The leader of Lichfield District Council has been urged to seek answers from local MPs on the challenges facing local authority finances.

Lichfield District Council House
Lichfield District Council House

Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the Labour opposition group at Lichfield District Council, made his comments in the wake of an overview and scrutiny meeting last night (20th January).

The committee was told that only “informal” discussions had taken place between the local authority’s leader, Cllr Doug Pullen, and MPs Michael Fabricant and Christopher Pincher about the issue.

Cllr Norman said his Conservative counterpart needed to push for more answers.

“I was not interested in a chat in a pub with the council’s representatives in Parliament, but their response to the financial difficulties such as the funding gap in 2023, 2024 and 2025 with the added uncertainty of the proposed financial reform which could see the loss of business rates and the New Homes Bonus. 

“I would have thought Cllr Pullen would realise that his role as council leader does not mean he cannot ask questions of his Conservative members or Government for the sake of residents. 

“If he wrote to the MPs to ask them to forward his letter to the Local Government Minister for a response he will not be chucked out of the Conservatives. 

“Of course, he might get a response pointing out that the council has more than £8million in reserves when it only needs £1.6million as an emergency reserve.” 

Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council

But Cllr Pullen said he was in regular communication with both of the MPs representing Lichfield and Burntwood in the House of Commons.

“With a balanced budget, no cuts in our services, and a suggested council tax rise of less than £3 a year, I simply don’t recognise the issue Cllr Norman raises.

“I speak regularly to both of our MPs, write formally to them on a wide variety of matters, – including our Levelling Up Fund bid for £5million – and remain engaged with the Local Government Association about the financing of local authorities.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council

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3 Comments

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  1. You mean the levelling up bid we didn’t get? Fine work Doug.

    The reality is Lichfield is taken for granted by the stories. We get nothing.

  2. Doug, if you speak regularly to Fabricant can you tell him how out of touch he is with those of us whose votes he relies on? Honesty and integrity don’t seem to be things he values with his unceasing support for someone that thinks rules don’t apply to them and are a stranger to the truth

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