do believe however, that Cllr Fisher’s involvement would have been a decision in principle while relying on officer to do the due diligence (eg. check the status of the bank account – it should not be a personal one and have at least two signatories for example).

    It would not be Elected Member’s role to do that. On the face of it, the application (for a CIC to plant trees for less than a grand) would have looked OK.

    The officers did not do their job. Claimed it was a light touch scheme. Couldn’t produce the list of successful applicants. Didn’t know when if the cash had been paid back, and finally, agreed instalments to repay (I believe), that would amount to an interest free loan!
    The whole situation is shoddy. Well done to Lichfield Live for exposing this and holding power to account. Thank you.

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