Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd
Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd

The Burntwood councillor at the centre of a funding controversy says he has offered to waive his allowance.

Staffordshire County Council has handed the issue over to Staffordshire Police after an internal investigation over £924 awarded to Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd’s now-dissolved Nature Nuturing Community Interest Company.

Despite receiving the money, the organisation neither purchased nor planted any trees.

In an email sent to the council’s member and democratic services manager on 18th January and shared with Lichfield Live by Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd, he said:

“I want to waive my councillor allowance from March onwards if I can do so.

“If I cannot, I’ll be donating it for the course of my term.”

Email from Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd

Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd had served as a Conservative representative for Burntwood North division before quitting the party altogether after he was handed a six month ban after the issues were raised over the funding for the tree planting scheme at Chasewater.

He currently sits as an independent member of the county council, but has fully resigned from both Burntwood Town Council and Hammerwich Parish Council.

A spokesperson for the county council said arrangements had been made for repayment of the money – but added the matter had been reported to Staffordshire Police.

“The council has carried out an audit investigation into the application process for grants from the Community Climate Action Fund.

“As a result, one matter has been reported to the police and further checks and balances are to be implemented for future applications.

“As previously stated, arrangements have been made for repayment of grant money obtained not in accordance with the terms and conditions of the fund.”

Staffordshire County Council spokesperson

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  1. I look forward to seeing the report – and what it says about the governance of the grant.

    At LDC last night, Cllr Dave Robertson was anxious to have a quick report on the District Council’s new ‘Community Fund’ (you know, the one that initially suggested grants would be paid into the councillor’s personal bank account if the applicant group did not have a bank account) as we see the lack of control of Public money by the County Council.

    Of course, Cllr Rudd will have been paid his basic allowance of £815.53 a month, less tax, and since he was suspended from the Conservative Party would not have been obliged to pay into his Group Funds or national Conservative Association funds.

    Looks like a good time then to send a personal letter to him asking if he will contribute his allowance from March onwards to Lichfield Live. That might just cover the whole of the £600 a month running costs?

  2. What a load of nonsense. Just pay back the money as required or face prosecution. Its a simple choice so why complicate it with trying to return the allowance that councillors get? The damage has already been done and trying to deflect attention away from it by gestures is like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s far too late in the day now and time for some straight answers from Cllr Loughborough Rudd me thinks. I won’t be holding out much hope…

  3. Cllr TLR has had an allowance of over £800 per month since his election 8 months ago. From that monthly allowance, he could have then paid SCC back for the missing grant. He’s been awarded over £1600 since the story broke. Even more since he knew the project failed.

    What did he do with the actual grant money? Why won’t he answer that question?

    Garnishing wages / allowances is bound to have income / tax / legal implications. Why insist on making it more complicated? Sounds like another tactic to delay and/or avoid tax or benefits implications.

    Donating to charity doesn’t give restitution to the public purse and residents of Staffordshire.

    What did Cllr TLR’s report on the failed project last summer to Cllr Simon Tagg state? When did Cllr Tagg know the project had failed or suspect this application was fraudulent?

    How many more grants gave been given by Staffordshire County Council and not accounted for?

    When will Burntwood Town Council and Hammerwich Council start reviewing activity involving Cllr TLR?

    Thank you Lichfield Live and FOI people. Please keep asking the difficult questions.

    If only those who know would go on record about some of the worst kept secrets in Burntwood and Lichfield.

  4. Wow, that’s awfully decent of the good councillor to be so charitable with his hard earned allowances. It’s so heart warming that in our society today there are good eggs around like Trust Me Tom.

  5. I think everyone who has commented is right. This cannot be allowed to be swept away without proper investigation into everything that has happened with this grant.

  6. Surely this man was an entirely unsuitable recipient for a grant of public funds, and is entirely unfit for public office. The whole episode is ridiculous and is a sobering demonstration of the dangers when one political party is so dominant (as the Tories are on Staffordshire County Council) that it can treat us all with such contempt. And what a shame it is that there is no democratic process for removing an obviously unfit Councillor.

  7. In response to Moderate Missus, BTC don’t need to review his involvement in his activity as there wasn’t any to speak of. Maybe he did more at Hammerwich?

  8. I really do think Cllr L-R should resign, pay back the monies in full and take time out for himself to think about his and his family’s futures. Let the electorate decide who should represent them.
    The council though, needs a complete overhaul and a thorough police investigation, their standards would appear to be appalling, their treatment of public monies has no due diligence and their lack of transparency over this is shocking. In my opinion, they’ve let Cllr L-R down as well.

  9. Waiving allowances is a distraction. The money needs to be repaid and it should be investigated if there was an intention to defraud public money.

  10. Surprised that we’ve not heard from our MP Michael Fabricant, his neighbour MP Amanda Milling and the Police & Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire Ben Adams, who all campaigned for Cllr L-R leading up to the May 2021 election.

    What are their thoughts?

  11. Or just pay the money back and resign? Why does he feel the need to over complicate things? If something quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and looks a like a duck, then it is indeed a duck.

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